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  • Post last modified:March 7, 2024

I've always had a soft spot for M1 Garand rifles, and I'm not alone in that. I'm excited to dive into some of the best optics accessories for the M1, all aimed at boosting your accuracy and helping you lock onto targets faster. 

My go-to for mounting a red dot has to be the Hopco adapter. It's sleek, minimalistic, and takes the place of the rear iron sight without adding unnecessary bulk. Nowadays, you'll find the M1 not just in the hands of history buffs but also being used for hunting and target shooting by folks everywhere. 

M1 Garand Scope Mount Installation

You can mount an optic on the M1 Garand on the handguard top rail or replace the rear iron sight.

Right now on the market, I highly recommend the two following accessories:

It makes it a tactical M1 and better than ever.

m1 with ultimak M12 rail

First off, let's talk about swapping out the rear aperture sight for a Hopco mount plate adapter. This is a slick way to get a micro red dot sight onto your M14 family rifle, including that beloved M1 Garand. The beauty of the Hopco adapter lies in its low profile. It allows you to snug up against the rifle just right, making it easier to line up those iron sights while keeping the rifle looking sharp.

Then there's the option of using an UltiMAK M12 rail mount, which snugly clamps right onto the barrel assembly. This setup is all about stability and keeping your red dot sight steady, no matter what.

But let's circle back to the Hopco mount for a sec. This thing is essentially a rear sight red dot mount, and it's a game-changer. Imagine being able to shoulder your M1, glance down, and have your red dot sight ready to go in a heartbeat. That's the kind of quick, intuitive shooting experience the Hopco mount offers.

The Hopco plate is compatible with a micro-sized red dot sight

Watch the installation video here

If you're leaning towards a more versatile setup, there's also a Picatinny-style rail option that's worth considering. This rail is crafted from sturdy 6061 T6 Aluminum, designed to securely clamp onto the barrel. What's neat about this setup is that the rail sits atop the handguard, offering a low front optic mount similar to what many shooters prefer on their AKs.

For those of you looking to equip your M1 Garand with something a bit heftier in the optics department, like an Aimpoint Micro, an Eotech, or various variable zoom scopes, UltiMAK and Amega have got you covered. 

Red Dot Beats The Standard Iron Sight

M1 iron sight vs micro red dot

The M1 Garand's reputation for accuracy is well-deserved, even by today's standards. Whether it's chambered in the classic 30-06 or the versatile 308, this rifle is built for precision at long ranges. With its iron sights, the M1 can confidently hit targets up to 500 yards away, which is impressive for any firearm, let alone one with such a storied past.

But here's the thing: why settle for just "good enough" when you can dial in even more precision? Enter the red dot sight, a game-changer for extending your effective shooting range beyond what iron sights offer. The issue with the standard M1 front sight is its width.

holosun 507c red dot pov

At 100 meters, it spans about 8 inches, and this width effectively doubles every additional 100 meters. Eventually, at long distances, the front sight obscures the target entirely, making accurate shots a real challenge.

Now, consider the advantage of a 3.5 MOA red dot sight. At 100 meters, it covers just 3.5 inches, offering a much clearer view of your target.

25m zeroing target rite in the rain

Even out to 400 yards, that red dot allows for precise aiming without the target being lost behind the sight. It's no wonder many shooters find using a red dot on their M1 Garand not just more accurate, but also more enjoyable compared to traditional iron sights.

Both Eyes Open - Increased Situational Awareness

Traditional iron sights often require you to close one eye to aim properly, which can slow you down.

Red dot sights, on the other hand, are a game-changer. They remove the need to line up rear and front sights with the target, simplifying the aiming process significantly. Just place the red dot where you want your shot to land, and you're good to go.

This allows for shooting with both eyes open, greatly enhancing situational awareness. You're not just focused on your target;

Recommended M1 Garand Optics

Trijicon RMR is one of the most durable miniature red dot sights on the market. It’s the gold standard for pistol red dot sights.

Holosun 507C is another good one and its slightly more affordable than the RMR, so you can invest the money buying a good mount for the M1 Garand. 

M1 Garand Optics FAQ

Does The Red Dot Sight Sit Too High On The Rifle?

If you've never had the chance to shoot an M1 equipped with a red dot sight, you might be curious about how the sight's height lines up with where you rest your cheek on the rifle. The setup is pretty similar to what you'd find with a 1/3 co-witness height on an AR15.

The red dot sits just about half an inch above the M1's rear sight aperture. So, if you're familiar with using an AR15, just cheek the M1 in the same way, and you'll have a clear view through the red dot sight. It's a straightforward adjustment that enhances your shooting experience without complicating things.

Will The En-bloc Clip Ejection Hit The Red Dot Sight Causing Damage?

When you're shooting an M1 that's loaded with an En-Bloc clip, which carries eight rounds of 30-06 ammo, there's always that moment of anticipation for the iconic "PING" sound it makes upon ejecting the clip after the last round is fired. This sound is a hallmark of the M1, and oddly enough, it's something a lot of shooters find really satisfying.

Now, if you're wondering whether this clip ejection could potentially smack into your red dot sight and cause damage, the short answer is no. The design ensures that when the En-Bloc clip is ejected, it doesn't come into contact with the red dot mounted over the rear sight block receiver.

However, it's worth noting that the ejected shells might just brush past the front part of the red dot sight. While this doesn't damage the sight, it might leave some brass marks on the frame. It's a minor issue and certainly doesn't outweigh the benefits and enjoyment of using a red dot sight on this classic rifle.

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