6 Best Scopes for M1A in 2021
The M1A rifle is best described as the civilian version of the popular military and tactical gun, M14. Also, it is one of the most versatile semi-automatic rifles that you can get anywhere, and this should explain its immense popularity in the USA.
While the M1A might be a great rifle for long range shooting, you still need to have the best scope for M1A to maximize its shooting range and accuracy.
Because this gun is made to shoot standard factory 7.62x51 NATO or .308 caliber ammunition, any scope that you buy needs to work well with these bullets.
However, whether you want a scope for long or close range shooting, this article will be very useful for you as we review 7 amazing M1A scopes, and also explain a few important things to consider when shopping.
6 Best Scopes for M1A – Review
1. UTG 3-12x44 (Best Overall)
2. Vortex Optics CF2-31045 (Convenient Multipurpose Scope)
3. CVLife 6-24x50 (Best Budget)
4. Burris 200261 (Fast & Reliable)
5. Leupold VX-3i 170680 (Unbeatable for Hunting Rifles)
6. Nikon M-308 (Best Brand)
1. UTG 3-12x44
2. Vortex Optics CF2-31045
(Convenient Multipurpose Scope)
3. CVLife 6-24x50
4. Burris 200261
(Fast & Reliable)
5. Leupold VX-3i 170680
(Unbeatable for Hunting Rifles)
6. Nikon M-308
1. UTG 3-12x44 – Best Overall
- Magnification: 3-12x
- Objective Diameter: 44mm
- Field of View: 32 to 10 feet at 100 yards
- Weight: 23.2 ounces
The heavy-duty construction, top-quality optics and the fact that this is product by UTG one of the most reputable scope manufacturers are the 3 main things that make it our best overall product.
It is built on a true strength platform to make it solid and sturdy and is completely sealed and nitrogen filled to ensure complete water, fog, and shock protection.
When it comes to the features, the dual red/green illumination with an innovative illumination enhancing system an impressive 36-color mode is one of its key highlights. And the scope has also been designed to deliver uninterrupted illumination even under heavy recoil.
The mil-dot reticle will also be highly useful for range estimation, and this is a parallax-free scope from 10 yards to infinity and with some amazing side wheel adjustable turrets.
Given its size, this is a relatively heavier scope, but the good news is that its slightly over 23-ounce weight is still acceptable as it will not add any significant weight to the rifle or get it off balance.
2. Vortex Optics CF2-31045 – Convenient Multipurpose M1A Rifle Scope
- Magnification: 6-24x
- Objective Diameter: 50mm
- Field of View: 17.3 to 4.4 feet at 100 yards
- Weight: 23.6 ounces
The Crossfire II by Vortex Optics is one of the best options on our list for you if you are on the hunt for a long eye relief scope for M1A rifles. But, besides the long eye relief and more forgiving eyebox, there is still way more to it.
This top-notch quality rifle scope uses the dead-hold BDC reticle that is one of the key things that make it a great multipurpose scope that will be perfect for hunting and shooting at different ranges and conditions including where holdover estimation is a big concern.
Its conveniently adjustable objective will provide parallax-free shooting and easy image focusing, and it also has multicoated optics that will ensure you always get bright and clear images.
With the fast focus eyepiece, focusing the reticle is also a simple and quick process to ensure that you never miss the target.
Also, this is a highly durable scope with a sturdy one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum alloy main tune, and it is nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed to ensure water, fog, and shockproof performance.
And with the finger adjustable capped turrets with MOA clicks that can also be zero reset after sighting in, adjusting the scope for windage and elevation should be super easy.
Although this is also a relatively heavier scope and it will lose some clarity at the higher magnification settings, these are common issues with these scopes and do not affect its performance significantly.
3. CVLife 6-24x50 – Best Budget M1A Scope
- Magnification: 6-24x
- Objective Diameter: 50mm
- Field of View: 28 feet at 100 yards
- Weight: 22.2 ounces
Being the cheapest model among our review of scopes for M1A, this CVLife scope is perfect for shooters and hunters that want something high-quality but without having to spend much.
Apart from a highly affordable price tag, this is also a solid and durable scope with a high strength aluminum alloy main tube that is completely sealed and nitrogen filled for complete water, fog, and shockproof performance.
And this is also a dual red/green illumination with 5 levels of intensity for each to make this a highly versatile scope that will be ideal for a variety of situations and conditions.
The fully multicoated optics will allow for up to 90% light transmission so you always get top-notch image quality and incredible color contrast. CVLife will also provide a free mount on your purchase to make this a ready-to-use scope.
For some shooters, this scope might look and feel a little too long but unless you want to use it on a custom M1A rifle, it should still be compatible with most standard ones.
4. Burris 200261 – Fast and Reliable M1A Scout Scope
- Magnification: 2-7x
- Objective Diameter: 32mm
- Field of View: 21 to 7 feet at 100 yards
- Weight: 13 ounces
While there are several things that make the Ballistic Plex from Burris one of the best scopes for M1A scout rifles, the ultra-fast target acquisition with both eyes open is among the main ones.
Also, with this scope you get a Posi-lock which is just a coil spring-assisted steel post that is designed to lock the accuracy in place firmly and securely.
The scope uses steel on steel adjustment that is repeatable and highly dependable as it also has audible clicks to give shooters an easy time.
With the solid aluminum overall construction, nitrogen filling, and completely sealed construction, this scope also ensures that you get complete water, fog, and shockproof performance.
And with its high-quality lenses that are also multicoated, high light transmission is guaranteed to ensure you get bright and clear images.
The 32mm objective lens is the smallest on our list, but it will still be large enough to ensure you always get a good sight picture in most light conditions. And you can easily get some nice lens caps for a few bucks if you need them.
More Detailed: Burris 200261 Review
5. Leupold VX-3i 170680 – Unbeatable M1A Scope for Hunting Rifles
- Magnification: 3.5-10x
- Objective Diameter: 40mm
- Field of View: 29.8 to 11 feet at 100 yards
- Weight: 10.1 ounces
With Leupold, you can expect nothing but the best quality scopes as they are one of the most reputable optics manufacturers. Their VX-3i is a top rated scope for M1A that will be perfect for any hunting situation thanks to top-notch low light performance.
The amazing performance in low light conditions is mostly thanks to the unique Twilight Light Management System that will allow shooters to see in great detail both at dusk and dawn.
Also, this is a well-built and long-lasting scope that features a durable anodized aluminum alloy construction and with a blend of argon and krypton filling to make it completely waterproof.
With this scope, you also get a generous eyebox and a longer eye relief to make shooting a more comfortable activity without ever having to worry about recoil.
Generally, this is also a more compact rifle scope and also the lightest on our list as it weighs only 12.6 ounces, which will ensure that it does not add any unnecessary mass to your gun.
When compared to other models on our list, this is the priciest option, but given its overall built quality, features and shooting performance, it is even worth more than what you pay for it.
6. Nikon M-308 – Best Brand M1A Scope
- Magnification: 4-16x
- Objective Diameter: 42mm
- Field of View: 25.2 to 6.3 feet at 100 yards
- Weight: 19 ounces
You can almost never go wrong with Nikon as it is one of the most reputable optics manufacturers, and this fact alone should give you some confidence that their M-308 scope will serve you well.
Besides being a top product from a leading brand, it is also a feature-rich scope that uses fully multicoated lenses to deliver superior transmission of light and maximum brightness even in low light conditions.
This scope also has a quick focus eyepiece that will make reticle focusing an effortless task and with a smooth and fast zoom adjustment to make sure you never miss a target.
Turrets are also made for simple field adjustment, and they are zero reset capable and spring loaded to ensure adjustments are as easy as dialing in your range. And this scope has also been optimized for use with Nikon's Spot On to ensure repeatable and dependable accuracy.
While the eye relief seems to suffer at high magnification settings, this is a not a unique issue with this scope as it is the same with most others in its class and hence not a deal breaker. And lack of a mount is also not a deal breaker as you can easily order it with the scope.
How to Buy the Best Scopes for M1A
To make sure that you get a top-rated scope for M1A, you need to watch out for the following things.
1. Size and Weight
The size and weight of the scope that you buy for your M1A rifle matter a lot. And while they might not have a direct effect on things like the clarity, they will affect the convenience of using the scope.
One of the reasons why the M1A is not used widely for military applications is the fact that it is quite heavy and hence harder to carry around for long periods and distances. Hence, adding more weight in the form of scope will make the gun harder to manage.
Also, an overly heavy scope will take the gun off balance and make it tougher and more awkward to aim which is bad whether you are target shooting or hunting.
For the size, a compact scope is always the best option as it will fit most M1A rifles, and it is also a lot easier to mount because it does not need to have many rings to keep it sturdy.
Keeping the scope weight under 20 ounces is always a good idea and so a 12.6-ounce one like Leupold VX-3i 170680 is perfect.
2. Eye Relief
Eye relief measures the space between the aiming eye and scope, and it is important to ensure that you get an optimal sight image.
A scope with a long eye relief is always better as it will keep your eye safe from recoil and also ensure that you do not have to lean in too much to take a shot which can be uncomfortable.
Because the M1A rifles are quite heavy, they will absorb most of the recoil and hence eye relief is not always that important.
While an M1A user would still be safe with scopes that have a smaller 2-3.3 inches eye relief, standard 3-4-inch eye relief is much better just to be sure that you will be safe from recoil.
Precise and repeatable turrets are always the most desirable whether you are shooting an M1A or any other rifle.
However, how you intend to use your rifle has a role to play when picking the right turrets for your M1A, and there are generally two categories here which are hunting and tactical.
If you use your rifle for hunting, low profile, capped turrets are more ideal as they will prevent any unintentional adjustment as they are designed to be set and forget.
For tactical M14 users, turrets that are finger adjustable like what you get with the Vortex Optics CF2-31045 are vital. Also, zero stops, zero resettable and parallax adjustment will be desirable and great to have.
A good scope for M1A rifle is one that has been designed to withstand the abuse that comes with the outdoors and serve you for many years.
The scope should be able to withstand things like water, fog, heat, shock, and vibrations as they are common elements that these rifles have to face almost every time you use them.
A durable aircraft-grade aluminum alloy construction with nitrogen filling and O-ring sealing is a good assurance that the scope will last long.
5. Ease of Use
Ease of use is another crucial element that shooters should never overlook or ignore when shopping for a scope.
Even if you have the best M1A scope there is in the market, it will still not serve you well if it is too complicated to use. This is even more so for beginners because most experts tend to have an easy time figuring things out.
Everything from the ease of mounting the scope on your rifle to adjusting the settings will affect the ease of use. Some detailed manufacturer instructions on how to do all this and a relatively simple scope design will make things easier for you whether you are a pro or beginner.
The M1A might be one of the best and most versatile long range rifles to have ever been invented, but like with all other rifle types, you need a good scope to enhance its performance.
Our review provide some amazing recommendation but the solid and sturdy UTG 3-12x44 with dual illumination and range-estimating mil-dot is our best overall.
But, if you are on of the many shooters shopping on a tight budget, the CVLife 6-24x50 will be more appropriate.
- 6 Best Scopes for M1A – Review
- How to Buy the Best Scopes for M1A