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Bill Bassett's Brilliant Scope Mount (review w/pics)

This is a discussion on Bill Bassett's Brilliant Scope Mount (review w/pics) within the Optics forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I have learned so much valuable information from this forum, that I want to give back to the community in whatever small way I can. ...


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Old February 9th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #1
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Angry Bill Bassett's Brilliant Scope Mount (review w/pics)

I have learned so much valuable information from this forum, that I want to give back to the community in whatever small way I can.

The shooting sports have gotten very expensive. Ammo & gear is not cheap. The gun rags usually will *not* tell you directly if something doesn't work as advertised.

It is extremely easy to spend a bunch of money and end up with gear that just doesn't perform.

However, by the honest sharing of information on boards like this, novices can find out relatively easily and inexpensively what works and what doesn't.

At 42 years of age, my eyes are still OK, but they are *not* what they used to be. Optics help me have more fun at the range. I can shoot irons "OK" but I wanted to mount a scope on my M1A to see what I could do with it.

Last year, while at my favorite gunstore, a fellow traded in an M1A with an ARMS 18 mount (newer style with the solid rail).

I already had a loaded M1A, but I was interested in the mount. I asked my dealer friend what he would take for the ARMS mount. He asked what I would offer. I said "$50." and he said "Sold."

Yes, I know that is a good price, but it didn't work out well. My SAI receiver seems to be slightly out of spec on the scope mount cuts. So I dremeled the ARMS mount to get what I thought was a decent lock-up (hey - it was only $50!).

At the range, the rifle would sporadically lodge an empty right between the op-rod and the receiver, resulting in a significant jam that required hearty pounding with the palm of my hand on the op-rod to remedy. I was not amused.

If you have an ARMS mount and it works for you on your rifle, great. I am not trying to bash any product, I am just relaying my personal experience.

After doing more research here on the "Firing Line" and reading the rave reviews for the Bassett mount, I decided to order one.

I first ordered one of Bill's railed mounts. This mount allows full use of your iron sights underneath. I put a so-so scope on with low rings, and tried it out. The mount works as advertised, however, you need some sort of cheek-rest with this set-up. I also did not like the scope I was using.

I tried to mount my ACOG 3.5 TA11-C scope on the Larue throw mount to the Bassett mount. Buzzzzz! No can do! The Larue mount is picatinny spec, the Bassett mount is weaver spec. The throw levers WILL NOT WORK on this mount!

That is OK, because just holding it on with my hand, I could see the ACOG would be so high up off the stock, I would need a massive cheek-pad to make this work.

Also, I wanted more power than the 3.5x fixed power of the ACOG.

I already had a nice Nikon 3.5x10 Monarch scope (illuminated, Mil-dot reticle, 1-inch tube, 50mm objective) mounted on one of my DSA Fal rifles. That particular rifle shoots OK for an FAL, but it has never shown the potential of my M1A.

So, I removed the Nikon from the DSA, and I ordered another mount from Bassett.

This time, I opted for his "old-style" or "original style" LOW mount. I wanted my scope as low as it could go!

The mount arrived within a few days of ordering. I called the number on the Bassett web site and had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Bassett himself. He is very helpful and quite a character. He told me his personal preference is plain old weaver rings. He said he has never had any of them slip.

He said the only "complaint" with the original style mount is you don't have a lot of room to adjust eye relief. The turret housing of the scope you are using has to fit in between the space on the mount. Big "tacti-cool" turrets might have a problem. Also, depending on how *your* eyes are, you may be better off with his newer rail style so you can move the scope back or forward to suit you better.

I could have chatted all day with Bill, a real shooting aficionado!

After our discussion, I felt my Nikon would fit OK. I placed my order on his web site per his request (it is easier for him that way) and as I said, it arrived quickly.

Next, I went, rifle and scope and mount in hand, to my local gun store to try and get some rings. They did not have any plain old weaver rings in stock!

I tried some fancy Leupold medium rings and they were too low. Finally, the clerk found me a set of Millett weaver-style Angle-loc HIGH rings, part number AL00012. Bingo! these were gonna work. The scope was as low as I could possibly get it. I had to bottom out the rear sight to clear the back of the scope. I cannot use the irons with the scope mounted - however, I do not need to use a cheek-rest! This is a plus for me. I like to keep things simple. Also, most slip-on cheek-rests block the use of the hinged butt plate.

I store the Bassett mounting wrench in the stock storage compartment, I can remove the scope in seconds if I need to go to irons!

I took everything home and mounted her up. Today was the first day we had decent weather for me to get to the range. Here is how she looks:



Here is the right side:


Here is the left side:


Here you can see how close the clearance is - this is EXACTLY the way I wanted it! (Remember this particular scope has a 50mm objective!)


Here is a another view from the action side - getting ready to roll:


About the rifle:
This is a SAI "loaded" purchased used in a walnut stock. I purchased the fiberglass stock from the same trade-in where I got the ARMS mount. I have no idea of the round-count on this gun. The bolt is TRW and the Trigger group is HR-N. Everything else appears to be SAI.

This stock fit my action very nice and tight and someone else had already done the camo.

I installed a Sadlak spring-guide and a Sadalk tactical magazine release. I also installed the new Sadlak bipod plate mount (which works great!) and attached the Harris bipod.

I tried the Sadlak piston in this rifle and my gun did *not* like it. Function was fine, accuracy went to hell. I switched back to the rather worn looking piston it came with and groups tightened right back-up. I wrote of my experiments on this and Gus Fisher provided extensive background info on the effects of different pistons in the "Simple Gas Piston Accuracy" thread that is now a sticky.

Also, I have installed the Midwest Industries Tactical Light rail mount. This mount bolts between the barrel and the cylinder.
I wanted the option of easily adding a light and/or laser.
Obviously, if I was competing, or trying to squeeze the nth degree of accuracy from my rifle, I would not do this. The rail has to change the barrel harmonics in some way. However, she still shoots pretty darn good.

Here is the Midwest Industries rail from the side:


Here it is from the top. The two halves are beveled. They bolt against each other. They do NOT "hang" on the gas cylinder or the barrel (you really need to see the backside of the mount to understand this, but I did not want to take it off to take a picture. Sorry!)


By now you are probably wondering how well this setup shot. Well I will show you. Keep in mind:

1) I am not the world's best shot!
2) Ammo used was American Eagle 150gr FMJ (not match
ammo!)
3) This rifle is not glass bedded
4) The gas cylinder is not unitized
5) I have the aforementioned light rail mounted!

With all that being said, I was pretty darn happy with the results. Here is a 5 shot group, 100 yards, from the bench, scope set on 10x - The group in the black is 1.5" CTC. Measuring the 2 shots I most likely botched, the group = 2" CTC:


Conclusion:
Bill Bassett has invented the simplest, most ingenious scope mounting system available for the M14 type rifle!

Not only did the scope stay rock solid on my rifle, the scope itself did not show any sign of "brass kisses" - all the empties were thrown clear from the action and I had ZERO failures of any kind!

The Bassett mount doesn't care if my receiver is in spec or not, it doesn't ask me to remove the stripper guide, and it will easily come off and go back on. I did not remove and remount the scope to test the zero holding capabilities, but from other reports it is quite good. If I have more time and ammo, I may test that next time I am at the range.

I want to put out a big "THANK-YOU" to Bill Bassett for creating such a fantastic product that does everything he claims it does, and also to all of the people here on the firing Line who have shared their knowledge so freely.

My respect for the elegant design of the M14 rifle and the performance it is capable of continues to grow.

Cheers,
i8mtm

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Old February 9th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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Congrats! When I get a chance to scope my rifle I have already resolved that it will be with the Bassett. I am happy to hear that you had a great experience and you have finally fond what works for you.

That's a great report!

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Old February 9th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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How about pics of detached scope mount,,rail side and mounting side?ie left and right?

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Old February 9th, 2009, 09:57 PM   #4
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This isn't my pic, but here is one I found that partially shows the action side.

The Bassett mount is aluminum, but the key ingredients are the two steel pins, vertical and horizontal that lock it to the receiver grooves and prevent movement with only 22 inch pounds of torque.

You can see the top of the vertical steel pin in this pic.

If I take my mount off to do a "zero-hold" test I will snap some pics of it.


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Old February 10th, 2009, 03:49 AM   #5
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During my travels today I am stopping in to see Bill. Yes he has a very good mount and I use them with the same results you obtained. Glad you found his mount! Good luck with your shooting.
Ken

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Old February 10th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #6
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+1 for a great product from a real craftsman who supports his products and his customers very well!

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Old February 10th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #7
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Thumbs up I won't say it!

I lied, yes I will! I, and others, have been telling you, simple effective, and it just flat works! More expensive does not always mean it's better. Not everyone from Texas is an uneducated redneck. See my signature, that comes from experience. Rant over, just couldn't resist. No offense intended to anyone. I apologize in advance if I did.

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Old February 10th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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Please help me out here... The rail is slanted?? In other words, depending on the height of the rings, the scope may or may not be exactly over the bore...?

Is the picatinny vrsion the same?

Thanks,

P_R

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Old February 10th, 2009, 08:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix_rising View Post
Please help me out here... The rail is slanted?? In other words, depending on the height of the rings, the scope may or may not be exactly over the bore...?

Is the picatinny vrsion the same?
Yes. Yes. No.

I just got the rail version. I've only shot the rifle with it once, but I'm thrilled ó in windy conditions I shot a 3" group (a horizontal string). After 50+ rounds, it was all rock solid.

In low rings the scope is just high enough for me to see my iron sights, and I've got the scope back far enough so that I have a natural (to me) shooting position.

When I was done zeroing the scope, I calmly twisted out the bolt and removed the mount (the other guys at the range totally freaked out).
The real test will be in a couple weeks when I put the mount back on and see if my scope is still zeroed.

Bimmer

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Old February 11th, 2009, 08:26 AM   #10
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Looks just like the old B-square mount!


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Old February 11th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #11
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Rocky

It sure does look like the b-square mount. I have one that came with my M1A SAI NM. I have sighted it in and then removed and re-installed it without and change in P.O.I.
I couldn't find any info on it here or any other forum.
The Bassett looks good. It's great to have posts that tell it like it is!

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Old February 11th, 2009, 11:01 PM   #12
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Here I just bought a Nikon 3x9x40mm Prostaff and a Basset Some pics of the mock up... Just got it in this evening :)



yes the scope is upside down... again its a mock up




Get a range report as soon as I can hit the range :)

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Old February 12th, 2009, 06:07 AM   #13
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Nice Pic's Thank you

What type (Make Model) and were did you get the "Rings"?
Thanks

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Old February 12th, 2009, 06:17 AM   #14
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Smile Sweet Setup

Great writeup - very clear, excellent background and explanation, and nice visuals. Even better - great day at the range. I also liked the discussion on the bipod and mount.

I have a similar Bassett mount setup and scope. I like it alot for checking whether its the rifle, ammo, or shooter! when not accurate. This is very easy to install, fire a few rounds to verify point of impact, then settle in to see why I'm not shooting as accurately as I should.

But, I've not converted to this mount "full time" over an ARMS or Sadlak. The three-point locking system is very sturdy and rugged. It appears to me it will resist the inevitable forces that impact a rifle - recoil, drops (ouch!), or other hits. I have not subjected the Bassett to the same; as I read your writeup and others, I'll reconsider using the Bassett on a dedicated basis.

Again, I enjoyed this post as it made me think and re-examine some beliefs.

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Old February 12th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glockinstine View Post
What type (Make Model) and were did you get the "Rings"?
Thanks
The mount that I got was the Picatinny rail for rings I went with style #49041, got it at MidwayUSA http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tnumber=781039

These as stated on the website at the bottom: Recommended scope rings, Weaver medium height: Style #49041 or 49120 for 1" diameter or 30mm scope tubes, respectively; Style 49045 or 49152 extended for ĺ", more or less, eye relief with 1" or 30mm diameters, respectively.

Would yall care for some up close pictures of the machine work?


Last edited by JacsLX; February 12th, 2009 at 07:58 AM.
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