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Old 10-13-2017, 11:05 AM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern Virginia
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Default Finally found an AR TEL scope for an early M21 replica project

Well, I've been wanting to add an XM21 or "early M21" to my small collection for a year or so, but never had much luck finding an AR TEL scope at the right time, right condition, and at the right price. (got outbid on eBay twice for an AR TEL set-up). This year I did acquire a NOS mount, but it wasn't until this month that I finally got the scope to go with it. Thanks to a tip, I was able to buy at AR TEL scope only (no mount) and with original reticle (w/ correct stadia marks) at a decent price, and in what is basically good, service grade condition.

So I thought I would share some pics of this project. Circa 1989 SAI NM with ART II (top) and another 1989 SAI NM with AR TEL (bottom) (Rifle serial #s are only 800 digits apart. Since both are from the Glen Nelson era re SAI NM rifles, I thought it would be neat to use them as M21 replicas. Both have standard weight "NM" marked barrels, unitized gas cylinders, bedded stocks, etc)



Left side: Historically speaking, for those who might not know the timelines, the bottom rifle w/ AR TEL scope represents a Vietnam era "early M21" circa 1969 to the approximately early 1980s, and the top rifle with ART II scope represents a "late M21" circa early 1980s to the early 1990s (as some were still used by NG units in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, although at that point many of the M21s had been replaced within active US Army units with the Remington M24 SWS bolt-action sniper rifle):



Left side optics (Note the single attachment point on the bottom rifle with AR TEL, versus the later 2-point attachment off the ART II scope system on top rifle):



So those two vintage M21s tribute rifles finally fill the hole in my small collection of military sniper rifles and replicas.

Coincidentally, my first M1A was/is an SAI "M21 Tactical Match" with optional Kreiger SS barrel (shown on top). While SAI advertises this rifle as an "M21" given that it is optic-friendly with the adjustable cheek piece stock, and comes fully accurized in Super Match configuration, its not really the same as the two replicas of the "original military M21." (That said, I still very much enjoy my SAI M21 as its a true tack driver, and has performed really well for the 8 years since it was purchased)

Right side: On top if the SAI "M21 Tactical Match" rifle, circa 2008. Its notably heavier (~ 2.5 to 3 lbs) than the other two rifles in their vintage configuration...



Left side: One can see the "fatter" heavy match stock at the top, and how much higher the "comb" sits to allow proper alignment with a scope.
FWIW, an evolution of the M14/M1A scope mounts can be seen in this picture: 3 point vs. 2 point vs 1 point attachment systems:



Scope comparison: Weaver Tactical FFP Mil-Dot reticle, 4-20x50mm vs Leatherwood 3-9x40 ART II and military Redfield 3-9x40 AR TEL.



One other kind-of neat thing about my AR TEL scope is that the prior owner was a US Army sniper, who used an M21 during the mid-1980s while in the service. He even won some awards with his M21 back in 1986. Note: This AR TEL was not his actual service scope, but I think its still kind-of neat buying it from a guy who was issued one, and I enjoyed listening to his experiences with an M21 from his prior military service 30 years ago...(I redacted the name on this plaque).



So, the only two things I will likely change on XM21 and M21 rifles is the additional of a faux M14 selector switch, which might involve replacing the two SAI commercial stocks with some nice USGI wood stocks that can accommodate the fake M14 selector switch. On the downside, that will mean glass-bedding the actions (time and $$). Also need to find a vintage 1970ish and mid-1980s 1907 leather slings for these two projects. At that point I'd be done with my two M21 replicas. Anyhow, Happy Friday.

Last edited by Random Guy; 10-14-2017 at 10:41 PM. Reason: tried new pics
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:02 PM
TW56 TW56 is offline
 
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William, just a heads up your photograph are really large when I view them in the forum. The only one that fits on a laptop screen is the plaque photo.
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:07 PM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
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Hmm, I'll mess with that tonight and see what I can do.

(EDIT: Ross, I updated the pics, seems to work okay for me...)

Last edited by Random Guy; 10-13-2017 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:11 PM
nf1e nf1e is offline
 
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Just mounted a reworked green one for a friend on an M40 Tuesday.
Simply amazing how accurate one of those old USMC 3-9s can be.
I was shooting sub 1/2 moa with M118 LR.

Semper Fi
Art
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2017, 01:41 PM
Ted Brown Ted Brown is offline
 
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Location: Jacksonville, OR
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Nice rifles. I noticed that you chose to use the replacement clip guide on the ART II. This was only supplied with commercial sales scopes. The ARMY simply drilled and tapped the original clip guide for the rear screw.
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2017, 02:54 PM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
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Ted, that is the military clip guide that was used/reused with my ART II set-up. The Army added some sort of "set screw" that was drilled somewhat off-set on the ejection side of the rifle, but I also have the commercial clip guide that has some sort of "floating" bushing screw (which I got from Iron Sights, as a back-up part).

Left side (scope mount side)
Commercial guide on top
Military clip guide bottom (you can see how 'rough' what I suspect is a hand-made clip guide, and the drill-and-tap on this part was not exactly pretty):


Ejection side (military part has some sort of 'set screw' installed - and it was considerably off center with some missing threads, but it works fine:
Commerical guide on top;
Military guide on bottom:


Close-up of military clip guide (after I re-parkerized it. I think the military part had been painted gray, but was peeling off);


The military part fit my SAI better than the commercial part, according to my gunsmith, so we used it. (My ART II was sold by CMP in 1995, here's a pic).

Last edited by Big_Red; 10-16-2017 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Downsize pic
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2017, 04:12 PM
TW56 TW56 is offline
 
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William, photos look great as well as your rifles.
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2017, 05:34 PM
Random Guy Random Guy is offline
 
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Ross thanks. I kind-of think they need faux M14 selector lock-out switches to be totally complete, but regardless, I'm glad to have gotten to this point re these two M21 replicas.

Last edited by Random Guy; 10-14-2017 at 09:10 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2017, 12:43 PM
Ted Brown Ted Brown is offline
 
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That's interesting. I've inspected several GI M21 rifles and never seen anything like that. All had standard original clip guides that were drilled and tapped for the rear screw and none had any sort of set screw or locking screw. I don't see a clip slot in either of these, so I assume they must have been made up by an armorer using bar stock.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2017, 07:11 AM
nf1e nf1e is offline
 
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My personal version. Nothing original but the stock, receiver heel "TRW" and magazine. Oh yea, flash hider and front and rear sights.

Whatta hobby.





Semper Fi
Art

Last edited by nf1e; 10-21-2017 at 02:25 PM.
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