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Old 03-12-2011, 12:24 AM
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Default How much magnification do I need?



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I have finally gotten my M-1A rifle (full length barrel, wood stock) rifle that I am looking to put some glass on and eventually would like this to be my 250-500 yard rifle. (I have my m&p 15 for close work)...also use this at work.

My question is how much magnification do I want to go with if I am only looking at 500 yards and in? I don't need to see the buttons on someones shirt, I just want to be able to shoot with a good chance of hitting what I am aiming at at that range.

No point in paying more than I need to. Also not looking to spend an arm and a leg. I would like to keep it under $500 for the glass.

For the mount I am looking at the A.R.M.S. #18 M1A / M14 Scope Mount along with the ARMS22-MED : A.R.M.S. #22 Throw Lever Scope Rings .

Any thoughts would be helpful.

Thurston 93
Old 03-12-2011, 12:36 AM
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Stop. Buying optics is like buying shoes. Everyone needs different suff for different jobs. Look what the military uses is a good safe bet. If in doubt, buy less magnification then move up if needed. Many hunters like a 3-9x variable power scope. The military prefers low magnification fixed scopes. "Snipers" like medium fixed magnification mil-dot or illuminated scopes. It all depends on terrain, environment, the task at hand, your skill level, targets, your eyes, your speed, etc.

I say forget scopes for now and learn to use your irons. The M1A has good ones.
Now you will hear everyones personal choices.....
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:42 AM
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The old rule of thumb used to be, for varmint hunters, two power per hundred yards. Now the game hunters want considerably more than the varminters did in the long-gone days of my youth. I'm with Jeffrey. An aperture rear sight works well, and is much less fragile than glass. Too much magnification and reticles with dots, lines and Chinese dancing girls in 'em are not conducive to quick alignment and placement.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:43 AM
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In Nam, with the XM-21 sniper rifles, we used 3 by 9 variable power Redfield scopes. From about 300 meters on in, if you practice, you can do head shots all day long. From 300 on out you do body or silhouette shots. The scopes were also called ART or MART scopes. ART stood for Automatic Range Tracking. MART stood for Military Automatic Range Tracking. We also used high quality national match ammo in our rifles. Everything we did or had was first class and expensive but it was worth it for the accuracy. Estimates were that machinegunners used like 20,000 rounds to get one enemy kill. Snipers used about 1.5 bullets to get the same job done. Some of us weren't as good as the rest of us...
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:45 AM
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Don't get anything ARMS.

If you want the best mount for an M1A...get either the Sadlak or SEI mounts.

http://www.sadlak.com/si_improvements_to_bpt.html

http://www.smithenterprise.com/products09.html

M1A platform isn't the best for optics, even though mounting optics can be done.

500 yards isn't that far away, so you won't need over 10x. For many years the military was using a straight 10x to shoot to 1,000 meters, so you could get away with a 3x9 optic. Just make sure you get an optic that has enough elevation travel to get you to 500 yards, which most optics would do.

With your budget of $500, take a look at the Vortex Viper series...Vortex has excellent CS and they are posed to make a huge impact with optics in the shooting community. Vortex offers cheap Crossfire line to the Razor series if you have a deep pockets. I have been very happy with my Vortex optics. For mid priced optics, they offer a lot of features compared to optics of similar pricing.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:50 AM
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I use a fixed 10x and it works well out to 1000 yards a Millett less than $300.00. No mirage issue either with low power. At the closer ranges 200yds. and in you will get field of view issues with a fixed.I think Herd Sniper hit it good with 3x9,very versatile and unless your M1A has some work consistent 1000 yd.hits is unrealistic.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thurston93 View Post
I have finally gotten my M-1A rifle (full length barrel, wood stock) rifle that I am looking to put some glass on and eventually would like this to be my 250-500 yard rifle. (I have my m&p 15 for close work)...also use this at work.

My question is how much magnification do I want to go with if I am only looking at 500 yards and in? I don't need to see the buttons on someones shirt, I just want to be able to shoot with a good chance of hitting what I am aiming at at that range.

No point in paying more than I need to. Also not looking to spend an arm and a leg. I would like to keep it under $500 for the glass.

For the mount I am looking at the A.R.M.S. #18 M1A / M14 Scope Mount along with the ARMS22-MED : A.R.M.S. #22 Throw Lever Scope Rings .

Any thoughts would be helpful.

Thurston 93
If You use an M&P 15 @ work.. Why You asking Us..
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:49 AM
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First off your scope should match your target/range not the rifle!

For paper targets 5x per 100m is good

For large moving dangerous targets 1x per 100m is good

I use 1.5-4.5 x 20 on most of my rifles except my reach out and touch rifle and
that has three scopes pre-zeroed on QD mounts! 1.5-4.5x20, 3-9x40 and a 16x44BDC fixed!
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:21 AM
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Your scope should match your target and range desired as few already have pointed out.

I know that doesn't tell you much but remember, the higher the magnification the more shake you're going need to deal with.

Are you shooting paper? Game? Bad Guys?

Will you be shooting from the bench exclusively? Varied positions?

No more than 500 yds for most game or bad guys, I would go with the 3x9

I really like the 2x7 power for deer sized game. In a hunting situation, I very seldom shoot with a power setting over 6x

If I was strictly punching paper or smaller targets, say 1-2 feet in height and from a solid rest, I would go to a higher power.

The beauty of the scopes being offered today, you can pretty much choose anything you want!

FWIW and just MHO
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:26 AM
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It was late, I had a very long week and I have mispoken earlier. I have the M&P 15 at home and use a Colt AR-15 with a 10" barrell at work. At work per our policy we are "technically" limited to engagement ranges of 50 and under with that rifle. Beyond that we are intruding in the realm of the sharpshooters and they are the only ones trained on "the long range stuff".

To be honest I have never really tinkered around with ranges much beyond about 100 yards. I have always been quite proficient with my pistol, comfortable with a shotgun (slugs and buck) and even my issued carbine out to 100 but like I said, just never really had the opportunity to do much beyond that.From what I have read I am not sure I am super impressed with a 5.56 out much beyond a couple of hundred yards. Besides, I have always thought M-1A's are just cool rifles and want to see what I can do with this one.

Why no ARMS? From what I have heard that was a pretty good mount?

Thurston 93
Old 03-12-2011, 11:46 AM
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Years ago, in a far away place... we used fixed 10x scopes on our weapons - gave us a consistent 800 - 1,000 yard range.
If you're looking for 500yds and less...a good fixed power 6x OR a variable 2x-7x/3x-9x scope should work. I have a fixed power 6x 40mm scope on my Ruger No.1B .25-06 antelope gun - works fine.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thurston93 View Post
I have finally gotten my M-1A rifle (full length barrel, wood stock) rifle that I am looking to put some glass on and eventually would like this to be my 250-500 yard rifle. (I have my m&p 15 for close work)...also use this at work.

My question is how much magnification do I want to go with if I am only looking at 500 yards and in? I don't need to see the buttons on someones shirt, I just want to be able to shoot with a good chance of hitting what I am aiming at at that range.

No point in paying more than I need to. Also not looking to spend an arm and a leg. I would like to keep it under $500 for the glass.

For the mount I am looking at the A.R.M.S. #18 M1A / M14 Scope Mount along with the ARMS22-MED : A.R.M.S. #22 Throw Lever Scope Rings .

Any thoughts would be helpful.

Thurston 93
I have used just about every mount out there for the M14/M1A, and the ARMS #18 is one of the best mounts for this type of rifle. It also gives the end user the lowest profile of any of the other mounts, to include the LRB M25 receiver. From my experience, the ARMS #18 mount is just as rock solid as the SEI/Sadlak mounts, weigh less overall, and are also more compact in comparison. Beware of the ARMS 18 knock off out there now. I haven't used it, but it is not an ARMS as it mounts to the rifle in a different manner. If it is the newer solid rail ARMS #18 mount then it should have the NSN (national stock number) engraved on it, along with their swan logo to boot like the one on the left pictured below.


The one pictured here is the older "split rail" version, but does have the swan logo and NSN engraved on it.

Top view of the mount sitting on top of an M14S Norinco build....

The newer model will have one solid rail between the 2 points pictured above.

Nothing wrong with the SEI or Sadlak mounts however. My oldest boy has a Sadlak mounted on his Socom16, and I use an issued SEI mount on my M14 at work. Both are just as solid as the ARMS #18 mount, but require me to build up the comb for proper cheek weld when using them.

Be advised that all 3 of these mounts are intended to mount up on M14 service rifles. Not all of the M14 clones were built to the same specs as the M14 service rifle( M14/XM21/M21/XM25 ) along the lines of the receiver. While I haven't had this problem yet with me and my clan's M1A's, and other M14 type rifles, it is possible that the issue exists....as Sadlak has a measuring kit for this possibility. ( They used to sell it for 5 bucks last I checked.)

Here is another mount that I have been evaluating over the last couple of yrs now........
http://www.bassettmachine.com/

The nice thing about this mount is that it does in fact work as it is supposed to work, and the one pictured above(youtube) costs less $$ compared to the other mounts described above. I trust it enough to have it set up as a back up to the SEI mount on my issued M14.

A few more things worth considering that I have found out when it comes to mounting optics on this type of rifle are as follows....

How high is too high when mounting an optic on the M14/M1A? I prefer to have the optic fairly low/close to the receiver.... as I am not fond of raising the comb all that much to achieve proper cheek weld. If it is a nonadjustable or non-removable comb piece such as the Kydex adjustable comb, or the lace on combs, it affects my cheek weld while using the iron sights. The Kydex adjustable comb solved this, but at a price of additional weight, and at the cost of drilling holes through the stock in order to secure it to the stock itself. ( Especially if the stock happens to be made out of a chunk of fine lookin walnut )
The lace on types add less in OAW, but will work loose in bad weather especially.

The height of the rings themselves, in conjunction with the size of the bell of optic chosen will also have an effect on how high I need to raise the comb. Since my goal was to end up low enough with the optic in order to avoid a high comb to match it, I ended up with the following combination for a hog hunting M14S.......

ARMS#18 mount pictured above.
Savage (millett type) low rings
Simmons 3-9x32mm deerfield scope.

( My longest one shot dump on a hog with this set up was at 376yds exact using FED OTM 168gr M852.)


The scope itself just cleared the rear sight aperture set at 200m by about an 8th of an inch, and my goal of not needing to raise the comb was achieved in this way.


Another aspect I ran into was that of eye relief. Different strokes for different folks I suppose, but I prefer E.R. at a min. of 4 inches on my M14/M1A's.

Last but not least is the magnification. If I am reading your post correctly, you lookin for an optic suited for use in the point blank to 500yd range with a man sized target in mind, or is it 250 to 500?

If it's point blank out to 500, I am currently interested in the 1-3 to 1x6 types for this purpose.

Here are the 3 non-illuminated scopes I'm lookin at now...
1. Weaver classic V 1-3x20
2. Leupold VX-1 1-4x20
3. Nikon Monarch African 1-4x20

Also lookin at another project involving a Bassett mount/LRB M14SA Tanker. The optic for this will be a Vortex Viper 2-7x32mm scope. ( This would also be a good canidate for your rifle/mount as well.....especially if your idea is the 250/500yrd ranges.

Still working on what rings I plan on using. I gotta get back to work, but will try and get back with you regarding the rings.

11B
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:53 PM
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I use 3x9 on my muzzleloader and Mini 14.

My AR 4x12
270 6x18 W/Parallex adjustment
10/22 6x24 W/PA


If you're willing to mess around with scope with parallex adjustment it'll pay off on the range. I like to bring things close up when they're close up. And I really like to bring things closeup when they're far away.

I currently have 3 other rifles I want scopes I need to outfit, and three that I'll never scope.


Hell I have a leupold 6x32 on my match shotgun.

http://www.guncustomizing.com/match.htm
Old 03-12-2011, 11:16 PM
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I owned an ARMS mount in the past and it was alright...the issue is that the owner of ARMS **** Swan is a sue happy guy. A bit shady for my liking and I will never buy another ARMS product again.

Here is a long read, but interesting one from a company that was sued by ARMS.
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.htm...f=219&t=179975
Old 03-14-2011, 02:44 PM
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For some reason people to assume more is better on everything. But when it comes to optics, less is more. Remember, most of those 1,000 yard kills in the sand box are being made with 10x optics. The lower power you can use, the wider your field of view and the less distracting the inevitable shake is going to be.

To me, the ideal scope for most of my uses would be a true 1-6x variable. The only time I use a higher powered scope than that is for varmint hunting or benchrest.
Old 03-16-2011, 03:41 PM
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I had a 6-20x40 on my M1a Scout, but other than shooting targets it was too much magnification. I now have a fixed 4x and it's perfect for me.

I have a Sadlak mount. It has been great, and fit my rifle perfectly without modification. I have a brand new model too (new ones are those that can be "out of spec")
Old 03-20-2011, 01:35 PM
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I'm still hashing out the rings that I will be using as of now.

Looking at Badger rings for one of my Bassett mounts, and the ARMS#18 mount will be using a quick detach set up.

I usually end up trying out a few different sets of rings to find the set that I really like.

Since the Bassett mount will not require quick detatch rings, I may stick with a set of Savage (Millett style) rings initially, as they have held up well while in use on my ARMS mount.

Note: The scoped M14S in my avatar above has these rings mounted on the ARMS 18.

11B
Old 03-21-2011, 09:51 PM
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Quality glass that is affordable is easier to find in 3-9x. However, I like scopes with a field of view over 40ft at 100 yards. Most 3-9x scopes have 33ft at 100 yards on 3x.

2-7x or those 1-4x or so are good choices in my opinion. 300 and past, you really need some regular practice and a place to do so. More is needed than a well conducted shot, you need to compensate for wind and elevation. This takes practice to do well.

I ain't no expert myself. I do lots of 50 and 100 yard shooting and not so much 200+ stuff. And almost all of that is field positions like standing ,kneeling, leaning against a post, and very little bench. I think a quickly peformed 50-100 yard shot with adequate results is more important than long range stuff. I setup my firearms for them to perform well at that function.
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