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Top 7 Best Scope for M1A Reviews And Guides 2023 from Experts

When taking on the M1A rifle and finding proper scope sights, there are some issues that need to be addressed. The M1A is basically the civilian version of the military M14 battle rifle. As such, it has some features and design elements that can get in the way of a proper scope sight mounting system.

Best Scope for M1a

Depending on the exact M1A model, the ability to mount a scope is not at all the same. On the ” Scout ” version of the rifle, the scope mounting situation is a no-brainer. Yet, there is a trade-off. You will need to select a scope with very long eye relief, like that on a handgun scope, because the sight will need to be mounted well forward of the receiver.

On the standard M1A wood stocked or plastic stocked model, a real issue arises. A special side-mount, almost like that used on the Russian Dragunov but far more complicated, complicates things.

Author original photos: Testing with Ruger Mini 14

Mounts for the M1A or M-14 can involve as many as thirty different installation steps. If you don’t have good tools, knowledge, and time, the best plan is to take everything to your trusted local gunsmith.

Even when installed on the M1A, often a special elevated but stock comb will be needed. The offset m1surplus scope mount rail will stand quite high. In my humble opinion, this rifle was built for a darn good receiver sight just like its predecessor, the M1 Grand. As such, the sights on the rifle straight out of the factory are outstanding.

While I do not own the rifle myself, I do own both the Ruger Mini 30 and the Mini 14in. .233 Remington. These are ←14 design receivers on smaller more flexible rifles. The receivers have been re-designed at the upper end to accommodate the Ruger ring base system. They also fit a secondary Weaver rail that outs directly over the ejection port on the receiver. Based on these rifles and also owning old-school M1 Grand, I can say that when the M1A has glass sights in place its performance is unparalleled. The 7.62 X 54 ( .308 Winchester ) is the owner of the valley, battlefield, or whatever gets in the way of her muzzle.

Things To Consider Before Choosing The Best Scope For Mia

Before you decide to buy the best M1A scope for your rifle, there are things you’ll need to consider.


The optic you decide to choose needs to come with durability to be able to survive the harshest environmental conditions. So you can rest assured that in any condition your rifle scope finds itself, it would be able to work and deliver effectively. Your M1A rifle should be able to boast of a scope that is dustproof, fogproof, and waterproof.  


When buying the best scope for your M1A rifle, you should consider the reticle pattern, and they come in 3 groups. 

  • The simple category consists of the Dot, Duplex, V-plex, NikoPlex, and the rest.
  • BDC has to do with Bullet Drop Compensation. Here the calibration is to specific rounds. 
  • MOA / Mil-Dot

These categories of the reticle are based on the preference of every American rifleman. Shooters that would love a simple option can go for the likes of the MOA / MIL-Dot or the simple category reticles. If you’re planning to go long range shooting the BDC will make a suitable option. 

Focal Plane

Choosing between the First Focal Plane and the Second Focal Plane shouldn’t be an issue. The First Focal Plane has the capacity of holdovers and enables distance measurements to be active on all magnification power categories. The Second Focal Plane (SFP) holdovers don’t work on all magnification categories; rather, they work on only the highest magnification. However, it would be best if you knew that the First Focal Plane is more costly than the Second Focal Plane. 


Illumination is a very vital aspect to consider for your m1a scope. However, this aspect is according to preference. However, we should consider how clear the m1a scope is in the daytime and its night vision capabilities. 


The right turrets have to be repeatable and accurate. The other aspects to consider will be if the scope is either for tactical means or hunting. 

Tactical Scope Turret: It comes with finger adjustment, which is vital to ensure that zero resetting is perfect. It also requires parallax adjustment to be able to carry out long range shooting. It can be located as a focus knob on the side for easy usability. 

Hunting Scope Turret: These are capped, and low profile turrets meant to stop unwarranted adjustments from taking place. It is vital to ensure that the clicks of the turrets are a fit for the reticle. For instance, if the turrets are Mil-Dot turrets, then a suitable match will be the Mil-Dot reticles. 

Assuming you have the correct scope mount for the M1A, try one of the seven best scopes for M1A reviewed below. They will get the job done.

Top 7 Best Scope for M1A Reviews 2023

1. TRACT  Toric UHD

Tract builds a scope that is large. It is not overly long, which makes it a good fit for the full-length M1A standard model rifle.

This scope carries extended adjustable open turrets with ample amounts of windage and elevation adjustment.

Schott glass is featured on the lens. It offers great light control overall. I shoot three of these scopes here at BR&D. I have found them to be very effective and trouble-free. When testing/writing reviews for a business, you can’t afford downtime with bad gear. TRACT is one of my favorite scopes. This model is ideal for use on the M1A full-size standard rifle.

The large 300 main tube holds large heavy-duty parts and turret guts. The 3-4×20 power settings allow for visual control against long-range targets.

Built in the FFP first focal plane, the scope is designed for long-range sniper work and tactical police applications. The varmint hunter , deer hunter, or general target shooter can also use this glass sight. It is all around a sold system. The sub-tensions carry MOA settings in dots for quick in-the-scope elevation adjustments when you have the system DOPED for shooting beyond 400 yards. TRACT will not build a great many scopes in their line. However, the scopes they have all are mission-friendly. Priced fair and affordable.

Ratings on this scope are very high among owners, including myself.

2. Leupold VX-5HD 3-15X44

The second scope of this list I also use on a regular basis. It is the Leupold mark VX series 5HD. This scope makes use of 3-15 power settings. That is more than enough for 1000-yard work. It uses American construction and components for quality production results. Leupold also completely backs their product.

It is illuminated for low light shooting conditions. There is an auto on-off system that activates by movement.

The side focus provides lens control and allows advantages in light control downrange. Zero lock turrets have open turret control for elevation and five choices in sub-tension etched glass reticles.

As applied to the M1A, the scout rifle is again a good fit for the standard full-size model. A special side-mount is required in all other full-size standard glass sights.

3. Hi-Lux Long Eye Relief

The cutback Scout model in the M1A is very popular among hunters or in tight quarters. It requires long eye relief scope that uses one of the best scope mount on the factory-installed scope mount rail ahead of the receive ring.

The Hi-Lux glass sight is budget-priced. It offers a 2-7X32 one-inch tube with a duplex reticle. The sight is built for closer range work. In the hands of a good shot, however, it can be stretched well out to 600 yards or more.

The scope is built as a solid one-piece unit. It has a main tube, coated lens surfaces, and is both water and shockproof. The turrets are capped off for general use. The mounting system will require Weaver-style rings and bases.

I have shot Hi-Lux sniper scopes here in my business and found them not only affordable but effective.

4. Leupold Handgun Scope

While not everyone’s cup of tea, the use of a handgun scope can help with shooting the Scout compact rifle. This scope is basic. It carries a very long eye relief that accounts for hand gunners’ needs. With the forward mounting on the Scout rifle, it is a good fit for a general-purpose rifle.

This scope by Leupold is a 2.5-8X32 power. It allows some flexibility in terms of range settings. It carries a Leupold Duplex reticle for some additional ability over ranging on long-distance targets. Finally, it uses the Leupold “Twilight” light management system as well.

The one-inch main tube and ultra-lightweight design make this an easy sight to haul around. The adjustment settings on the capped turret house are all in ¼ MOA. In the tradition of Leupold, there is a change made off dead zero clicks.

5. NightForce SHV 3-10x42mm .250MOA Riflescope

Let’s return to the full-length M1A rifle. Shooters that want the military/hunting style scope sight should consider a Night Force optics.

Here we have the Night Force SHV 3-10×42. This scope is a solid fit for .308 cartridges . It also has a balance point associated with the M1A full-size standard rifle.

This scope makes use of the larger 30mm main tube. It is offered in the second focal plane SFF. The turrets on this scope are capped and the eye relief is 3.5 inches.

The reticle is illuminated and the sub-tensions display the “Forceps” reticle. This is similar to other brands of hunting scopes with the same basic configuration.

Elevation adjustments are .250 MOA. The power settings are 3-10X42mm. They allow ample magnification for hunting. Light control is positive with the larger forward bell.

6. Night Force 8-32X56mm NXS

This scope is best considered for the M1A full long-range target type stock that is set up for the bench or 1000-yard match settings.

The scope is massive. It can reach out far, but at the cost of weight, size, and price.

This scope retains standard illumination, a zero stop turret with open adjustment settings, and open high knobs There is also a .250 MOA correcting graduation setup and the MOAR C437 reticle.

I would not consider this scope an option for general hunting, or even long-range mountain and open country work. This is a far better choice for military and police use. It would be right at home on the target range to be sure.

Information about total elevation clicks and windage adjustments are sketchy. The buyer will need to research these requirements. Despite the lack of information, the scope is of Night Force’s usual high quality. It is a professional model rifle scope.

7. Sig Sauer TANGO6T

Here we have the chopped bell tactical military scope patterned after the new US Army glass sight built by Sig. This is a smaller scope. It is possible to fit it on the Scout version of the M1A or even the full-size rifle

This scope is offered with the 1-6X24mm power settings that work up to about 600 yards. The main tube housing is robust in size. It is a full 30mm. The whole scope is built field-grade tough.

Special lens material is used to control light. It will not react to nasty field conditions. The sight is illuminated, set up in military MRAD elevation and windage settings, and uses a lockdown zero system. If you lack the space and time, I can tell you that the whole scope is built around light and sight control. This scope retains lots of new features.

There are many different models of the M1A rifle being offered to the shooter today. Attention needs to be given to your exact needs when it comes to the sights. Currently about all I own and shoot in this style rifle is my Ruger .223 Rem Mini 14. It is a truly reduced size M-14 receiver built around a much lighter and shorter barrel stock system. My rifle even makes use of the new Samson Stainless-steel and walnut side folding unit throwback model. Ruger got the sight system right in that the scope. It is placed directly over the receiver on machined Ruger ring mounts and bases. Springfield should take note here and offer a revamped M1A with this style glass sight machined in one-piece mounting system.


What Can My M1A Rifle Be Used For?

There are various ways to use your m1a rifle together with the best m1a scope mount. You can use it for target practice, competitive shooting, and hunting. Though it is vital to use the best scope for m1a no matter the shooting preference you opt for. 

What Is The Best Distance My M1A Rifle Can Produce?

The Springfield m1a can reach over 500 yards. However, this depends on the distance you’re willing to go. If you are willing to go up to 800 yards, you should go for a rifle scope that can allow you to shoot accurately at such a distance. 

How Much Recoil Is The M1A Capable Of Producing?

You’ll be glad to know that the m1a comes with many recoils. However, you would have to utilize the likes of control pads and other types of tools to control it. Though to make things much easier, we recommend using it together with a scout scope that delivers a lot of eye relief. The more the eye relief, the better the results. You should also ensure that it is a M1A scout squad that can hold its zero even after a shot of over hundreds of yards is made. When using a rifle capable of heavy-hitting like the m1a, it is essential to use the best scout scope for m1a. Doing so will help you avoid subsequent resetting while shooting.

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