Re: M1A optic... which to choose?
I have used several scope mounts for M-1A's over the years. I also don't like any of the aluminum mounts. In my opinion, the best mount is the A.R.M.S. M-21/14 mount. It is all steel, very compact, uses the side bolt, the stripper guide, and a jam screw in front to make a very stable platform. I don't use the side-lever top base, but mount the rings directly on the picatinny rail on the mount. The Smith Enterprises mount may also be a good one, but I haven't tried one, so I don't know.
For a scope, I like a 30mm tube, 50mm objective, lighted reticle. It needs to be as short as possible to prevent long, unsupported scope overhang. A 3 - 12X variable is about as high power as I would use because of the length. Reticles are a matter of personal choice, but for versatility the mil-dot is hard to beat. Some of the European scopes are the equal of the N/F scopes and weigh about half as much. Zeiss, Swarovski, etc.
Talley vertical split steel rings are a good choice because they are very strong and not too heavy. Also, they don't have anything sticking out to snag on clothing, etc.
Good luck and good shooting. Tom
Texas State Rifle Association Life Member
NRA Endowment Life Member
A big fast bullet will beat a little fast bullet every time