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Need long range scope for M1A

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by nickar, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. nickar

    nickar Member

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    I've had a Springfield M1A for a while. Finally put Springfield's Generation 4 mount on it.
    Now I need a scope. This may be a stretch, but I plan to do some occasional 600 yd competition. Could I find something suitable for around $500? Any recommendations would be appreciated.
     
  2. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    not to sound like a troll, but the m1a does not scope well and is not particularly accurate. For long range you'd be better served with a cheap plastic bolt gun in 6.5 creedmoor and a $200 scope.

    But to your question, I hear pretty good things about the midrange athlon scopes, and there are deals to be had on the optics section of the equipment exchange of ar15.com. What will you be shooting at at 600 yds?
     
  3. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    As above, the M1-A does not have a great reputation as a scoped rifle (not exactly sterling as an iron-sights rifle in l.r. competition, for what that's worth).
    In the spirit of the question, the expensive, mil-spec, answer is the Leatherwood,
    For 2¢ I'd not invest in a scope with a .308 BDC, as that would add one more variable to a stack of variables in the shooting equation. But, I'd not turn away from a mildot or something with stadia markings, the better to gin up hold overs and the like.

    The real answer is that you want something with which you will be comfortable.

    Which will also come down to what you choose to feed the arm--150gr factory loadings are a bit random; but you'll probably have to sort 168 MKs to wring the best 400 yard performance out of it.
     
  4. Ks5shooter
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    Ks5shooter Contributing Member

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  5. nickar

    nickar Member

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    Yeah, I knew that the gun wasn't going to be a tack-driver no matter what I did, but it's what I got. Just kinda wanted to see how it would reach out. The competition is just a local thing and I think the target is a sheet of plywood. I do have some Match Kings to load up for it. And I will take a look at the things you mention. Probably won't spend as much as planned either. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.
     
  6. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    I have shot an M1A since early 80s after using one in my first tour in Nam and going thru basic with one. The only one I have is a 1982 vintage I bought used a Gunsite in 1984 and had Smith Enterprise do a National match build in 1989 on it. I scoped it with a real good Brookings scope mount in the early 2000s and put a Leupold 10x MK4 LR on it and it was loosened up finally from the crazy tight NM specs Smith built it 20 years earlier , to be smooth and servicable how I like it and I got it to produce the ellusive MOA at 200 yards with Lakecity ammo. Then I stole the 10x MK4 to put on a .50 BMG gun I was playing with since the later 90s and mounted a Israelian Surplus "Souped up " ANPVS 2 gen one Starlight in the factory mounts and shot pigs with it on a large Ca. ranch for 10 years. I still have the rig but now a days the gun has a low Sadlak scope mount and a 6x Super sniper in Low QD rings . The 6x super sniper seems perfect for the use of the rifle to 600 yards, and I see they are now only $199 which is the steal of the Century IMHO. This scope is perfect for the gun and informal 100-600 yard shooing. I have a 162 grain Sierra Matchking load that does well under MOA with that set up as far as I can hold ! I have a Vortex Viper HST in a set of rings as back up, but I have never put it on !!!!
    https://www.swfa.com/swfa-ss-6x42-tactical-30mm-riflescope-105767.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    earplug likes this.
  7. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Two suggestions since you already have the scope base.

    1. Increase your budget a bit and get a scope robust enough to handle the recoil impulse. I had a $500 Nikon M308 on mine and had to send it back twice because the internals kept coming loose. Something like a VX3i LRP from Leupold

    2. Get the Bradley cheek riser to get proper eye alignment or you'll be doing the Jay Leno chin weld
     
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  8. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I have - or HAD - shot the M-21 quite a little bit and find the platform WELL worthy of scoping and then returning satisfying results out to 800 meters. Some folks better. Ironically, I often shot out M-21s better than I shot our M-24s on the same day, with the same ammo. Weird, but there ya go.

    Because of my experience with the M-21s in the Army - on my personal M-14s - I tend to stay with like-minded optics and as such, prefer vintage Redfields. Most particularly in the 3-9 ranges and Accu-Range. I wasn't particularly fond of the installed Leatherwoods with the *bullet-cam* but we were able to get a pile of former USMC Redfields from their M-40s and had them rebuilt. LOVED THOSE!

    So, now that's where I go a lot as well as another favorite; Leupold VXII also in 3-9.

    Vintage Redfields aren't too hard to find but make certain that the ranging *tombstone* tracks with adjustment. Glass, tube integrity and knobs are all easily dealt with if those are a problem on a used scope.

    We also used a *fixed 6* Kahles on the M-21s and M16A2s quite a little bit. Surprisingly worthwhile for a non-adjustable scope as long as expectations were realistic as in not asking much more than 500 meters from them.

    Now, to mounting. Since retiring, the single greatest *common denominator* in dissatisfied users of scoped M1As in my experience has had to do with a period of shoddy dimensions on mid-late 90's SA M1As as well as some of those early mounts made of cheese. I can't speak authoritatively to your Gen 4 as I've not dealt with one. Such is the bad taste in my mouth from their earlier mounts. I've got to think they've straightened those out by now. Mounting these is not really as intuitive as it might seem so I would certainly adhere STRICTLY to SA's instructions while watching for signs of a potentially rough interface with the receiver.

    Additionally, I caution everyone, regardless the mount or receiver to be ready to possibly need to fully remove the mount to completely clean the mount and receiver points of contact (including threads) after some initial shooting. I always suggest that if the mount loosens - you do NOT merely tighten it up but rather disassemble to remove any loose finish granulation between the surfaces. Usually only need to do it once - if at all.

    Todd.
    IMG_1165.JPG
     
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  9. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    Once again that $200 Super sniper 6x scope I am stoked on is rated and worked for me on .50 BMG guns, is extremely robust with good glass , Sadlak Mounts are very good and not that expensive, the Aluminum one has worked well for me. Notice post above the military used 6x scopes for a while , they seem ideal for up to 500 yards. +1 on the Bradley cheek riser, you will need it !
     
  10. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I haven’t looked through any sub $500.00 scopes that I would use to shoot 600 yards. I’m not saying there aren’t any, I just haven’t seen one.
     
  11. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    https://forum.snipershide.com/threads/quick-review-of-the-swfa-ss-6x.95689/

    I might add I dropped my rifle , it slid from standing on butt plate down to hitting wooden floor on top edge of objective bell slightly out of rounding it so sun screen won't screw on anymore. It held zero ! That of course says alot about the Sadlak mount and the G&G low lever release rings. I put QD rings on because I didn't think I would like the Super Sniper ,and I had my old Leupold MK 4 LR scope on another set of rings ready to go. The Super Sniper 6x has stayed two years nw. I can for sure hit a 9" target 600 yards from the bipod with Federal Gold match 90+% . I am just sharing because for $600 with Sadlak AL mount, G&G QD low rings and a $200 + Super Sniper it's GTG on a well tuned M1a for my needs . A 10x SS scope might also work well for 500-600 yard shots but the 6x works well at 100 yards or less running pigs
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    ApacheCoTodd likes this.
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