View Full Version : Springfield M1A front sight problem

March 23, 2011, 11:39 AM
Long time creeper, first time poster.

I just recently picked up a Springfield M1A Scout. While bore-sighting it I noticed that the laser impacts around clockwise of where the front sight post points. I tried moving the front sight post over to compensate, but it runs out of correction.

I read on the internet it might be a barrel indexing issue, and said that in addition to the description above when I sent it in for repairs to SA. The barrel-mounted scout rail seems tilted to the left as well, which supports a barrel alignment problem.

SA sent it back saying they adjusted the alignment and it's fine, but it still has the same problem (laser impact and bullet impact to the right and down a bit from the front sight point). Could it be something else? Or did the dude at SA just sign off on it and send it back?

- Chris

March 23, 2011, 11:55 AM
Dunno if I understand your problem - the rear sight is where the adjustments are made - have you tried that?

March 23, 2011, 01:27 PM
OJ: the front sight on an M1A is windage adjustable to allow you to set the rear sight at mechanical zero.

TopherC: it's kinda rare, but check to make sure your front sight isn't bent.

If the front sight post is straight and your front sight still overhangs the edge of the base, then it would appear that SA didn't correct the issue.

The only other things that I could think of would be damaged barrel splines or a out of spec muzzle break. You are using the factory muzzle break, right?

March 23, 2011, 01:32 PM
If the center of the feed ramp's center looks fairly square to the mag well, it will run good. However, if your scout rail or front sight is tilted you may still have a problem.

That rail can roll around if it's not in the detent or locked down right. When you say the rail is tilted, is that compared to the front sight, rear sight, receiver or the op rod guide?

March 23, 2011, 01:38 PM
nbkky71 OJ: the front sight on an M1A is windage adjustable to allow you to set the rear sight at mechanical zero.

Yep - I forgot about the windage adjustment in the front sight - but, took mine out of the closet and refreshed my memory.

I'm even more embarrassed because I replaced the stock sights on mine with the XS ghost ring sight set - rear aperture is twice the diameter of the stock one - and, the stripe on the front one is tritium - if you can think of a need for a night sight on an M1A - Screw holding that adjustment visible there.


March 23, 2011, 07:06 PM
Thanks for all the replies.

SmokyBaer: The rail on the front is in-line with the front sight post, both of which appear to be a bit tilted to the left (counterclockwise from the barrel axis). You can see the tilt when you compare it against the stock, or against the little cut-out in the plastic cover on top. When I looked after you brought it up, I saw the break between the feed-ramps was off a bit to the right. That supports my guess that the barrel is off a bit to the counterclockwise

nbkky71: Yep, I'm using the default muzzle break. It's the one with the rows of small holes.

Yep, this makes me think that SA just stamped off on it and sent it back. Is rotating the barrel a bit something that an gunsmith should be able to easily do, or should I just box it back up tomorrow and go for round two with SA?

March 23, 2011, 07:10 PM
It sounds unlike SA to just sign something off and send it back.

I sent my M1A NM to them when the barrel started unscrewing itself. First time, they reinstalled the barrel.

When it did the same thing, I sent the rifle back. This time, they removed the old barrel, reinstalled a Douglas Heavy 1-10 match barrel, unitized the gas cylinder, and aligned the rear sight. They installed the Douglas barrel at my request, and it cost me $300.00. They would have installed one of their barrels for free.

March 23, 2011, 07:18 PM
Am I missing something???

You mentioned Bore sighting, but said nothing about shooting it.

How does it shoot? If you center the front sight, then you shouldn't be more the 4 clicks left and right of the mech. zero on the rear sight.

Something doesn't sound right, we are using the standard flash suppressor and sight for the M1A arn't we?

March 24, 2011, 07:43 AM
While bore-sighting it I noticed that the laser impacts around clockwise of where the front sight post points
(laser impact and bullet impact to the right and down a bit from the front sight point).

Remove the laser bore sighting devise and shoot the gun. Only then well you know if you have a alignment problem.

March 24, 2011, 11:41 AM
Remove the laser bore sighting devise and shoot the gun. Only then well you know if you have a alignment problem.

MadCrate and kraigwy have a great point. Gotta shoot it. If that puppy is way off like the bore sight says, you'll have plenty ammo to show Springfield they just signed off on a bad build. Center your windage on the front and rear sights and click the rear up six from the bottom and see where you hit paper.

March 24, 2011, 04:22 PM
I actually have this same issue on my M1A as well. With the front site in the middle of the post and my rear sight in the middle as well, my rifle will hit about a foot to the right at 100 yards. I had to move the front sight all the way to to edge of the base in order to hit my target. My M1A is extremely accurate as it is so I was nervous messing with the barrel. It works and it works well so I won't mess with it. However, I would like to get it fixed just because it bugs the crap out of me.



March 24, 2011, 07:49 PM
Might try taking that contraption off the front of the rifle and put on the standard M14 flash suppressor with the front sight base.

Those after mark flash suppresses may or may not fit your rifle. Meaning are the splines perfectly lined up to all the front sight to be lined up. Never know until you waste your money.

I don't know about that new stuff but I do know about the original flash suppressor for the M14/M1A. They were designed to do just that, hide the flash. If you were to take a M1A/M14 with the original flash suppressor, and Match (M118) ammo out at night, and fire it, YOU WONT BE ABLE TO SEE THE FLASH OF THE MUZZLE.

We did a ton of night firing in sniper school using night vision scopes, Without the scope you couldn't detect the muzzle flash from the rifle. Not sure you can say the same thing about the after market stuff designed to sell more then be function able.

The Army spent a lot of money designing the rifle's flash suppressor, can't understand why we think we know better, unless you just want tacti-cool, but if thats the case then you have to put up with the poor design that doesn't allow the sights to be lined up perfectly.

If it was me I'd buy the orginal and get back to shooting a fine rifle.

March 24, 2011, 10:12 PM
That muzzle brake is the one that came with the rifle. It is Springfield's California legal "flash supressor." It is not after market.

March 25, 2011, 06:35 AM
Scout Squads came with a muzzle brake from the factory they also have a national match front sight from the factory. They did not come with flash suppressors to my knowledge on the 18" models. As far as the sights being off I would get some photos and any info you can together and give SA another call. Sounds like they just signed off on it. Or search for a smith experienced in M1A's in your area.

June 28, 2011, 03:39 PM
Sorry for taking so long to reply -- I was at training for a while and just got back a couple of weeks ago.

The gun shoots great now! Took it out to a range last weekend. Springfield's re-alignment definitely worked. When I first took it out it was shooting a bit off, in a similar direction to what it did before I sent it in for repairs, but I was able to fix it with the windage adjustments this time. Before repairs I would run out of correction. The boresight laser still shows the weapon as being off, but I bet that is due to some issue with the muzzle brake.

Picked the gun up for $1200 at a gun show, with only a couple hundred of rounds through it. I'm guessing the guy knew it wasn't shooting straight. But, with a little work, it turned out to be a good investment. It shoots like a dream now!

Thanks for all the help and advice.

- Chris