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Making a M1A available for HD.

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Teecher45, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Teecher45


    Jan 29, 2010
    Not just for in the house, out on the farm too.
    Anyone figure out a way to attach a light to a M1A? I'm not talking about the SOCOM II. The regular M1A, specifically the Scout.
    While we're here what about the best mags, and from where?
    Ammo for stockpiling? Where to buy?

    And most importantly...
    Anything you guys with M1A's wish someone would have told you when you were first considering buying one?
    Thanks for all of your help guys.
    Edit to add, oh, and pics please.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  2. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    I still have wood on mine, and won't be much help in this regard, but I know a guy with a sage stock and he loves it. Spendy as all get out, but plenty o' rail...


    As far as things I wish someone told me before I got one (and particularly before I started reloading for one) - powder burn rates and port pressure. Short version - you want milsurp 7.62 ammo. Commercial .308 uses late blooming (slow burn rate) powders that will batter the heck out of your op rod.

    Long version starts on page 10 here.

  3. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    I just couldn't do that to a beautiful rifle like a M1A
  4. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    They make the gun nose heavy as the Ayatollah, but they also work really well.

    FWIW, I'll stick with walnut. Just trying to help.
  5. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Since you say it's a Scout model, I assume it has the Weaver rail on the upper handguard. If you're not using an optic on that rail, it's possible to replace that rail (or the upper handguard) with a picatinny type rail. That may enable you to use an offset mount to get a light into a forward enough position to make it usable. You can also look into getting a bolt-on section of rail and either screwing it directly into the wood fore-end, or using it in conjunction with a backer plate, then mounting the light to that rail. This will get the light farther forward, and cut down on the shadow cast by the rifle.

    I'd also suggest not cheaping out on a light, especially with a .308. Spend the money on a Surefire. Personally, I'd go with a 600 Scout (same light as on my AR) for the greater reach you get with 200 lumens.
  6. ArmoryDoc


    May 14, 2006
    Springfield Armory M1A. Mid 90's mfg.

  7. ArmoryDoc


    May 14, 2006
    Here's some advice for you.

    CMI mags from are military issue and exactly what you need. Don't get any other knockoff (Korea, etc.).

    Stay with 20 round mags only. 30's are a heartache.

    Shag that heat shield rail setup. You won't get the accuracy you want out of it. Otherwise, ok for a light only. Scopes ? No go on this rail.

    For scopes, SADLAK mount is the cats meow. Don't waste money on a Springfield mount.

    Replace your extractor with a military surplus unit. You'll need an empty 30-06 casing to help you switch it out. It's easy.

    Shim your gas system. It can greatly increase reliability and dramatically improve accuracy with a scope. Shims are dirt cheap and easily done at home.

    I may think of more later. :)
  8. D3S3RT_P3NGU1N


    Feb 29, 2008
    +1 on the CMI mags, they're great

    For mounting a light this may be what you're looking for. Plank is right about not cheaping out on the light, get something quality that will last

    For optics, you said you're looking at HD and use around the farm. A quality red dot like an Aimpoint would be a solid option. However, I would go with a good 1-4 optic to allow for both close range work and more precise longer range shooting. This would be an excellent choice for a very reasonable price.

    Vortex make some very nice scopes with lots of features for the $$$. They also have some of the best CS in the optics industry backing up their products. The broken circle reticle allows for fast accurate shooting at 1x, while the subtentions allow more precise shooting at longer range when needed. Its also mil/mil so its very easy to use.

    Some reticle pics (not mine, just quickly pulled SH for illustration purposes)

    1x at 300 yard target


    4x at same target


    4x with illumination


    4x, tree at 75 yards


    1x at woods 50 yards (not the best pic)

  9. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland

    Niiiiiiiiiiice stick, Doc!!!

    I've found that the target loads I've worked up using 168 gr Sierra MKs, are just as accurate (to 300 yards - haven't shot any farther with it) by switching to the Sierra GameKing 165 JHP, making for a very lethal round.

    I agree with what is said about the SAI mounts, including the Gen3 mount.
    Get the Sadlak, Ind. scope mount and Leupold MkIV rings! :thumbsup:

    There's only one problem that I have with my M1A - it's too darned heavy to carry around. (Not quite 2 ounces shy of 15 lbs!!)
  10. vantage


    Feb 5, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Magazines and ammo are the best use of money and iron sights are the best use of time.

    For light mounts, Midwest Industries also makes a quality side mount that I've used for some time, click here.



    I've tried other setups, but the co-witnessed Aimpoint is my favorite so far.

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012