Best M1A Scopes – 2020 Ultimate Review

M1A rifles are extremely popular with many hunters as they deliver the most performance to their users.

However, if you want the highest standards and maximized benefits, you should pair your M1A with a high-quality scope.

Here are our detailed reviews of the best M1A scopes on the market this year; these products will surely boost your rifle’s accuracy and improve its handling. 

Comparison Chart of the Best M1A Scopes


Burris 200261

  • Best M1A scope overall
  • Adjustment system has audible steel-on-steel clicks
  • Heavy-duty internal spring with double force
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Vortex Optics Crossfire II

  • Ideal for a wide variety of hunting applications
  • Capped reset turrets can be adjusted with MOA clicks
  • A single piece tube with aircraft-grade aluminum
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Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm

  • Best for the money
  • Precision ¼ MOA click adjustments
  • Ultralight and ideal for a lifetime of extreme use
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UTG 2-7X44 30mm

  • Emerald lens coatings
  • Rainproof, shockproof and fog-proof
  • 11” eye relief
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Combat Optical 10-40x50 Rangefinder

  • Extremely affordable
  • Basic features with great performance
  • Great accuracy
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Are Scopes Important While Using an M1A?

Different rifle users have conflicting views on scopes and which ones are the best, based on their intentions. However, the consensus is that M1A scopes are important for several activities. 

First of all, they are useful in long-distance shooting, as having a long-range optics on your M1A will make a huge difference. A high-quality scope will extend the rifle’s range, and they often have magnifications of up to 24x, which will help you hit your target. 

UTG 2-7X44 30mm

Some people use scopes with their M1A for shooting competitions. However, in this case, you may not need such a strong magnification. Most rifle users who participate in competitions go for 9x or 12x magnification; the important aspect of scope in this scenario is how fast the scope can acquire the target. 

Overall, while some people say that it is not necessary to use optics on your M1A because the iron sights are very accurate on their own, the truth is that the ideal scope will help you reap all the benefits of the rifle, maximizing its potential. 

Why Did These Scopes Make Our List?

Here are some main aspects of our recommended models:

Objective Lens

A scope with a large objective lens means that more light can get into the scope; thus, you will have a better and clearer sight picture. This is preferred by hunters in low-light settings, as you need a very bright and clear scope to make sure you hit your target. However, there is also a trade-off between size and performance, as the bigger the lens, the heavier the scope. Our models balance this trade-off pretty well, with options for any needs. 

Coated Lenses

We believe that coated lenses are a must-have feature for a good quality scope. A coated lens means that a lot of light gets into the scope, without reflecting it on the surface. This type of coating offers a clearer image without reflecting the light on your scope, which could give away your position to your prey. 

Eye Relief

Eye relief is key for M1A scopes – it is the distance from the scope that will still give you a clear image of your target. If you are a beginner, you should never place your eyes directly on the riflescope because the recoil of the gun firing could cause the scope to hit your eye socket. You should aim for a scope with an eye relief of a minimum of four inches, just to be on the safe side. 

Quick Take | Best M1A Scopes

Review of the Best M1A Scopes

Now that you have a rough idea of what you should look for in an M1A scope, take a look at some of our top recommendations.

Best Overall:
Burris 200261

Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm


  • Internal spring has a double force
  • Resistant to shocks, water, and fog 
  • Versatile, professional-quality product
  • Ultimate speed in acquiring a target with both eyes open
  • Multi-coated lenses for longer life and enhanced protection


  • Reflects bright colors/lights from behind (if any)

What Recent Buyers Report

Burris is the best variable-power scout scope available on the market, with bright and crisp optics. At the same time, the reticle is thin and sharp, allowing for precise targeting. It also includes ballistic drop marks, ideal for people who want to shoot at variable distances, without adjusting the elevation and windage knobs. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Burris 200261 is our top recommendation for all shooting needs. It features a posi-lock system that securely locks accuracy into place. Burris uses grade dry nitrogen cycles in order to make the product recoil resistant, waterproof, and fog-proof. What is more, the Burris Scout has lenses with a larger diameter than other alternatives, enhancing the clarity of sight.  

Who Will Use This Most

This scope is ideal for all shooting needs, especially for a designated marksman or a scout-type rifle and fire team member. It is exceptionally comfortable to use due to the long-eye relief shooting with two eyes open, which also allows faster targeting. It has a crystal-clear quality glass. 

Bottom Line

This scope is well worth the money, and it is one of the best investments you could make. The quality and performance of the product are backed up with Burris’s warranty. This scope is highly recommended for any scout rifle application – whether it is for beginners or professionals, you simply cannot go wrong with Burris. 

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle


  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Fast and easy reticle focusing
  • Strength and shockproof performance 
  • Highly versatile, ideal for all-purpose hunting
  • High-quality construction from aircraft-grade aluminum


  • Not ideal for low-light settings, when it starts to go dark
  • Image is difficult to keep in focus at the end of adjustments (2-3 and 5.7)

What Recent Buyers Report

Surprisingly for such a low-price, this scope performs flawlessly. It dials in quickly and accurately, and the generous eye box is ideal for a scout scope. What is more, the scope looks great with an amazing fit and finish. It is effortless to use and has clear glass. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Crossfire II 2-7x32 Scout Riflescope is a high-quality scope offering some of the highest levels of performance and reliability. It includes a long-eye relief with a fast-focus eyepiece and multi-coated lenses. It is clear, bright, and tough, and it features a nitrogen-purged and o-ring sealing single-piece aluminum tube. 

Who Will Use This Most

The V-Plex MOA reticle is ideal for all-purpose hunting applications. It has a second focal plane reticles that are highly functional, maintaining the same appearance. Furthermore, this style of reticle does not change size when you modify the magnification. 

Bottom Line

All in all, if you are on a budget and still want maximum performance, this is the product for you. It is easy to use and performs with high accuracy and precision. It is ideal for any scout setup or personal preference, with a beautiful design, great fit, and superb finish. 

Best for the Money:
Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm Riflescope


  • Built with aircraft-quality aluminum
  • Highest level of abrasion resistance
  • Waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof 
  • Duplex reticle with a matte, smooth finish
  • Ideal for shooting in low-light settings at the end/beginning of the day


  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This is, by far, one of the finest scopes on the market. The scope is extremely bright as, similar to all Leupold products, this model is extremely clear, sharp, and easy to use. It also holds zero better than any other alternative on the market. It offers great value for its price!

Why it Stands Out to Us

Our best budget option is the Leupold VX-3i, a scope that is remarkable due to its relentless performance. It is one of the most popular models of its kind, and it can be used in any hunting settings. This product is highly versatile, with a large magnification range. 

Who Will Use This Most

This scope is ideal for any hunting environment. It comes with the Twilight Max Light Management system that allows users to see all the details, especially in low-light settings. It is lightweight, simple to use, and great for tight brush and long-range shots. 

Bottom Line

Overall, if you are looking for the best deal, Leupold is a true industry symbol. It is ideal for a lifetime of performance under extreme or harsh use. It can withstand pretty much anything with its shockproof, waterproof and fog-proof features. The twilight max light management system recommends it for use in low light settings. 


  • Lens are emerald-coated 
  • High-quality scope with a sturdy design
  • Includes high-quality flip-open lens caps
  • Zero locking/zero resetting target turrets
  • Suitable for all weather and light conditions


  • Quite heavy (25.4 ounces or 1.59 lbs)

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the best features of this product is the adjustable turrets, which are lockable and can be set to zero distance. The turret clicks do not require any tools; they can be turned with your fingers. Another nice touch is the illuminated reticle, which is highly useful when sighting in on a dark target. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The UTG 2-7X44 30mm is an exquisite, carefully crafted scope with emerald-coated lens and shockproof, rainproof, and fog-proof features. It offers 11” eye relief, which makes it effective on any firearm where the optics cannot be placed right above the action. It is suitable for all-weather and light conditions. 

Who Will Use This Most

This all-purpose scope can be used with any hunting applications. It is excellent for any weather or light conditions, as it has built-in sunshades that keep the lens shaded when they are aimed in the sun’s direction. It is bright, clear, and extremely easy to use, but it is quite heavy compared to other alternatives. 

Bottom Line

The UTG 2-7X44 is the ideal product for you if you bench-shoot at the ranges. Its weight does not recommend it for long-eye relief scope, but if the weight is not an issue for you, this product offers great value with a low-price and outstanding quality.

M14 M1A Mount 10-40x50 Rangefinder Rifle scope combo set Free sunshade


  • Powerful scope
  • Good optic quality
  • Affordable price range
  • Holds zero and is clear
  • Easy to see and hit 500-yard targets


  • Mount is not easy to use
  • Requires milling work to use it
  • You need a lot of math to use the rangefinder

What Recent Buyers Report

Some users state that this product requires milling work, but if you follow the instructions it comes with, there should be no problems. It offers great quality for the low-price points, and it is one of the best basic scopes on the market. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Combat Optical 10-40x50 Rangefinder is an affordable basic scope with a great range finder. The scope is very powerful, very clear, and holds zero. It is made of durable materials, and it performs great with any basic hunting needs. If you are on a budget and need a great-performing scope, this is the one for you. 

Who Will Use This Most

This scope is an excellent buy for anyone on a budget. It does not include as many features as other more expensive products, but it serves well with beginners or people with basic hunting needs. It can be used with ease with 500-yard targets, and it has a consistent, reliable performance. 

Bottom Line

While not the brightest option on the marketplace, the Combat Optical 10-40x50 Rangefinder is a solid choice if you are on a budget. We highly recommend to check it out as the price is completely unbeatable and the basic features it comes with perform within the highest standards of performance for a product in this category. 

Advantages of Investing in a Quality M1A Scope

A high-quality M1A scope will offer you several advantages:

Durability and Sturdiness

M1A has a strong recoil that requires for a solid, sturdy scope. This is not concerning for most shooters, but if you use your optic frequently, the recoil can cause significant damage to it. It has some kick, so your scope needs to be very durable and sturdy and able to take all that abuse. A good-quality scope is a shock-resistant for this reason. Having a reliable scope mount is also essential to ensure your scope stays attached to your weapon. 

Resistant to Elements

Sometimes, rifles are used in not-so-friendly environments. This is why a high-quality M1A scope should be sealed and even purged of oxygen. This will make it resistant to water and dust, which can easily make your scope unusable. Purged scopes also do not keep moisture inside, which means that fog or condensation should be no issue for you. 


An M1A is great with scopes that have some type of bullet drop compensation. If you are a distance-shooter, it is best recommended to go for MOA instead of MIL because it is a better match for the adjustments on the rifle. The best thing to do is verify the adjustments for the chosen optic and then go for the reticle that matches them – for instance, MIL with MIL or MOA with MOA. 


No matter what your needs are, these models should cover all possibilities. M1A rifles are great and highly accurate, but pairing them with a high-quality scope can only maximize this potential. These models score high in sheer quality, power, and durability – you cannot go wrong if you choose one of them.