Optic for M1A help

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karder
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Optic for M1A help

#1

Post by karder » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:03 pm

I am about ready to purchase a scope for my M1A and would be interested in some opinions from you folks who are better versed in optics than I. I have researched my options and I think I am narrowed down to either a SWFA HD 10X42, or a Leupold 10X40 Mark 4. I had strongly considered the IOR 10X56 but have seen a few negative reviews mixed in with many highly positive reviews. I have experience with Leupold so I trust that brand and have only heard positive reviews on SWFA, so I don't think I can go wrong with one of those.

Do any of you folks have opinions on these? Also, I am a bit concerned that I am limiting myself by not using a variable scope, but I am trying build a really tough battle rifle with fewer points of failure and fixed glass seems to fit the bill. Vortex has a PST, FFP model in 4-16X50 that is really tempting me. I am mounting to a bassett mount so I will have co-witness sights. I am trying to put together a 500-1000 meter battle rifle capable of engaging man-sized targets at that range with a good milrad reticle that will allow me to range accurately.

I know there are some very knowledgeable folks on this forum. I appreciate your help! :tiphat:

edited to add I would like to keep the cost on the south side of the $1,000 range. Otherwise I would go Nightforce B.E.A.S.T. and call it a day.
Last edited by karder on Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#2

Post by labrat1001001 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:18 pm

I looked into mounting a scope on my M1A years ago but never did. One thing I discovered during my research was cheaper mounts may not fit properly and/or come loose. Caveat emptor!
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#3

Post by Bitter Clinger » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:45 pm

karder wrote:I am about ready to purchase a scope for my M1A and would be interested in some opinions from you folks who are better versed in optics than I. I have researched my options and I think I am narrowed down to either a SWFA HD 10X42, or a Leupold 10X40 Mark 4. I had strongly considered the IOR 10X56 but have seen a few negative reviews mixed in with many highly positive reviews. I have experience with Leupold so I trust that brand and have only heard positive reviews on SWFA, so I don't think I can go wrong with one of those.

Do any of you folks have opinions on these? Also, I am a bit concerned that I am limiting myself by not using a variable scope, but I am trying build a really tough battle rifle with fewer points of failure and fixed glass seems to fit the bill. Vortex has a PST, FFP model in 4-16X50 that is really tempting me. I am mounting to a bassett mount so I will have co-witness sights. I am trying to put together a 500-1000 meter battle rifle capable of engaging man-sized targets at that range with a good milrad reticle that will allow me to range accurately.

I know there are some very knowledgeable folks on this forum. I appreciate your help! :tiphat:
I have a Vortex PST FFP 2.5-10X30 on my AR10 and I can hit out to 800 yards simply by holding over, no turret adjustments. The glass is very clear and the reticle easy to read. http://swfa.com/Vortex-25-10x32-Viper-P ... 79351.aspx
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#4

Post by The Annoyed Man » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:46 pm

karder wrote:I am about ready to purchase a scope for my M1A and would be interested in some opinions from you folks who are better versed in optics than I. I have researched my options and I think I am narrowed down to either a SWFA HD 10X42, or a Leupold 10X40 Mark 4.....
I had that SFWA on my M1A and loved it:
Image

That said, I would give a +1 on the Vortex Viper PST line. I have the 4-16x and love it.
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#5

Post by karder » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:31 pm

TAM, I remember seeing your M1A awhile back and I loved how you built your system. In fact, it really got me itching to build my own. I only have Leupold in my collection but I have heard such great things about SWFA. One of my best friends was a long time sniper on the SWAT team in El Paso, and a DMR in the military. He is a huge M1A enthusiast who recommends the Leupold fixed. Still, I think I am beginning to sway towards the Vortex due to the endorsements from you and Bitter Clinger. The price is right, I like the flexibility of having a variable scope and the lifetime warranty is reassuring. There is a part of me that wants to go for the SWFA 5-20X50 but at $1,500 I think the misses would take a frying pan to my head (might be worth it though).
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#6

Post by C-dub » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:57 pm

The Vortex Viper PST line is really nice. I have the 6-24 MRAD one. Beiruty took Bitter Clinger and me out to Top Gun 2-3 months ago and I hit the steel at 500 yards. It was great. Beiruty still out shot me, but I had a great time. That scope was more than adequate for that distance.

My BIL is wanting/getting a Nightforce 8x32 and I'm really looking forward to taking him out to Top Gun and seeing the glass on that thing. Of course, he'll spend more than double on it than I did my Viper. I hope it doesn't spoil me into wanting on of those. I've sort of got it in my head that my next big purchase might be an ACOG. I don't really need one, but it would be nice to not have to remember to turn on my Eotech if I pick up my M4 when something goes bump in the night. An ACOG might be something worth looking into for your M1A. Can one of those even be mounted on an M1A?
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#7

Post by SRO1911 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:35 am

I've destroyed several "good" scopes on M1's - that big bolt rolling home puts a hefty forward component into the recoil cycle.
I have transitioned over to hk g3 platform rifles over the last few years, however I had more luck with swfa than scopes costing 10x as much.
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#8

Post by karder » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:11 am

SRO1911, I have heard that the recoil impulse on the M1 is hard on scopes and that the Leupold and Swfa hold up to it better than most. I wasn't sure how true that was but now that your are confirming it, that will be a strong factor to consider. Thanks. :tiphat:
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#9

Post by The Annoyed Man » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:11 am

karder wrote:There is a part of me that wants to go for the SWFA 5-20X50 but at $1,500 I think the misses would take a frying pan to my head (might be worth it though).
I actually have that 5-20x SWFA on my Remington 700, and it is a fine scope. The HD glass can't be beat, and compared to my 4-16x PST, the SWFA scope is a LOT more rugged. But, price is price, and $900-$1000 is a lot easier on the wallet than $1500.......
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#10

Post by karder » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:56 am

The Annoyed Man wrote:
karder wrote:There is a part of me that wants to go for the SWFA 5-20X50 but at $1,500 I think the misses would take a frying pan to my head (might be worth it though).
I actually have that 5-20x SWFA on my Remington 700, and it is a fine scope. The HD glass can't be beat, and compared to my 4-16x PST, the SWFA scope is a LOT more rugged. But, price is price, and $900-$1000 is a lot easier on the wallet than $1500.......
I met I guy at the range last week using the 5-20x SWFA on a Sig716. He let me check it out and I was really impressed. The glass was great, the scope was rugged, I like everything about it. The guy at my favorite gun store will give me the Viper PST 6-24X50 for $750, so the SWFA would be twice as much. If the price was closer I would go with the SWFA. Still I might get the fixed 10X from SWFA. Decisions decisions.
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#11

Post by LTUME1978 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:16 pm

I vote for the Vortex Viper PST 2.5 X 10 X 32 as well. I put one on an AR that I put together to resemble a SDM rifle and had to use it after my primary rifle /scope went down early in a class recently. That scope was a Leopold Mark 4. Only 683 rounds down the tube of that rifle (6.5 Creedmoor) when the scope broke. Point of that is just because it is supposed to be rugged does not mean that it is.

We had to do snap shots at 7 yards all the way out to prone at 460 yards (not really that difficult of a shot). The Vortex worked great for that. The rifle fell over once during the course with no change of impact. The Leupold (6.5 X 20) would not have worked well for the 7 yards snap shots (too close for that scope to be clear). I shot the AR/Vortex out to 600 yards and had no issues with a steel IPSC target (no misses). Probably good for much further.

Whatever you get, try looking through it at up close distances as well as far off to make sure it will handle the range you want. 2.5X is great for quick, accurate shots up close and 10X will take you a long way out.

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Re: Optic for M1A help

#12

Post by Pawpaw » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:39 pm

karder wrote:
The Annoyed Man wrote:
karder wrote:There is a part of me that wants to go for the SWFA 5-20X50 but at $1,500 I think the misses would take a frying pan to my head (might be worth it though).
I actually have that 5-20x SWFA on my Remington 700, and it is a fine scope. The HD glass can't be beat, and compared to my 4-16x PST, the SWFA scope is a LOT more rugged. But, price is price, and $900-$1000 is a lot easier on the wallet than $1500.......
I met I guy at the range last week using the 5-20x SWFA on a Sig716. He let me check it out and I was really impressed. The glass was great, the scope was rugged, I like everything about it. The guy at my favorite gun store will give me the Viper PST 6-24X50 for $750, so the SWFA would be twice as much. If the price was closer I would go with the SWFA. Still I might get the fixed 10X from SWFA. Decisions decisions.
Assuming that scope is new, if it"s the Second Focal Plane version, it's a good deal. If it's the First Focal Plane version, buy it and run out the door like the devil is chasing you. That's a killer deal.
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#13

Post by The Annoyed Man » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:25 pm

Pawpaw wrote:
karder wrote:
The Annoyed Man wrote:
karder wrote:There is a part of me that wants to go for the SWFA 5-20X50 but at $1,500 I think the misses would take a frying pan to my head (might be worth it though).
I actually have that 5-20x SWFA on my Remington 700, and it is a fine scope. The HD glass can't be beat, and compared to my 4-16x PST, the SWFA scope is a LOT more rugged. But, price is price, and $900-$1000 is a lot easier on the wallet than $1500.......
I met I guy at the range last week using the 5-20x SWFA on a Sig716. He let me check it out and I was really impressed. The glass was great, the scope was rugged, I like everything about it. The guy at my favorite gun store will give me the Viper PST 6-24X50 for $750, so the SWFA would be twice as much. If the price was closer I would go with the SWFA. Still I might get the fixed 10X from SWFA. Decisions decisions.
Assuming that scope is new, if it"s the Second Focal Plane version, it's a good deal. If it's the First Focal Plane version, buy it and run out the door like the devil is chasing you. That's a killer deal.
SWFA is charging $750 for the SFP version, and $950 for the FFP version. That's a $200 difference. I doubt that Karder's local vendor is selling the FFP for the SFP price.

Another thing to consider......with the M1A, the mount is critical, and mounting the mount properly is crucial. Not all M1A mounts are of good quality. I used a Sadlak mount: http://www.sadlak.com/si_alum_scope_mount.html. You have to follow the directions closely to make sure it is properly mounted to the rifle.

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Re: Optic for M1A help

#14

Post by Redneck_Buddha » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:42 pm

I've always hear that scoping for an M1A is not a trivial matter, and this thread bears that out.
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Re: Optic for M1A help

#15

Post by The Annoyed Man » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:06 pm

Redneck_Buddha wrote:I've always hear that scoping for an M1A is not a trivial matter, and this thread bears that out.
Look at it this way...... you basically face the same issues as you would for mounting a scope on a '03-A3, M1 Garand, Mosin 91/30, and any other battle rifle that was not designed to accept optical devices on the receiver. So the mounts are always a work around, and if they're not properly designed and properly mounted to the receiver, your going to have a lot of trouble making the scope axis parallel to the rifle's bore. The M1A being a naturally more accurate rifle than say an AK47, it becomes possible to have a genuine DMR with a scope on it, but it's teats on a boar if not done right.
SRO1911 wrote:I've destroyed several "good" scopes on M1's - that big bolt rolling home puts a hefty forward component into the recoil cycle.
That M1A bolt is outweighed several times over by the combined weight of a BCG on an AR10, so I'm not sure how that could affect the scope on an M1A any worse than on an AR10, and my AR10 had no trouble holding zero.
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