The 4 Best Scopes for M1A – Scout & Standard Model Reviews 2023

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Photo by Keary O. / CC BY

General George S. Patton famously called the M1 Garand rifle the “greatest battle implement ever devised.” By 1945, the whole world had come to know the power and efficiency of the M1 Garand rifle. However, the whole world had also come to know something else. Removable magazine weapons ruled the day. WWII had shown that firepower was king, and that rifles without removable large capacity magazines were on their way out.

Faced with this, the US Army eventually fielded the venerable M14 rifle. Essentially an M1 Garand in 7.62 NATO instead of .30-06, and fitted with a 20 round removable magazine, the M14 was the last of the great thirty caliber battle rifles issued by the United States government.

As with all military rifles, the United States shooting public has demanded their own civilian versions, and the gun industry has obliged. The Springfield Armory M1A is a semi automatic M14 style rifle that at its heart is still that greatest battle implement ever designed but built to take removable magazines. Because the .308/7.62 NATO (no, we are not going to get into the argument over the minor differences between rounds here) is one of the most popular rifle cartridges in the world, when combined with the rock solid reliability of the M14 platform, it is no wonder people often ask what is the best scope for M1A Scout and Standard models?

Match Grade Optics for Serious Work

The M1A style rifle has long been used for one of the most demanding and well known service competitions in the nation. Rifles built to National Match standards are accepted as being the pinnacle of service rifle construction and precision. If you have a National Match rifle or simple demand match grade quality in your rifle and optics, then the Nikon P 308 is the best M1A scope for you. Built to demanding standards of precision and featuring turrets calibrated for match grade 168 grain 7.62 NATO and .308 ammo, the P 308 is built with only one aim in mind, and that is giving you a scope every bit as top notch as your rifle.

Redfield Revolution 3-9x50mm

This is another top quality scope built for top quality rifles. Redfield offers a 3 to 9 power tactical scope with a huge 50mm objective aperture. Made in America (Oregon) and covered by Redfield’s famous lifetime warranty, this multicoated optic ensures optimal brightness and clarity, rugged water, fog and shock proof construction, and ground up design for shooters of modern sporting and tactical rifles. The Redfield Revolution is the best scope for M1A shooters who are mid-level shooters and those seeking unparalleled versatility in a rifle scope.

Redfield Revolution Scope - Review

Sightron SIII

There is little point in having an M1A rifle if you don’t have some hardcore optics to go on top of it. The Sightron SIII is one such scope. Designed originally for sniping at targets on other planets, this scope has an incredible 10-50 power magnification and a 60mm objective lens big enough to accurately engage enemy Martians with. However, it is equally useful for more down to earth applications such as thousand yard target shooting, long distance hunting, and scaring anti gunners with your scary looking kick butt “sniper” rifle. Either way, if you are after quality, performance, and extreme long range accuracy for your M1A, this is the scope for it.

Sightron SIII Full Review - Excellent Long Range/Competition Optic

UTG 2-7X44 30mm Long Eye Relief Scout Scope

If you are going to run a scout mount on your M1A rifle, you’ll need a long eye relief scope. Once strictly the domain of handguns, LER scopes have boomed ever since the famous scout rifle concept took the shooting world by storm.

The UTG LER scope is feature rich, and is an ideal 2-7 power magnification, with a huge light gathering 44mm objective lens, electronically illuminated etched glass reticle, and water/fog/shockproof construction. You’d be hard pressed to find a better LER scope in this price class. Go ahead, put it on your favorite M1a Scout Rifle. You’ll be glad you did.

Ruger Charger Takedown w/ UTG 2-7X44 Scout Scope (Range Review)

Scopes and the M1A Rifle

As already discussed, the M1A is the culmination of the technology behind both the M1 Garand and M14 rifles. Built for tactical, military and civilian shooting applications, the M1A is one of those rare rifles that are truly universal. Using time proven design principals and having an enormous aftermarket support for parts and accessories, many people choose to scope their M1A and for good reason.

The 7.62/.308 round is a hard hitting long range round favored by hunters, snipers and sport shooters who often like to shoot at long distance for accuracy. The best M1A scopes therefore will be built with those applications in mind. Hunters often favor illuminated range finding reticles due to the ease of placing a round on target at distance, and viewing the reticle in low light and poor weather conditions. For tactical and target purposes, you want a scope that offers a wide field of vision, and optimal clarity, and a range of variable magnification.

When shopping for the best scope for M1A rifles, you need to ask yourself a few questions. “What will I be using this for?” “What is my budget?” “How much scope do I really need?” It is tempting to rush out and buy the most expensive scope money can buy. Some M1A scopes can approach the cost of the rifle itself and certainly are fantastic optics. However, not everybody needs a scope that pushes a four figure price tag, nor does everybody need a sub hundred dollar scope either. In between two radical extremes are a great number of scopes which may or may not serve you for your intentions.

If you are building a tactical rifle, you want a rugged, simple scope that won’t let you down. Hunters will want a scope that will withstand harsh weather extremes and rough handling, while target shooters want a precise, high powered scope that will help them deliver tiny little groups at a great distance all day long. Sometimes these features overlap, but we’ve managed to pick a group of scopes that will fill any need at any budget for you.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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