Best Scope Mounts for M1A Rifle- Stuff That Work

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M1a optic mount

In this buyer’s guide, let’s check out some of the best scope mounts for Springfield M1A rifle.

There are many options available on the market, and we will help you pick the best one in no time.

The most popular one is the SADLAK M14 Steel Scope Mount and it’s the one used by the 101st Army Airborne Division.

You don’t need a gunsmith to do this upgrade project, all you need is some tools and parts something you can easily do on your kitchen counter at home in less than 10 minutes.

Let’s check out what we have…

If you don’t have scope for your M1A yet please first check Out: Best Scope for M1A SOCOM 16 


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Best Optic Mounts for M1A (M14) Rifle

Mount
Springfield Aluminum Mount
SADLAK Mount
SADLAK Airborne
GG&G Scout Scope Mount
Springfield MA4GENAM M1A 1-Pc Scope Mount, Picatinny, Aluminum, Black Finish
Sadlak Industries M14 Aluminum Scope Mount
Sadlak Industries M14/M1A Lightweight Airborne Model Steel Scope Mount (140015)
GG&G Scout Scope Mount for M1A Picatinny Rail, Black
Compatibility
All. Except SOCOM II
All. Except SOCOM II
All. Except SOCOM II
All
Construction
Aluminum
Aluminum
Steel
Aluminum
Mount Type
Picatinny Rail
Picatinny Rail
Picatinny Rail
Picatinny Rail
Mount
Springfield Aluminum Mount
Springfield MA4GENAM M1A 1-Pc Scope Mount, Picatinny, Aluminum, Black Finish
Compatibility
All. Except SOCOM II
Construction
Aluminum
Weight
Mount Type
Picatinny Rail
Mount
SADLAK Mount
Sadlak Industries M14 Aluminum Scope Mount
Compatibility
All. Except SOCOM II
Construction
Aluminum
Weight
Mount Type
Picatinny Rail
Mount
SADLAK Airborne
Sadlak Industries M14/M1A Lightweight Airborne Model Steel Scope Mount (140015)
Compatibility
All. Except SOCOM II
Construction
Steel
Weight
Mount Type
Picatinny Rail
Mount
GG&G Scout Scope Mount
GG&G Scout Scope Mount for M1A Picatinny Rail, Black
Compatibility
All
Construction
Aluminum
Weight
Mount Type
Picatinny Rail

ATTENTION: The only reason they don’t fit SOCOM II is that the existing rail section gets in the way.

SADLAK M14 Steel Scope Mount

Why we picked this one – Sadlak has been in the firearm game since the 1990s for producing military accessories for the M14 and M1A rifles, and it’s one of the most durable and reliable products available on the market today.

m1a optic mount points of contact

The more points of contact the mount has on the rifle the more solid it is. This is why the SADLAK steel mount is highly recommended even though it’s much more work to install because it provides up to 6 contact points including the set screws that tighten the dovetail clip guide key.

Compared to other cheap mounts with only 2 – 3 contact points, the SADLAK is hands down the most superior product.

  • 3 Hex Screws – 65 – 70 inch-lbs
  • 2 Set screws for Clip Guide Key – 25 – 30 inch-lbs
  • Clip guide screw – 30 – 35 inch lbs

This thing ain’t moving!

Recommended: Use a Wheeler Torque Wrench For Exact Torque value

Sale
Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque Wrench with Inch/Pounds Measurement, Bits and Storage Case for Scope Mounting, Gunsmithing and Maintenance
5,732 Reviews
Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque Wrench with Inch/Pounds Measurement, Bits and Storage Case for Scope Mounting, Gunsmithing and Maintenance
  • Accuracy: +/- 2 inch/pounds up to 40 inch/pounds; 40 – 65 is +/- 5%
  • Ease of use: Apply, repeatable, accurate torque settings to scope rings, guard screws, windage screws and base screws, which aids in accuracy and decreases the opportunity for problems in the field
  • Reliable: Torque adjustment range from 10 inch/pounds to 65 inch/pounds
  • Durable: Bits are made of S2 tool steel and hardened to 56-58 Rockwell “C”

Installation Guide : How To Install SADLAK Mount Official Instruction

Available in steel and aluminum, and the STEEL model is highly recommended because it flexes LESS during recoil than aluminum to maintain zero.

Springfield Armory Mount

Why people get this one – This one-piece scope mount is made at the same factory as the rifle, and it provides a solid platform for mounting optics for accuracy

Low profile dovetail EBR clip Mount

Additional Recommendation 1: Get the low profile dovetail Sage EBR Clip Mount from Fulton Armory

Additional Recommendation 2: Get the full-length top rail from Sierra 12


Installation Tools Required To Make Life Easier

tools list recommended for scope mount

To install the optic base mount on the rifle, you have to disable the rifle. The only tools you need is a 3/32″ punch pin, a wide flat head screwdriver, a vice grip wrench, torque wrench and a gunsmith mallet are all you need to complete the installation.

NOTE: Some Blue Locktite is recommended

If you don’t have it you can buy the Wheeler Engineering Hammer and Punch Set here on Amazon for just $30.

Sale
Wheeler Engineering Hammer and Punch Set with Brass, Steel, Plastic Punches, Brass/Polymer Hammer and Storage Case for Gunsmithing Maintenance
  • Dimensions: 9.75" L x 5.25" W x 2" D
  • Non-destructive: Chrome plated steel hammer has nylon and brass heads to ensure strong, but non-marring contact while in use
  • Be prepared: Features brass, steel and nylon solid punches making it the ideal kit for your workbench
  • Includes: 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4", 9/32" and 5/16" brass punches, (2) 1/16", (2) 3/32" steel punches, 15/64", 3/8" plastic punches

FAQ: M1A Scope Mount

Make Sure The Mount Is Centered To The Rifle Bore

Often people forget the minor detail of centering the scope base mount to the bore of the rifle. If you don’t do this correctly you will waste tons of ammo and no matter how much you try to zero the rifle it will have a horizontal offset.

Compared to other cheap mounts like the AIMS, UTG mounts, the SADLAK gives the rifle way better alignment, tightness for accuracy.


Weight Savings

springfield armory m1a scope mount

The M1A isn’t light compared to some of the modern 308 sporting rifles. Having a lightweight setup helps the shooter reduce physical fatigue and increase accuracy when shooting unsupported.

The SADLAK and Springfield Armory base mounts are the most reliable options on the market. The SADLAK mount is the lightest for weighing just 0.57 lbs with full steel construction.

The Springfield mount weighs about 1.2 lbs.

Springfield MA4GENAM M1A 1-Pc Scope Mount, Picatinny, Aluminum, Black Finish
  • Aluminum, one-piece construction
  • Provides a Picatinny-Style rail above the receiver
  • Mounting hardware and detailed installation instructions included
  • Will not fit SOCOM II

Types of Optic Mount

scope mounted on SADLAK m14 scope mount

The M1A is a combat 308 rifle and you need to know what’s most convenient for you. The reason why you should think about what type of optic mount to get for the scope can vary from person to person.

For mobility reasons, maybe you have a compact rifle case that requires you to take off the optic before putting everything back into the case. Maybe you have to exchange the optic on the range easily from a magnified scope to a red dot sight without any tool.

There are quick detach QD mount available and also fixed mount.

Quick Detach (QD) Mount

QD mount is recommended if you’re using a red dot sight because you can quickly remove the sight on the go without any tool.

For mounting optics like the Trijicon RMR, Aimpoint Micro, Holosun or EOTech, you can simply mount it anywhere you want on the rail and you’re ready to go

Fixed Mount

If removing the sight isn’t something you plan on doing, then a fixed mount is a good option. A fixed mount is anything that requires a tool to put on or remove.

Generally speaking, mounts like the one-piece Geissele super precision mount and ring mounts are considered fixed mounts.

m1A socom 16 with vortex razor hd

If you’re using the Springfield Armory mount you have to use two separate ring mounts for a magnified scope since the top isn’t monolithic continuous rail.

Note: When using ring mounts on the non-monolithic rail you have to lap the scope to ensure proper alignment. There are horizontal split and vertical split. To save your time, the vertical split is stronger since each ring is directly connected to the base of the scope.


Optimize Scope Mount Height With Cheek Riser

M1A cheek riser

Optic height is something M1A users don’t talk about much online and it’s not so obvious, but once you’ve learned about it you will know what to do.

After you have completed the base mount installation, you need to pick an optic mount for your magnified scope or red dot sight. If you own an M1A or M14 with the traditional chassis without any cheek riser, it’s the best to have a low mount so you can get a good cheek and sight picture.

The M1A stock right out of the box is typically very low, so having a tall mount while chin welding the rifle isn’t the best.

The key here is to balance the cheek weld with the sight height. In our experience, getting a $20 rifle cheek riser that elevates your cheek weld for just about 1.5 – 2″ is optimal.

Optic Base Mount Installation Videos

Final Thoughts On M1A Optic Base Mount

Now you know the best scope mount for the M1A rifle and you have 3 options to choose from, the next thing is to find an optic mount for red dot sight and magnified optic.

The Springfield Gen 4 M1A mount is a great choice that provides solid mounting for the red dot and scope using two scope ring mounts, but it can’t accept a one-piece mount like the LaRue Tactical or Geissele super precision mounts.

Th SADLAK Steel version is the next best one out of all. It’s a bit harder to install but with multiple contact points help with maintaining zero.

If making your M1A an effective 308 battle rifle is important to you, then you can’t walk away from these awesome accessories.

Sverre B

A prior military-civilian employee in government contracting 13 years of experience in 3D Printing and manufacturing. 6 years of experience with firearm tooling and hunting