The Springfield Armory M1A Underlever Air Rifle Is Here!
Wow it’s heavy! This was our first comment on taking the Springfield Armory M1A underlever air rifle out of its packaging. At a weight of 9 Lbs 9 Oz, this underlever-cocking version of the M1A certainly has the weight and feel of the centerfire M1a.
In fact, it’s actually a few ounces heavier and an Inch or so longer that the current M1A Standard Issue centerfire rifles.
By the time we fitted the Air Venturi M1/M14 scope mount and a favorite Leapers UTG 3 – 9x40AO scope, we had reached an all-up weight of 11 Lbs 11 Oz. That’s a seriously-substantial air rifle!
The Springfield Armory M1A underlever air rifle is a fairly close copy of the M1A centerfire rifle. The main visual differences are the lack of a box magazine and the somewhat chubby proportions of the wood stock’s forend.
Claimed maximum Muzzle Velocity is the obligatory 1,000 FPS in .177 caliber. In .22 cal. it’s 800 FPS.
HAM readers first saw this gun in our 2020 SHOT Show report from Las Vegas back in January.
Available in both .177 cal and .22 caliber, the Springfield Armory M1A underlever air rifle has a very solid hardwood – maybe beech? – stock. This is obviously a major contributor to the overall weight and has a very “Mil Spec” finish.
Pulling down on the cocking lever slides the top handguard forward, exposing the internal loading port. The pellet is actually inserted directly into the rear of the barrel.
As with all underlever-action air rifles, it’s vital that you ALWAYS hold the cocking lever right back with the butt braced into your hip when loading a pellet. Yes, of course there’s a mechanical anti-beartrap mechanism built-in. But it’s best to be safe rather than sorry. If not the results of the piston slamming forward unintentionally could be far worse for your finger than a dose of “Garand Thumb”!
We installed the Air Venturi M1/M14 Scope Mount to this air rifle. This has the typical M14-types “wrap over” design and is located in place with two thumbscrews. Weaver rings can then be used to mount a scope.
As is typical with any M14/M1A centerfire rifle, the scope ends-up positioned waaaaay too high for any kind of good cheek weld. In fact, you have a decided “chin weld”! The answer to this is undoubtedly to fit one of the many aftermarket M14/M1A cheek risers that are available for this very purpose.
The iron sights are a fair facsimile of the centerfire M1A’s sights. There’s click-adjustable elevation and windage controlled by some familiar-looking knobs.
The manual safety is also in the expected place at the front of the trigger guard. However, note that it works in the opposite way to that of the centerfire rifles. The safety is pushed FORWARD to be “on” and back to fire.
The cocking lever can be pulled back in imitation of cocking the firearm. But it’s “all show and no go” as it has no function to perform in operating the Springfield Armory M1A underlever air rifle. And – of course, there’s no blowback action or rotating bolt in this spring/piston airgun. However you will receive some genuine recoil (plus forward recoil) from the action when you shoot it.
This M1A is not the first “M14-style” airgun. The now-discontinued Winchester M14 was an earlier model. However as a light (4 Lb 9 Oz), all-plastic, CO2-powered model, it generated nothing like the feel of the new underlever gun. There’s simply no comparison between the two, even if the Winchester M14 did have a box magazine and slimmer forend!
We hope to bring you a full HAM test review of the Springfield Armory M1A underlever air rifle in the near future.