Scope for M1A,


March 3, 2012, 11:39 PM
Hey all,
It's been awhile since Iv'e posted here, good to be back.:)
I have a M1A 80's bush rifle. Its always shot well and fits nice. However, it wears iron sights and my eyes ain't what they used to be. I guess I need to go to a scope system and I'm not sure what to get.
Most of my shooting is steel plates at 500 meters or less. I don't use a bench or bipod. I'll shoot prone, kneeling, and standing.
Iv'e never used the forward mounting scopes. Is there any real difference between them and the traditional rear mounted scopes?
Any info would be appreciated, Thanks!:D

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March 3, 2012, 11:53 PM
I would think a VXI 2X7 would be about perfect for that.

March 4, 2012, 02:16 AM
Extended Eye Relief scopes, AKA Scout scopes, are simpler to mount on M1A's, but are limited in magnification, and offer a relatively small field of view. They ARE relatively fast to acquire, mostly owing to the greater distance from your cheek weld allowing for very little variance in viewing angle. If you're just looking to get a little closer to the target, might be just the ticket.

March 4, 2012, 05:12 PM
Either a scout scope like Driftertank said, or a red dot would be my choice for optics if I didn't need much magnification. I'm lucky enough to still be using the irons, but I guess my day is coming too.


March 5, 2012, 06:23 AM
Most of my shooting is steel plates at 500 meters or less. I don't use a bench or bipod. I'll shoot prone, kneeling, and standing

I have never made friends with the forward mounted "scout' scopes. I would use a Sadlak M1A mount and then use an AR scope like the Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24 (

March 5, 2012, 01:16 PM
Another option you might consider, besides a scout scope, would be a nice co-witnessed red dot sight.

I would put an Ultimak scout mount on it, and mount an Aimpoint PRO red dot sight in a low ring. That (or any other 30mm tube-bodied red dot sight) would sit low enough that it would actually co-witness with the iron sights, which means 1) you don't need to add a cheek riser to keep a proper shooting position, and 2) if for some crazy reason the red dot craps out on you, you can still line up the iron sights right through the window of the red dot sight.

I like the PRO because it is a decent price for an Aimpoint, and it has a 2 MOA dot. Some red dots have a bigger dot that make them hard to use on smaller/longer range targets. For instance, a lot of Aimpoints have a 4 MOA dot... which means the dot would completely cover a man-sized target at 500 yards.

Scout scopes are also nice, and you can get one of them mounted pretty low on an Ultimak mount too. They have limited field of view, but then again they give you better peripheral vision if you shoot with both eyes open, since they are so far forward. Leupold and Burris both make pretty nice ones.

March 5, 2012, 05:58 PM
After exhaustive research on the same topic, I just ordered a Leupold VX-R Scout 1.5-5x with the Firedot reticle for my M1A Socom II.
Hasn't arrived yet, but I'm hoping the Scout style will be fast (as it is billed to be) with just enough magnification to get the job done.

One of the reasons I settled on the Scout was my desire for some magnification without having to modify the rifle. I only have rails forward of the reciever, not extended over the top. I'll give a range report in a new thread when it arrives.

March 5, 2012, 06:47 PM
when you say system are you meaning scope or scope mount?

March 5, 2012, 08:30 PM
Wow, alot of good info to sort thru. I like what I'm reading about the forward mount systems. As I understand it, a scout scope (or something similar) would allow for a bit of magnification, a quicker pick up of the target, keep my cheek at the same position as iron sites and allow for use of iron sites if the scope fails. These are all big plus's for me.

"when you say system are you meaning scope or scope mount?"

Sorry for my lack of scope jargon, basically I need the Scope, mount, rings; pretty much everything to install a scope on an iron site rifle. Whether it is all from one manufacturer or not doesn't really matter to me as long as it effective and worth the money put into it.
Of course cost is always a consideration, I'm hoping to keep everything around $600 to $700.
As I said earlier, this will mainly be for steel plate shooting at 500 meters or less. However, this rifle is my primary bug out rifle. So conditions may be low lite and moving at various ranges (still primarily under 500 meters).
Is there anything else I should consider concerning these conditions?
Thanks again,

Flatbush Harry
March 6, 2012, 01:29 AM
I'm not a fan of forward-mounted scopes. I have a Leupold 3-10x40 mounted on my M1A receiver using a Basset Picatinny Rail mount with Weaver Medium Rings, as recommended by Bill Basset. Works faultlessly.


March 6, 2012, 02:21 PM
If you want a forward mounted optic I would definitely go with the Ultimak M8 mount. It is the lowest available, which is nice whether you're talking about a tube body red dot, or a scout scope.

March 6, 2012, 05:24 PM
Well, I don't think anyone mentioned a mount.. Unless I missed something. I have on back order a Sadlak aluminium mount right now. This is running for about 150. Everything I've read, Sadlak is the way to go with m1a scope mounts. It seems like the standard to me. As far as scope goes, well I'm still trying to figure this one out. I've had the burris fullfield ii in my mind. Generally hear good reviews. I'm not the kind of guy who's going to drop $1k, or even $500 on a scope. I'm looking in the 150-200 dollar range. That being said, I will likely get a burris fullfield ii scope. I'm in the same boat as you sir.
If you choose to go with sadlak as a mount, I would recommend you call them, and place your order. The sooner you do this, the sooner you will get your item. I don't plan on mine being shipped out until the end of the month.

March 6, 2012, 05:39 PM
The big issue with mounting a scope on an M1A seems to be the mount, rather than the scope itself. I would agree with the recommendation of the Sadlak mount. The Sadlak is a product-improved version of the discontinued Brookfield Precision mount. I have a Brookfield Precision on my "Divine" M1A and I'm very happy with it.

March 6, 2012, 07:25 PM
hey Flatbush Harry, I am fixin to put a Bassett high mount on my M1a standard, you think I can get by with a 50 mm objective and still use my irons. I emailed Bassett and didnt quite get a good answer. I do have a 6.5x20x40 VX III with the AO but was thinking about a 50 mm objective optics, even with the VX III the objective is fairly large.

Flatbush Harry
March 7, 2012, 11:31 AM

I have a 40mm objective on mine...I've got some room but I would stay with the 40mm.

Importantly, what reticle are you using? I ask because, when I picked up my scope, I chose a duplex because I was concerned about the ejection path of the brass and possibly having the brass hit the windage knob. If it did, I reasoned, I could rotate the scope 90* to move the windage knob to the top without loss of functionality of the scope reticle. That turned out not to be an issue but it might be with another rifle or scope with target knobs ( I have hunting knobs).

So far, I have used my scoped M1A out to 300 yards at 10x in late afternoons and have not had a visibility problem with the 40mm Leupy VX3 so I don't feel I need a 50mm objective. You will need a cheek pad with a riser for the high picatinny and medium rings and a higher set of rings will need a higher riser.

Good luck. BTW, I found Basset provided great customer service; call if you need questions answered.


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