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M1A Scout Squad
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Hello,

After many years of lurking this forum and others, I finally bought my first M1A (pic attached). It's an older scout squad that came with a pristine Troy M1A Battlerail and Leupold VX-3 1.5-5X 20mm scope with illuminated reticle. Even though this optic-only (no usable rear sight) configuration was not my preference, the rifle appeared to be very clean and is an earlier serial number (#114XXX) with a TRW bolt and hopefully other components as well. The black crinkle finish fiberglass stock and canvas sling were bonuses.

Let me stop here and say thank you for the valuable information on this forum which is where I learned to pay attention to serial numbers and look for things like TRW parts.

So I bought the rifle knowing I would want to install some type of iron sight system. The plan was to either add a BUIS set to the Troy rail or replace the battlerail and scope altogether with a low-profile scout rail from M14.ca or Ultimak and then add an optic at some point in the future. This is where I could use your guidance in thinking through the following options:

1. Keep the Troy battlerail and install a set of Troy flip-up micro sights - this configuration seems kind of tall. I would also remove the stock front sight.
2. Replace the Troy rail with a scout rail from M14.ca or Ultimak and add the appropriate M1A rear sight - I'm not sure which M1A rear sight to use or where to buy it.
3. Replace the Troy rail with a standard handguard and short scout rail and again add a standard rear sight.

I'm leaning towards option #2 as it offers a lower profile configuration with a longer sight radius than the BUIS/Troy rail option and with the longer scout rail gives more optics flexibility over the standard handguard/scout rail option.

What do you think?

Thank you,
BG

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
What are you going to use it for?
Great question. This will be my all around field rifle - personal defense (outdoors, not home defense) /hunting (if needs be)/shooting, etc. I don't plan on doing long range shooting that would require a high magnification scope. I would like to become proficient with the M1A through training and practice and can foresee using it in defensive rifle and/or pistol/rifle courses.

BG
 

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FULTON carries rear sights.
I like your option 2.
I would shy away from option 3.
The short factory rail clamps to the barrel.
Some say it effects the harmonics of the barrel, thus effecting accuracy.
I removed the rail from my 2012 Scout due to not being able to get the scope zeroed.
Found the barrel mounted rail was mounted a tiny bit to far back towards the reciever, basically it was then running down hill to the bore.
Not enough UP on the scope.
Put a standard handguard on it and went with a Bassett Picatinny mount that allows use of the irons under the scope.
An adjustable cheek riser is required.
Next I'm going to try a red dot mount I purchased from one of members and a Burris Fastfire.
 

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I think it really depends on your priorities.

If you keep the battle rail, everything you use is going to be high, and you'll need a cheek riser for everything, be it scope, or irons, or red dot. I don't know if you can get rail sights that will work low enough to be in line with a low mounted scope or red dot, but if you got flip up sights, you could chin weld in a pinch.

If you get an M14.ca or Ultimak handguard, you have to use a different scope, with pretty extended eye relief, or add a conventional scope mount and rear sight assembly. Not necessarily a bad thing, but choices are more limited, and it pulls he weight forward. They both work well for a low mounted red dot. Meaty Mac achieved a cowitness with an aimpoint micro (I think) and his SOCOM sights. As was pointed out, a Basset HIgh would let you use the irons without removing the mount or the scope, as would a Redneck Yankee Dual Sight Mount, though in both cases you'll need a cheek riser when you want to use the scope, and have to pull it off when you want to use irons.
 

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I have the TAC PRO adjustable cheek riser that you have to drill the stock for.
I do not have to take it off to use the irons.
My stock is a commercial stock so I was OK with drilling the stock.
TAC PRO now makes an adjustable strap on cheek riser that they claim can be adjusted down to use the irons.


You don't have to sign in, just click on "cheek rests" on the left side of page.
 

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Bean grinder,
Per your intended use - I鈥檇 recommend taking all that stuff off and get good with the standard iron sights. This will lighten the rifle up considerably, no cheek riser required and will be good out to 600 yds if you do your part.
 

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Personally I'd go route #2 with a the full length rail from m14.ca. You'd have the ability to run standard irons, co witness with certain red dots and with quick attach rings you could mount whatever optic you wanted quickly.

BONUS: This would leave you the option of going with the blackfeather chassis in the future if you end up wanting to go that route.
 

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How many rounds have you put through this rifle so far? I would shoot the rifle as is first and see if you want further upgrades. There is a chance that you may not even like the rifle after few rounds through. Trust me, as sexy as it looks, M14 platform is not for everyone. Based on your application, current set up seem fine as is. Nice looking rifle by the way. Your scope does not have high magnification where it can be used as close quarter up to whatever yardage you are comfortable with highest magnification. 500 +/- yards I would say. I use Basett high mount so I can use both scope and iron sights. My m1a sits on EBR Stock. I don't know much about your troy stock but it does not look like my set up would work on your current situation. So option 2 may be the way to go if you want to use both iron site and scope. Fulton armory has nice variety of M1A parts.
 

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You leave a couple of things unclear that would help us help you.
1. What kind of optic do you intend to put on it? All you said is that you want to replace the current one. Knowing what you intend to put on it would help us make informed recommendations.
2. Are you committed to a scout mount? Because that will limit your choice of optics.

If you are going to install an M14 rear sight, go with the standard sights. The National Match sights are good for 600 yard shots at Camp Perry, but bad for fast target acquisition or any target in cover. Given your stated usage, you want the standard sights. They are usually easy to find online.

Personally I dislike scout setups, so take the following with that grain of salt. I would go with a standard mount that would allow you to put the optic over the receiver. The lower profile ones do not interfere with the standard iron sights if no optic is installed. Install your optic with a quick detach setup and you can quickly switch to the standard irons. If you go with a full length setup like the one from m14.ca, you get plenty of space to put the optic wherever you want and add other accessories too. With that setup I like the idea of offset BUIS. Getting co-witness with the standard irons and an optic is very difficult, though some of have done it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can't thank all of you enough for all of the replies, feedback and guidance. Really incredible. Sorry for not replying sooner, I just finished a string of 12-hour shifts and can finally spend some quality time here.

Took the rifle out of the safe several times over the last week just to handle it, shoulder it, and get used to the weight, balance and feel - not much time to do anything else. The current configuration feels a bit bulky and heavy to me and the height of the rail and optic is, well, too high for my taste. Not a problem as I figured if the rail/scope combo didn't work for me they could be removed, sold, and replaced with other options.

Regarding optics, I was thinking of an aimpoint or similar and if possible, co-witness with the irons like Meaty Mac did.

After thinking about all of your suggestions, this is what I'm planning in order of priority:
1. Order basic M1A maintenance tools (castle nut pliers, gas cylinder tool, ratcheting chamber brush, etc.) and some spare parts. This morning I began studying TonyBen's video series on M1A disassembly/assembly.
2. Order a standard rear sight assembly. *front sight is a NM 072 but current scout models use a narrower 062 blade. Also, LRB as a taller front sight which may help with co-witness depending on the optic used.
3. Order a standard hand guard (for step 5)
4. Remove the Troy Battlerail and Leupold scope
5. Get some range time with the irons (I've always used irons on all of my rifles, even Colt ARs when I owned them)
6. Continue to research the low profile rail options - these are the longer m14.ca or Ultimak rails, not the shorter stock scout rail.
7. Research optics options - aimpoint or similar type, co-witness requirements, quick release mount options, etc.

So basically, get comfortable with proper disassembly, cleaning and lubrication, reset the rifle to stock configuration, get dialed with the iron sights and then decide if a low profile scout rail is the way to go.

Thanks again,
BG
 
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