Well, the M14 was never designed to mount a scope out of the box, and the M1A rifle is no exception. To that end, we went ahead and found the best 4 M1A scope mounts for you to consider.
One could easily argue that the best M1A scope mount is the one made by the same people who built your M1A. To that end, it’s hard to argue with this offering from Springfield Armory (see full specs). Factory designed to be hand fit to your particular rifle, this scope mount firmly mounts into place and provides a rock solid and stable platform to mount a scope to your M1A style rifle. Some people have even reported that it will work on other models of M14 clones, but if you have a Springfield built M1A, it is worth considering a Springfield built scope mount as well. This is arguably the best M1A scope mount for the very simple reason it’s built by Springfield.
Built for the Military
If I could have started and stopped this article with just one scope mount, this would be it. The very best M1A scope mount is the one used by airborne soldiers for combat deployments, and this would be that mount. Sadlak Industries has been providing improved versions of the old Brookfield Tool and Machine mount since the 1990’s (see full specs here). Sadlak mounts are among the most reliable, stable and durable M1A scope mounts available. Built with military combat operations in mind and designed to military specifications, it is the same one chosen by our armed forces. While a bit pricey compared to other mounts, you can take pride knowing that your money was well spent on an American made, military grade scope mount that is as legendary as the M1A rifle itself. This is the best M1A scope mount period.
Aim Sports M1A Mount
This is a design nearly as old as the M1A and M14 itself, and for that reason is fairly affordable. There are more advanced designs, and certainly better ones, but this mount is still one of the best M1A scope mounts out there. Built of rugged aircraft grade aluminum, once you perform the minor hand fitting needed to match your mount with your rifle, you’ll find that you have an excellent scope mount for your M1A rifle. Featuring a standard Picatinny rail, and built with a rugged classic design, you can save a few dollars, and still reliably scope your M1A. This is one of the best M1A scope mounts if you’re on a budget.
UTG M1A Scope Mount
Designed with four locking points for optimal performance, the UTG New Generation is one of the best four point M1A scope mounts you can get. Like all M1A mounts, this will require a bit of individual fitting to your rifle, but the adjustable locking screws allow for a more precise hand fit than other competing mounts. Based off of time proven and reliable designs, and capable of taking both Weaver rings and Picatinny rail accessories, if you are looking for an affordable, proven and rugged scope mount for your M1A or similar rifle, then look no further.
Scoping the M1A Rifle
It is a testimony to American ingenuity and cleverness that we even have scope mounts for the M1A and M14 style rifles. You see, this rifle was never built to take a scope as issued. Any effort to scope them has always involved specially built and fitted scope mounts. Fortunately, the science and basic technology behind scoping the M1A rifle is well-proven so we are blessed with a plethora of similar performing scope mounts.
Now, of course, not all M1A scope mounts are made equal. The Sadlak Industries M1A scope mount is by far the best out there, and built to higher specs and for much more demanding use than nearly all of us would ever put their rifle to. But other mounts are still based off of proven military designs and will function quite nicely for nearly all of us. And for those who need more, there are higher end mounts out there.
The problem with scoping an M1A rifle has always been you have to match the mount to the rifle. Installing a good mount requires removing the stripper clip guide on the rifle’s receiver, fitting the mount to the slot, and then locking the mount in place with set screws. Once you fit a mount to a rifle, it’s going to be mated to that individual gun. You may not be able to easily do the work yourself, at a minimum you will need a punch, a set of screwdrivers and a mallet. At this point, it may be easier to pay a gunsmith to do the work in order to ensure the most precise fit. A person with basic mechanical aptitude should be able to install an M1A mount fairly easily, but the work involved should be kept in mind before purchasing a scope mount.
No matter if you do it yourself or have the fitting done by a qualified gunsmith, putting the best M1A scope mount on your rifle will be a rewarding experience and expand the potential of your rifle. The 7.62 NATO/.308 round is a fantastic, hard hitting, long shooting cartridge, and really benefits from having optics to guide it. With iron sights you are limiting yourself to about one half to one third the potential of your rifle, but a scope lets you enjoy your rifle to its fullest. Take a look at the scope mounts we found for your M1A, and enjoy your rifle in a whole new fashion.