In one form or another, MIAs have been serving in…

In one form or another, MIAs have been serving in the military for more than 50 years. Some of the most reliable and trusted .308 rifles ever built, they’re suited for any mission—be it in the jungle, desert or buck-rich forests.

Considered one of the most reliable battle rifles ever created, the John Browning-designed M1A is much more. Having proven itself in combat, patrolling the streets and on the competition circuit, it is perfectly suited to hunting. The .308 caliber is still one of the most popular for taking game of the appropriate size, and the M1A is more than accurate enough. Housed in a traditional stock, it provides the handling most hunters have come to know in their bolt guns with the added benefit of a semi-automatic action and a proven set of versatile iron sights. Given typical hunting distances, many if not most still use iron-sighted rifles, so a solid set of sights is a big bonus. Add a solid base and you can add the optic of your choice for even greater accuracy.

Void of the tactical accessories often added to the rifle, it is very comfortable to carry for all-day hunting treks. Another nice feature is the ability to safely carry it with the safety engaged. Unlike most hunting rifles, the M1A was designed from the ground up to be carried ready to go with the safety engaged. It gives you the ability to bring the rifle to bear very quickly. Proven reliable from the Arctic to the Sahara, you really do not get any more dependable than an M1A rifle. They work dirty, fouled or wet—not something that can be said for many weapons. In short, it remains one of the most versatile and reliable rifles ever produced.

Dressed For Game
Although many still use the classic wood stocks, the composite stock has been the favorite of many almost since its introduction. As beautiful as the wood stocks can be, they are susceptible to the elements like any other similar stock. For battle, that was not always much of an issue, but in order to maintain accuracy something was needed to ward off the effects of moisture.


Composite has been the material of choice for years in just about every rifle that sees harsh climates. It is not only impervious to the elements, but it tends to swell less or not at all. They are also very rugged, often lighter, and require little or no maintenance. They also offer the ability to adjust the look of your rifle to the environment you find yourself in. Over the years, my M1A stocks have been painted many times. Most often seen in the military camouflage de jour, they are not limited to the military look. Many hunters have altered their composite stocks to fit the surroundings in order to bring home meat for the freezer.

Eventually, the industry caught up and started to provide standard camouflage patterns designed for the hunter. One of the most popular is Mossy Oak. It was developed like many things in this industry, through necessity. Toxey Haas, the owner and founder of Mossy Oak Camouflage gathered up a bag of dirt, sticks, and leaves. This became the basis for what created a revolution in practical and useful camouflage. Mossy Oak and others now offer a plethora of patterns that work in a multitude of specific environments.

The camo makers now cover up every area of the hunting market—from head to toe and everything in between. Although it is most widely seen on clothing, packs and accessories, it is also prevalent on rifles.

Load Comments
  • joeclark

    john browning didn’t develop the m1a john garand did. he modified the m1 to the m14. the m1a is the civilian version of the m14

  • Dan

    What is the manufacturers model number of this weapon, please.

  • Singleshotcajun

    Freudian slips happen.

  • David Bahde

    Well, my apologies on crediting the wrong John on this piece. I was in the middle of two other John Browning history pieces and just screwed that up. Clearly the original design is based on John Garand’s M1 Garand rifle.

    Even though the M14 is based on design changes at Springfield Armory the Garand T20 receiver played a prominent part in the initial development and ultimate adoption of the T44 as the M14.

    Again, please accept my apologies for the error.

    Dave Bahde Author