Best Scope for M1A – Buyer’s Guide

Best Scope for M1AThe M1A rifle has a long history.

And a few things you should know about it is that its semi-automatic and it’s the last of its kind that the company makes.

It is a lock, stock and barrel rifle and it is used today for hunting game or shooting targets.

It can shoot to 350 yards accurately, so if you are aiming to hit a target that is between 150 to 300 yards out, you are sure to hit it.

But if want to hit a target that is 400 yards or more, you need a scope. Otherwise, there is no way you can manage to hit it. And if you are wondering whether they are scopes that are suitable for M1A rifles, the answer is yes.

In this review, you are going to find out which are the some of the best scopes for an M1A rifle. We have also included a buyer’s guide which we hope you’ll find helpful.

Best Scope for M1A - Buyer’s Guide 2 | OpticZoo - Best Optics Reviews and Buyers Guides
TOP PICK — Vortex Optics VPR-M-06BDC Viper 6.5-20x50
Vortex Optics Viper has a magnification range of between 6.5x to 20x. It’s ideal for long range shooting where movement is minimal. Scope has easily and quickly focus. Great feature is its weatherproof performance.
Dead-Hold BDC (MOA) Reticle
XD Lens Elements
XR Fully Multi-Coated
30mm Single-Piece Tube
Precision-Force Spring System
Precision-Glide Erector System
Not ideal for short range hunting or casual shooting
It is large & heavy

Scopes For M1A Comparison Chart


Vortex Optics VPR-M-06BDC Viper 6.5-20x50

Burris Optics 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32

Vortex Optics CF2-31002 Crossfire II 2-7x32


Leupold 170684 VX-3i 3.5-10x50


Vortex Optics VPR-M-06BDC Viper 6.5-20x50

Burris Optics 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32

Vortex Optics CF2-31002 Crossfire II 2-7x32


Leupold 170684 VX-3i 3.6-10x50

Main-Tube Diameter

30 mm



30 mm


Field of View

17.4-6.2 ft @ 100 yds

23-8 ft @ 100 yds

18.3-5.2 ft @ 100 yds

34-8.4 ft @ 100 yds

29.8-11 ft @ 100 yds


21.6 oz

13 oz

12 oz

23.21 oz

14.7 oz

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5 Best Scopes For M1A (as of July, 2024):

1. Vortex Optics VPR-M-06BDC Viper 6.5-20×50 – Best Scope For M1A Long Range Review

If you are looking for a scope that you can use with your M1A to do some long range shooting, consider getting the Vortex Optics VPR-M-06BDC Viper 6.5-20×50. The second focal plane scope has a magnification range of between 6.5x to 20x.

So you can magnify the scope up to 20 times although it might not be necessary. Long range shooting does need that much magnification, as the target may appear distorted. Anything between 6x and 10x is adequate.

Vortex Optics VPR-M-06BDC Viper 6.5-20x50 has a Dead-Hold BDC reticle

The Vortex Viper has a 50mm objective lens, so it’s quite a heavy scope. But it does provide clear and sharp images as the lens gathers a lot of light.

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The lenses are multi-coated to provide you with high resolution images and protect the lens from scratching and dirt.

Since the scope is heavy, it is not ideal for short range hunting or casual shooting. But it is ideal for long range hunting where movement is minimal. And this where we get to the fast focal adjustment.

This adjustment allows you to easily and quickly focus on a moving target. So if you are targeting a duck or coyote that is on the move, this adjustment allows you to keep your target in your view.

Vortex Optics VPR-M-06BDC Viper 6.5-20x50 Review, Pros and Cons

And as you do that, you can adjust for elevation and windage using the capped turrets, as well as for parallax. The advantage of capped turrets is that once you make your adjustments, even if you bump your gun against something, they don’t change.

Another great feature is its weatherproof performance. The scope is argon purged and O-ring sealed to prevent fogging and water damage. On the price side, the Vortex is reasonably priced. Honestly, for such a scope, you cannot get a better deal.

Main Features

  • Dead-Hold BDC (MOA) Reticle, Second Focal Plane
  • Extra-Low Dispersion (XD) Glass
  • XR Fully Multi-Coated
  • 30mm Single-Piece Tube
  • Aircraft-Grade Aluminum
  • Hard Anodized Finish
  • ArmorTek & Side Focus
  • Capped Reset Turrets
  • Precision-Force Spring System
  • Precision-Glide Erector System
  • MAG-Bar
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece
  • Waterproof, Fogproof & Shockproof
Ideal for long range shooting
Decently priced
Waterproof and fogproof
Large objective lens for clearer and sharper visuals
Magnification range of between 6.5 and 20x for long range shooting
Capped adjustment turrets for fast focusing and accurate aiming
Multicoated lenses for clear images
Rugged construction that is shockproof
Not ideal for short range hunting or casual shooting
It is large heavy and cumbersome

2. Burris Optics 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32 – Best Scope For Springfield M1A Optics Review

The Burris Optics 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7×32 scope is a versatile scope that has a compact design and is light in weight. So it does not add much weight to your rifle when mounted making it ideal for casual hunting and target shooting.

The great thing about this scope is that you can use it for close range shooting. With a maximum magnification of 7x, you can hit a target that is 500 yards out or less dead on.

Burris Optics 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32 has a Ballistic Plex reticle

It uses a Ballistic Plex reticle that allows you to make accurate shots of targets that are 100 to 500 yards. And the hash marks on the reticle allow you to estimate varying ranges.

The Burris ballistic scope has an objective lens of 32mm. So it is quite small in size, which is a good thing if you have to move around with your rifle hunting for your prey.

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It also has a generous eye relief of 12 inches, which is ideal for people who don’t have poor eyesight. But if you wear eyeglasses, you need a scope with a much longer eye relief.

Like other quality scopes, this scope uses multi-coated lenses and this is to provide you with sharp, bright and clear visuals.

And while it does provide clear visuals during the day, it does not work well in low light conditions as the scope’s reticle does not have an illumination feature.

Burris Optics 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32 Review, Pros and Cons

As for the build, the scope has a solid construction that is fog proof and waterproof. Its built to withstand harsh conditions. So overall, this is a solid scope that is designed for quick short range shooting. And it is inexpensive.

Main Features

  • Ballistic Plex Reticle, Second Focal Plane
  • Multi-Coated Lenses
  • 1″ One Piece Main-Tube
  • 1/4 MOA/Click Impact Point Correction
  • 66 MOA Windage/Elevation Adjustment
  • Double Internal Spring Force
  • Posi-lock & Capped Turrets
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece With 9.2″-12″ Eye Relief
  • Aluminum Housing
  • Scratch & Corrosion-Resistant
  • Fogproof, Waterproof & Shockproof
Suitable for target shooting and short range hunting
Posi-lock system that locks accuracy into position
32mm objective lens
2x-7x magnification range for short range shooting
Compact design
Lightweight and durable
Water and fog resistant
Multi-coated lenses for bright and clear visuals
Adjustable turrets for accuracy
The reticle is not illuminated

3. Vortex Optics CF2-31002 Crossfire II 2-7×32 – Best Scope For M1A Review

The Vortex Optics CF2-31002 Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout scope is a small sized scope that is ideal for tactical and short range shooting. It is lightweight. It has a compact design. And it is designed to withstand harsh conditions.

And when we say harsh conditions, we are talking about rain, snow, and fog. The scope is nitrogen purged and sealed with O-rings to make it fog proof and waterproof. So even if it falls in a pool of water, that should not affect the functionality of the scope.

This Vortex Scout scope has a 32mm objective lens and a magnification range of 2x to 7x. This is why it is ideal for hunting. It’s not heavy, so it does not add any considerable weight to your M1A rifle.

Vortex Optics CF2-31002 Crossfire II 2-7x32 has a V-Plex MOA Reticle

The lenses are coated with multiple layers of anti-reflective coatings to reduce glare and deliver bright and clear visuals. And it uses a V-Plex MOA Reticle which is located on the second focal plane.

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The advantage of this is that when you adjust the magnification, the size of the reticle does not change. With the first focal plane reticles, the size of the reticle changes when you adjust the power.

The scope has a fast-focus eyepiece that allows you to focus quickly and easily on a moving target. It also comes with turrets that adjust for elevation and windage to give you a more accurate shot.

Vortex Optics CF2-31002 Crossfire II 2-7x32 Review, Pros and Cons

It also has a parallax adjustment turret for removing parallax to give a clear view of your target.

It is made of aircraft-grade aluminum for durability and strength. So as you would expect, this scope can withstand a beating because of its tough build. And the best of all is that this scope is extremely affordable.

Main Features

  • V-Plex Reticle, Second Focal Plane
  • 1″ Single-Piece Maintube
  • 1/4 MOA Impact Point Correction
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • 9.45″ Extra-Long Eye Relief for Scouting
  • Aircraft-Grade Aluminum
  • Hard Anodized Finish
  • Capped Reset Turrets
  • Fast Focus Eyepiece
  • Waterproof, Fogproof & Shockproof
Multicoated lenses to give bright and clear views in almost any lighting condition
Ideal for tactical shooting and short range hunting
Solid construction that is purged with nitrogen and sealed with O-ring for fog proof and waterproof performance
Durable and sturdy
Fast-focus for easy and quick focusing
Reasonably priced
Images sometimes get blurry
Does not work in low light conditions

4. UTG SCP3-UM312AOIEW 3-12X44 – Best Budget Scope For M1A Review

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If you are looking for a scope that is ridiculously affordable, this is it. The UTG SCP3-UM312AOIEW 3-12X44 compact scope has gained popularity and not only because of its price tag, but because it comes with many of the features we find in expensive scopes.

The UTG has a 44mm objective lens, which makes it ideal for hunting and tactical shooting. The lenses used in the scope are multi-coated to ensure that your targets appear bright and clear at varying ranges.

UTG SCP3-UM312AOIEW 3-12X44 has a full 36-color EZ Tap reticle

It has a magnification range of between 3x to 12x, which is why it is popular with long range shooters. You would expect that the scope is heavy, but the UTG has a compact design.

UTG SCP3-UM312AOIEW 3-12X44 Review, Pros and Cons

So it’s pretty lightweight and it is purged with nitrogen and sealed with O-rings to make it water and fog resistant.

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The scope comes with adjustment turrets for precision and accuracy. They are easy to use, but some users have expressed experiencing some difficulty when turning the parallax adjustment turret.

On the whole, the UTG it’s a great scope that comes with a mount. And for its low price, you are getting value.

Main Features

  • Mil-Dot Reticle
  • 30mm Tube
  • Class Multi Emerald Coated Lenses
  • Innovative EZ-TAP IE System
  • Red/Green Dual-Color Mode & 36 Color Multi-Color Mode
  • 1-Click High-tech Illumination Memory Feature
  • Low Profile Illumination Control
  • Premium Zero Locking and Zero Resetting Target Turrets
  • Side Wheel Adjustable Turret (SWAT) for Parallax Adjustment
  • Built on True Strength Platform
  • TactEdge Angled Integral Sunshade
  • Shockproof, Fogproof & Rainproof
Budget-price scope
Adjustment turrets for precision aiming
Compact design
Fog proof and waterproof
Multi-coated lenses for sharp and clear viewing
Comes with a lifetime warranty
The parallax adjustment knob is a bit hard to turn
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5. Leupold 170684 VX-3i 3.5-10×50 – Best Scope For M1A Scout Review

Leupold 170684 VX-3i 3.6-10x50
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The Leupold 170684 VX-3i 3.6-10×50 is designed with the highest of standards to give you a strong and durable scope that can withstand tough conditions. The scope uses multi-coated lenses for clear viewing.

It has a 50mm objective lens, which delivers bright and crystal clear images due to its ability to gather a lot of light.

Leupold 170684 VX-3i 3.5-10x50 has a Duplex Reticle

And aside from the large objective lens, the scope has a magnification range of 3.5x to 10x, which is ideal for both short and long range shooting.

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The Leupold VX-3i is lightweight and compact. It is shockproof and resistant tow water. And the lenses are coated to prevent fogging.

It comes with adjustable turrets to help improve your aim. The turrets adjust easily with very little resistance. The one major downside with this scope is the price tag. It is quite expensive and that can discourage some customers from buying it.

Leupold 170684 VX-3i 3.5-10x50 Review, Pros and Cons

Main Features

  • Duplex Reticle, Second Focal Plane
  • 1″ Diameter Maintube
  • Twilight Max Light Management System
  • DiamondCoat 2 Lens Coating
  • Blackened Lens Edges
  • Twin Bias Spring Erector System
  • Lockable Fast-Focus Eyepiece
  • 6061-T6 Aircraft Quality Aluminum
  • Waterproof, Fogproof & Shockproof
  • Leupold Scope Cover
Ideal for short and long range shooting
Built to withstand tough situations
Solid construction that is waterproof shockproof and fog proof
Lenses are coated to protect them from scratching and to give you clear views at varying ranges
Lightweight and compact
Comes with a lifetime warranty
It is extremely expensive
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Buyer’s Guide

When deciding which rifle scope to buy, pay attention when looking at the technical details of the scope. These details make all the difference. No one scope is the same, and not every scope is compatible with an M1A rifle.

If you end up with the wrong scope, that is money lost and scopes are not exactly cheap. So don’t overlook any of the important aspects of a scope when buying one.

Choosing a Scope for an M1A Rifle

Size & Weight

When it comes to the size of the scope basically you are looking at the size of the scope’s objective lens. You don’t want to buy a scope that has a large objective lens if you are short-range hunting or shooting.

But if you are taking long-range shots, then it would make sense to buy a scope with a large objective lens. But this is only if you don’t intend on moving around much. Scopes with large objective lenses are large and heavy.

Scope for an M1A Rifle

Via: @308loophole

And when you mount an already heavy scope onto your rifle as you can imagine, carrying that much weight over long distances is not going to be an easy task.

So unless you are using your rifle for target shooting, stick to scopes that are small and lightweight.


Scopes are expensive. And the price depends on the scope’s design and features. Scopes that use premium multi-coated lenses are far much more expensive than those that use single-coated lenses.

The same goes for scopes that come with extra features like infrared reticles. What you can afford depends on your pocket.

There is nothing wrong with buying a scope that comes with all the bells and whistles, but you must be ready, willing, and able to part with a huge chunk of your money.

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On the flip side, you don’t want to buy an overly cheap scope. Although the price tag is attractive, chances that it’s a low quality scope are quite high. So even if you are on a budget, don’t be frugal.

Also, it’s a good idea to stick with reputable brands like Vortex and Leupold. Their scopes are reasonably priced and they come with great features any hunter or target shooter can appreciate.

Check to see if the scope comes with a warranty. That’s important in case, your scope gets damaged.


Magnification becomes a priority if you are doing long-range shooting. Hitting targets that are 1000 yards out can be difficult if you don’t have sight of the target.

And the only way you can see a target that far away is by increasing the magnification on your scope.

Magnification for scope

Via: @shooter_juan_wick

Expert hunters say that to hit a target that is 1000 yards or more, you need a scope with a 10X magnification. If you are aiming at a target that is less than 1000 yards away, anything between 6x and 9x is going to work fine.

So when it comes to magnification, it all depends on what you use your rifle for.

Objective Lens

Scopes with large objective lenses provide clearer and sharper images than those with small lenses because they allow more light into the scope. But they are also large and heavy hence cumbersome to carry around.

Also, the larger the objective lens, the more expensive the scope. So consider the size of the objective lens when buying a scope. If you have to move around a lot to catch your prey, get a scope with a small objective lens.

Lens Coatings

Most scopes use glass lenses that are coated with anti-reflective coatings and the reason for this is to help minimize glare. And the more the number of coatings, the better the light transmission and contrast, which results in sharper and clearer visuals.

Lens Coatings for Scope

Via: @txcigarcop

So check to see if the lenses are coated. Lenses that have multiple coatings are labeled as multicoated, fully multicoated or fully coated. Lenses with a single layer of coating are labeled as coated, and don’t work as well as the multicoated lenses.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the distance between your eyes and your scope’s ocular lens. And this distance is important to help you get an ideal viewing comfort and a large field of view.

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Scopes have varying eye reliefs, so you need to check which eye relief is suitable for you. If you wear eyeglasses or lenses, an eye relief of 15mm or more is ideal.


There are several different types of reticles. The most common are dot reticle, BDC reticle, Mil dot reticle, and Duplex reticles.

And the main work of a reticle is to give you an aiming point. Every reticle is  designed for a specific purpose. Some are designed for hunting wild game. Some are designed for tactical shooting. So you can find a reticle that suits your purpose.

Some reticles are illuminated and this is for hunters who want to hunt at nighttime. While they do give you an added advantage than typical reticles, they also add to the cost of the scope.

Going the Distance: Maximize your Shooting Range

With a good scope, you can increase your shooting range. With a rifle you can hit a target that is 200 yards out without the help of a scope. But if you are looking to shoot at targets that are 500 or 1000 yards away, you need a scope.

Good rifle and a steady hand

Via: @accutac

But a scope alone cannot help you maximize your shooting range. You need a good rifle and a steady hand. Make sure that when you are aiming at your target, your rifle is steady and the scope’s crosshairs are right on the target.

Guide to Distance: How Far will Your Bullet Go?

All bullets travel at a particular distance before they start dropping. A rifle bullet can travel up to 800 meters before it starts to drop. This range depends on the angle of elevation you shoot from.

Expert hunters and shooters say that when the angle of elevation is at 45 degrees, you can reach the maximum range. So keep in mind that different rifles have different ranges, but it’s the angle of elevation that makes all the difference.

Scope for M1A

Via: @bean_0352

Turret or Capped Adjustments

The use of a turret is to help you zero your scope. And this process is called zeroing. It’s when you adjust your scope’s reticle until it aligns with your target. So turrets allow you to get accurate aims by allowing you to make the necessary reticle adjustments.

And these adjustments are for windage and elevation. Most scopes also have a parallax adjustment turret, which allows you to remove parallax, which can be defined as an optical illusion. It’s when your scope is not aimed properly at the target.

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Parallax adjustment is important because it helps you get an accurate shot.

The two most common types of turrets are capped turrets and exposed turrets. The main difference between the two is that a capped turret has a metal cap that prevents the turret from accidental movements once you have made your adjustments.

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Capped turrets are ideal for hunting, while exposed turrets are ideal for tactical shooting.

What Reticle is Best for an M1A Scope?

Two reticles that are the best for an M1A scope are BDC reticles and illumination reticle. BDC or bullet drop compensation reticles have hash marks that allow you to make a bullet drop estimation on varying ranges.

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A BDC reticle can help you get accurate shots even despite windage and elevation.

Illuminated reticles are great for nighttime shooting and hunting. And some come with several different color modes. Although they are heavy, the illumination feature is extremely helpful when hunting or shooting in low light conditions.


Finding a quality scope for your M1A rifle is not that difficult as long as you know what it is you are looking for. Don’t be driven by price tags or brand names when purchasing a scope.

Do your research. Read user feedback. Get as much information as you can to help you make a sound decision.

Best Scope for M1A

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