View Full Version : Sighting in an M1A

January 2, 2002, 03:44 PM
Is it necessary to drift the front sight so when the rear windage is reset, it's dead on? Someone told me not to bother, and just adjust the windage and elevation knobs until they're dead on, and don't worry about the front sight adjustment.

January 2, 2002, 04:48 PM
The front sight should be centered. Unless the rear sight has been disassembled, that should be all you have to do, besides dialing in the rear sight.


January 2, 2002, 04:53 PM
When you say 'it should be centered' do you mean *I* should center it, or did you mean that it should have been centered at the factory?

How about the Elevation, how do I center that?

January 2, 2002, 07:30 PM
It should have been set very close at the factory. If your windage is very far off with the rear site centered, then adjust the front site by simply loosening the hex screw that's holding it, and move it a TINY bit (in the opposite dirction that you need the bullet to go). My new S.A. was so far off that I lost count of the number of clicks needed to center it. Good luck.

January 2, 2002, 07:32 PM
How do I zero in elevation? -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- is a battlefield zero?

January 2, 2002, 08:29 PM
Skunkabilly: Check out the Fulton- Armory website. Everything that you could ever want to know about the M1A/M14 can be found there (or a link to it). You can also buy the Scott Duff M14 book there which is probably the best reference source on the subject.


Click on M14/M1A (left side) - then see FAQ's at the top/center of the page.

Steve Smith
January 2, 2002, 10:28 PM
Run your rear sight all the way to one side. Count the clicks to the other side. Divide by two. Go that many clicks back to the center. Make a fine line with a paint marker or fingernail polish down through one of the hash marks and on to the sight housing. That is your Mechanical Zero. Shoot the rifle, and see if it really hits to one side or the other. Be careful not to cant the rifle. If it does truly hit to one side, THEN move the front sight to adjust it. Don't move your rear sight again until you get your front perfect.

January 2, 2002, 10:47 PM
And you move the front sight by loosening the hex set screw. Mine has come loose at the range before. That's why I center it in the dovetail. So I can quickly tighten it back down in the right position. Guess you could mark the right position with a line after doing what Steve said.


December 8, 2009, 10:23 PM

This thread is interesting to me for the simple fact that I had a Springfield M1a that required that I move the front sight to the extream right and now I have an LRB M14SA that requires me to do the same in order to his center mass. Is this normal? Are thr rifles flawed? Am I firing correctly? Somebody mentioned whether or not the rifle is "canted" and I do have a habit of firing at a canted angle. Is that what is causing the misalignment possibly and not the rifle? :confused:

Thanks All..

Mark whiz
December 9, 2009, 12:00 AM
If the front sight has to be run to one extreme or the other, that ain't normal. Sounds to me like the flash suppressor that the sight is mounted to is canted to one side or the other - this would also affect the elevation adjustments as well.
If you look closely at the rear elevation knob you will see a series of numbered notches - each notch is supposed to correspond to 100 meters of target distance. I.E., the "1" should put you close to zero at 100 meters; the "2" should be on at 200 meters, etc, etc. (this is when using "keyhole" match-type sighting). So if you have to adjust the rear sight to the "2" or "3" notch for a 100 yard target, the alignment of the flash suppressor is highly suspect.
But if your suppressor checks out, the rear sight can be re-calibrated to give you the above 100, 200,300, etc results. Sight it in to where it needs to be at 100yards (meters), then loosen the attaching screw on the adjuster so that you can spin it without causing a change to the elevation, place the "1" on the notch of the sight itself and then tighten things back up. Now all you have to do is count clicks up when you stretch your target distances past 100 yards.

December 9, 2009, 04:10 PM
Same thought as STEVE SMITH posted. There are witness marks on the receiver and one on the sight base. I like to center the the witness marks then sight the rifle for windage zero by moving the front sight only. Add a nailpolish line and that gives an easy to find Mechanical Windage zero. Another nailpolish line across the windage knob and receiver for reference. The rifle should then give you about 17 minutes of windage each way. So far I've only had to add 8 minutes for wind, but that was one heck of a day!
Sight the rifle for elevation at whatever distance you like. Say 200yds.
Count the number of clicks back down to the bottom and remember it. With bottom as Mechanical zero that number of clicks up should be put back to center at 200yds. The M1, M14-M1A sights are reliable and repeatable. If you keep a diary or score book keep track of the yardage, sight settings and type of ammo. Those sight settings will repeat quite closely provided the same ammo is used.

December 9, 2009, 04:23 PM
How about the Elevation, how do I center that?

Bottom out the rear sight.

Count up 6 clicks.

Fire a group at 100 yards. If the holes are level with POA=POI, then leave it alone. If they are low, count up another click for each inch you need to raise the group. If they are high (they probably won't be), count down a click for each inch you need to lower the group.

If you want a 200 yard zero, then it's one click for each 2 inches on target.

For a 300 yard zero, it's one click for each 3 inches on target.

Going to to 200 or 300 yard zero will result in a 100 yard point of impact that is at least 3" higher than point of aim.

December 9, 2009, 08:45 PM
My M1A also has the front sight set to the far right side in order to hit center with the rear sight centered (according to the marks).

While it doesn't seem right I just use my data book to set my rear sight so it hits center for the position and distance I'm using. It really does need to be there to hit center when benched at 100 yds.

I'd be more concerned if I were a better rifle shot (!)

December 9, 2009, 11:46 PM
then elevate the rear sight to full height, and count down four clicks.
grasp wrist of stock with firing hand, place thumb on face of rear sight and push on rear face, if slide moves then tighten split nut in Windage two clicks until thumb pressure doesn't cause movement.

go to range and fire at 25yds to get a FIRING windage ZERO.

Then firing elevation zero is adjusted to impact the target above the "point of aim" (POA) (app. 1 .63") using quality M80 Ball ammo (read: LC).

Now go to the 200yd range and fire three shots to confirm or adjust to get a POA/POI (point of impact). Adjust front sight for windage (.008" equals one click) for zero (need a no wind day).
Then adjust rear sight for elevation. Filing front blade raises impact, the 0.008" rule applies, if too low then new taller sight lowers.

If everything good, now calibrate the rear sight, turning the left knob towards the muzzle and COUNTING the number of clicks, when bottomed out, the rotate the knob in same direction until the "2" is at the index mark on the receiver, then count forward the number of clicks (from above), then stop and retighten the screw head in the elvation knob. count back the EL knob till lines up @ index.

Now you set to go.

Bart B.
December 10, 2009, 01:48 AM
Those saying to zero the rear sight then adjust for windage with the front sight are correct. This simplifies going back to and correcting for changing winds the easiest.

Regarding the elevation zero, get your rifle zeroed at some range (200 yards, for example) then note the number mark on the elevation knob. Count the clicks down from that point. Now raise the rear sight up the same number of clicks, then loosen the elevation lock screw, move the elevation knob so the zeroed range number is next to the elevation witness mark on the sight. Tighten the lock. Count down the clicks unitl the slide bottoms. It should be what the come up was for your yardage zero. If not loosen the elevation knob, readjust, then try again. Most of the M1 and M14 rifles zero at 200 yards with 5 to 7 clicks up from bottom.

December 10, 2009, 08:51 AM
When my M1A was new (6 short months ago), out of the box I had to move my front sight about 1/16 of an inch left to get it centered on target. From there, all my adjustments are made at the rear sight. I'm good to go at 200 yards now, but still waiting to move back...300...400...410...420...

I also use the same ammo to sight in at various distances, etc. Makes future dial-ins easy.