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M1A Scope Mounting

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by myhandle87, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. myhandle87

    myhandle87 Well-Known Member

    I heard a while back that mounting a scope to an M1A may be difficult. I have third generation scope mount and a Springfield scope. Anyone got any good tips?
  2. cuervo

    cuervo Well-Known Member

    Buy an ARMS or Smith or similar mount. I was never able to get the Springfield mount to stay in place. Do a search and you'll see many people had similar problems.
  3. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    SEI has a weaver mount in the discontinued section that is $125. I think this is the best deal available for a steel mount and mounts the scope pretty low (I own this mount btw and highly recommend it). The ARMs mount is good too and gets the scope down low too. Sadlak also makes great mounts (same design as the SEI). Bassett Machine mounts are good 2 point mounts and do not require removing the stripper clip guide and remount without losing zero.

    Unfortunately the SAI 3rd generation mount is one of the lower rated mounts. I have seen some that work but you generally hear bad things about them (not sure if they still do, but wacking the mount with a hammer used to be part of the installation instructions so no thanks). I know that there is an exact copy made by someone that is about $28 and pretty much the same thing. The problems mounting scopes on the M1A is not the mounts but the actual receiver. SAI has a bad reputation of having receivers that are badly out of specification and the mounts do not fit them. I know with the SEI mounts you have to tell Ron Smith it is for an SAI M1A and he has to machine the mount so that it will fit the M1A (as opposed to a real M14)
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  4. Jason_G

    Jason_G Well-Known Member

    If you want a rock solid mount (which you really need for an autoloading .308), you ought to look at Sadlak, Smith, and ARMS for a start.

  5. 30Cal

    30Cal Well-Known Member

    The 3rd Gen mount has a reputation for generally not working well after more than a handful of shots without a lot of fuss.
  6. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    The answer is "Sadlak."

  7. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member


    Another option is a SAGE EBR stock with a LaRue SPR-E mount reversed


    Or a detachable cantilevered sight base from SAGE and your choice of rings.
  8. Jason_G

    Jason_G Well-Known Member

    I doubt anyone would want to spend that much money just to mount a scope. If you want the stock that's one thing, but if I'm reading the OP correctly, he just wants to put glass on his rifle. I could be wrong though.

    I have to agree with Mike on the Sadlak. If I wanted optics on my rifle, this is the way I would personally go. They'll even send a kit to ensure that the mount fits perfectly on a (possibly out of spec) SAI receiver. Hard to beat that. I think the Smith would be my next choice, followed by the ARMS. JMHO, YMMV.

  9. coyotewillie

    coyotewillie Well-Known Member

    It's general opinion that the Springfield M1A scope mounts are junk and will not hold up, because of the metal they're made of.....aluminum. No one feels the mount tightens up completly and that it flexes enough from both the firing heat/recoil, that it loosens even more. While a good share of M1A shooters won't scope their rifles, those that do, will at least go with a "good quality" steel mount. Greg
  10. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    If I had the extra cash to burn I would get the Sadlak Titanium mount. The SEI and Sadlak mounts are more or less the same design and quality though. Sadlak is good if your receiver is out of wack as they have a customization kit. Smith will also customize a mount but you have to send in your receiver. The Sadlak Airborn mount is also pretty nice as any effort to lighten an M14 is welcome.

    I still prefer the SEI mounts for whatever reason maybe because they offer the $125 weaver mount or maybe it is just the first mount I really wanted badly. Also I have gotten real good treatment from Smith, bought my mount used and he machined it to fit my M1A and reparked it for free.

    Oh yeah that reminds me the SEI mounts need to be modified to fit on the SAI M1A so if you order one and they do not ask you make sure you say. Pretty much they have to make the mount a little thinner so the bolt threads stick out a little further to screw into the M1A receiver. Not sure if this is the case for Sadlak or not.
  11. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

    It's an option that the OP and others may not have been aware of.
  12. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    It looks like that puts the scope pretty far forward though. Are you able to get the proper eye relief without craning your neck too far forward (even at higher magnifications)? I never actually used a sage so I don't know but that is a problem with some M14 mount/scope combinations, getting the scope low and back far enough, especially with the back sight in the way.
  13. 10X

    10X Well-Known Member

    Get a Smith Enterprise (SEI) Weaver mount for $125.
    This is a rock solid steel mount that is as good as it gets at a great price.
  14. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Well-Known Member

    The OP already HAS a Springfield III gen mount and scope. it costs him nothing to try it before spending more money on another.
    The SA mount has worked pretty good for me. You need to pay attention and mount it properly the first time. use consistant pressure on the mounting screws and torque them in gradually and evenly. Maybe I am a minority, but I've had no problems.
  15. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

    Another option is a SAGE EBR stock with a LaRue SPR-E mount reversed

    Good question! I have not read of any eye relief problems with from users of this combo.
    That said... I will soon be putting a Leupold Mark 4 1.5-5x20mm MR/T M2 Illuminated SP Reticle in a LaRue mount.
    This scope has a 30mm tube and up to 4.40" of eye relief.

    I'm not certain, but I think this combo would work on a standard M14 with an UltiMAK hand guard installed.

  16. 10X

    10X Well-Known Member

    Kingcreek, sure the OP should try the Springfield mount.
    If it works for him, then great. I know I tried the mount and did not have good luck with it. The M1A has a lot of vibration when firing. The mount shot loose in a very few rounds with or without epoxy. I also felt the aluminum flexed. The M1A receivers are not all that spec consistent in the scope mounting areas sometimes it takes a high dollar/quality mount to work on these rifles.

    All I can say is that the SEI mount is trouble free. It stays put, no flexing and no loosening.
  17. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    With that much eye relief yeah you should be fine.

    Yes definitely try it but just be aware some have found it troublesome and the SEI Weaver mount is a high quality steel mount available for not much more money. If the OP has issues with the SAI Gen III mount he can dump it on Gunbroker for $80 and get the SEI mount and not take a bath in the process.
  18. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    Define "costs".

    If you mean it costs him no money to put it on and look at it, you are correct.

    If you mean it costs him no money and time to put it on, look at it, sight it in, use it for a while, and suddenly discover (at an inconveninent time, perhaps) that the zero is shifting, and then fiddling with it for several more repeats of the zero-use-rezero procedure, I will respectfully disagree. You can waste a lot of time and money fiddling with something that is almost certain to fail eventually during regular use.

  19. natescout

    natescout Well-Known Member

    Are Springfield gen 3 mounts really that bad ?
  20. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    Bad enough.

    I've never seen one go loose, but I've talked to enough people shooting Sadlak and SEI mounts who had Gen3 SAI mounts to do the math.

    Smart people learn from their mistakes. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others.


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