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Some quick history on this rifle:

I picked it up from a friend around 1987 and it originally included a 1st Gen (I presume) SA aluminum scopemount and some kind of ART IV (I think) SA "auto range finding" 3x9 scope. It's a NM that was set up for 3-Gun matches, note the Shaw stock (the built up area around the bipod mount). However at the time, SA produced an M1A in .243 which was the new hot ticket for 3-Gun so I got a great price on this rifle.

The rifle never shot good for me, 12", or bigger, groups at 100 yards were average regardless of ammo. My interests shifted to AR type rifles and the M1A was moved to the back of the safe.

In 2003, I ran into an old timer at the range and he insisted that something was wrong with my M1A. When he shot it, he got the same large groups that I did and he suspected that the scope and/or mount was defective. Around 2005, I removed the scopemount and experimented with iron sights and shot some great groups. Everyone that shot it was impressed with the accuracy. When I put the scopemount back on, I snapped off a mounting screw. So the rifle was returned to the back of the safe.

Several months ago, my interest in the M1A returned after seeing our soldiers and marines fighting with the M14/EBR overseas. I did a lot of internet research and found the best information at this forum. Armed with fresh knowledge that I learned here, I ordered an A.R.M.S. mount and Warne QD rings from Brownells, an SWFA 10x42 scope and a cheek riser from Fulton Armory.

After learning how to shoot this rifle, which is much different than a AR, I've got the group size down to about 1.5" at 100 yards. And I'm sure it's capable of better. It is very ammo sensitive but it shoots anything in the 168 - 175 grain range extremely well.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this rifle now. I can only assume that the original scope and/or mount wouldn't hold zero, and my inexperience probably contributed.

Please note, I painted it myself as I wanted to replicated the M14s used in Iraq.

This is a great rifle and thanks for all the great info on this forum.
 

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Welcome from Texas, Mouse Gunner. I see you found out why they made a 2nd generation, and a 3rd generation mount . The 1st mounts left a lot too be desired. the 2nd's were better, but still weren't very predictable , day in day out. It wasn't until Brookfield Precision came out with their 3 pt mount that we started having good solid mounts, most of todays 3 point mounts trace their heritage to this design. I would suggest making a trotline weight out of yours 1st gen mount, I did and it does an admirable job doing that. Sounds and looks like you've got it about figured out. Your rifles a good looker and has some nice upgrades , Way to go!!
 
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