Reader question: What is the best scope for M1A scout. It’s a great, accurate rifle, but it’s difficult to mount a scope on and I’d like some opinions.
Before deciding on the scope, a gun owner must thresh out the mount issue first. Some mounts offer two-point or three-point contact systems, with the latter providing added stability especially for extended shooting with the M1A rifle and heavy recoil that the rifle is known for.
Among those highly recommended are mounts from Brookfield Precision Tool, ARMS #18, Trijicon, Bassett and Sadlak.
Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 4.5-14x50mm
Waterproof, fogproof and made to withstand punishing conditions, the Leupold Mark 4 is the perfect mate for your M1A.
Aside from the large objective lens of 50mm, the 30mm-diameter main tube allows for maximum light transmission and clarity.
Field of vision ranges from 19 feet to 7.6 feet at 100 yards for magnifications of 4.5 to 14x, respectively.
It is equipped with parallax adjustment set at 50 yards and calibrated at ¼ MOA click adjustments for fine-tuning against windage and elevation factors with maximum at 75 MOA.
Exit pupil is 7mm-3.6mm. This matte-finished scope has an eye relief of 4.5-3.6 inches and a flip-open cover for the lens. It weighs 22 ounces and measures 12 ¾ inches. This scope is offered at the price of less than $1000.
Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Silver Riflescope
Another important consideration in deciding scopes is the price you’re willing to pay. It does seem ludicrous putting side by side scopes which are so differently priced. But let’s just see what a $200 scope offers.
The Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Silver Riflescope has a fully multi-coated 40mm lens system and 1-inch standard-diameter tube allowing for 98% light transmission. FOV is 33.8-11.3 feet at 100 yards.
Parallax setting is at 100 yards, and graduated at adjustment increments of ¼ MOA with maximum at 80 MOA. It allows for optimum brightness and visual clarity with exit pupil of 13.3mm to 4.4mm at 3x to 9x magnification, respectively.
Eye relief is 3.6 inches. The Nikon ProStaff is available at 1/5 the price of the Monarch, weighs 13.8 ounces and measures 12.4 inches.
Redfield Revolution 3-9x40mm Accu-Range
Priced in the same range as the ProStaff, the Redfield Revolution 3-9x40mm Accu-Range has significant similarities to the Prostaff.
They have the same objective lens diameter (40mm), range of variable magnification (3-9x), main tube diameter (1-inch). Let’s see how the two scopes differ.
The Redfield’s FOV is narrower at 19.2 to 6 feet; exit pupil is definitely lower at 7.6mm to 2.5mm; eye relief is about the same at 3.5 inches; weight is 29.8 ounces and length is 14.5 inches.
What is the best scope for M1A standard in 2023?
Your final decision will depend on the purpose for which you intend to use your M1A.
Naturally, you will need higher magnification for smaller targets or longer range shooting. Otherwise, there’s no wisdom paying dear for high magnification that you don’t need.
The range of 600-1000 yards is quite a common application for M1A rifles, though. It would be well-thought-out to consider variable scopes within 3-9 or 4-12 depending on your purpose as mentioned.
Immediately, you’d see that the Leupold Mark 4 LR/T is the obvious choice for your M1A.
It augurs well for long-range shooting with magnification of 4.5-14x. Its 30mm main tube and 50mm objective lens result to maximum light transmission.
The Leupold’s price, though, may not be so feasible, considering that the other options offer less than a fifth of what it’s offered for.
Besides, other features are not so impressive. For instance, its exit pupil is much lower than the Nikon ProStaff which may not result to the best performance under low-light conditions.
FOV is narrow. For these reasons, the Nikon ProStaff could become the leading choice, not only because it is cheaper, but also because it has higher FOV, wider windage/elevation adjustment range, better exit pupil, and lighter weight.
The field of view is important especially if you need to aim on a quick-moving target. The higher exit pupil of the Nikon scope gives better visual clarity and brightness than the two other scopes.
The lightness of the scope will also matter because the M1A is notorious especially on issues regarding scope-mounting and the extra weight brought about by both mount and scope. A lighter scope will therefore be very advantageous.