M1A, the civilian version of the M14.
A legendary and classic rifle that has been through quite some action during its six-year service life. The M1A is a decently accurate, tough, and reliable rifle right out the box. While the rifle is available in many different versions from traditional designs to tactical and precision rigs.
The already high price tag of this rifle calls for some inexpensive and effective add-ons. One such accessory is a good cheek riser. But why? We shall find it out in this article. Alongside reviewing the best M1A cheek risers and rests available for sale.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for M1A Cheek Risers
- OUR TOP PICK: Matthew's Fabrication Adjustable Kydex Cheek Rest Riser .125" - Sniper Edition
- BEST CHEEK REST WITH UTILITY POUCH: TOURBON Hunting Shooting Rifle Buttstock Cheek Rest Pad with Shell Holder
- BEST CHEEK REST WITH SHELL HOLDER: TOURBON Leather Buttstock Cheek Rest with Rifle Shell Holder
Comparison of the Best M1A Cheek Risers And Rests
Our Top Pick
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Best Budget Option
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Factors to Consider Before Buying an M1A Cheek Riser
A cheek rise becomes necessary for a rifle when the shooter has to encounter problems like scope leveling or discomfort in a shooting stance. Or maybe a scope with high rise mounts on an M1A that makes the stock drop substantial.
This Section Written By:
Ankit Kumar is an engineer turned writer who specializes in topics related to firearms, gun safety and weapon tech. His passion towards enrolling in the Army drifted his interest towards light and heavy firearms. He’s a qualified competitive air rifle shooter and an avid nature lover. His other areas of expertise include survival, prepping and firearms/ammo storage. When he’s not writing, he’s either learning a new skill, trekking or enjoying a long drive.
Ease of Installation
A cheek riser can be a simple slip-on sleeve with an elastic design / retaining strap, or it may be more of a permanent accessory that requires drilling into the stock. Before you choose a riser, ask yourself: Does it require permanent modification?
Since M1A is already a pricey rifle and especially collectors who possess decades-old models will be reluctant to drill a hole in their beautiful walnut stock.
However, on the other hand, a permanently installed riser will be more stable against pressure and mishandling. But you cannot remove it without putting in a good amount of effort.
Adjustability and Comfort
Most risers allow you to adjust their weld height, whereas some offer the luxury to adjust the angle as well. This adjustment can be achieved by adding extra layers of foam inside slip-on risers. Or rotating a simple or complex knob setup.
Having an adjustable riser is better most of the time. Since you never know what precarious stance you can be in while taking a shot. Adjustable risers are also great when a rifle is used by multiple shooters.
The M1A was not designed for use with scopes. Additionally, it is a great scout rifle and is often coupled with scout scopes for the same reason. Hence adding a cheek riser sometimes feels like a necessity for this rifle.
As far as comfort is concerned, there's a few material options to consider. Nylon risers feel like a pillow, leather risers are a bit harder and polymer risers just feel like a normal stock.
Extra Storage Space
This is a bit of a personal preference factor, but a useful one. The M1A is mostly used as a hunting rifle and sometimes for tactical uses. Some cheek riser designs allow you to carry some extra cartridges via elastic loops, or have some sort of pocket for storing extra stuff.
Risers and rests with extra space for ammo offer instant access to cartridges and can mean the difference in some situations.
Review of the Best M1a Cheek Risers and Rests
Based upon the qualities and characteristics mentioned above, we have compiled a list of the best M1A cheek risers and rests on the market. All the risers reviewed here are fully adjustable and have an appropriate price tag, so you can get the best value for your money.
Matthew's Fabrication Adjustable Kydex Cheek Rest Riser .125" - Sniper Edition
To start with, let’s take a look at this innovative new cheek riser design from Matthew’s Fabrication. This is not a company, but an individual gun enthusiast who machines and sells these risers.
The riser is made from Kydex, the same material which is used to design holsters, therefore, this cheek rest is resistant to rust, water, and other sorts of wear and tear.
The rest features a unique design which requires you to drill a couple of holes in the stock of your M1A rifle, for the screws to pass through. Once you evaluate the appropriate height for yourself, simply drill a couple of holes and mount the cheek rest.
The Black Oxide-coated carriage bolts, coupled with anti-vibration knobs, make the riser fit snugly against the stock of your M1A. The edges of the cheek rest are rounded and not squared, to prevent any sort of injury while handling the rifle.
The cheek riser can be easily removed when needed and is also aesthetically pleasing to blend in perfectly with your rifle. If you are looking for a permanent cheek rest solution for your M1A, this product is your answer.
This adjustable cheek riser is an innovative and durable addition to your M1A. It is a more permanent and slip-proof solution in comparison to the strap-on velcro pouches.
Best Cheek Rest With Shell Holder:
TOURBON Hunting Shooting Rifle Buttstock Cheek Rest Pad with Shell Holder
This cheek riser from Tourbon is a velcro-based, adjustable, slip-on accessory for your M1A rifle. It has been made from neoprene, which makes it lightweight.
The riser has one utilitarian pocket on each side, which can be used to carry maps, batteries, papers, and other relevant items. It fits directly over the stock and stays in place using the extra-length velcro straps which remain hidden under a flap. The straps are slip-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about the riser slipping out.
The riser also has three sizes of foam comb inserts, which can be used to raise the cheek height between 1/2" to about 3 1/8". The extra cartridge holder slot on the riser can hold up to ten bullets for your M1A. This cheek riser is fully adjustable and compatible with many stocks, so it's not only useful for your M1A, but also for your other rifles.
This cheek riser is apt for competitions and range activities because of its easy to access storage compartment and levels of adjustment. The adjustable webbing cinch straps with buckle closure also add to its reliability.
Best Leather Cheek Rest:
TOURBON Leather Buttstock Cheek Rest With Rifle Shell Holder
Here’s a product for leather lovers. This cheek rest from Tourbon is made from genuine leather and is as durable as your M1A rifle. The cheek rest has a foam-based cheek pad which will help you align your eyes with the scope.
The riser has an elastic band which can hold eight shells at once. This might come in handy when you are hunting and have to gain quick access to extra ammunition.
The leather build of the cheek riser makes it durable and tough enough to withstand harsh operational conditions. The riser has elastic straps with a button-based closure, so you can mount in on any stock you like.
This leather-based cheek riser is a durable accessory for your M1A, good enough to be used for hunting, and long range shooting. It is comfortable and easy to use. But be sure to check out the specs before you buy.
Best for the Money:
Voodoo Tactical - Adjustable Rifle Buttstock Cheek Rest - Black Nylon with Ammo Carrier Case
This cheek riser from Voodoo Tactical is by far the most adjustable and versatile pick on this list. It features a nylon body with three velcro-based straps to slide and wrap over to your M1A. The straps are adjustable, so you can mount the riser on different rifles and stocks.
The padded cheek weld provides comfort and also reduces the sensation of recoil on your face. It includes a velcro-backed removable and covered seven round ammo carrier band, to allow you to carry some extra ammunition.
The foam pad on the riser is removable and can be modified in case you need adjustments. The riser lacks extra storage space, which is certainly a drawback but doesn’t hinder its usefulness in any way.
This cheek riser from Voodoo Tactical is an inexpensive and smart solution for your cheek riser needs. It is adjustable and fits perfectly well on an M1A. Moreover, its price also makes it an awesome deal.
Best Cheek Rest With Utility Pouch:
Tactical Sharpshooter Rifle Stock Pack
This cheek riser/rest from Tactical Sharpshooter is a multi-purpose accessory for your M1A. It features a 1000D Cordura Nylon based design, a zippered utility pouch, ammo bands, and cheek pad. It also includes several velcro strips to increase the height of the cheek pad for use with scopes.
The zippered utility pouch has an ammo band with a capacity of five rounds (suitable for 7.62 and similar calibers), plus ample space to store batteries, first aid supplies, cell phones, and even a couple of 5/10 round magazines.
The extra ammo band is mounted over the pouch using a velcro-backing, so you can peel it off when not needed. The cheek riser simply slides over the stock of your M1A and is secured in place using straps. The riser is fully-adjustable and doesn’t slip out with rigorous use. The riser can be easily removed for cleaning the rifle.
Plus, it also has a universal fit, so it will work with many stocks. The soft, rubberized cheek piece is comfortable and easy to clean. The rest also fits stocks with adjustable cheek risers, so that’s definitely an upside.
This cheek riser and utility pouch is a useful utility for your M1A. It will allow you to carry some extra items, plus, it’s easy to mount and use. The only downside is that you might have to get some practice to get used to it.
Why You Need a Cheek Riser/Rest?
A cheek riser has several good uses, which have perks ranging from improving accuracy to attaining comfort as you shoot. A few good reasons to use a cheek riser, especially with your M1A are:
Leveling With Scopes
A regular M1A user knows how difficult it is to mount and use a scope with this rifle. The stock of the M1A is not on the same height/level as the receiver, like the AR-15 where the buffer tube extends into the stock. Due to this, the M1A is good with iron sights but doesn’t allow your head to level well with a scope. Using a cheek riser ensures that you can adjust the height of your head in respect to the scope, in order to attain accuracy.
A cheek piece helps you get a better idea of exactly where to rest your head and face so you can easily get into position every time you have to take a shot. This factor is quite helpful when you’re using your M1A for competition or tactical use.
Using cheek risers, especially the ones with foam, allows you to rest the weight of your head on the stock and be as comfortable as possible. It also ensures that you are not straining your neck muscles as you try to aim.
Extra Storage Space
This may be a perk based upon whether your cheek riser has it or not. But risers with zippered pouches and loops can help you carry some extra stuff for your M1A.
Features of a Great M1A Cheek Riser and Rest
A good cheek riser/rest for the M1A must have certain qualities to perform the way it is intended. You must ensure a quality cheek riser has these important features when purchasing one.
A good cheek riser for your M1A must be comfortable. Since a very big reason to use the cheek rest is for comfort. There are risers available on the market which have foam inserts and are made from fabric to be as comfortable as possible.
Another very important quality of a good cheek rest is the adjustability. The primary purpose of installing the riser on the M1A is to be able to use the scope properly.
An adjustable riser also helps you with using scopes of different objective size and height, as you can level them with ease. Plus, the cheek rest must also be adjustable enough to fit snugly over a stock.
Easy to Install
The riser must be easy to install and require minimal effort or tools. On the contrary, if the riser needs some special tools for installation, the tools should make it easy to adjust.
Protective and Secure
An ideal cheek riser must not scratch or dent the stock in any way. It should be as gentle to the stock as it is to your face. Plus, its mounting mechanism should be secure enough to prevent it from falling or slipping out.
Having some extra storage space in your cheek riser for ammo, batteries, or first aid is also a complementary advantage, if not, a necessary addition. You must also note that carrying extra stuff in the cheek riser pouch will add to the weight of your rifle and hence affect accuracy.
A good cheek rest must be ambidextrous, meaning it can be used both by right-handed or left-handed shooters. This quality is not as necessary if the rest is solely for your own use.
Adding a cheek riser to your M1A will help you in attaining a proper anchor point for your head when using a scope. In other words, it is almost necessary to use a cheek riser with the M1A rifle because of its stock.
A cheek riser also helps with a quick realignment of your head. A good cheek riser/rest must be adjustable, comfortable, easy to mount, and smooth on your rifle. Plus, having some extra storage space is also an additional perk.