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First of all, I am a rookie to rifles and firearms in general. My profession is technology and working around fairly delicate parts so I am trying to feel my way around working on this rifle so I don't screw it up! I just mounted my new Sadlak Steel Airborne mount to my M1a (I followed their directions). Now it is time to mount the rings and scope to the mount. The rings are the rings that were supplied with the Valdada/IOR 1.5-8x26 35mm Tactical Illuminated BDC/CQB Reticule scope (http://www.valdada.com/product/a2655086-d6e1-4df9-ba34-42428d8b0c8b.aspx). This is most likely a dumb question but is there a rule of them where (on the rail of course but I mean how far forward or back on the mount) to mount the scope to start? I have assumed that it should go where you get the appropriate view and so your eye is safe from recoil.

I did some google searching but most of the answers were so generic. Certainly I could just go with trial and error but I figure you guys would have some good tips for a rookie.

 

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The scope should ideally be placed at the exact location where it gives you a full field of view, yet will not strike your eyebrow during recoil - in all possible firing positions. As this is virtually impossible, you must find the 'sweet spot' where it gives you almost full FOV in all positions, yet is far enough forward for use in the prone position.

I probably didn't of a very good job of explaining that, but that's the gist of it. Think of it this way - bring the rifle to your shoulder with your eyes closed, then open them. You should see the full FOV, and the reticle shouldn't move if you shift your head slightly.
 

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+1 on previous,

When you mount your scope to your rings, be carefull not to over tighten the rings and deform your scope. When you find you mounting location, try it several times before you torque everything down to make sure everything falls to your natural viewing position.

very nice setup!
 

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The paperwork that comes with the scope (or the website for the scope's manufacturer) will list a measurement called the eye relief. This is distance that the manufacturer claims your eye should be away from the eye piece of the scope when you use it. Most are around 3 inches. Regardless of what this distance is you want to have a full view through the scope. A full view is when, as you look through the scope, there are no shadows on the edges the view is clear from edge to edge.
 

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Start with the rear ring all the way back on the mount and the front ring at some mid point on the forward portion of the scope tube. Just install the bases, set the scope in the bases and move it back and forth till you get a full FOV at MAX magnification (very important it's at max). Look at the forward ring base and see if you can move it more forward on the scope tube, if so move it as far forward as you can but at the same eye relief setting. Torque the bases down once done. 65 in-lbs on the bases.

Next install the caps and screws so they're just snug enough to let the scope move. Here's where you fine tune the eye relief for full FOV in various positions. Move it back and forth to get it about right in the positions you plan to shoot in.

Now get a small level and level the rifle/receiver based on the flat behind the rear sight. Then level the scope based on a flat surface (may have to remove the elevation knob). Slowly tighten the cap screws evenly watching the level since it'll rock each way as you tighten them.

Torque down the caps, 15 in-lbs on the caps, double check level, call it a day.
 

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The shadow thing is of key importance. If there's a shadow in your FOV, it's going to impact your aim substantially.

Other than that, don't tighten *anything* until you're happy with the position.

Enjoy your newly scoped M1A. :)
 

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I'll add that since your scope's exit pupil is 3.25mm on the low end, you should try to adjust the eye relief on a sunny day or with lots of light to get your pupils to constrict below 3mm. Otherwise that "shadow" effect at the edges is going to be there at high magnification no matter what you do.
 

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Yes, be careful when tightening down your scope rings. My buddy placed an IOR Valdada scope similar to the one you have in the photo onto his Sage EBR rifle, over tightened the front scope ring a bit too much, and cracked the front scope lens. He ended up with a $700.00 scope with a cracked front lens on an EBR. GI4
 

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When setting up your eye relief, you HAVE to do two things:

One: set the power to max; this reduces the amount of eye relief over the lower power settings.

Two: set up your eye relief, at max power, when in the prone position; ESPECIALLY if you sling up with a 1907 sling as it was intended to be used. That really sucks things in tight.

This is the second thing that reduces eye relief in that you WILL creep up on the ocular lens when in that position. It would suck to set the eye relief for a bench situation, and then have to make a shot when prone (which will be the position used, and will be coupled with a max power setting when making that long shot), and get a nice souvenir for you efforts on your eyebrow. I can't tell you how many people don't realize this, and I'd always get funny looks from people when setting up their optics on a new rifle when I asked them to "go prone" right there in the store...made believers out of most of them though, especially when I showed them the way that most shops set up optics. BIG eye opener for them when they went prone, on max power, and whaddayaknow, too little eye relief...


Stitches suck,

Kevin
 

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Yes, be careful when tightening down your scope rings.
+1

This bears repeating, though if you're working in high-tech, then you're probably accustomed to delicate devices.

It's 15-25 INCH-pounds, which isn't much at all. Remember, it's a lot easier to tighten the screws later than to figure out that you've messed up your fancy new scope.

...over tightened the front scope ring a bit too much, and cracked the front scope lens.
A bit too much?

I've heard of people "ringing" an aluminum scope tube by overtightening, but this is the first case I've heard of somebody cranking down the screws 'til the lens actually broke.

Bimmer
 

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A bit too much?

I've heard of people "ringing" an aluminum scope tube by overtightening, but this is the first case I've heard of somebody cranking down the screws 'til the lens actually broke.

Bimmer
Either British and using "Blue Spec" torque; German going with "Gutentight" or American with "tighten till it breaks, then back off".
 
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