To Scope or Not to Scope


August 8, 2007, 10:25 PM
If you were going to Iraq or Afghanistan for combat and were issued an M-14, would you want it scoped or not? If so would you want a long-eye relief scout style setup, HALO setup or a hi-power scope for the long shots?

It seems a traditional style scope would be a detractor in combat if the fighting was fairly close, say within 50 or 75 yards. As I understand it a target has to be identified before it's engaged. It seems a scoped rifle would help identify the target quicker.

I've also seen the video footage of the contractor engaging targets afar with a scoped rifle from atop a building. I guess there's a tool for every job, but if you were stuck with the M-14 in either of those theaters, how would you outfit it?

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The Deer Hunter
August 8, 2007, 10:47 PM
Iron sights.

August 8, 2007, 11:21 PM
If you can't identify a target at 50-75 yards without a scope, you don't need to be there.

August 9, 2007, 12:25 PM
I think I'd want an Aimpoint and one of those magnifiers that flips out of the way.

August 9, 2007, 12:47 PM
I'd cowitness the Iron & EOTech sights like I have on my M4orgery

August 9, 2007, 01:05 PM
ACOG converted to "Doc" version. Although I'd prefer not to be issued an M14 in the first place. Make mine an SR-25.

August 9, 2007, 01:09 PM
On one of my 22's I have high-rise mounts for the scope that allow you to look through the bottom of the mounts and see the iron-sights. If you could get, or make something like this for the M-14 it would be ideal.

In close quarters, you definitely do not want a high power scope. By the time you find your target, you might be leaking blood.

August 9, 2007, 01:13 PM
Depends. If I were at the top of a building and it was my job to pick off faraway enemy combatants, I'd want a scope.

In serious two-way combat, though, I'd take simple and reliable over tactical, any day of the week. Irons.

Maybe there are scopes that will really survive being dropped on a rock while attached to a heavy firearm like an M14, without losing zero. If so, a scope wouldn't be bad. But I'd have to see it demonstrated.

August 9, 2007, 01:32 PM
Afghanistan, is kinda like the US in that it has some very flat terrain and some seriously rugged mountainous terrain, as well as cities and villages. Most of the real fighting in Afghanistan is in the more mountainous regions where the enemy has fled to. In those conditions, yes, I would want a scope. For anything else, an aimpoint or a 4x acog.

AR Hammer
August 9, 2007, 02:06 PM
"...but if you were stuck with the M-14 in either of those theaters, how would you outfit it?"

I don't think you would be 'Stuck' with an M-14. Damn fine combat rifle, hard hitting, good range, accurate and as reliable as an anvil in desert conditions.

Draw backs include no full auto (not controllable even if equipped with selective fire) and not short enough for CQB or house to house clearing.
Weight will be an issue until the first time you pull the trigger and your target goes down---- and STAYS down!

Urban & Suburban, General Use...
I believe I'd use a scout rail and one of the 'Red Dot' sights.
If it's 1x magnification you can keep both eyes open and keep your peripheral vision and have lighting fast target acquisition at the same time.
We are talking about short range or point blank ranges here, and a 'Red dot' makes the difference between a 'Hit' and accurate shot placement so you send the sucker to 'Allah'...
Much faster then aperture sights or 'scopes' and doesn't affect your peripheral vision! What more do you want?!.

If I were in Suburban or rural operations instead of urban operations, I'd prefer a 3x magnification version of the red dot and scout rail,
You can't keep both eyes open, but it's still much faster target acquisition than battle sights or 'Scopes'.

For plain desert operations where things don't pop out from around corners, and since the M-14 is semi auto (or uncontrollable in full auto)
I'd prefer a receiver mounted optics rail and a fixed 4 or 6 power optic with out target knobs or cluttered reticle.

Battle optics are like hunting optics, you don't have time to be fiddling with a dozen knobs and adjustments, you NEED 'Point & Shoot' capabilities.

If it were a Designated Marksman rifle position, I'd prefer a full size variable optic on receiver mount WITH target adjustments.
Nothing like super accurate .30 cal. rifle fire to discourage and demoralize your adversary! Say at 500 to 800 yards...!

August 9, 2007, 02:20 PM
I dunno, some of those haji's can be pretty small and hard to see at 25 yards :)

August 9, 2007, 04:55 PM
I would stick on an aimpoint with a flip down magnifier, however, irons would be better on an M14. It was designed to use irons, not optics.

August 9, 2007, 08:20 PM
The Steyr Aug uses a 1.5X fixed scope integrated into the carrying handle atop the weapon, I wonder how the troopers it's issued too perceive of it. Like it, dislike it? Does that "scope" do much more for them with the rifle than say a M16 does with irons?
It appears that because of it's design you almost have to shoulder the weapon and use the integrated scope to hit anything with it, whereas a traditionally stocked rifle such as the M1 or M14 you can pretty much point shoot relatively accurately with it.

August 10, 2007, 01:54 AM
The iron sights on the M14 are awesome as far as iron sights go. I'd feel very comfortable using them in combat.

I'm thinking about investing in a mount and optic for my M1A SOCOM. I'd get a good mount such as Sadlak or ARMS and an EOtech or Aimpoint. ACOGs are too pricey for me. I'll have to fall into a pit of money before I do that though, because the irons are so darn good. I'm very new to rifle shooting but can shoot 3" groups, offhand, rapid fire at 50 yards.

August 10, 2007, 10:14 AM
This question is irrelevant, because you wont be issued an M14 unless you're a sniper or designated marksman, in which case you'd need a traditional, telescopic scope.

August 10, 2007, 12:43 PM
Scope the M-14, but the ACOG is too tall.

Get LaRue rings for you Brookfield type mount, and add the larue JPoint mount for close in work.

August 10, 2007, 02:31 PM
I bought this inexpensive setup for one of my ARs to try (Just the scope and the red-dot, not the whole forend)...

So far, I'm loving it! So much so that I will probably buy a JPoint to mount on my .308 bolt gun (via railed scope caps) as well. My eyes are crap these days, so it's nice to have the magnification when I need it and the red-dot for quick CQB type target acquisition.

Vern Humphrey
August 10, 2007, 02:40 PM
If you were going to Iraq or Afghanistan for combat and were issued an M-14, would you want it scoped or not? If so would you want a long-eye relief scout style setup, HALO setup or a hi-power scope for the long shots?
I had a scoped M14 (pre-M21) in Viet Nam -- I bullied my battalion comamnder into getting me two of them, and had only one man who had been through sniper school. I took the other rifle for myself.

It was "conventionally" scoped -- with a 7/8" tube. The closest shot I made with it was about 15 feet, over the scope, because I was wounded and couldn't get the scope caps off.

I'd have no problem with a low-power fixed scope or a conventional variable in say, 2-7X.

August 10, 2007, 04:11 PM
Obviously every U.S. standard issue rifle has been designed with iron sights. Apparently, regardless of the power of the rifle round, it has been decided by someone, that they are more than adequate for the role it plays in combat. Even though the rounds can be accurate and effective at ranges way beyond what a person may be able to see let alone identify a target at.
Is this one of the reasons why the current U.S. military standard issue rifle is in such a non-long range round?

Vern Humphrey
August 10, 2007, 04:16 PM
The M16A4 is designed with a Pickatinny rail, for mounting optical sights. As far back as the mid-'50s, the M14 was designed to incorporate a scope mount.

In this war, the Army has finally come to its senses and begun to make optical sights standard issue -- with a great impact on the enemy.

August 10, 2007, 05:16 PM
One factor that was reveiled in the ACR tests of the 1980s, and that has been demonstrated in both Iraq actiosn is that optical sighting systems, even those with no magnification, can dramatically improve hit probabilities regardless of range. Shooting with iron sites accurately is a skill - one that many people never master. It doesn't help that you eye is trying to deal with 3 focal planes: front sight, rear sight and target. With an optica sight, the target and the aiming reticle are on the same focal plane. This makes it far easier to aim accurately.

As a result almost all new combat rifles are being designed to use optical sights - most as their primary sighting system. The US Army has acquired large numbers of varios optical aiming devices, and soldier are biuying them when they aren't issued.

It seem rare to see a photo from the sandbodx these days where the soldier doesn't have some sort of sighting optics.

August 10, 2007, 06:14 PM
An M14 in combat

Griffin and How made a side mount for the M1 Garand
The side mount for the upward stripper clip ejection
of course. THey also have a top mount where both have
QD clamps that allow you to remove the
scope and go to open sights Later, when you put the scope
back on it RETURNS TO ZERO. Very pricey
however. But if WWII snipers got em that's what I
get in this fantasy. The scope would be a mil-spec
night scope.

Vern Humphrey
August 10, 2007, 06:42 PM
The side mount for the M1 is not for ejection, it's for loading. The M1 must be loaded with an en bloc clip. There is no other way to load it. That means you must have some five or six inches of thin air above the receiver.

The M14 has an identical ejection system, but loads from a detatchable magazine, so no need to offset the scope.

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