Which scope for M1A?


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mattw
February 21, 2006, 01:11 PM
I'm going to buy a Smith Ent. scope mount and I need a good scope to put on my M1A. I plan on doing most of my shooting at or under 500 yards but I would like the ability to shoot at 1000 yd. I realize at that range it is more up to me than the rifle or the scope but it would be nice to know that if i ever had time to put in that much practice my equipment would be capable of pulling it off.

I think I would like a medium power scope, a variable power that might go up to 14x, 12x at the least. I also would like some sort of range finding reticle. Some thing like a mil-dot but with less math involved. An illuminated reticle would be nice but not necesary. I would like big adjustment turrets at 1/4 moa clicks. I can't understand the benefit of anything bigger than a 40mm objective so I would like that size exit lense.

I was looking at some of the leupold vx-4 series with the M1 target knobs with the mil-dot reticle but i would really like to try something other than the mil-dot for target ranging.

What have you guys used and what do you suggest? Did I miss anything?

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azredhawk44
February 21, 2006, 01:26 PM
I'm also in the exact same boat. I have an ARMS scope mount for my M1A and I am looking for a range-finding scope good to about 500 yards or so.

I was considering a fixed-power scope, such as the Leupold FX series around 6x40. I want a lighted reticle and range-finding capabilities. My needs are a bit different, in that my M1A is currently the only rifle I can use to hunt larger game with. Only other rifle I can use is a 30-30. Don't own anything else, yet.

I would like to get an inexpensive red-dot, like a 2x power, also. This means that both units must have rings that are removeable, yet retain accuracy when re-attached. I want this for close-quarter hunting for ranges under 50 yards.

Anyone able to recommend rings that are accurate when removed and reattached? Is a 6x40 fixed power scope versatile enough for hunting and target needs to 500 yards? Do I need more power? Sell me on the benefits of variable power scopes. Am I crazy for wanting to be able to switch optics like this?

mattw
February 21, 2006, 02:49 PM
a 6 or 7 fixed power scope is probably the best way to go if you're going to get a fixed power. The reason why i want a variable power scope is so that I can have the magnification to make long shots with more confidence and still be able to dial down to 6.5 or 7 power. With a 40mm objective lense and 6 or 7 power that is when the most light will be gathered by the scope and will allow you to have a brighter picture of the target at dusk, 10 power will not let enough light in and anything below 6 power will be an improvement but is not significant enough to be detected by the human eye. If you have a good scope an purchase some quality quick-detatch scope mounts you will retain zero with no problems. ARMS probably makes the quick detatch mounts, I know they sell them at Fulton-Armory. I eventually would like to get the long range scope for my M1A and an EOTech that I will be able to use for the M1A and anything else.

azredhawk44
February 21, 2006, 04:35 PM
You're right...40 S&W is stupid.;)

azredhawk44
February 21, 2006, 05:02 PM
Do variable-powered scopes have accurate range finding capability? I would think that feature would be more precise on a fixed power scope...

One of Many
February 21, 2006, 08:34 PM
take a look here; http://burrisoptics.com/laserscope.html

this laser range finder scope is good for 500 - 800 yard with 1 yard accuracy. It is 4x-12X-42mm with a balistic plex reticle.

They have a line of 'tactical' scopes and rings as well, and some scopes have lighted reticles.

mattw
February 22, 2006, 12:19 PM
I'll check it out but as a rule I never put scopes that start with a "B" on anything i care about :p (BSA, Bushnell, Burris... all junk!)

With variable power scopes the range finding reticles are still accurate, if they are in the first focal plane (they change size with the mangnification) they are always the same measurements. if they are in the second focal plane (stay the same size when magnification is chaged) you have to do an extra calculation but it will still be able to be accurate.

Freelance Tax Collector
February 22, 2006, 01:29 PM
I was looking at some of the leupold vx-4 series with the M1 target knobs with the mil-dot reticle but i would really like to try something other than the mil-dot for target ranging.





a 6 or 7 fixed power scope is probably the best way to go if you're going to get a fixed power.



http://valdada.com/vn/ior/03l

Here you go. Perfect scope if you wanna be shooting 168 grain rounds. I have a friend with one on his SFA loaded m1a.

mattw
February 22, 2006, 02:32 PM
That does look like a nice scope. I just do not like spending about $700 on something i've never seen or heard of before. I also was looking for about a 4-14x40, it was the other guy who was looking for a fixed power scope. I think a 30mm obj is too small for me, I want a 40mm.

That would be an awesome scope to put on a ruger scout rifle though.

iamkris
February 22, 2006, 02:35 PM
I'll check it out but as a rule I never put scopes that start with a "B" on anything i care about :p (BSA, Bushnell, Burris... all junk!)

Huh? Burris isn't close to being in the same league with BSA and Bushnell. I think of them more in the mid-tier along with Weaver.

My Burris has EXTREMELY bright and clear optics.

I just do not like spending about $700 on something i've never seen or heard of before.

Just because you've never seen something before doesn't mean it isn't good.

mattw
February 22, 2006, 02:39 PM
I can compromise on ammo, stocks, slings, shoes, clothes, cars, computers.. just about anything. The one thing that i can not compromise on is optics. nothing annoys me more than a sub-standard optic. For me (and i might be wrong but its my money) there is no such thing as mid-tier optics. There is stiener, leupold, swarovski, zeiss, leika, etc.... and there is everything else. I consider bushnell, tasco, redfied, weaver, etc... junk of the highest order and will never buy anything from them.

I just want a good 4-14x40 scope with a decent ranging reticle and huge towers for target knobs.

mattw
February 22, 2006, 02:40 PM
Just because you've never seen something before doesn't mean it isn't good.

I didn't say it was no good.

Here you go. Perfect scope if you wanna be shooting 168 grain rounds. I have a friend with one on his SFA loaded m1a.

I plan on shooting all kinds of surpluss and factory ammo through my M1A so i would more or less just like a ranging reticle that will allow me to calculate distance quickly and establish a hold over or hold under point with consistancy. I don't like reticles that are calculated for a specific load because i rarely shoot the same load unless i'm hunting.

Freelance Tax Collector
February 22, 2006, 03:04 PM
1st, IOR makes very nice skopes. I've heard early models had issues with those little black flecs in the objective, but they seem to have resolved that in all current production. Not like the little black flecs really degraded your shooting performance anyway.

2nd, you can't mount one of these in a scout setup. It's not a long eye relief scope.

I can understand shooting different bullet weights for your rifle, but just remember whatever scope you get, POI is going to change for every load mostly. IOR makes a more traditional looking 6x42 if you're interested. I personally shoot only one load for my PSS, and my friend with his M1a is the same way (duh he's got the BDC).

Also, I don't know which particular models they come in, but Zeiss makes a reticle called the Zeiss rangefinding reticle (ZRF). It's not as accurate as a mil dot but supposedly it is faster. Same with those IOR NATO and Dragunov reticles. The MP8 is extremely accurate, and a little handier than a standard mil dot, (at the price of being a little busy though, if thats the type of thing that bothers you).

One of Many
February 22, 2006, 03:19 PM
I would place a Burris product at the same or better level as a Leupold or Nikon scope of similar price. It is all about what you are willing to spend on a scope; the more expensive scopes are designed to have better features and the highest quality glass and coatings. It is certainly not fair to compare a $1500 unit to a $500 unit, no matter what the brand on the product is.

Burris does make some expensive scopes, but people willing to spend that amount of money tend to be snobbish, and want the 'name recognition' that goes with imported (and exclusive) products. Its kind of like the difference between imported caviar and domestic fish eggs. People will claim that they can taste the difference, and one is necessarily better than the other, because they prefer the taste of their choice. The same goes for scopes; it is an individual preference, not a matter of superiority of features and function.

The problem is that there are very few (if any) retailers that have the different brand products available for customers to do a side by side comparison. That means people choose based on something other than the performance of the product, and how well it meets the customers requirements. The marketing people in all of these companies take advantage of this, and appeal to different classes of customer with adds tailored to reach specific groups.

Burris is a American company selling a 'made in America' product (that translates to jobs for Americans); other brands such as Swarovski and Leica (plus others) send those dollars and jobs to foreign lands.

Buy what you want to buy; just don't denigrate a good product that you have never bothered to even touch.

Q-Lock
February 22, 2006, 03:24 PM
I can compromise on ammo, stocks, slings, shoes, clothes, cars, computers.. just about anything. The one thing that i can not compromise on is optics. There is stiener, leupold, swarovski, zeiss, leika, etc.... and there is everything else.



valdada IOR optics are on par with all of these you mention. IOR scopes are of very high quality. Don't knock it until you try it. You'd be very impressed. They have a large following at Sniper's Paradise, and for good reason.

Quinten

Powderman
February 22, 2006, 03:50 PM
I didn't say it was no good.



I plan on shooting all kinds of surpluss and factory ammo through my M1A so i would more or less just like a ranging reticle that will allow me to calculate distance quickly and establish a hold over or hold under point with consistancy. I don't like reticles that are calculated for a specific load because i rarely shoot the same load unless i'm hunting.

Matt, the best scope in the world will not help you much, if you're not careful about what you shoot out of your rifle.

My M1A does not like too many factory rounds; it will barely do well with the Federal Gold Medal Match round. Strangely enough, though, it LOVES Radway Green! :eek:

My best accuracy has been achieved through handloads.

Moreover, you need to be careful about the TYPE of factory ammo you put through that M1A. The operating system in that rifle is built and designed for the medium-burning powders; IMR 4895, BLC-(2), H-335 and IMR 4064 are good examples. Use of a slower powder might well cause an unsafe condition, as well as generating excessive gas port pressures.

With regard to optics, ANY scope can be used as a ranging scope; you don't need lighted optics if you're going to be shooting during the day.

So, how do you do this? Easy.

Using a plex-type reticle, set a silhouette target out at 200 yards, exactly. Now, from a steady rest, place your aiming point exactly COM, between the shoulders. For an average life-sized target, 18" between outer edges is used as a standard reference distance.

Adjust your magnification so that the target's shoulders are just touching the inner portion of the thick part of the crosshairs. Place an index mark on your scope's magnification wheel.

You now have a 200 yard ranging picture. How to use it?

Zero the weapon for your 200 yard aiming point. Anything out to 200 yards, aim center mass and fire.

If the target, at a point measuring 18" wide, takes up half the profile, it's 400 yards. Hold over the appropriate distance and shoot; or, make the appropriate elevation adjustment and shoot.

By the way, I would'nt be too quick to knock the inexpensive scopes. The Weaver K4 was the scope used by many, many professional hunters over the years before all of the whiz-bang optics came out.

I mounted a Simmons Whitetail Expedition 6.5-20 on my .300 Win Mag. People told me that the rifle would destroy the scope. Sixty rounds later, I transferred it to my AR15; and then, to my benchrest rifle. It's still going strong. I have another Simmons--an 8-32x--on the .300 now.

If you want true ranging capability, and you don't want to bother with mil-dots, AND you want a good clean sight picture, there are three options to consider.

The Shepherd scope is probably the best auto-ranging scope in existence.
The Leatherwood Camputer series is also a very good auto-ranging scope.
The Nightforce 5.5-20 can be had with illuminated reticles. I recommend the NP2, with the stadia lines. These are graduated in true 2 MOA increments.

However, if you want the best optics in the world, go with Kahles, Swarovski, Zeiss, or the king--Schmidt und Bender. You'll pay top dollar for good optics, though--Schmidt and Bender scopes start out at about $1000.00--and get worse from there.

Dienekes
February 22, 2006, 07:05 PM
I invested in a Smith Enterprises mount and rings for my M1A for the day when I really, really can't use irons well enough anymore and need to go to optics. It's not here yet but someday it will be, I suppose.

I will say this. I have an ancient (circa 1960) old K-4 Weaver that I picked up at a gun show 20 years ago and used--hard--on a Model 70 '06. I shot that rifle a lot with good Sierra 168 gr BTHPs and had my zeroes marked for 200, 300, 400, and 500 yards. The combination is unbeatable, and the scope has done everything I have ever asked of it, to include reliable, repeatable zero changes. "Junk" indeed.

Haven't done much work with the above scope mount but I did put another K-4 on. May some day go to an ACOG but that's another issue. Either way a fairly handy battle rifle becomes much clunkier with the added weight. Out where I shoot there is no one to admire my designer commando ninja rifle.

Frankly I think the operator is key, not some whiz-bang wonder optic. Bed the rifle, use good consistent match grade ammo, and if you want glass put on a good fixed power vintage Weaver. Some days I think a K-6 would be good but I have always been able to tag what I needed to well enough with a K-4, with less weight, bulk, and wider field of view.

Just an opinion.

runninmike
February 22, 2006, 07:30 PM
We used Leupold Ultra scopes on our .300 Win mags for 1000 yrd shoots when I was on the USMC rifle team and won matches with them regularly as do most serious long range match shooters. They were the best scopes for what we were doing. They will replace them or fix them for any malfunction or flaw no question. You drop it, it breaks in half, they will replace it. Burris is a close 2nd to these and are awesome scopes. The US Army team was using the same Ultra scopes I believe. I really like the old steel Weaver k4 and k6 scope too, I have and use the 4x ver on my M77 .22-250 and it works great!
Best-MC

iamkris
February 22, 2006, 07:41 PM
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