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Discussion Starter #1
So, let me start at the beginning.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

My wife bought me an M1A Loaded for our 10 year anniversary. For optics and rings, I purchased a Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 FFP and a set of Leupold Mark 4 super high rings. It took a couple of weeks before I was able to get to the range to sight this in, but once I did, I had major issues.

I started off at 50 yards to get on paper. However, I had to move the windage all the way to the right to get it centered on the target. I literally ran out of adjustments. At 50 yards. Yeah, I had a feeling something was wrong. So, I emailed Vortex and voiced my displeasure. After I hit "Send," I started about what might have gone wrong. Then I realized it might actually be my fault.


One of the features of the Viper PST is their CRS Zero Stop ability - you basically use shims once you have it zeroed so you have the ability to go back to zero if you make adjustments. Well, I remembered I removed the turret caps, and, like an idiot, I twisted the turrets. Without the caps on. When I replaced the turret caps, obviously it was now way out of whack. I know, I know...what an idiot. I then emailed Vortex back, apologized, and explained what I did and it was my fault. The customer service rep at Vortex told me to send the scope back so one of their riflescope techs could reset it back to factory specs. Will do, good sir! The turnaround time was literally 4 days. Awesome service.

I got the scope back and went back to the range to sight it in. Much better this time; however, something's still wrong. My first couple of shots were high and to the right. So, I made the necessary elevation and windage adjustments and got it shooting perfect in about 6 shots. Everything seemed awesome! However, I noticed the reticle was still "off to the right" in the scope a bit too much. I emailed Vortex again, explained the situation, and they ended up calling me this morning to troubleshoot. I explained to him what rings and gun this was going on, and when I did, he shouted "aha!" He said this issue is common with M1As that have the Vltor cluster rail. He said I need to align the dovetail at the rear of the rail, in front of the rear site.

So, may two questions are...

1. Does this make sense what he's saying?
2. How to align the dovetail?
3. Would I be better off taking it to a gunsmith?
 

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Sorry to hear that.
you are not alone with the M1A. I know folks occasionally had some issues with the vltor. I had all the dead weight removed added the ARMS 18 and that worked very well. I would call Vltor if that is what you have and have them tell you what to do. I would doubt the scope is the issue or that you need a gunsmith but some clear instructions to get everything true and aligned.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.

I thought about that, but will Vltor help me? Although the cluster rail is made by Vltor, it was purchased from Springfield already installed on the rifle.
 

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Thanks.

I thought about that, but will Vltor help me? Although the cluster rail is made by Vltor, it was purchased from Springfield already installed on the rifle.
Even better. Call Springfield. Even they make mistakes but they are a reputable company and should be able to help you. I think this might end up being something really simple. But one thing for sure you want that rail perfectly parallel to your barrel. That is what Vortex was implying and in line with the issues with vltor-m1A. I know it sucks sometimes to get thing debugged but be patient, that M1A you got is an awesome system.
I don't know that extended rail but don't you have a set screw or something at the mount just in front of the sight? If you do let me know because I would just loosen the entire rail, then align it and then torque it down evenly in a cross pattern. To make sure you are aligned you need to work
with a boresigther and ideally a couple of levels. To do this there is no one system better than another but in the end everything must be perfectly parallel and the scope properly leveled and aligned. I mount my own scopes and make them true at home. Cannot do that on the field with the same efficiency. I painted a matrix accross the room in front of my workbench to align the reticles and preset zero. In fact I rarely takes more than one or two shots to set initial zero at the field. W/o this you will always have issues if it is not at 100 then at 200 or 300 or 500 or as far as your rifle or you can shoot.
 

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I'm having the same trouble with the scope on my MPA 45 carbine. Two times at the range. Once at 50 yds and the next time at 25 yds. Got nowhere and I'm sure the adjustment is totally off now. I'm guessing it's probably my own fault. I'm a beginner with scopes and haven't yet figured out the instructions let alone getting it right at the range.

Another shooter suggested getting a cartridge type laser bore sight.

I haven't done that yet but I did look on Amazon and the ones reasonably priced had pretty decent reviews.

I'd start with one and play around with it at home and try to avoid the hassle of phone calls and running around to gunsmiths.
 

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I'm having the same trouble with the scope on my MPA 45 carbine. Two times at the range. Once at 50 yds and the next time at 25 yds. Got nowhere and I'm sure the adjustment is totally off now. I'm guessing it's probably my own fault. I'm a beginner with scopes and haven't yet figured out the instructions let alone getting it right at the range.

Another shooter suggested getting a cartridge type laser bore sight.

I haven't done that yet but I did look on Amazon and the ones reasonably priced had pretty decent reviews.

I'd start with one and play around with it at home and try to avoid the hassle of phone calls and running around to gunsmiths.
If you get a laser one get a 243 winchester, this one you can use for all the 308 offspring vs buying one. This doesn't eliminate the need to
have the scope properly leveled and aligned. This is not the most accurate method but mr. larry explains this with a very simple inexpensive method good for most folks for the average hunting and practice ranges but this is not an accurate method for serious long range shooting...
Leveling Rifle Scope Crosshairs - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm going to try and get in contact with Springfield Armory today. I posted this over at m14forum.com as well.
 
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Good luck working through your scope mounting problems with your M1A. The M14 pattern rifle is great I own several and really appreciate their near perfect ergonomics and excellent iron sights. The U.S. Army spent decades in an effort to turn the M14 into a sniper weapon. All manner of match grade refinements were made and a scope was added. This highly modified rifle was called at first the XM-21 and then the M-21.



My first experience with the M-21 was as an enlisted infantryman in the 101st Airborne Division back in the 1970's. The rifles we were issued had been "rode hard and put away wet". These rifles had all seen combat in Viet Nam and were in terrible condition. I attributed their poor performance on the range to their dilapidated condition. But I've got to admit these rifles turned heads as they looked really neat.

When I left the Regular Army I decided to get a Springfield Armory M1A and have it built into a "state of the art" M-21 clone. I got all the bells and whistles. The barrel was replaced with a heavy match version. The gas system was "unitized" by tig-welding. The front ferrule was polished. The flash suppressor was reamed. The action was glass bedded. And finally I had a three point scope base mounted. I could neither afford nor could I locate an ART-2 scope so I went with a variable version of a civilian scope. Frankly, I can't remember the exact brand or type. (This all took place in the late 1980's.)

This rifle just wouldn't shoot consistently. Sometimes it would produce an amazing group and other times it went to something around two and a half minutes. The zero would shift from one range session to another so you never knew where your first round would land. If I changed the method of support from sling to sandbag to bipod the point of impact would shift. All in all it was a terrible disappointment. I had hoped that a newly built rifle would shoot better than those old war-horses we used in the army but such wasn't the case.

I ended up trading that rifle off for something else taking a real financial bath in the process.

Years later, around 2005, I decided to take another swing at this after picking up another Springfield Armory National Match M1A for a song. The only difference this time was that I added a McMillan fiberglass stock and mounted a Leupold M3LR. All the work was done by G.A. Precision in North Kansas City. The rifle is a work of art. But guess what? It shoots like the first one did.



So I've relegated it to the "Heavy Metal Blaster" role mounting a Circle-Dot reticle, 1X to 4X scope on it. In this role my expectations are not so high and the rifle is a hoot to shoot but is wicked heavy.




I hope you enjoy your adventures with your M1A.

Oh yes, one more thing. That video by Larry Potterfield about leveling a scope is pretty much complete hogwash.
 

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I'm going to try and get in contact with Springfield Armory today. I posted this over at m14forum.com as well.
My socom shot pretty decently but I could not justify the weight/results factor so when I tried the first AK sporter in 308 I sold the socom and got a few of these with money still left. I mean for that barrel / purpose I am happy I did that. I am no expert in the M1A but I know these can be finicky so talk to them and see what they have to say but also keep present other folks extensive experience like above. I friend has one standard and he loves it. Just keep it reasonable and do not try to spend huge amounts in trying to make an old donkey bark.
 
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