I have an M1A mated to a M14E2 pistol grip stock. the mount I have comes from springfield armory. It has a mounting block that replaces the standard striper clip block which gives you a second attachment point, and uses two large heafty screws to attach to the riffle. and has a weaver style rail. It's rock solid and I've had no return to zero issues, However I would not neccesarily call it a quick detatch mount, but it is simple enough to remove and reattach. check out my other thread for pictures of the arrangement.
I've done a lot of research on this, as I'm thinking of scoping my Loaded model, soon. I think the leading mounts right now, are from Smith Enterprises, Sadlak and Bassett. The Springfield mount seems to be hit or miss, depending on the receiver being in spec, or not, as well as the mount, itself. Some guys have got them to work fine, many others have not. I recently sold the one that came with my rifle (a SAI Gen.III), as I could see that it wasn't going to line up properly. I had another SAI mount, years ago, that was nothing but trouble. I would say that Sadlak seems to be the most popular and they have at least three different ones to choose from.
The smith mount and sadlak mounts are great, but none of them are really designed to be quick release. The springfield mount is not bad I think a lot of the bad rap it gets is from people buying the cheap knock offs thinking it's a third generation mount.
If you want a quick release mount, look at some of the SAs. While they don't usually fly off, they usually work themselves loose and release that way. On an M1A there is alot going on and in a heavier caliber, thus you don't want a mount that releases at all, quick or otherwise. You want a mount that is basically an anvil. Any release would be in the form of quality tactical lever, repeatable rings.
That said, I go with steel mounts only on an M1A. Smith is the best IMHO, and has the NSN and military contract. It's a product improvement over the Brookfield, the first real M1A mount and part of the M25. Next is the ARMS18, which is cool because it is the lowest and allows for use of qd rings. You can remove your scope and use the fixed sights with the rail mounted below the line of sight, thus you aren't looking through a sight channel in a scope mount.
IMHO, aluminum and exotic metals and such are fine for AR platforms, but I suck it up, take the weight, and go with steel on a semi-auto 7.62 NATO M1A.
I think I need to clarify my "quick detach" statement...all the mounts discussed fit the category of being able to remove the scope and still use the irons, then replace the scope without having to spend a lot of time resetting to zero.
Where is a good source for the Smith mount?
Bassett has a great website, and you can order directly.
A.R.M.S. makes a set of rings that have quick release levers that are supposed to hold your zero. There is also a qucik release base that can be used under the scope as well kind of like what leather wood sells on its current version on there art scope.
ARMS rings (which I have on a Leupold MRT) are a little flimsy with those aluminum arms, which will break, and the pressure plates wear and get weak, causing them to lose strength. True story, not forum prattling or hearsay. There are better rings, such as Larue, hell, even Warne or Leupold.
I've used the Brookfield style for 20+ years and Zero problems. I've never removed my mounts except for re-barrel. I will admit that there are others out there that I like, but for me what I have works.
I had both Smith Enterprise and Sadlak (regular, not airborne titanium) mounts and got rig of both (sold) very quickly. The main reason is that they would not sit straight on the rifle and were so crooked that I would run out of scope adjustment. I got Springfield Armory 3gen mount and it functiones fine. One problem to consider here is the shape of the receiver. Both Sadlak and Smith, I think, make their mounts true to the M14 specs. If you have Norinco, it actually replicated M14 receiver quite fathfully. Springfield Armory is a different matter. Both Sadlak and Smith Ent. will "adjust" your mount to the Springfield Armory receiver when you buy it from them directly. That, however, did not work on my rifle. Springfield Armory makes mount to the specs of the receiver made by them and mine fit as a glove. Again, it's a trial and error thing.... If Sadlak or Smith worke - great. If not - try Springfield or A.R.M.S (I never tried it, mount looks great and mounts low. my 2c.
The last generation SAinc mounts are fine for rifles that don't see alot of use, and I've heard they can be tweaked with loctite and such to work OK, but they are not recommended. Out of spec M1A receivers are the culprit, not the mounts, but the mounts can be custom fit to work fine. If you want something that is going to be sturdy and hold zero, Smith/Sadlak/ARMS18 in steel or titanium I reckon, though I can't comment much on that as I have no experience with the latter. I like the ARMS for the application below, which I built, because it is LOW, and the others require a cheekpad and put your head in an uncomfortable position. The "scout" below is not much longer than an M1 carbine
I ordered the Bassetts with the picatinny, not the low low mount that obscures the iron sights. Now to find some glass. I am a big fan of the old Redfield 3X9, but the M1A almost cries for more magnification. Any suggestions on reasonably priced glass?
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