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I'm with tonyben; Bassett low picatinny mount with a cheek riser. Check out the TacPro cheek rest for the m14; I have one on my Scout and I really like it.

http://tacpro.com/product_info.php?products_id=19

http://www.bassettmachine.com/prod_home_buynow.htm

It also works very well on the low setting with the iron sights. The Nikon Buckmaster scopes are, IMO, are good deal for the money. I have mostly Leupold scopes, but the two Nikon scopes I do have were well worth the money I paid for them; I would not recommend going below the Buckmaster line though.

Here are some pics of my scout with a Bassett Low Picatinny and a Vortex Viper PST 1-4 in Vortex low matched mounts:

BTW: Are you a TAMU student?




 
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I am indeed a TAMU Student! Also, if any of the suggestions matter, I'm a lefty.
Excellent! Spent 5 years there myself; Class of '90, Squadron 7...WHOOP!

bfy43 is absolutely right: "buy once cry once". Do not give in to the temptation to buy a cheap optic, it will only cause you grief later. The only problem I have had with my Bassett was operator induced. I did not properly clean the mounting threads on the gun or mount, they must not have ANY oil or grease on them, and the mount came loose. No problems since I figured that out. In fact, I am considering ordering another one for the second M1A that will probably "hatch" from my 1st one sometime in the next 6 months; they tend to multiply you know.

The Nikon Buckmasters will serve you well for many years. For quality yet inexpensive mounts take a look at the Burris Extreme Tactical mounts. http://www.burrisoptics.com/xtrrings.html

As far as being left handed, I can't help you there; hopefully someone else will chime in.
Have fun with that M1A! Gigem
 

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You are going to need a cheek riser as well, especially with the McCann mount, it sits pretty high. I took a look at it at http://www.mccannindustries.com/m1a1.htm . It is an interesting mount and there seems to be a lot of good info for mounting a scope on an M14 on that web sight, but as I mentioned before, I have no personal experience with one. To get a proper cheek weld, so you can shoot consistently from shot to shot, you will absolutely need a cheek riser so add that to the list. I tried using my set up without a riser once, and only once. I could tell that I was unable to get my cheek and eye in the same position each time and it negatively affected my groups. The TacPro I have can easily be installed with a hand held drill but there are many other options to look at none of which I have ever used.

You know you pics and a range report are going to be required at some point in the future.

Gig'em
 
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