Springfield Armory M1A Bruce Dow 300 WSM Conversion M14 M21 Rifle

SOLD FOR: $2,825

WOA#: WY23116KF008

Make: Springfield, Bruce Dow Converted

Model:  M1A

Serial Number: 150213

Year of Manufacture: 2002

Caliber: .300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum)

Action Type: Semi-Auto

Markings: The top of the receiver is marked “US RIFLE M1A / SPRINGFIELD / ARMORY / 150273”.  The bottom of the trigger guard is marked with a KMT Co. factory stamp.  The bolt is marked “7790186 / 66118-EE”.  The right side of the barrel is marked “B.R.DOW 300 WSM”. The op rod is marked “7267084 HRA / 5”.

Barrel Length: 18”.  21” with compensator

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade set between two protective ears. The rear sight is an adjustable peep sight.  The left side of the receiver has a drilled and tapped hole the mounting of optics (M21 Configuration).

Stock Configuration & Condition:  The stock is a green coated wood stock with semi-pistol grip, sling ring in the belly, buttplate with folding shoulder piece, picatinny rail skewed to the bottom of the forend, and composite upper handguard. The LOP measures 13 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good overall condition.  There are some small scrapes and scratches throughout but they remain sparse and few and most have not broken the surface of the finish. The extractor and ejector system have been modified.

Magazine Quantity & Condition: One 20rd M14 Magazine. Will hold 11 rounds of 300 WSM.  The magazine rates in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish:  Green, Parkerized

Finish Originality: Refurbished, Original to conversion

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp.  There is some copper fouling on the lands.  There is no erosion.  The bore rates 9/10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 95% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows slight wear, with some mottled rusting on the charging handle but other than that the rifle remains clean with a few faint drag lines here and there. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions as intended. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a total of one magazine.

Our Assessment:  In 2004, a remarkable project undertaken by Bruce Dow of Dow Arms Room in Dade City, FL, brought a significant evolution to the M1A. Dow was tasked with converting two M1A rifles to the powerful .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) caliber, transforming them into M21 type configurations optimized for precision and power to be used in Iraq. This endeavor was not just a testament to the adaptability of the M1A platform but also highlighted the ingenuity required to bridge traditional firearm design with modern ballistic capabilities.

The rifles, equipped with Smith Enterprise, Inc. scope mounts for enhanced targeting precision, were delivered to McDill Air Force Base. The initiative, fueled by hand-loaded ammunition with 175 grain SMK projectiles, was aimed at testing the modified rifles’ performance for potential military applications. The meticulous modifications—ranging from the extractor’s adjustment, chamber enlargement, reduction of the barrel’s gas port diameter, to the reengineering of the scope mount’s bottom surface—were crucial. Yet, it was the invention of a new ejector assembly that stood as the linchpin of Dow’s project. This innovation was necessitated by the .300 WSM’s unique demand for a faster ejection process to avoid stovepiping, showcasing Dow’s problem-solving acumen.

Despite the absence of follow-on orders, feedback from military personnel who tested the rifle in Iraq confirmed the system’s impressive performance. The project underscores a fascinating intersection of military need, firearm customization, and the relentless pursuit of technological advancement in weaponry. Bruce Dow’s work on the M1A rifles illustrates not only the potential of the .300 WSM caliber in enhancing the capabilities of traditional firearms but also the importance of expert gunsmithing in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the realm of firearms technology. This rifle is one of the few run off orders of this conversion made by Bruce Dow himself and will make an excellent and rare gem in any collection.   Please see our photos and good luck on your bid!- L.S.

Springfield Armory M1A Bruce Dow 300 WSM Conversion M14 M21 Rifle
Springfield Armory M1A Bruce Dow 300 WSM Conversion M14 M21 Rifle