Best Scope For M1A1 | Guide To Top Rated M1A1 Scopes
If you own an M1A1 Carbine, then you know they are a very fun gun to shoot. They are also pretty practical in the right situations. However, they become a much more practical gun if you mount an optic on it. But what is the best scope for M1A1? We are going to talk about the top 5 scopes available for the M1A1, and a little about the gun itself.
Quick glance at the best M1A1 scopes:
|1.||Vortex Optics Crossfire II||Check Price|
|2.||Bushnell 756245B Trophy Xtreme||Check Price|
|3.||Vortex Optics Viper HS-T||Check Price|
|4.||CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope||Check Price|
|5.||Burris 4.5 x-14 x -42mm Fullfield II||Check Price|
In this Guide
- Best M1A1 Scopes Reviewed
- M1A1 Optics
- Should I scope my M1A1?
Best M1A1 Scopes Reviewed
Vortex has taken the optics world by storm, and their Crossfire II line features some very high-performance scopes. Available in a variety of power (2X to 12X) and objectives (32mm to 50mm), these scopes can be used for just about anything, on just about any weapon.
For the M1A1, we like the 4X-12X x 44. This configuration allows you to shoot from short to medium range, and the 44mm objective is big enough to help gather some serious light but not so big that it is cumbersome. This configuration of the Crossfire II has an overall length of 13.1 inches and weighs 17.2 ounces. It also comes from the factory with removable scope covers.
According to Vortex, this scope was designed with hunters and shooters in mind. The series offers high-performance and reliability.
The scope features fully multi-coated lenses, which help with clarity, light gathering, and in keeping the scope anti-fog and anti-reflective. The hard anodized single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum tube is fully O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged. This process makes the scope 100% waterproof. That means you can trust that when you need your scope, it will have a sharp and clear picture, regardless of the conditions. This is very important if your M1A1 is going to be used as a working gun or for hunting.
This scope also features a very long eye relief paired with a “fast-focus” eyepiece to help you find the target and have a generous sight picture. The Crossfire II also has finger turnable, resettable MOA turrets. This feature allows you to adjust you zero on the fly for superior accuracy, and then return it to your true zero instantly.
The Crossfire II is a hard working scope that has the necessary features to keep up with you no matter what you put it through. Vortex has long been the name on top of professional shooters and hunter rifles. They have proven they can build scopes with the best. The Crossfire II series maintains that standard.Check Price on Amazon
The Bushnell 756245B Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24×50 Riflescope comes in next. This scope is a high power scope for medium to long range shooting. It measures 14.3 inches long and weighs 23.68 ounces. This makes it heavier and longer than the Vortex Crossfire II.
The Trophy Xtreme series was built with hunters in mind, but the scope can make its self at home on the range as well. It sports a 30mm tube, which when combined with a large objective helps the scope to capture light and provide a clear sight picture. However, the 30mm tube does add a bit more mass to the already large scope. The Lenses in the Trophy Xtreme feature Bushnell’s “Rain Guard HD” coating which is a hydrophobic, water repellant, coating and is supposed to keep water off the lens to ensure a clear sight picture even in wet and rainy conditions.
This scope also has a fast-focus eyepiece, which allows you to obtain a sight picture faster. It has 1/4 MOA fingertip adjustable windage and elevation turrets which will enable you to make on the fly adjustments as needed.
Overall the Trophy Xtreme from Bushnell is a solid scope that was built to keep you going when the conditions get rough. It has adequate magnification for extended range shooting when necessary and lower magnification if the action happens up close. However, it does come in a little heavier and overall larger than other scopes in its class.Check Price on Amazon
The Viper HST is another series of riflescopes from Vortex that hit the market with high expectations and has lived up to every one of them. The HST, which stands for Hunting- Shooting- Tactical, is a hybrid platform that pulls features from both the Viper HS series and Viper PST series and mixes them with new features of its own. The result is a scope that is at home wherever you are at home.
For the M1A1 we like the 6-24×50 configuration, though the series comes in many variations. This configuration has a length 15.5 inches with a weight of 22.6 ounces. It is built on a 30 mm tube as well, which does make this series bulkier than the Crossfire II.
What’s inside the HST kicks it into high gear, starting with Vortex’s premium lenses which are designed to be extra-low dispersion and are also fully multi-coated. This allows the scope to provide superior clarity with high resolution and crystal-clear images. The “XR” coatings provide additional light gathering capability, while the Armortek coating protects the lenses from damage. The VMR-1 Reticle (MOA) allows for accurate holds even at extended ranges.
The HST’s 30mm tube is built from a single piece of machined aluminum and is both O-ring sealed and argon purged. This ensures that the scope is 100% waterproof and fog proof with maximum dependability.
The HST also has exposed target-style turrets which are finger adjustable to allow you to make adjustments on the fly. It also features a “CRS Zero Stop” which allows you to return to true zero after making your temporary adjustments. The side focus parallax adjustments give you the ability to adjust the focus of the crosshair, meaning that whether you are using 6X magnification or 24X, you will have a crystal-clear crosshair without any “fuzzy” edges.
The HST is a simple, straightforward riflescope that brings powerful features and high-performance to make sure you can get it done when it comes time to put rounds on target.Check Price on Amazon
The 6-24×50 Hunting Riflescope by CVLIFE is a high-power scope for medium to long range shooting. It measures 15.7″ in length and weighs in at 22.22 ounces. It has a 50mm objective and is built on a standard 1-inch tube. Built with the hunter in mind, this scope offers up a different set of features designed to help you find your target in less than perfect conditions.
The scope has an AOE Red & Green Illuminated reticle. Each color has 5 different intensity levels, which allows you to adjust the brightness of the reticle to fit the light conditions. It is powered by a single CR2032 button battery. The scope comes from the factory with mounting rings and removable scope covers.
This scope has a second focal plane adjustment that allows you to adjust the focus on the reticle. This means that even at 24X magnification you will still have a crystal-clear picture. A serious hold back on this scope series is the lack of lens coatings. They may be present, but CVLIFE does not mention it in their promotional material, which is concerning. This could significantly impact the ability of the scope to remain fog-proof.
While CVLIFE is not a name that is generally associated with the top scopes on the market, the user reviews for this scope are very impressive. Many reviews can be found where this scope is compared to other higher end optics as equal or better.Check Price on Amazon
The next scope in our list is the Burris Fullfield II. This series in part of Burris’s hunting line of riflescopes. For the M1A1 we chose the 4.5-14X x 42mm configuration. With an overall length of 13.8 inches and a weight of 18 ounces, this is one of the most compact scopes on our list of the best scope for M1A1. Burris has over 40 years of experience in optical engineering, and they offer scopes that sport extreme clarity and reliability.
The Fullfield II has a 1-inch solid tube construction with reinforced quad-seal gas seals and Hi-Lume Multi-coated lenses. Guaranteed to be waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. It features Burris’s Ballistic Plex reticle; which according to their website, “The Ballistic Plex reticle has a lower vertical crosshair with small ballistic lines that automatically compensate for bullet drop from 100 to 500 yards for many common cartridges.”
One of the most significant advantages this scope has over its competition is that is covered under the Burris “Forever Warranty.” Simply put, if something goes wrong with the scope, Burris will fix it or replace it forever.
This Burris scope was designed to take a beating in the woods, and still perform when the time comes. Then they added on their “Forever Warranty” just in case something does go wrong. When combined with the high-performance lenses and it’s small, compact size and lightweight nature, this scope becomes hard to beat.Check Price on Amazon
The M1A1 Carbine, a variant of the formidable M1 Garand, is a .30 caliber lightweight carbine with a folding stock. The variant was designed for military paratroopers who could not carry the heavy M1 during jumps, and for other personnel that would have difficulty with the heavy rifle and depended on the Thompson submachine gun or the .45 caliber M1911 pistol. The army was attempting to do away with both the Thompson and the M1911, hoping that replacing both with the. 30 caliber carbine would increase the effectiveness of fire from those individuals who could not use the M1.
The M1A1 variant saw combat use in every part of the Second World War and earned the respect of many soldiers along the way. While some still preferred the traditional M1, the “down and dirty .30” was a huge success.
Following the war, the Army decided to overhaul the arsenal of M1’s, including the M1A1. This was done by multiple armories in the US, and each was stamped on the stock, generally on the left side, and returned to service.
As time moved on, the M1 and all the variants were eventually sold off as surplus, after the adoption of other weapon platforms. A large number of overhauled weapons that were stockpiled following the war meant that high quality and good condition. 30 caliber guns were flooding the surplus market.
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As they were bought up by the civilian market, the M1A1 started to win over the hearts of its shooters for the second time. The carbine grew in popularity and proved itself as versatile in the civilian world as it had in combat. It made a fantastic ranch rifle, was suited for hunting, and its small size and light weight made it a favorite camp gun. It didn’t take long for the surplus of rifles to dry up, and they became harder and harder to acquire. Because nearly everyone seemed to love them, they were not often seen on the used gun market. All of this meant that when one was available, the price was going to be high. As prices rose, and the guns became rarer on the market, they became more and more desired.
The success of the surplus guns and lack of guns remaining on the market drove manufacturers to begin manufacturing new “modern” M1A1’s, as well as a host of stocks and accessories. Of course, as the weapon continued to grow, the desire for shooters to add optics on the carbine was inevitable. Today there are many choices for the M1A1 owner who wants to add optics, and in the article, we are going to look at the top 5 scopes for the M1A1 platform.
When it comes to buying the best scope for M1A1, and finding the best scope, there are some questions that you will need to answer before determining what is the best scope for M1A1.
“What distance will you be shooting?”
If you are shooting close range, within 200 yards, and are needing increased accuracy of a scope, you want to make sure you are staying in the low power (1X to 4X) magnification levels. Any higher than that are you are going to lose too much of the area around your target, making it challenging to get on target and stay on target after a shot.
If you are shooting long range, 300 yards and beyond, then you will want some of the high magnification scopes (6X to 24X), to help find targets and get shots on the targets. Moving beyond 24X would only be necessary if you are shooting regularly at 1000+ yards.
“What conditions will you be shooting in?”
The conditions, along with the range, will tell you what objective you will need. Simply put, the larger the objective, the more light the scope can gather. This increased light allows for a brighter sight picture. If you are hunting in the woods or shooting in pre-dawn or dusk light, then the larger objective will help you to better see the target in the scope. If you are going to shoot at paper targets in the middle of the day, smaller objectives are preferred.
“What is the general purpose of the gun?”
If the gun is going to be used as a truck gun or camp gun, then you will want to keep the size of the scope to a minimum. This allows the weapon to be moved about freely and takes us less space. If the gun is just for target shooting, then you can handle the larger sized scopes without an issue.
Another metric that would come in to play here is weight. If you are going to be carrying the gun around or shooting it free handed, then you want to try and minimize the weight and opt for a lighter scope. If you plan to shoot the gun off sticks, sandbags, or a bipod, then the weight will not be as important. You should know what you want from your scope, and what you want from your gun. This will allow you to choose a scope based on needs and wants, instead of looks and price.
Should I scope my M1A1?
Before finding the best scope for a M1A1, it’s important to ask: should I scope my gun in the first place?
Without a doubt, there are purists out there who will read the headline of this article and get offended. The M1A1 was designed and manufactured to run with iron sights, that is a fact. The military also did not want scopes for these weapons, and none were ever developed. That being said, most owners do not have an M1A1 so they can parachute into combat with it.
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The question of whether you should scope your M1A1 comes down to what you want out of your gun. Most people can shoot iron sights out to 50 yards or so without any trouble. If you are better than most, you can shoot at 100 yards accurately. However, past that, only people who are trained or are naturally inclined will be able to use iron sights accurately.
If you are a farmer who is keeping this small carbine around for busting coyotes out in the fields, then the addition of a scope would make good sense. If you are using it to kill snakes in your yard, it will not be necessary. Alternatively, if you are a WW2 reenactor or want to display the gun as a historical piece, then I would surely avoid it. We modify and customize guns to fit what we need the weapons to do.
With that being said, there are scopes that would be appropriate for the M1A1, and many more that would not be. That was one of the considerations in choosing our five best. You want a scope that can get the job done without a ton of not needed bells and whistles. You also don’t need a $2000 long range scope on a carbine. Due to the nature of the gun, you also would want a scope that is a bit rugged and can handle some bumping and bruising.
Maybe You Don’t Need the Best Scope for M1A1
You may not need a riflescope at all, but just something to make it easier to aim your weapon. If that is the case, you may want to mount a red dot or holographic scope instead. These optics, popular with military and law enforcement, allow for quick target acquisition and accurate aiming, without the higher levels of magnification that riflescopes generally have.
Another advantage to these types of optics is that they allow you to “run and gun,” moving from target to target and firing quickly. The ability to ‘run and gun’ would be ideal for a camp gun or a self-defense situation. If a bear is charging you, you wouldn’t want to have to try and find him in the riflescope to fire.
Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight
The Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight is a lightweight, fast on target red dot sight designed for close range general shooting. It measures just 2.5 inches long, 1.1 inches tall, and weighs 10.4 ounces.
It features an extremely bright 2 MOA dot that is adjustable through 11 levels of brightness which allows you to customize the dot to your shooting environment. With unlimited eye relief, this sight is primarily designed for quick target acquisition. The optic is nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed which keeps it 100% waterproof and fog proof.
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The Vortex VIP warranty also protects this sight, which means Vortex will stand behind, repair, or replace the sight if anything goes wrong. The downside to this style of sight is that it has no magnification. It only gives you a point of aim that is easier to see, and thereby aim with, than the stock iron sights.