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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a Leupold & Stevens Ultra M1A 10x would this scope be correct or semi correct scope on a XM25 build?

Also how do you determine the year the scope was built? is it the first 2 numbers of the serial#???
 

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Please post pictures of the scope!

The Leupold & Stevens Ultra Mark IV 10x40 tactical would be correct. Serial # will hold the secret to when it was made. I believe L&S has that info.

Ren
 

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I have a Leupold & Stevens Ultra M1A 10x scope on my DMR. I also have a Leupold & Stevens Ultra M1A 10x scope on my EBR.

From the M14RHaD (by Lee Emerson) book:
Optics on the M25 varies according to unit preferences. The U. S. Army XM25 rifles were
first outfitted with Leupold & Stevens, Inc. M1 Ultra and Bausch & Lomb Tactical scopes
followed by Leupold & Stevens, Inc. M3 Ultra models. Army Special Forces M25 rifles
today typically sport the Leupold & Stevens, Inc. M3A 10X scope. U. S. Navy SEALs
have employed both Bausch & Lomb Tactical and Leupold & Stevens, Inc. 10X scopes
on its M14SSR rifles.
 

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Does it have a Mil-Dot reticle? If so, some of those scopes were used on some Navy M14 Port Security rifles in the early 1990s. They are considered to be good scopes.

U.S. Navy personnel in DMR training circa 1993 at Kings Bay (sub base) with a Navy M14 Port Security Rifle, with plain black McMillan stock, BPT scope mount, and Leupold M1A 10x Tactical scope with Mi-Dot reticle added by Dick Thomas of Premier Reticle. (Source: retired Navy/online picture)



...So I would consider the M1A scope correct for a Navy Port Security rifle and perhaps "semi-correct" on an Army XM25, with the M3A Ultra being what is typically seen, along with the B&L 10x scope. The military presumably wanted the BDC elevation turret of the M3/M3A Ultra (100 to 1000 meter range), so the M1A scope with its tall turrets that lacked a BDC feature were more likely evaluation scopes from the mid-1980s before the Army settled on the M3A Ultra circa 1988. That said, I have seen several pics of the tall turreted M1 looking scopes on military M14s during the war in Iraq in the 2000s.

(Note: Leupold also made a 16x M1A scope that was reportedly tested/adopted on .50 caliber sniper rifles in the late 1980s)
 

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craxynoto: That 1986 era Leupold scope likely has a wire reticle (if its never been replaced). That reticle was also used on the M3 and I think M3A Ultra as well. At some point in the 1990s, Leupold changed to a glass-etched reticle and re-branded the scopes as the "Mark 4" scopes, and continues to make them 20 plus years later. There is no external difference that I can detect b/t that old 1980's era M1A Ultra and later Mk 4 M1 - except the large font and markings underneath the scope, as you clearly show in your picture. (The newer scopes don't use that 2 digit prefix as the year of manufacture anymore, so the serial # markings have changed too)

(On EDIT: Forceman's post below notes that later Leupold Mk 4 scopes have a "LR/T" designation on the objective bell along with the model number, so that might be the exception re physical appearance b/t 1980/90s vintage scopes vs current Mk 4 production scopes).

The Mark 4x fixed 10x with M1 turrets was very recently discontinued, but they were used on various military rifles. I have one reserved for my Navy SSR replica if I can ever get a scope mount made to replicate the Navy design.

PS: Re this
Note: Leupold also made a 16x M1A scope that was reportedly tested/used on .50 caliber sniper rifles in the mid-to-late 1980s)
As an fyi, here's a couple of the 16x Leupold Ultra scopes on experimental/evaluation 14.5mm and .50 caliber sniper rifles many years ago, as noted in Chandler's book "The One-Shot Brotherhood" (page 281) That 14.5mm rifle has quite a muzzle break...my right shoulder and ears almost hurt just looking at that beast...



The 16X fixed power Leupold is easily identified by its unusually high M1 elevation turret and slightly rear-ward position compared to its 10x cousin. I think this scope is still in production.
 

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Forceman, I'd have to call Leupold for that kind of info. My guess is the "LR/T" marking is was/is just marketing-related. In the very early 2000s they came out with the "MR/T" scopes in the 2.5-8x power as used on the Mk 12 rifles that the Navy developed at that time, and that might be when they stated using the "LR/T" (long-range tactical) vs "MR/T" (medium-range tactical) markings.

I recall that Leupold developed a TS-30 scope in the early 2000s as used on those early Mk 12 SPR rifles, and thus I suspect that was when the "medium range tactical" (MR/T) might have come into existence. Presumably they also started marking "LR/T" at that time. I think the "ER/T" or Extreme Range/Tactical marketing 'desgination' came about with the 6.5-20x and 8.5-25x Mark 4 scopes, but I don't know when those were released. (I bought an 8.5-25x "ER/T" in 2007 or 2008, the first year they offered one with a Front Focal Plane reticle).

(Others may know more about this subject than me, as my memory of old Leupold scope catalogs is imperfect...)
 

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BTW, if anybody has a spare short (2.5") sun shade for one the old (pre-2004) Mk 4 tactical scopes (40mm objective), I'm looking for one. They were discontinued a few years ago and the spare I have doesn't fit, so I guess it a post-2004 thread pitch. Just throwing this out their for anyone who had a spare that they could part with. (They made them in 2.5 and 4" length, and I'm interested in the shorter one).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks guys! I will use it on my XM25 build for now (until I find a B&L 10x40 or ultra m3.
I am also building a M25 and trying to collect the parts to build a SSR also (I have the stock and plan on machining my own SSR scope mount based off of pictures (unless someone has one I can copy? than I can produce a few)).
 

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The first XM25's used by Army special forces at Ft. Devens used L&S Ultra M3 scopes. My second XM25 is built this way. So an M1A is not exactly correct but close. That scope would have possibly been used on late M21's or as Random mentions on DMR or security rifles. The 86 denotes 1986 manufacture as already mentioned. All Ultra scopes were military contract with mil-dot reticles. Random, I am pretty sure they are all etched glass - do you have some data supporting the wire reticle on an Ultra? Thanks.
All this afaik.
 

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What would be the correct vintage scope caps to use on this or other scope options for the xm25?
Well, I would say really worn-out, vintage Butler Creek scope caps would suffice..;-) Joking aside, I doubt they had a "specification" for them, and some of the pictures I have seen of original XM25's don't seem to have scope covers. FWIW, here's one more picture from 1993 of Navy personal training at Kings Bay with Navy M14 Port Security Rifles used in a DMR capacity for Navy sub base protection. If I had to guess, I would say these are likely the ubiquitous Butler Creek scope covers on these Leupold M1A Ultra scopes...but don't sweat that detail. (Third rifle down in a late M21 w/ ART II scope).



(PS: I actually acquired one of those large aluminum Navy rifle cases as seen in that picture that were used to transport various Navy sniper rifles back in the 1980s/1990s, but now I need to gather up all the little parts that go in it, and its the Navy Weapon book for a Navy M14 rifle that I would really like to have - in case anyone has one that they could part with, please let me know...).

Also, I posted this months ago and while it doesn't cover everything, it seems to cover the basics for anyone interested in XM25 optical systems and possible substitute parts:
http://m14forum.com/optics/369761-alternative-scope-rings-mounts-xm25-replica-builds.html

Majikani, I'd need to contact Leupold to ask them about the transition from the wire to a glass-etched reticle. I will note that the Navy veteran (DMR instructor) from that 1993 picture at Kings Bay specifically stated that the M1A Ultra 10x scopes he and others used on the Navy M14 Port Security Rifles/DMRs had Mil-Dot reticles provided by Dick Thomas of Premier Reticle, and since Premier installed wire reticles with Mil-Dots, and not glass-etched reticles, my impression from old internet posts is that the Ultra's had wire reticles - but again, that needs to be confirmed.

As you are likely aware, Premier was based in Winchester, VA and they kind-of built their business by repairing the wire reticles in the USMC's 10X Unertl scopes during the 1980s-1990s...
 

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I know that I'm replying to this a little after the fact but I purchased two of the Ultra 20X-M1a scopes from Kent Lamont back in 1993. One of these went on a Barrett and the other has been sitting in my safe ever since. I still have the original sales sheet he supplied with the scopes. The way Kent described these to me was they were originally sold to the USMC, about 100 and the scopes were eventually turned to DRMO sales and he purchased 65 of them.

That said, these were for military application only, not commercially available and were no longer in production. The features of the scope are as follows;
Ultra Heavy-Duty construction
One-Piece Aircraft Aluminum Tube (.010" thick)
Etched Glass Reticule, (these were sent to Germany to have this done and this was not an option in the newer Mark IV)
Sized for NATO 30mm rings
144 Minute Vertical Adjustment
48 Minute Horizontal Adjustment
Adjusts in 1/4 Minute Clicks
Unparalleled Accuracy
..
This has been a very good scope and I have not been disappointed with its performance. BTW, these originally sold for $1250.00.
 
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