Scope for a M40a1 look alike.

libertyman777

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What would you guys choose? A one inch tube would be great but there's not a lot to choose from. If I went with a 30mm tube (which is highly likely), I would like to keep the objective size down to 44mm or less. I'm not looking for a replica or copy, I just want to keep the similar lines if possible. Price is a concern, I need to be in the $500-$600 range. These rifles I think were fitted with the fixed 10x Unertl

The only 1" tube scope I've found has been the Vortex Razor HD LH 3-15x42. I see them go used for $500-$600

The USO ST-10 is a solid choice but probably not in the budget right now.

The SWFA 3-9 or 10x HD models look good.

Sightron SIII 3.5-10x44.

The IOR 2.5-10x42 or 10x42.

I don't want anything made in China or the Philippines. Anything else to consider?

Thanks,
Paul
 

Son of Dorn

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I'd say to have a look at a Redfield 3-9 Accu-Range if you want a vintage scope; they're correct for the period, made in the USA, and can be found on ebay between $500 and $600.

Son of Dorn
 
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jpspeeddemon

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A good alternative to the Unertl for an M40A1 is the original Weaver T-10 made in El Paso, TX models. These scopes were used on M40A1s and are around $300 in today's market. I have one and it is a good scope, good tracking, glass is good for its age (1980s), and its all steel.
 

sandwarrior

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For the A1, the USO ST-10 is the best look IMO. If you were doing a straight 40 then the Redfield. Any of that vintage that have the knurling around the objective and ocular.
 

D_TROS

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what do you plan on using the rifle for??


I went with a Zeiss 4-14

has 1" tube and great glass. they sell when you can find em for 5-6 hundo. Mil retc and moa knobs seems fitting also. but annoying.


I also saw a sig whisky 5 3-15 on a clone that looked legit but I think they are more $$$

If I couldn't find a zeiss or honestly maybe even a SS fixed 10x/12x Id give the weaver t-10 a hard look.

I wouldnvr pay over 3 for an accurange on gaybay. chuckleheads up charging scopes that arnt even military to make a quick buck. they come up time to time on a real auction and bring 250-300 if ur patient.

last, and I think a very solid option, the luppy green 3-9 they did a run of. Mine tracks very well and once zero'd, you can just leave it alone and do mil dot holdovers.


The 1" tube is nice because you can put the upside down rings on to make it look a little better as well.

GL
DT
 

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navynambu

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Go with a Weaver T-10, as stated above, it's a scope that was actually used on the M40A1 and is a much better scope than the Redfield 3x9 carried over from the M40 to the M40 A1. The T-10 is in my opinion still quite enjoyable to use if you can find one that is in excellent condition. You should be able to buy one that in excellent condition for $300. The Unertl USMC sniper 10 powers didn't start showing up until 1980 so there were years in the 1970s when the T-10s and other were used.

1565040693060.jpeg
 

jakhamr81

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If you decide to go with a vintage optic, buy one from Iron Sights in Tulsa. https://ironsightinc.com/

I bought a 3-9 Redfield from them with a midot reticle. They include a one year warranty. It's more usable than any of the reticles of that time but the glass still leaves a lot to be desired.
 

deltawiskey

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what do you plan on using the rifle for??


I went with a Zeiss 4-14

has 1" tube and great glass. they sell when you can find em for 5-6 hundo. Mil retc and moa knobs seems fitting also. but annoying.


I also saw a sig whisky 5 3-15 on a clone that looked legit but I think they are more $$$

If I couldn't find a zeiss or honestly maybe even a SS fixed 10x/12x Id give the weaver t-10 a hard look.

I wouldnvr pay over 3 for an accurange on gaybay. chuckleheads up charging scopes that arnt even military to make a quick buck. they come up time to time on a real auction and bring 250-300 if ur patient.

last, and I think a very solid option, the luppy green 3-9 they did a run of. Mine tracks very well and once zero'd, you can just leave it alone and do mil dot holdovers.


The 1" tube is nice because you can put the upside down rings on to make it look a little better as well.

GL
DT
Great pic, Love that 40X .22 M40A1 trainer you have, especially that stock! Your right, that Zeiss scope looks at home on it.
I have a 40X A1 trainer also... easily my favorite rifle!
DW
 
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sandwarrior

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Go with a Weaver T-10, as stated above, it's a scope that was actually used on the M40A1 and is a much better scope than the Redfield 3x9 carried over from the M40 to the M40 A1. The T-10 is in my opinion still quite enjoyable to use if you can find one that is in excellent condition. You should be able to buy one that in excellent condition for $300. The Unertl USMC sniper 10 powers didn't start showing up until 1980 so there were years in the 1970s when the T-10s and other were used.

View attachment 7124591
Forgot about the T-10. Great catch on that.
 

Random Guy

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The SWFA 3-9 or 10x HD models look good.
Since you seem intent on a 30mm scope, and not necessarily historical accuracy, such as using an old T10 scope, thus I might suggest this scope which you can sometimes catch on sale for about $700:


It is almost identical to the old B&L 10X Tactical scopes that the US Navy used on their bolt action sniper rifles back in the late 1980s/early 1990s. (Here's what the old B&L looks like, which the HD version of the SWFA scope has the same ‘fat’ turrets).
 

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libertyman777

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Since you seem intent on a 30mm scope, and not necessarily historical accuracy, with an old T10 scope, so I might suggest this scope which you can sometimes catch on sale for about $700:


It is almost identical to the old B&L 10X Tactical scopes that the US Navy used on their bolt action sniper rifles back in the late 1980s/early 1990s. (Here's what the old B&L looks like, which the HD version of the SWFA scope has the same ‘fat’ turrets).
Thanks for the pic. I have the 1” tube Bushnell 3200 right now that it’s going to wear. I’m a bit concerned about durability.

I have also considered the Vortex Razor HD LH 3-15X42 1” Razor.

I’ve looked hard at that SWFA scope. The rifle is not historically accurate. I’m just wanting the right look but with modern glass and I really appreciate all the help.
 
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jpspeeddemon

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Those little 10x Bushnell 3200s are nice for the money. That scope should be plenty durable. I believe those were made in Japan and are very similar to the Weaver 3-10x40 tactical that is also made in Japan, and quite robust for the price.

For modern straight 10x scopes, that SWFA HD that @libertyman777 mentioned would be great too.
 

sandwarrior

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Thanks for the pic. I have the 1” tube Bushnell 3200 right now that it’s going to wear. I’m a bit concerned about durability.

I have also considered the Vortex Razor HD LH 3-15X42 1” Razor.

I’ve looked hard at that SWFA scope. The rifle is not historically accurate. I’m just wanting the right look but with modern glass and I really appreciate all the help.
Pre-SWFA, that scope was SS (Super Sniper) built by Tasco and was actually the issued scope for the SEALs sniper rifles for a short time. Along came better glass and it was out. But, they were built tough and have good glass. So, while the rifle isn't totally historically accurate, there's a piece that is and looks right on the rifle.
 

Random Guy

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FWIW, one of my shooting buddies has a budget M40A1 replica with the Bushnell 3200 10X scope
(See here on the right with some green camo paint on it). For a budget build it will work, but unfortunately
there really is no scope made that looks much like the old USMC Unertl 10X scopes - as seen to the left.
(This pic was taken the Sept 2018 vintage rifle match held by the Quantico Shooting Club. Good times).

M40A1_Bushnell_3200_10x.JPG

Since you want modern glass, here are a couple more alternatives. The Leupold M3A Ultra10x or
later Mk 4, 10X with M3 turrets looks "kind-of right" on an M40A1 clone given the scope is basic
and was of coarse used on M24s during the same era as the M40A1. (1990s, etc). The downside is
that they cost about $800 to $1k depending on condition and accessories. This is not my
rifle, but I think the scope looks good and doesn't look out of place on this replica:

M40A1_Leupold_Mk4_10x_m3.jpg

2nd: Below is the old B&L 10X Tactical (Elite 4000 scope) - that was used on all kinds of US Navy sniper rifles
from the 1980s into the 2000s, but its kind-of hard to find and they sell for $800 and up on eBay. However,
that SWFA HD 10X is basically identical except for the logo, and I think looks good on an M40A1 replica.
I prefer the Leupold aesthetically, but I think the SWFA HD version in 10x is good choice for new/modern glass for around $700 on sale

B&L_10X_tactical_M40A1_replica.jpg

Lastly, here's the US Optic ST-10, which you noted is above your budget, and honestly, to my eyes it doesn't look
a lot like the Unertl 10X scope due to its long rear ocular (the Unertl's ocular is short and stubby, which makes it unqiue).
The ST-10 does look like a heavy-duty military-type scope, but the old Unertl is simply very different looking...

M40A1_replica_US_Optics_ST10.jpg

As others have noted, your Bushnell will work just fine. If it were me and historical accuracy
was the goal, I'd go old-school with a Weaver T-10 like this replica, as this scope
and base was used by a Marine Recon unit in the late 1970s before the Unertls were
available, but then again, that would technically require an early 'smear' stock - ouch....

USMC_M40A1_rt_Weaver_T10.JPG

Good luck whatever you decide.
 
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libertyman777

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FWIW, one of my shooting buddies has a budget M40A1 replica with the little Bushnell 3200 10X scope
(See here on the right with some green camo paint on it). For a budget build it will work, but unfortunately
there really is no scope made that looks much like the old USMC Unertl 10X scopes - as seen to the left.
(This pic was taken the Sept 2018 vintage rifle match held by the Quantico Shooting Club. Good times).

View attachment 7126112

Since you want modern glass, here are a couple more alternatives. The Leupold M3A Ultra10x or
later Mk 4, 10X with M3 turrets looks "kind-of right" on an M40A1 clone given the scope is basic
and was of coarse used on M24s during the same era as the M40A1. (1990s, etc). The downside is
that they cost about $800 to $1k depending on condition and accessories. This is not my
rifle, but I think the scope looks good and doesn't look out of place on this replica:

View attachment 7126097

2nd: Below is the old B&L 10X Tactical (Elite 4000 scope) - that was used on all kinds of US Navy sniper rifles
from the 1980s into the 2000s, but its kind-of hard to find and they sell for $800 and up on eBay. However,
that SWFA HD 10X is basically identical except for the logo, and I think looks good on an M40A1 replica.
I prefer the Leupold aesthetically, but I think the SWFA HD version in 10x is good choice for new/modern glass for around $700 on sale

View attachment 7126100

Lastly, here's the US Optic ST-10, which you noted is above your budget, and honestly, to my eyes it doesn't look
a lot like the Unertl 10X scope due to its long rear ocular (the Unertl's ocular is short and stubby, which makes it unqiue).
The ST-10 does look like a heavy-duty military-type scope, but the old Unertl is simply very different looking...

View attachment 7126101

As others have noted, your Bushnell will work. If it were me and historical accuracy
was the goal, I'd go old-school with a Weaver T-10 like this replica, as this scope
and base was used by a Marine Recon unit in the late 1970s before the Unertls were
available, but then again, that would technically require an early 'smear' stock - ouch....

View attachment 7126113

Good luck whatever you decide.
Thank you very much for the pictures and input.
 
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ArmedGinger

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If you wanted the vintage "real" look, the closest you'll come to is the Weaver T-10. Like others have said, they were originally on the M40A1 rifles and in fact there is a picture of Carlos Hathcock sitting with an M40A1 sporting a T-10 on his lap. Carlos-Hathcock-9.jpg

Here is a picture of a really nice M40A1 with a T-10 on top:


main-r2k102marinesniperjmod.jpg

When I was looking into doing an M40A1 "budget build" the T-10 was at the top of my list for optics since here in Canada, an MST-100 from US Optics runs about $4000 for a used one. Instead an amazingly built rifle with an MST-100 scope on it fell into my lap.

The other way to do an "M40A1" build would be a movie build! What got me interested in the M40A1 was the movie "Sniper" with Tom Berenger! My dad took me to see the movie in theaters when I was 10. Loved the movie and his rifle stuck in my mind! Now his rifle wasn't an M40A1 by anymeans. It was simply a varmint barrel Remington 700 sporting a Leupold M3 Ultra 10x.

a0212807_21155662.jpg

I have a soft spot for my M40A1 clone. I have debated on putting a more modern scope onto my rifle to give me a little more magnification for shooting longer distances but I just can't bring myself to do it, there is something about using "40 year old "technology" and getting the job done with it.

inRTpKM.jpg
 

libertyman777

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If you wanted the vintage "real" look, the closest you'll come to is the Weaver T-10. Like others have said, they were originally on the M40A1 rifles and in fact there is a picture of Carlos Hathcock sitting with an M40A1 sporting a T-10 on his lap. View attachment 7127265

Here is a picture of a really nice M40A1 with a T-10 on top:


View attachment 7127266

When I was looking into doing an M40A1 "budget build" the T-10 was at the top of my list for optics since here in Canada, an MST-100 from US Optics runs about $4000 for a used one. Instead an amazingly built rifle with an MST-100 scope on it fell into my lap.

The other way to do an "M40A1" build would be a movie build! What got me interested in the M40A1 was the movie "Sniper" with Tom Berenger! My dad took me to see the movie in theaters when I was 10. Loved the movie and his rifle stuck in my mind! Now his rifle wasn't an M40A1 by anymeans. It was simply a varmint barrel Remington 700 sporting a Leupold M3 Ultra 10x.

View attachment 7127271

I have a soft spot for my M40A1 clone. I have debated on putting a more modern scope onto my rifle to give me a little more magnification for shooting longer distances but I just can't bring myself to do it, there is something about using "40 year old "technology" and getting the job done with it.

View attachment 7127272
Maybe the coolest pic I've seen in a long time with the Gunny and that rifle.

The T-10 looks good on that rifle.

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get the MST-100.

I'm not sure I"m going to be happy with the optical quality of the T10. I'm not a glass snob by any means. But the technology has come so far in the last few years.

The Weaver still has support which is a testament to the scope quality and following. If I got one, I could send it to El Paso and have a mildot reticle put in it.

Right now, it's wearing the Bushnell 10x that most closely resembles the B&L 4000 10x40 pictured above.

One thing I'm considering. I'm thinking about a dual dovetail (Leupold) base with the Burris Signature Zee rings with inserts. All of the inch tube scopes have limited travel.

My rifle has the McMillan HTG m40a1 stock. The barrel is a 22" Bartlien 1/10 threaded with a smooth thread protector, M40 taper. It's not really close at all but I plan to shoot the fool out of it. I guess I need to post some pics.
 

Random Guy

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One comment re this concern:

I'm not sure I"m going to be happy with the optical quality of the T10. I'm not a glass snob by any means. But the technology has come so far in the last few years.
It is true that optics have a come a long way over the past 40 years, and a $3k modern tactical scope is very much superior to a vintage T-10. However, I have a shooting buddy with an M40A1 replica with a T10 that can often clean the target at 300 and 600 yards and only drop a few points at 800 and 1000 yards during the twice annual Quantico Shooting Club vintage rifle matches. For him its about getting the wind calls right, and not the limitation of the optics. He even says that he shoots the T-10 much better than the Unertl(!)

All of the inch tube scopes have limited travel
Yep, and I had problems with my 3-9X M40 clone when I tried to use it at 800 and 1000 yards (I had to add a shim, as it ran out of adjustment at 800 yards). However, apparently the T-10s have enough elevation adjustment for these 1000 yard matches. (...but I also suspect that scope is at the end of the adjustment range at that distance).

Attached is a 2017 pic from a match with a replica M40A1 /T10 and real USMC M40A1 rifle with a Unertl, but the finer 1/4 MOA adjustments on the T-10 allow for more precision shooting than the Unertl, and my buddy usually out-shoots the guys with the Unertl & MST-100s. Just an fyi.

M40A1_T10_and_Unertl10X.JPG

There is nothing wrong with your current scope, but just an fyi re my understanding of the Weaver T-10 used in long range matches.
 
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pmclaine

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Yes with 1/4 minute clicks and an adjustable parallax the T10 is a more capable range scope than the Unertl.

Easy to zero, solid clicks, great scope. There is even a company out there still servicing them. I'd like to get a mil reticle in mine someday.

I ran a T10 on my M40 for a while.
 

Random Guy

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Since we are on the subject, I ended up getting my Unertl 10X scope in a trade with another collector. It is a "T-series" scope that was briefly sold on the civilian market in the early 2000s after the original Unertl company had been purchased. So unlike my 'return stock,' my scope is not a USMC issued item - but it was in good shape and included the original box/manual/tools. I just got the rifle back from the builder recently, and have only zeroed at 100 yards, but hope to use this rifle in late Sept at the Quantico Shooting Club match which involves shooting at 300, 600, 800 & 1000 yards. I suspect my buddy with his M40A1 + Weaver T-10 scope will out shoot me at that upcoming match...

M40A1_scope_left.jpg

...but hopefully my ammo will be close to the BDC drops. We shall see...
 
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sandwarrior

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Since we are on the subject, I ended up getting my Unertl 10X scope in a trade with another collector. It is the "T-series" scopes that was briefly sold on the civilian market in the early 2000s after the original Unertl company had been purchased. So unlike my 'return stock,' my scope is not a USMC issued item but it was in good shape and included the original box/manual/tools, I just got the rifle back from the builder recently, and have only zeroed at 100 yards, but hope to use this rifle in late Sept at the Quantico Shooting Club match which involves shooting at 300, 600, 800 & 1000 yards. I suspect my buddy with his M40A1 + T-10 will outshoot me at that upcoming match...

View attachment 7128667

...hopefully my ammo will be close to the BDC drops, but we shall see...
...Just load your ammo really slow and it’llbe right on. Sort of like the fat kid at the track meet😬😬😈😬.

I’ve heard a number of different recipes for M118LR, but the best one I had was RE-15 behind a 175gr. SMK. That was NOT the bullet that scope is set up for as a BDC but it’s close enough for you to note ballistic differences. And, it remains stable through transonic.
...But you probably know that already.🤐
 

libertyman777

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Yes with 1/4 minute clicks and an adjustable parallax the T10 is a more capable range scope than the Unertl.

Easy to zero, solid clicks, great scope. There is even a company out there still servicing them. I'd like to get a mil reticle in mine someday.

I ran a T10 on my M40 for a while.
One comment re this concern:



It is true that optics have a come a long way over the past 40 years, and a $3k modern tactical scope is very much superior to a vintage T-10. However, I have a shooting buddy with an M40A1 replica with a T10 that can often clean the target at 300 and 600 yards and only drop a few points at 800 and 1000 yards during the twice annual Quantico Shooting Club vintage rifle matches. For him its about getting the wind calls right, and not the limitation of the optics. He even says that he shoots the T-10 much better than the Unertl(!)



Yep, and I had problems with my 3-9X M40 clone when I tried to use it at 800 and 1000 yards (I had to add a shim, as it ran out of adjustment at 800 yards). However, apparently the T-10s have enough elevation adjustment for these 1000 yard matches. (..but I also suspect that are at the end of the adjustment range at that distance).

Attached is a 2017 pic from a match with a replica M40A1 /T10 and real USMC M40A1 rifle with a Unertl, but the fine 1/4 MOA adjustments on the T-10 allow for more precision shooting than the Unertl, and my buddy usually out-shoots the guys with the Unertl & MST-100s. Just an fyi.

View attachment 7128647

There is nothing wrong with your current scope, but just an fyi re my understanding of the Weaver T-10 used in long range matches.
So what I’m taking away from the discussion is that in comparing apples to apples, i.e., $400 glass, I would be hard pressed to beat the T10 for it’s combination of performance and looks. That is very promising.

I have a Sightron S3 3.5-10x44 coming in for a buddy. I’m gonna ask him if he’ll let me lay it in the rings on the rifle to get an honest look at it on the rifle. Then I should be able to make the decision.
 

pmclaine

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So what I’m taking away from the discussion is that in comparing apples to apples, i.e., $400 glass, I would be hard pressed to beat the T10 for it’s combination of performance and looks. That is very promising.

I have a Sightron S3 3.5-10x44 coming in for a buddy. I’m gonna ask him if he’ll let me lay it in the rings on the rifle to get an honest look at it on the rifle. Then I should be able to make the decision.

Performance, looks and historical connection....

The T-10 is still a capable rifle for the sedate range world.

As far as its construction its a steel tube than will likely survive what aluminum may not.

You can spend a lot more for a more capable scope but if you are interested in M40A1 than a T-10 is the most cost effective, historically relevant best performing scope you will get.

My A1 runs a USO MST-100 and I have two M40s that sport the Leupold replica green scope that really has no similarity to the original Redfield.

When I wanted something with a modern optic I abandoned the historical PWS build and built what I wanted which was an M40A1ish. It features what I consider the best parts of the 40, the A1, the A3 and the A5. It sports a Premier Heritage ST, 3-15X with mil dot reticle.

Put the St-10 on this rifle than start another build with the money you save.
 

Random Guy

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Is that a custom dial on the ST-10 with a USMC emblem? If so, that's pretty neat(!) Thanks for those pics.
 
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