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Springfield Armory 3rd & 4th Gen scope mount problems.

85340 Views 253 Replies 111 Participants Last post by  Cowboy bob

I've been giving this mount serious consideration mainly due to it's lower price compared to those by A.R.M.S & Smith Enterprises.

I just wondered if there is anything fundamentally wrong with the design, or is it a generally good mount overall?

I've done a search & it didn't turn up anything specific to this mount, so any comments, experiences or opinions would be welcome


John. :)
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I've had a 3rd gen mount on my scout for about 5 months now. Over 600 rounds fired with the mount on and no problems so far. I had to re-tighten one time, but I don't consider that a problem.

Now, the SA scope, that's another story!
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Get the other mount.
The springy mount sucks. Rattles loose.
You can buy them super cheap from people who screwed up and bought one.
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The general consensus seems to be that getting the mount properly installed the first time makes all the difference. If that's done it will remain solid. But if it's not, or if you remove and re-install it, then they have a real tendency to be loose and kill your accusracy. The reason is because it's made of aluminum so it has to be properly "molded" to your receiver. If not, it won't fit right.

The ARMS mount can be finicky to install straight but it's 8620 steel like the receiver, so once it's set it stays put. And it will mount solid if removed & re-installed, or transfered to another receiver.
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esskay said:
Check out Different's M1A scope mount FAQ:
Different's article is a good read.

If you really want a SA 3rd gen mount you can pick them up pretty cheap on ebay from people upgrading to a better mount. Personaly I would save my money for a good three point mount. I have heard many people complaining about having to keep tightening the mount and loseing a zero. But most of all read Different's article.

One cool thing about the ARMS mount is that if you buy quick release rings you can remove the scope and still use iron sights while the mount is still on.
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Many thanks for the feedback guys. :D

I maybe should've mentioned that I'd already printed & read Different's FAQ which was VERY informative. It sets out the facts on the various types of mount really well.

However, he steers away from giving personal opinions/experiences on each type (a good thing for an FAQ IMHO) which is what I was after here.

Overall it sounds like I'll be better off spending the extra $$ & getting the Smith mount. A classic case of "You get what you pay for".

Thanks once again.

John. :)

P.S; emperor91108, I was thinking a similar thing re. the iron sights with the Smith mount & possibly Warne QR rings.
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Good choice M21 Brit. I had a SA on my rifle and the easy to remove feature is just too tempting and I kept taking off the scope. It is big and bulky and my rifle bag is just big enough to fit the rifle and nothing else.

The ARMS in my experience is a low profile mount that adds no obvious bulk to your rifle. It feels like someone just made a M1A receiver with picatinny rails built in. Unlike the SA, ARMS and Smith are meant to go on your rifle somewhat permanently and should not be removed. I though I would have a problem with that at first but now I can't imagine my rifle without it.
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One of the problems with the SA mount is that its aluminum, so it will head up at a different rate than the receiver and cause a shift in zero if you shoot a lot of rounds. Another option is the new Leatherwood mount, which is made of steel but isn't as expensive as the ARMs or Smith mount. So far, I haven't read any reviews from anyone who's tried one, though. If you're feeling either adventuresome or stingy (or some combo of the two), you could be the fisrt guy here to buy one and write a review for us. :wink:
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my .02

Just my .02...

I used my "Loaded Coupon" I went with the SA Scope mount (I didn’t know better)... IMHO the SA scope mount is AWFUL!! They use a metal MUCH softer than the receiver and after about 500-600 rds I began losing my zero! And I noticed that the upside down "T" channel that it mates to my SA M1A receiver began to Mushroom/Gall over. Since then I have found that to mount the SA scope mount the proper way you should use a LEATHER mallet on the knobs of the mount. I mean you REALLY have to whack em hard and tighten whack and tighten whack and tighten (you get the idea). This way it seats properly and will have no mushrooming of the SOFTER metal or a loss of your zero from the vibration of firing your weapon.
BUT... now you do not have the option of "easy" removal of you scope and a remount with out going through that whole ordeal of "proper mounting"

If I where you I would save up for one of the higher end mounts like an A.RM.S. or Smiths Ent. these two are VERY LOW profile. The SA Gen III mounts a bit higher. If you have a scope with a 40mm objective lens you should be OK but if you are mounting a scope with a 50mm objective lens it will mount a bit high... unless you have a neck like a Giraffe you are going to have to use a cheek piece to raise the comb of your cheek weld.

And finally I have the ARMS #18 mount and #22 LOW rings... love em.. I have never lost my zero. VERY VERY good quality and is constructed of a metal that is very close to the hardness of your receiver so you will not have to worry about galling.

Good Luck
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Thanks guys! :D

The extra info, personal opinions & experiences are very helpful. :D

Based on what has been said here I've ordered the slightly cheaper Weaver version of the Smith mount from Brownells.
Slightly more expensive than from Smith themselves but a couple of my shooting buddies have used Brownells before & told me good things about their international mail order service.

All the best.

John. :)

P.S; Sorry TEA it looks like I won't be writing the first review of that new Leatherwood mount now. :wink:
Sounds interesting though, particularly as its cheaper! :)
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I think u will be happy with the decision of not going with the SA mount, I had one on my rifle and never would hold zero, put a ARMS on it and have had no problem since.
Doc, the whacking with the rubber or leather mallet is supposed to be done only the first time you install the mount. Its supposed to form the aluminum (yes - aluminum and not steel) to the receiver so that you don't experience galling and to help ensure a closer return to zero when you take off and then reinstall your mount. Of course, because no two receivers are exactly the same (especially in the areas of the clip guide dove tail and the relief cuts on the side of the receiver), once you've form fitted an SA Inc mount to one rifle it is mated to that rifle for good (or ill).

I noticed that the M14s that TSRA was using to train the 7th Cav's SDMs had SA Inc mounts (or at least the one on the cover of the TSRA newsletter did) and that they'd painted co-witness marks on the knobs and mount to better ensure a return to zero when reinstalling the mount. I think I'll have to try this on my SA Inc mount and let y'all know how it works. I still think the main problem is that the mount is made out of aluminum, so will expand at a different rate than the receiver when they heat up or cool down, which would cause shifts in zero. Overall, I think its an OK mount for occasional use at the range or in a deer blind, but I wouldn't want to expose it to any hard use or bet my life on it.

I also noticed the the trooper in Afghanistan with an M14 and ACOG that was in the American Rifleman article a year or so ago also had what looked like an SA Inc mount. I wonder if we'll ever hear or read any reports from the field about realiablilty problems with this mount.
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Well, received my Smith Weaver mount yesterday.

I'm no expert on stuff like this but it certainly looks well thought out & engineered.

Already glad I spent the extra $$ & the international mail order service from Brownells was excellent too!

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction guys. :D

All the best.

John. :)
Springfield armory steel 4th gen mount??

Have any of you guys used a SA gen 4 steel scope mount before? The model that looks similar to Sadlak or BPT on the side, but has a split rail on top like their gen 4 aluminum mount.

The reason I ask is because they do not have the alignment lugs on the side like nearly every other scope mount does. This seems odd to me, but I have seen a 3 or 4 reviews that say it works great.
Here is a link to the SA gen 4 steel mount I am asking about.

I can get one at a great price, but with no alignment keys, and only a few reviews, half of which are bad, I am probably going to pass on this deal.
A search on this site will pull up a lot of unhappy M1A owners who reviewed the SAI gen 4 mount.

Never had/used one myself.

I have a Bassett standard Picatinny mount.

Irons can be used looking under the scope.
I searched but did not find much. Maybe I misspelled something. I will look again...
I found a lot more info the second time with the search. Yes, these SA gen 4 steel mounts have a very poor reputation. It is a shame because I like the split rail design and its length.
I still would like to hear from any others about these mounts.
I just cant believe SAI would make this mount without alignment keys.
The SAI Gen 4 mounts are not all that bad. They are a direct knock off of the Brookfield design, a three point mount and they do have a bottom alignment rail. That said, the biggest problem Springfield has with mounts is not the mounts as much as their receivers scope mount ways being non-concentric with the bore axis.
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