We’ve wanted to design an optic mount for the M1 Garand rifle for years, and people have been asking us for one, but it always seemed like there was something else we had to do. Well, here’s our M1 rifle optic mount prototype. I think it’s going to be designated the M12 optic mount. You saw it here first.
I don’t know how many people have told me that their “old eyes” can’t make use of the iron sights like they use to, or that it would sure be nice to have a simple way to mount a scout scope or dot sight on a Garand, etc., but it’s been a lot.
If you’re not familiar with the M1 rifle, it has to be loaded from the top, and when the clip of ammo you shove into the magazine runs empty, the clip is ejected forcefully out the top when the last shot is fired. That means you can’t put an optic over the top of the receiver, ’cause it gets in the way of loading and ejection. Some M1 rifles were used with scopes mounted off to the left side, but few people like that arrangement. It works, but you need a special mount and I understand you have to drill the receiver on your classic rifle, plus your manual clip eject button (“clip latch”) is there on the left side.
This new mount replaces the handguard just in front of the receiver, clamping solid to the barrel with steel clamps and screws similar to the UltiMAK M8 for the M-14 rifle. This is the prototype, and is left “in the white”. The production units will be anodized and finished in black. It sits low enough to co witness (use the iron sights without removing the optic, right through the optic, in case the dot fails) with most tubular dot sights which also means you need no comb riser to get a decent cheekweld. On this example (a vintage Springfield war horse – Thanks Mr. Devoe) I can center the dot in the Aimpoint Micro, with the rear iron sight all the way down hard, and the rear aperture is completely out of the way, yet I can still aim with the irons if I want. It’s as if the rifle, mount and Micro sight were all made for each other. That’s the way we like it.
[shameless self promotion = “off”]
I’m not putting it on our web site just yet, because we have more tweaking to do, and a lot of other things before it goes into production. This post is just what the title says.
The M1 rifle is fascinating for several reasons. One reason is that the gas port in the barrel (where high pressure gas is bled off to operate the action) is right near the muzzle, under the front sight, so the operating rod goes full length form the charging handle to the front sight. We were talking here the other day about how much machining went into one of these rifle, and how many were made in a short time. Amazing. Its design led to a whole family of long guns, including the M-14, M1A, Mini-14, Mini-30, and the M1 Carbine shares some things in common with it. Back in the day the M1 was state of the art, but today it would be considered on the high end of heavy for a battle rifle, it holds a small number of rounds in the magazine, doesn’t lend itself to “tactical reloads” very well, but it sure is a lot of fun, and its .30-06 cartridge packs a punch. And look how pretty it is. Just..just look at it.