The M1A is an incredibly popular and widely used rifle that can absolutely dominate the field, especially at the price point it is offered at. You are going to be very hard-pressed to find a more competitively priced rifle that will offer better accuracy, reliability, ease of maintenance and sheer firepower.

Be it a competition, home defense or for short to long-range game hunting, this direct descendant of the legendary M14 rifle will just not let you down. But, like with any other great rifle, you are still going to have to equip it with a capable scope to unleash its full potential. You must also remember that the M1A has quite a kickback when you shoot it. It would be pointless for you to buy a cheap scope that will shatter from one the many shots you are going to take.

Best Scopes for M1A – Top 4 Choices

In this post suggestions for popular, capable and durable scopes for the M1A are given. Which is the best scope for M1a? It is up to you to decide which is the best one for you as we all have our preferences. The first 2 suggestions are best for short to mid-range shooting, while the latter two can be used for long-range shooting.

1. Burris Scout 2-7X32mm Ballistic Plex Scope Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm

This is one of the best scopes out there if you own the scout version of the rifle. Even if you own a non-scout M1A, this is the scope for you if a low height profile, excellent optics, and a Ballistic Plex reticle are what you are looking for.

An action scope with the hunter’s comfort in mind

What you are going to enjoy most out of this scope is the eye-relief on offer. With an eye relief of 9.2’ to 12’, visual fatigue is never going to be an issue, an asset while patiently waiting for the opportune moment to take down big game. This is also one of few M1A scopes that will allow you to acquire your target with both eyes open. As you can imagine, it can be incredibly handy when you are trying to take down game, especially when it’s on the move.

The Burris Scout is designed to sit nicely forward on your M1A, giving you a maximum chance to make the most of the eye-relief on offer. There are some other scopes out on the market that offer several inches of eye relief, but while sitting so far back on the gun that eye relief is practically pointless. Not the case with the Burris Scout.

Living up to the desired form factor that you would expect from a scout scope, the Burris Scout weighs in at a light 13 ounces, with a length of 9.7 inches. Variable magnification can be adjusted between a 2x and 7x setting, with a small fingertip turn of a dial, without taking sights off your target.

The scope uses a Ballistic Plex reticle that is easily the most preferred reticle for game hunting. Once you get used to the reticle that this scope offers, you will find that compensating for trajectory deviations is about as good as it gets amongst all reticle types.

Robust build quality

The Burris Scout is shockproof, waterproof and fog proof. Lenses are coated with an anti-glare material that enhances clarity while on the hunt. Since the scope is nitrogen filled, you are never going to have vision problems even when out in the cold or rain. The stress-free construction build on the scope allows it to withstand a substantial amount of shock and vibration coming out of high-recoil guns. With the M1A only throwing back a medium level of recoil, durability from this scope setup is never going to be an issue. The tough build will also hold zero very well, giving you a better chance at taking more shots before you need to adjust for elevation or windage.

Lifetime Warranty

The Burris Forever (lifetime) warranty will give you tremendous peace of mind as well, should the scope malfunction or become defunct some point down the line.

The Verdict

If you have an M1A Scout or want a scout scope or just a scope with an extremely low height profile for your M1A, the Burris scout scope is easily the frontrunner out there. With eye-relief enabling two-eyed target acquiring, your hunting expeditions will take on a new level of excitement. The light and durable setup allow for agile hunting by not adding much to your rifle’s weight. There is no parallax adjustment but then this isn’t the scope you should be considering if parallax adjustment is of importance to you. Easily the best scope for m1a scout.

The quick zeroing in will allow for more hunting and less adjusting.

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7X32mm Scout Riflescope Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle (MOA)

Available at an excellent price point, this is a fantastic all-rounder scope that will give you tremendous value for money on an excellent rifle like the M1A.

Remarkable Build Quality

Most people who see the low price of this scope often think that build quality would have been compromised. In fact, it is just quite the opposite.

The 1-inch diameter single pieced tube with nitrogen filling and sealed O-Rings is made out of aircraft grade aluminum that can take quite a beating. Not only will it handle all the recoils that your M1A will throw at it, it can handle nature’s many tough elements when you are out on the hunt. With an aircraft grade material being used, it is no surprise that this scope is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof.

The barrel has a well-thought-out matte glare finish, reducing the possibility of exposing the shooter’s position.

High-performance for a moderate price

Once again, we have to talk about the performance features with the price in mind. While no way a chart-topper, 9.45 inches of eye relief with a parallax setting for up to 100 yards are just fantastic features for a scope of this price range. With a length of 10.5 inches and a weight of just 12 ounces, this scope uses a V-Plex reticle that is extremely reliable for hunting. Magnification is pretty generous at 2-7x. All glass surfaces exposed to air are coated with an anti-reflective coating to increase light transmission, thereby giving you maxed out clarity.

With an 18.3’ at 2x and 5.2’ at 8x field of view at 100 yards, you just can’t beat the value for money on offer in terms of performance capabilities.

The Verdict

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II can be your daily driver scope that you can throw around a lot and still have great fun while enjoying the excellent all-around performance it offers. Many hunters use this scope as a substitute scope when not using their high-end scopes. At the price point, it is offered at, this scope is a no-brainer as your choice of a good M1A scope. For the price you pay, it makes sense to even own this scope as a backup in your hunting kit. The best scope for m1a for its price range.

3. Nikon M-308 4-16X42mm Riflescope with BDC 800 Reticle

Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope Bdc 800 Reticle, Matte 16463

If you are an experienced or skilled marksman and you can confidently take shots while sitting 600 or even 1,000 yards out, the Nikon M-308 will be a fantastic choice. Of course, this is also one of the best scopes to take you from a mid-range shooter to a long-range shooter, thanks to its sophisticated engineering and the shooter aid enhancements it offers. Probably the best scope for m1a, if you use your M1A for multiple purposes.

Enhanced magnification for better long-range bulls-eyeing!

With brilliant accuracy offered by adjustable magnification between 4x and 16x, many hunters have actually run out of yardage while using this scope. What this essentially means is that you are probably never going to be able to test the limits of this scope as most ranges cap out at about 600 or 700 yards!

What you are absolutely going to love about this scope is the ability to use Nikon’s Spot-On technology. Using Nikon’s tool, all you have to do is key in your ammunition, altitude, barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, wind direction and wind speed to get super-specific aiming points for your M1A equipped with the M-308. It will give you a scientific and precision approach to target shooting or game hunting.

Reticle Specifically designed for the M1A

The excellent magnification of this scope is enhanced by the fact that the BDC 800 reticle used in this scope was specifically designed for the trajectory of the .308 caliber round, the same caliber that the M1A uses.

As with any other high-quality scope, the Nikon M-308 comes with fully multicoated optics to allow 95% light transmission in even feeble daylight. The tactical style turrets come with a convenient zero-reset feature allowing you to freshly recalibrate your scope in those crucial few seconds before taking a second or postponed shot.

Built-in eye-box technology allows for 4 inches of constant eye relief. Though not the best eye relief on offer, it is about as much as you are going to get from a scope that let you shoot the distances that the Nikon M-308 can. Parallax setting adjustment is allowable, ranging from 50 yards to infinity.

Built to last

Not many surprises here. The M-308 is built to last. The scope is nitrogen filled, with sealed O-rings and comes in a waterproof, shockproof and fog proof construction. With a length of 13.5 inches and a weight of 19 ounces, this scope feels and looks as serious as the performance it offers.

The Verdict

At the price it is offered, the Nikon M-308 is a potent and long-lasting scope that will let you conquer targets up to 1,000 yards away, even with considerable windage. Nikon’s Spot-On assistive technology makes this scope that much more deadly. An easy decision to make if you want a high-performance scope for your M1A. If you are a fan of long-range shooting you may be interested in AR10 scopes.

4. Vortex Viper HST 6-24x50mm Riflescope with VMR-1 MOA Reticle Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50 SFP Riflescope VMR-1 MOA

Vortex decided to give you the best of their hunting and tactical scopes when they designed the Vortex Viper HST. The HST literally stands for Hunting, Shooting & Tactical. The HST is basically an offspring of two other incredibly popular Vortex scopes in the Viper PST and the Viper HS riflescopes.

First off, the Vortex HST uses extra-low dispersion lenses in addition to the fully multicoated lens feature that you will see in high-end scopes. The extra low dispersion goes the extra mile to deliver ultra-sharp images with better color genuineness. The scope also employs a secondary focal plane reticle designed to best maintain the size of an image, as much as possible, despite high magnification, like even at the max 24x magnification setting!

Target acquisition made easy

The Vortex HST is engineered to serve one significant purpose, to let you acquire your target with ease, even over the range and in difficult conditions. With max magnification at 24x, a 50 mm objective lens diameter and the second focal plane reticle technology described earlier, acquiring targets at far distances it not another one of those arduous or impossible challenges that you might have faced with lesser scopes.

Vortex has understood the elevation and windage adjustment challenges that shooters face when shooting over medium or long ranges. This is why they have incorporated a customizable rotational stop aid in this scope, an aid that allows for a quick return to zero after a windage or elevation adjustment, should you want to tweak it more. The easy to read tactical style turrets and the side focus technology to allow for image focus fine tuning are all features that will let you eke out just that much more accuracy, enough to make up the difference between a hit and a miss, particularly in difficult conditions.

Premium quality build

The Vortex HST is made from a single block of shockproof aircraft grade aluminum. Recoils from your M1A are never going to affect this scope. Combined with sealed O-rings and an Argon gas purge, fogging is non-existent, even when you are out shooting in bitterly challenging conditions. This is probably the best scope for m1a if a long-range shooting is what you prefer. Would also be the best long range scope for 6.5 Creedmoor.

The Verdict

You will be very surprised at how the addition of this scope can improve your mid and long-range accuracy, with minimal fuss. Vortex will also give you a VIP (Very Important Promise) warranty. The promise will uphold repairs or a replacement, should your Vortex HST become damaged or defunct. Vortex doesn’t even require you to fill out a warranty card to claim their VIP warranty. All you will need is the scope itself. Now, that’s a good way to tell you are buying one of the best scopes for your M1A, if the HST’s performance capabilities and build quality didn’t do the convincing already! 

If you have a rifle not so powerful as the M1A, check our guides for Ruger 10/22 and the 22-250 caliber.