This is believed to be the first prototype Springfield Armory M1A semi-automatic rifle manufactured by Mel Smith of Valley Ordnance, Inc. of Pennsylvania. The included letter from the M14 Research Service, dated June 10th, 1991, states, "In reference to your early experimental Springfield Armory M1A. This rifle, X001 was made without the (T) Trade Mark before BATF approval. Reportedly made in the early 1970's. All other subsequent rifles have the (T) on their receivers... The manufacturer is Mel Smith of Valley Ordnance, Inc, Pa. The early M1A Rifles were assembled & marketed by Elmer Ballance of L.H. Gun Company, San Antonio, Tx." Another included letter from a previous owner indicates that the individual they purchased this rifle from in the 1980s was originally involved in the heat treating of these rifles and stated, "X001 was the piece submitted to the Patent Office for approval and this being the case would be the original Texas gun." This rifle is marked "U.S. RIFLE/7.62-mm M1A/Springfield/Armory/X001" in five lines on the receiver heel. Fitted with a flash hider, "NM 062" front sight, adjustable rear aperture sight, and smooth pistol grip stock with a ribbed synthetic upper handguard. Includes green canvas sling, plastic muzzle cap and plastic rear sight cap. This rifle was previously on display at the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum between 2013-2022. Featured on "Serial Number One Guns" episode of Outdoor Channel's "Gun Stories," season 4 episode 16. Provenance: The Supica Collection
Excellent, retains 98% original parkerized finish with some light handling marks, and a few light scratches visible on the barrel. Stock is also excellent with some light handling marks, one small crack in the rear of the forearm, and distinct edges overall. Mechanically excellent.
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