"And incidently, didn't the gun at the top of your webpage used to be an M1 Garand? I've resisted buying an M1A, mostly because of lack of money (almost completely due to that), so I was wondering what you thought of the M1A and how it compares to the Garand."
To address the first... scroll down to the bottom of the blog and look at the rifle there.
To address the second...
I love both guns and both happen to take the same ammo. (The Garand is a 'Navy Garand' converted to 7.62 NATO sometime. Prolly the 60s. I guess they figured shipboard rifles can be a bit more obsolete and the real rifle shooters in the infantry can use the new M14s and M16s for their work, while a sailor has his shipboard artillery to do his talking for him, mainly.)
The M1A has a center of gravity a bit further back so it is better balanced. Unloaded it seems a bit lighter than the Garand, too. Loaded is a different story and that is the obvious advantage it has over the older rifle: a 20 round magazine.
Other than those relatively small details they are practically the same gun. And I like them both.
I have set up the Garand with a Scout scope, so it actually has 2.5x magnification. I will some day add optics to the M1A, but that will almost certainly be a red-dot style device of some kind. Probably EOTech. If I were to go afield hunting the wily white-tail, I'd take the Garand. If the Garand was broken I'd take the M1A. If that were broken, I'd guess I'd have to take the less-adequate (only because it's the old style iron sights) Springfield '03, but I'd hate to get that gun too dirty.
I don't have any other rifle that would be appropriate for deer. 1894 lever gun with .357 is a bit frowned upon by the local Dept of Natural Resources for that.
If I was restricted to one rifle, only, for the rest of my life, it would be the M1A. But man, I'd miss the Garand.