Which scopes should I avoid for an M1A?
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Which scopes should I avoid for an M1A?

I was hoping to find out which scope brands are junk, or even a particular model scope of a good brand.

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Old 06-06-2014, 12:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ICleanBrassWithJager View Post
I was hoping to find out which scope brands are junk, or even a particular model scope of a good brand.
that's a pretty broad question with about a hundred different answers.

what are you desiring in the scope you want to mount on the rifle?

what is the intended purpose of the rifle?

what distances are planning on using the scope for?

what is your intended budget for the scope for this rifle?

what about factoring in a quality scope mount and rings for that rifle?

lots of questions to answer before anyone can make a qualified suggestion as to what might be suited for your needs and the rifle.
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:45 AM   #3
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unfortunately the m1a ia particularly poor rifle for optics as is its parent rifle the m1 garand. reason being is there are no good ways to mount an optic that doesnt involve drilling and tapping the receiver.

there are mounts for the m1a but none really work well.

as for optics i would avoid anything in the leupold redfield lineups ive had less than good results from them. an easier thing would be to pick one that has a superb warranty since the m1a action tends to beat the snot out of optics because the mounts tend to shoot loose.

i would go with nightforce trijicon or vortex as all three have superb warranty on damages caused by usage. vortex has the best warranty as its no questions asked, it breaks they send you a new one if they cant fix it. i doubt you will break a nightforce however.

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Old 06-06-2014, 12:55 AM   #4
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Probably all of them. I mostly use the iron sights on mine.

With that said, pay special attention to the quality of the scope mount and rings. A $50 mount from B-Square is not and never will be equivalent to a multi-hundred dollar unit from Sadlak or SEI.

If you use a traditional M14 stock, you'll need a cheek pad for a proper cheek weld.

So, that's about $400 worth of stuff just to mount an optic properly on the M14.

Let's look at prices

SEI - $275 for mount for smaller optics to $450 for larger, heavier telescopic sights, all models are wire EDM machined steel from forged bar stock.
SEI Scope Rings - $125-$175
SEI Cheek Piece $40-$60

Sadlak

$445 Titanium alloy forged bar stock Improved BPT Model
$310 Steel alloy forged bar stock Improved BPT Model with Weight Reduction cuts (doesn't remove that much weight, but every little bit helps)
$268 Steel alloy forged bar stock Improved BPT Model
$165 7075-T6 Aluminum alloy (not sure if it's just bar stock or forged bar stock) Improved BPT Model (if you're only going to use a light optic like a red dot, this may be the way to go and it's obviously more economical)

I personally use the SEI mount on my SEI M14, but I've been told by other shooters that Sadlak is just as good and some models weigh less. The Sadlak mount that I wanted cost more than the mount I have and I didn't want to fork over another $35 for a 2 OZ weight reduction or another $170 for a 5 OZ weight reduction.

I only use an Aimpoint Comp M3 on mine, if I use anything at all.

If your mount is not dimensionally correct, it may require a gunsmith to perform some minor machining to fit the mount to the receiver. The Sadlak and SEI mounts are pretty much guaranteed to be dimensionally correct because they both supply the military.

My optics setup costs me a little more than a pound. With a magnified optics setup, its pretty easy to add two pounds or more to the gun. If it's just a target rifle, then it doesn't matter, but if you have to carry it anywhere it's not fun.

With a loaded 20 round mag and leather sling, it's an eleven and a half pound gun. My optics setup takes it most of the way to thirteen pounds.

So, whichever optic you choose to mount, factor in the cost of the optic plus $400 for the stuff you need to use it properly.

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Old 06-06-2014, 01:14 AM   #5
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Cleanbrass,
Do you already own this rifle? If so, is it an M1A or scout variant? If not scout, above reply is, of course spot on. I put a Leupold LER on my scout and it has been really well received by all that have handled it...but the scout has a true, integral mount.
The M1A is a very fine firearm in it's original iron sight configuration. R Lee Ermie calls it his hands down favorite rifle in this months Guns and Ammo...for what it is worth.
My opinion is some things work best as they were designed...perceived limitations and all. I would never go through the effort required to put ABS on a Jeepster or heads up display on a classic Vette, for example.


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Old 06-06-2014, 01:18 AM   #6
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Adding to what has already been said: if using a Springfield Armory receiver, there is a good chance it will not be dimensionally correct. Some scope mount manufacturers will do separate work for Springfield dimensions, and will ask for you to take measurements of critical dimensions and send them in.

That open top receiver does flex a bit and will work most mounts loose eventually.

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Old 06-06-2014, 01:23 AM   #7
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On optics to avoid, I would stay away from BSA, Barska, Nikko Sterling, NC Star, and just about any other "bargain brand" scope, regardless of the model of rifle it would be intended for.

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Old 06-06-2014, 01:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axxe55 View Post
that's a pretty broad question with about a hundred different answers.



what are you desiring in the scope you want to mount on the rifle?



what is the intended purpose of the rifle?



what distances are planning on using the scope for?



what is your intended budget for the scope for this rifle?



what about factoring in a quality scope mount and rings for that rifle?



lots of questions to answer before anyone can make a qualified suggestion as to what might be suited for your needs and the rifle.

I use it to target shoot, I haven't quite set a budget (fairly new to scopes), the most I'll be shooting is a few hundred yards. I've already went and bought a Basset mount, but not rings yet.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruggieTex View Post
Cleanbrass,
Do you already own this rifle? If so, is it an M1A or scout variant? If not scout, above reply is, of course spot on. I put a Leupold LER on my scout and it has been really well received by all that have handled it...but the scout has a true, integral mount.
The M1A is a very fine firearm in it's original iron sight configuration. R Lee Ermie calls it his hands down favorite rifle in this months Guns and Ammo...for what it is worth.
My opinion is some things work best as they were designed...perceived limitations and all. I would never go through the effort required to put ABS on a Jeepster or heads up display on a classic Vette, for example.


Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk

Standard M1A
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc View Post
Adding to what has already been said: if using a Springfield Armory receiver, there is a good chance it will not be dimensionally correct. Some scope mount manufacturers will do separate work for Springfield dimensions, and will ask for you to take measurements of critical dimensions and send them in.

That open top receiver does flex a bit and will work most mounts loose eventually.
To add to what Doc said and to further explain my comment on the aluminum mount:

The violence of the M1 and M14 actions and the fact that the actions flex is why I only recommended light optics setups if you're going to go with a lightweight aluminum mount.

ARMS ($160-$180), CASM (can't recall prices), and McCann ($240 with optional pic rail) all make steel M14 mounts that are smaller and lighter because they're not based on the BPT design like Sadlak and SEI mounts are. They're all on the light side, as steel mounts M14 go, and lower profile.

SAI makes a mount and if you have a SAI receiver this may be the mount for you. Fulton Armory also makes a mount and if you have a Fulton Armory receiver this may be the mount for you.

The problem, as I see it, is mostly about dimensioning and heat treatment. An improperly dimensioned part will require gunsmithing (increasing its cost to that of a properly dimensioned mount, assuming you can find a smith who really knows what he's doing and is willing to do the work). An improperly heat treated part will, with use, shear or bend, neither of which are particularly good for an aluminum optical tube or mount.
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