Best scope mount for an M1a?


April 15, 2007, 01:09 AM
I've seen the ARMS #18 and the Sadlak Titanium and steel mounts, and both seem pretty solid. Any thoughts on the best M1a scope mounts out there?

I'm mounting a Super Sniper; any thoughts on the best rings as well? Money's not the issue, just want the best mounting system possible.



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April 15, 2007, 01:59 AM
3rd generation scope mounts allow for use of Iron sights. I love mine because I have the ability to use both scope and Iron sights. The mount is sturdy and meets all USGI specifications.

April 15, 2007, 04:44 AM
Check out Smith Enterprise.

April 15, 2007, 10:40 AM

April 15, 2007, 12:00 PM
I'd stay away from the SA scope mounts. They just don't hold up, and after a year or so, you'll have to rezero every single range trip.

April 15, 2007, 12:59 PM
I'd stay away from the SA scope mounts. They just don't hold up, and after a year or so, you'll have to rezero every single range trip.

I agree with geek.

When I bought my M1A from my buddy, he 'tossed in' a SAI 3rd Gen mount.

The mount looks quite battered on the underside.

When I have my pennies, nickels and dimes together, I'm going for the Sadlak mount.
I've heard nothing but GOOD things about Sadlak.

April 15, 2007, 01:09 PM
I don't know how you can say that about the SA 3rd gen, scope mount. a little lock tight and you're set, no pun intended.

The 3rd gen scope mount, for me has worked great. It's stable and again provides for both the scope and iron sights to be uesd. I can hit almost anything out to 400 yards with the iron sights before needing the scope for accuracy. It's also why I got the Loaded with the NM sights.

The other sights you suggest DO NOT allow for use of Iron sights.

Needless to say I do not agree.

April 15, 2007, 01:09 PM
I opted to sell the Gen 3 for a Smith, seems to work very well and allows use of irons, with the right rings. I had an ARMS 18 that I sold to a buddy, it looked to be every bit as stable and usable as the Smith, though I can not remember if it allowed the use of irons.

April 15, 2007, 03:29 PM
I have Smith and A.R.M.S. mounts, they are both excellent. I have heard Sadlak is very good too, they make a slightly tweaked version of the old Brookfield Precision Tool mounts which are no longer made, but highly sought after and very expensive.

Stay away from any aluminum mount!

April 15, 2007, 03:46 PM
Has anyone tried the Ultimak mount?

I know it is a scout setup, but it would seem to not have many of the problems that seem to plague scope mounts on an M14/M1A (shifting zero and blocked access to the stripper bridge). Assuming you were amenable to an IER scope, it might be a good idea.


April 15, 2007, 03:54 PM
I've been eying one up to replace my SOCOM's mount. Ultimak makes quality stuff. The ones I have on my AK's have held up very well over the years.

I never liked the rear mounted scopes on the M1A's. They place the scope way to high, and basically restrict the rifle to one use and even then, its not the best for the job. A good bolt gun will easily do better.

Mounted forward, using quick release mounts, you have a rifle thats a lot more versatile and more natural to shoot with.

April 15, 2007, 05:21 PM
The Smith's and Sadlak mounts are copies of the original Brookfield. Either should do well for your M-1A.

April 15, 2007, 09:00 PM
Between the Sadlak, the Smith, and the ARMS #18, are there major design differences, or is it just a pick one kinda deal? I like the idea of having use of my irons, especially for Hipower (since we are only shooting 100 and 200 reduced). Any issues on keeping zero with the see-through ones?

Thanks, great posts.


April 15, 2007, 09:16 PM
Incidentally, I agree that scout scoping an M1A is an outstanding, near ideal setup for a scoped m1a.

After I got fedup with the heavy and unreliable SA setup, I figured I try the scout configuration, and this is how it came out:

Since the sights won't cowitness, my only complaint, really, it's best to get a quick release ringset so you can fall back to irons in a hurry.

The scope and rings add about 8 oz to the overal weight, as opposed to a pound or so for the rear rig, and the balance of the rifle remains where it oughta be.

In this config, the M1A's versatility is extended, while remaining true to its original design purpose.

April 15, 2007, 09:23 PM
They were the other GSA alternative to the now-defunct Brookfield Precision mount. Unfortunately, it appears Uncle Sam also is very much aware of the ARMS #18 mount, and civilian sales have been pre-empted for a while.

The other sights you suggest DO NOT allow for use of Iron sights.

Wrong. I can pop the scope off the ARMS #18 mount and use the iron sights, which is a nice feature I've used in NRA High Power matches. The mount and scope are also the lowest-riding of the bunch, so you don't need a huge cheekpiece to get proper eye alignment.

April 15, 2007, 09:24 PM
Geek with a .45:

How are you mounting the scout? It looks like its on the handguard, but that can't be right. What kinda system are you using?


April 15, 2007, 10:15 PM
I thought the ribs on the handguard WERE for mounting scopes.

April 15, 2007, 10:54 PM
Could very well be, stevekl. Just strikes me that my handguard sure does shift a bit under pressure, and I wouldn't have alot of confidence in it to keep zero. Never tried it thought, so I'm ignorant on this one.


April 15, 2007, 11:22 PM
i like the arms mount #18 and i like the arm's qd rings as well.

but geek, gives great advice though that is something that i really haven't gave any serious thought i think that would work out great. btw geek thanks for the pics, and intel and it looks great.

what kinda scope, magnification, eye relief and etc are you working with there? can we have some details about the scope? thanks!

April 15, 2007, 11:25 PM
Yeah, what scope mount are you using? I'm curious about...

1. how much weight the Ultimak adds to the rifle, and how it affects balance (seems to be pretty balance neutral, based upon position).

2. what QD rings work well with that setup? (low, stable, good return to zero)



April 16, 2007, 01:04 AM
Here here, +1 geek, the people must know!


Edited to ask as well: what are good low rings used with the ARMS #18?

April 16, 2007, 02:10 AM
If you have to remove the scope to use the iron sights it defeats th puropse. I personally like the fact that a 3rg gen scope mount allows for both at the same time. I can either ues Irons or scope without removing anything. The best of both worlds IMHO.

To each his own...If it works for you that's all that matters.:)

April 16, 2007, 02:33 AM
I'm not the Geek with a .45, but I am a geek (with a 9mm?), so I'll answer for him. :p

The Springfield M1A Scout/Squad comes with a forward rail which clamps on the barrel; similar to the Ultimak, but shorter.

I'm thinking of getting a forward scope for my M1A Scout... not sure what to do. I'm not sure if an Aimpoint clone or other red-dot sight will sit low enough to allow the use of iron sights through the optics. I'm not thrilled with the Leupold and Burris scout scopes, but I'll probably end up with one of them... I'd like something with a little more magnification though.

April 16, 2007, 05:39 AM
I have a SOCOM with the same mount as the Scout. While it works, its got its own issues. The biggest is, its not mil spec and you may have problems with mounts that are. My Larue mount wont go on at all and I tried three ARMS lever mounts before I found one that would stay snug. None are tight, and you can move it with hand pressure. I believe its more of a Weaver rail. The spacing on the slots is incorrect for mil spec. If you use a Weaver ring, it will stay tight, but you loose the quick lever removal/replacement.

The rail is also made of steel and gets hot quickly and holds it. It hasnt seemed to affect either my Aimpoint or scope, but there is a lot more heat coming off it than with my Ultimaks.

Red dots will not cowitness, at least on a lever mount they wont, and I seriously doubt they will with a Weaver ring. The Springfield rail sits above the handguard a good bit, the Ultimak is the handguard/rail, and the mount is the top of it, which allows it to be lower. While my Aimpoints do sit a little high on the Springfield rail, they are still low enough to shoulder and shoot quickly and fairly naturally, and you still get a decent cheek weld.

I'm hoping the Ultimak gets everything down lower, which I think it will, and if they get the price down too, it will be even better.

April 16, 2007, 05:45 AM
I could very well look under my ARMS #18 mount to use the iron sights, if my particular scope's 42 mm objective lens and bell were of smaller diameter. I use the iron sights on my M14NM above when the scope is either disabled, not needed, or not authorized for competition, so I don't quite understand why you'd say what you did. If the scope malfunctions, then you need the iron sights. No problem for me, I pop the (now-useless) scope off and press on. When the scope is attached, it sits low to the bore axis, and minimizes the need for a high cheekpiece. In the ballistics world, the lower a scope sits over the bore axis, the better. My objective bell sits just under 1/4" off the front handguard of my M14NM.

The ARMS #18 is one of the best out there for stability (3-point receiver contact) and ultra-low scope mounting. Of course, the original Leatherwood ART integral scope and mount system got the ball rolling. The Brookfield Precision was the other solid front-runner for the military M14/M21/M25 systems, and it's back again, offered in improved form to the government by Sadlak Industries.

I won't get into why folks discard their SA mounts like bad habits. I've even found them in garbage barrels at the range I supervised. Suffice it to say, there's a reason they don't have GSA approval and NSNs, and are not USGI. You'll figure it out eventually. ;)

April 16, 2007, 11:37 AM
The only negative I have heard about the ARMS 18 is that is sits lower than other mounts and sometimes with some rifles the empty case hits the mount somehow and jams. I use Smith mounts and find they were easy to install once I understood how the worked and find them solid as a rock. I can still use the iron sights if necessary. The Smith mounts are solid steel and protect the scope from ejecting empties.

April 16, 2007, 12:05 PM
All I can say is I have NO issues or problems with my 3rd gen SA scope mount. It's srurdy has 3 point contact and allows me to use bot Iron sights. I don't have to remove or "pop-off" the scope to use iron sights. they are visible under the scope mount. The mound doesn't come loose because I used loc tight. The scope doesn't have to be re-sighted because I don't remove it. For competition all I have to do is put my bikini lens cover over the scope and I'm good to go.

If I ever have any issues I'll remember the other mounts you speak of.

April 16, 2007, 05:02 PM
All I can say is I have NO issues or problems with my 3rd gen SA scope mount. It's srurdy has 3 point contact

Unless they've redesigned the 3rd Generation SA mounts yet again, there are just 2 contact points, the front thumbscrew going into the threaded boss, and the rear thumbscrew going into a clip guide block. I'd recommend using a good grade of Loctite on those two screws.

There's no 3rd stabilizing screw in front contacting the receiver ring like the Brookfield/Sadlak/Smith and ARMS #18:

As seen in my earlier photos in this thread, my ARMS #18 is an older model, and I have cordura wrapped around my scope tube to protect it from ejected brass. The current production model ARMS #18 as seen above (once you get past their 90-day backlog) has a full-length M1913 Picatinny rail, and deflects the brass away from the scope tube.

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