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M21 build with ART II scope

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  • M21 build with ART II scope

    Since no one has yet to post anything on an M21 sniper rifle, here goes my contribution. A few years ago I inherited seemingly newish (unused?) SAI M1A NM built circa May 1989 (by Glen Nelson and team). Given the USGI parts, bedded walnut stock, and the NM standard weight barrel configuration, it is a rifle very close to a vintage M21 rifle. So I recently decided to build up an M21 'clone' with a Leatherwood 3-9x ART II scope I bought this winter. I think these scopes were first tested by the Army in 1977, and used from circa 1980 until the early 1990s. Definitely an old school rifle, but I like it (scope is calibrated for M118 ammunition out to 900 meters).

    What is sort-of neat about my ART II scope is that it was sold by CMP in 1995, and has the serial # of the scope stamped on the base, along with the serial # of the original M21 rifle (1.500M - which is in the late TRW serial range - see 3rd picture). Not sure how well these old mounts hold zero when mounted on a different M14/M1A rifle, but I wanted a vintage M21 clone, so I think it worked out well. I guess I like the "old school" Vietnam looking wood stocks on these rifles...
    Last edited by Random Guy; 05-10-2016, 08:20 PM.

  • #2
    Sweet. That's a nice setup.
    You can take a Marine out of the Corps, but you can't take the Corps out of a Marine.

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    • #3
      Looks great! Did you mean Glen Nelson? When you installed it did you drill out your rifles stripper clip guide or swap it out for a pre drilled one?
      Last edited by Majikani; 04-10-2016, 10:56 PM.

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      • #4
        Random,

        The Art tel and the Art ll were fantastic scopes, but the mounts were the weak point, the ART ll was much better than the ART. I believe the mount was the weak spot and the scopes suffered an undue bad reputation because of it.
        When they were put on bolt guns, they worked as advertised.

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        • #5
          I'm still waiting for Art Luppino to find an epoxy stock in his parts room one day.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Badgerord View Post
            Random,

            The Art tel and the Art ll were fantastic scopes, but the mounts were the weak point, the ART ll was much better than the ART. I believe the mount was the weak spot and the scopes suffered an undue bad reputation because of it.
            When they were put on bolt guns, they worked as advertised.
            Only bad thing about the ART II is the 18 month wait if it's broken and Ironsights needs to repair it.
            Haven't tried taking mine apart yet, Mainly cause I don't have parts.
            AR TELs are just 2nd gen Redfields with a few extra parts...

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            • #7
              Majikani, I had both the original military clip guide that had been drilled, and a spare Leathwrwood "commercial" clip guide already predrilled, which I got from IronSights.

              I gave both guides to my gunsmith as I wanted him to mount and bore sight this particular scope, and he used the original military part as he said it fit my M1A better. (I also had my gunsmith reparkerize that part as it had gray paint that was coming off, and now it looks better).

              Marty, agreed that the single attachment point ART I mount was a weak point, and the dual attachment points of the ART II mount is a big improvement....so we'll see how it holds up over time. FWIW, my gunsmith thought these ART mounts were likely whacked on with a rubber mallet by the military to almost "crush fit" the mount into the small vertical and longer horizontal channels that were milled into the M14 receivers. Only time will tell if it holds its zero...
              Last edited by Random Guy; 01-10-2017, 07:49 PM.

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              • #8
                Random,
                The military fitted the scope to a particular rifle, drilling that rifles clip guide for an exact fit. This is what I did with mine. However it sounds like you got a good fit with the already drilled one which would have made things much easier. I've also heard that they were tapped into place. Meant to be installed and left there... They're good scopes!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Random Guy View Post
                  Makikani, I had both the original military clip guide that had been drilled, and a spare Leathwrwood "commercial" clip guide already predrilled, which I got from IronSights.

                  I gave both guides to my gunsmith as I wanted him to mount and bore sight this particular scope, and he used the original military part as he said it fit my M1A better. (I also had that part reparkerized as it had gray paint that was coming off, and now it looks better).

                  Marty, agreed that the single attachment point ART I mount was a weak point, and the dual attachment points of the ART II mount is a big improvement....so we'll see how it holds up over time. FWIW, my gunsmith thought these ART mounts were likely whacked on with a rubber mallet by the military to almost "crush fit" the mount into the small vertical and longer horizontal channels that were milled into the M14 receivers. Only time will tell if it holds its zero...
                  Art Luppino mentioned they would "epoxy" the real stubborn AR TEL mounts in place.
                  I've also found that spring-steel washers do help a bit. You crank em down too hard, you just rip out the soft threads on the screw, which I guess is the intention.
                  Last edited by tokiwartooth; 04-11-2016, 01:43 PM.

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