Novel M1a Optics Idea


February 24, 2010, 04:37 PM
I've been dithering about mounting optics on my Scout/Squad for about a year now, vacillating between using the scout rail or installing a conventional mount over the receiver, but recently I had another idea and wanted to get some feedback on the pros and cons and whether or not it was actually feasible.

To wit:

I want to install a Sage stripper clip guide mount ( on the rifle and then attach an IOR Valdada QR-TS Pitbull ( or QR-TS Naked ( scope using a single QD ring to the Sage mount.


1: What ring height would be correct to get the objective just above the rear sight?

2: Though these optics are intended to mount on a single ring, is the Sage mount and/or the stripper clip guide dovetail robust enough to take the recoil force of the rifle with a 23oz (Pitbull) or 12.3oz (Naked) scope cantilevered on it?

3: Is the 1-4x (Pitbull) or 3x (Naked) magnification likely to leave me wanting with a Scout/Squad out to 500 meters range?

The alternative to this mounting idea is to put an ARMS 18 mount on the rifle with a 2.5-8x MRT Leupold.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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February 24, 2010, 09:56 PM
Interesting idea, I hope someone here can give some firsthand experience with this mount-optic combination. My firsthand experience has to do with the ARMS 18 mount. I had one on my M1A Bush rifle, very solid, low profile mount. Problem was, my M1A was not 100% reliable with the ARMS 18. Every so often, it would jam a fired case between the Op rod and the mount. I tried everything, modifying the point on ejector to change angle of ejection, buying a military ejector, loading ammunition to different levels, trying different factory loads, even cut the middle section of rail out of mount to duplicate the original ARMS 18 with the two short sections of rail. Several times I thought I had the problem fixed, only to have the rifle jam after 60 or 80 rounds. Really wanted to use the mount, but finally gave up in frustration. Just could not get 100% reliability with the mount.

February 24, 2010, 10:31 PM
Interesting concept. I'm so used to mounting with two rings; I have no idea how stable it would be. It should be noted that The M1A is rough on optics, so my thinking would be to have two rings.

Roklok, the issue you had with your ARMS 18 is fairly well documented. That mount just sits a little too low. I had the Bassett, and have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. Nor could I find anyone who had something bad to say about it. Very nice at just $150!

Bwana John
February 25, 2010, 11:21 AM
Anyone have any thoughts?
The M-14 has the finest iron sights in the world, and is one of the worst rifles for mounting optics. :cuss: :banghead:

February 25, 2010, 02:58 PM
Nothing wrong with using the scout rail.. it's perfect if you're mounting a red-dot or something.
No need to spend 200-300 on a good receiver mount if you're going that route.

February 25, 2010, 03:00 PM
The M-14 has the finest iron sights in the world, and is one of the worst rifles for mounting optics

This is true also. I dont know how much ammo I've burned through trying to get the optics and mounting just right on my M1As. My buddy has a Scout with nothing on it and whenever we go out shooting, I prefer his rifle because the irons are so much simpler to deal with lol.

February 25, 2010, 05:41 PM
I've got one idea for the scout rail-

Have the Leupold custom shop work up one of the scout scopes with M1 turrets and BDC cams for 168gr SMKs, which is what I shoot when the optics are on it. I'm not crazy about the 2.5x magnification, however. If they had an IER scope with 1.5-6x magnification and a BDC reticle calibrated specifically for M852 I'd be all over it.

I'm not really interested in being told to just use the irons, so no further comments in that regard, please.

Red State
February 25, 2010, 06:57 PM
I have experimented with the forward rail and the scout scope. It is a nice package that is light and compact, but I agree that the 2.5 magnification was a bit lacking for a .308.

Lemmy, I am very interested to hear how your idea turns out. If you do proceed, please let us know how it works.

February 25, 2010, 08:36 PM
Burris makes a scout scope that has, IIRC, 2-7 and 3-12 magnfication options. Not the rock-solid quality rep of a Leupold, but lots of people seem to like them. Supposedly Boston T. Party did a writeup where he used a mildot reticle to determine holdovers at various ranges and magnifications for standard ammo. Not the same as a BDC tailored to your load, but cheaper.

I'm pondering one for my M14S.


February 25, 2010, 08:49 PM
And getting back to the OP, I'm guessing that the Pitbull would not work well with a single ring, on the stripper clip guide. It weighs a freakin' pound and a half. The "Naked" is half that weight. Not sure how well the eye relief will work for you, either.


February 25, 2010, 08:52 PM
Be sure to look at this before you buy anything:

I read about it in another thread here and it sounds like the solution to M1A scope mounting.

February 26, 2010, 07:42 AM

I looked at the Burris pistol scopes and was interested, but when I looked closer at the BDC reticle, I wasn't so impressed. Being in the 2nd focal plane, it will only be 'on' at one particular magnification, which seriously limits it. I've also read a lot of reports about quality problems with the Burris scopes. Perhaps the M1a is a little too rough on them.

The Leupold, aside from the low magnification, seems ideal for the scout mount, if configured by the custom shop as noted above. At $460, as configured, the price is very good, as well. If only one could get something like the Mark IV MRT 1.5-5x in an IER scope…

And I also think you're right about the Bulldog- way too heavy. In fact, it's just too damned heavy, regardless of how you mount it, considering it's a 1-4x compact scope.

As to eye relief, I think the Naked QR-TS would sit with the objective about 25mm behind the aperture on the rear sight. The scope's eye relief is about 90mm. This is about what I need, though prone shooting might be iffy. The windage and elevation housing would be right over the rear sight, so I'm guessing a very high ring will be needed.


For some reason I just don't care for the Bassett mount. The regular mount is too high, and the low mount occludes the rear sight. I'm pretty much settled on the ARMS, if I go that route. The SEI is too spendy. I should have picked up the SEI Weaver style when they were on clearance. Too much dithering.

February 26, 2010, 05:59 PM
If you want an ARMS 18 mount cheap, shoot me a PM, maybe you will have better luck with it than I did (see post #2 in this thread).

February 26, 2010, 07:19 PM
birddog is right. the M1a is rough on optics. the heavy recoil can cause you to lose your zero. i opted for the low, forward co-wittness mount....lower the better. you forefit the magnification, but with a bipod you can make up for it. i like the co-wittness feature also because i can always check to see if my dot is zeroed. just a thought.

February 26, 2010, 07:54 PM
I bought an M1A Scout with synthetic stock and forward scout rail on an impulse buy because I wanted one already and the store suddenly had this particular one in stock. After many a moon of the regular scope mount not working well and not holding zero (the 3rd gen one that goes over the receiver), I emailed Springfield and asked them if I could get the extended rail cluster like they sell on the loaded M1A. It would allow me to go full picatinny scope, bipod etc. I could through a forward scope on there later for short range, and a big rear scope for when I go out to the 200yard range. I'm probably going to do it eventually. Have just a regular Bushnell forward scope on there now. Here's the info:

Bushnell scout scope on the default forward rail:

The extended cluster rail that goes all the way back over the receiver so one can mount regular scopes:

Part of their email back to me:

The extended cluster rail system is not sold separately; it must be installed here at Springfield, Inc.

We offer the installation of the Cluster Rail systems as follows:

* Standard Cluster Rail (for use with a red dot sight) $474.00

* Extended Cluster Rail (for use with a scope) - $544.00

These will not fit on the Super Match barrel.

These can NOT be installed on wooden stock.

You would be required to send your rifle in to our factory for installation and you will need a return Authorization to send that in.

Maj Dad
February 26, 2010, 08:53 PM
Recommend you peruse these very informative pages, especially the first. I am going to have Sadlak custom fit a mount to my early Armscorp.

February 26, 2010, 09:21 PM
It's probably also worth mentioning that they just came out with their 4th gen scope mount which I saw at Shot Show i January. It was just released on Feb 17th and comes on most of their new rifles, for those that don't want to go crazy with the rail system.

February 26, 2010, 11:37 PM
re: the pitbull:The windage and elevation housing would be right over the rear sight, so I'm guessing a very high ring will be needed.That alone would suck, right there.


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