When you start outfitting your m1a one of the first hard choices you’ll make is how and where you’ll mount your optics if you decide to add one. Putting a scope on the m1a means making a series of hard choices and striking the correct balance can be extremely difficult and small differences can really add up.
You’ll need a well-designed rock solid mount for the rapid firing and hard recoiling rifle it’s going to be strapped to. These are five of the best m1a scope mounts we’ve come across that pair nicely with the best scope for the m1a.
Best Scope Mount for M1A - Comparison Table
Scout vs Over the Acton Mount
The best thing you can do for yourself when you start nailing down the type of scope mount you’ll get is nailing down what type of action you rifle will see. If it’s a DMR style gun that needs a mid-range optic, using the factory scout style mount is probably a bad idea.
This means you’ll be mounting a scope over the action. The problem is that the semi-automatic action as designed before the advent of optical sights for regular infantry soldiers, and the brass is ejected straight up.
This means clearance had to made for the hot brass to clear the action. This clearance adds height to the mount and makes a decent cheek weld impossible. You can overcome this with lower scope rings and a cheek riser for your buttstock, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem.
You’ll want a traditional high powered optic if you plan to shoot man-sized or smaller targets past 300 yards. Inside 300 yards, using the scout style mount up front is a realistic and sometimes superior option.
Our Top 5 Best Scope Mount for M1A Review
You can’t go wrong with manufacturer’s parts. This is one of the best mounts for an m1a simply because it was designed by the people who are building the m1a, to begin with. If properly installed, you won’t have to worry about voiding your warranty.
At its core, this is an all steel mount. Totally steel from the body, the thumb screws and all contact points. While it is heavier than other options the weight will help soak up some of the recoils from the .308, and that weight will be appreciated when you’re shooting rapid fire from the bench.
The thumb screws on the mount don’t make a ton of sense until you realize, this is a quick release mount. You can easily crank these screws down hard enough that you won’t lose zero, but also remove the mount to use the iron sights that come on the rifle.
That’s versatility for the right price, and from the original manufacturer. You get an extremely durable quick release mount made for the m1a specifically by the people who made your rifle in the first place.
- Quick detach
- Large knobs can be obtrusive
GG&G needs no introduction, they make some of the best scope mounts for tactical rifles that money can buy. If you’re looking for a defensive rifle and need a high-quality mount you can bet your life on, GG&G is going to be on the short list of retailers to offer a decent mount for your needs.
This is their m1a offering you can depend on, a hard anodized ultra light-weight rail section that mounts up tight and holds zero.
From the premium company, GG&G this is an upgrade to the M1a SOCOM, and scout squad. The idea behind this is to clamp onto the barrel where the handguard cut is from the factory. This lets you add all the Picatinny rails you need without modifying the stock or barrel.
The higher price tag you’re paying for here is more research into deign and materials, a higher quality finish and machining process, as well as warranty and customer service from a boutique company.
Mounts much cheaper can get the job done but if you need higher quality gear for a duty weapon or high stakes match, go for this unit.
Yes, it’s more expensive than other mounts, but its quality is in a whole other league compared to other equipment. If you have the budget, you’ll appreciate this and the mount will serve you well.
- Extremely high quality
- Lots of rail space
- Low profile
- Difficult to install
Purpose made for a ton of different of m1a situations Sadlak makes great quality semi-custom equipment for people who are willing to spend money on their equipment.
This is one of the best all-around mounts you can have for your m1a. It is a simple over the action mount that combines high-quality machining with a decent price and top notch materials. The surface finish of this mount and anodizing is excellent and is made to high precision.
When you look at this mount is looks like any other out of the box but the lightweight aluminum construction helps you keep the overall weight of your rifle down without skimping on ability or ruggedness.
This is probably the best mount for 99% of people who own an m1a and are interested in putting a precision optic onto it. It locks up solid, it is lightweight and easy to install and you can count on it to hold zero no matter what.
- Very high quality
- Light weight
- Tall height
This mount is downright expensive. Very, expensive but has a few distinct and very unique advantages. It comes from the almost custom builders at Sadlak it’s unique because its made from 1005 titanium.
Titanium offers some unique characteristics, it’s about half the weight of steel, but heavier than aluminum. It can be anodized similar to aluminum but overall is much more corrosion and scratch resistant.
The benefit of titanium is that it is lighter than steel but much, much tougher. It’ resists thermal expansion, can be made extremely thin and is very hard. Titanium is one of the most resilient metal on earth.
It is very, very difficult to machine, and expensive to begin with. Making parts very pricey and very rare. However, titanium is excellent for scope mounts because it doesn’t expand when it heats up, is exceptionally tough and still reasonably lightweight.
Other than cost, there’s not really a downside to thin mount or the exotic materials it’s made from. You can expect this mount to outlast you, and your rifle. If you have the budget and the reason for such a mount, go for it, there’s no higher performance mount for a precision m1a.
- Extremely rugged
- Extremely rigid
- Reasonably lightweight
- Silver finish
- Tall height
The m1a is an expensive gun. The ammo for the m1a, while coming down in price is still expensive even in bulk. If you buy a good and cheap scope made for your rifle, you’ll have more money for ammo and the rifle itself.
This scope mount comes from Tiger Rock inc. and I add 6 inches of anodized aluminum Picatinny rails made to mil-spec dimensions. Few other mounts especially mount for the m1 have what this scope has going for it.
The lightweight construction lends itself to saving weight on the entire system but you don’t need to spend a ton to have these benefits. This mount has the lightweight appeal combined with a solid mounting option you can rely on to hold zero.
This is one of the most inexpensive mounts you can have for the m1a but it carries with it every benefit unless you’d need except a quick detach mounting solution. This scope mount is meant to be installed and left.
Perfect for hunting, plinking or low-level competitions where gear won’t make or break the match, this is a good option to save some cash. Don’t be too quick to discount this mount, you may just find it to be useful.
- Plenty of rail space
- Tall mount height
Buying Tips for Choosing the Best M1A Scope Mount
The scope base can only be as good as the materials and workmanship will allow. The biggest decision is going to be a cost-driven decision on what kind of mount you can afford. Aluminum is probably the best for most pope but on a heavy gun and hard recoiling gun like an m1a can benefit from a steel mount.
The surface finish is not just cosmetic; a steel mount needs to have a heavy-duty coating to keep it from corroding. Same with an aluminum mount, it needs to have some sort of coating to keep it from getting patina and rust welding your rings to the base. Often times, you can judge the quality of a machined product by the surface finish.
Every mount needs it. End of story, it doesn’t have to be the permanent stuff, but you do need some sort of protection from the threads backing out and the gun literally rattling its self apart. Don’t go overboard, but make sure those bolts stay put!
The scope needs to hold zero no matter what. The m1a is going to put a beating on bases and screws so make sure the scope mount is secured and ready to go well before you need to use it on game or in defense.
If your scope is put out of commission by debris, damage, or just plain falls apart, it needs to come off. The m1a comes from the factory with excellent, excellent iron sights that a trained shooter can shoot out to 300 yards easily.
None, however, can use them if that broken-up optic is blocking your view, a quick detach style mount can make all the difference in the world in a situation like this. If you think you might need to trust your life to your rifle, get a quick detachable scope mount.
Clearing Iron Sights
You must be able to clear iron your iron sights if you want to use them when you remove your scope, even with the scope mount on. This is difficult to do because the over the action mounts block the line of sight, so make sue the entire mount comes off when you need it to, and quickly.
You don’t want to be up a creek with broken equipment and no one to turn to for help. You’ll never find a high-end company that you should shop with that doesn’t offer a warranty. If a manufacturer won’t stand by their product, do you really want it on your rifle?
Having the correct scope mount is critically important, especially when you have a challenging rifle like the m1a that is getting the mount. Look for ways you can save money, like buying the right type of mount and not paying for exotic materials if you don’t need it.
Many people don’t realize the limitations of the m1a when it comes to mounting a rifle but they can be overcome with planning and getting the right accessories, like a cheek riser and low profile scope rings.
If you do decide to get an optic mated up to your m1a, get out and practice with it! You don’t want to need your rifle and not be used to the high mount, or scope mount and be up a creek in a bad situation! Just get out and plink, hunt, and enjoy your fine rifle!