M1A SOCOM 16” vs standard

wtomblin

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I have an M1A standard loaded and I’m thinking of trading for a SOCOM 16” but I’ve read mixed reviews on accuracy of the SOCOM. Some say your lucky to get 2” at 100yds and some say theirs is “extremely accurate”. Looking for some honest feedback with someone who has had both and your thoughts??
 

wtomblin

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Not exactly the review I was hoping for 😃 what kind of accuracy/ reliability did you have
 

rth1800

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Only shot a little. It was decent. No reliability issues.
 

bfoosh006

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I won't expect to much precision from the 16" barreled M1A. It really comes down to what is acceptable for your needs.
Lots of folks have had decent results.. lots haven't .

I guess I am saying , I haven't read a lot of glowing accuracy reviews about SOCOM 16" M1A's. YMMV

Also Consider asking at M14forum.com... nothing the matter with asking here, but that forum has a TON of dedicated, very knowledgeable M1A shooters.

IMHO, that forum is what Snipershide is for precision shooters, but more M1A oriented.

https://www.google.com/search?q=SAI...KH0KHYnWBSoQrQIoBDAAegQIARAP&biw=1280&bih=607
 

thebolt

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The M1A is a great rifle and my sons and I have owned and shot many over the last 30 years. Ours were all full size rifles except for one Socom and they all shot well, with the exception of the lone Socom. The Socom was a huge disappointment and I recommend the full size rifles.
 

RyanScott

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An M1A is a nostalgic throwback to the golden era of full power, wood stocked autoloading rifles, between 1937 and 1943. The SOCOM isn’t a nostalgic gun, so what’s the point?
 
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JMGlasgow

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A good in between rifle is the scout model. It uses all the same parts as the full length, just has an 18" barrel and a taller front sight. The Socom uses a proprietary gas system and as stated is extremely loud. I've heard more about their lack of accuracy than being accurate, but people have different standards as to what accurate is.

Accuracy wise you would be better served with a full length rifle. My scout shoots around 2 moa, which is acceptable for my uses. My Supermatch shoots around 1moa, but it has the works done to it and they aren't cheap.
 

eastexsteve

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My brother has an 18" scout squad model. It is more accurate and well-behaved with 7.62x51 NATO than it is with .308 WIN. (Yes, there is a difference.) The same goes with my HK-91. The cartridge pressures and dimensions between the two rounds are different.
 

JMGlasgow

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Show me on this chart where they are different dimensionally. Chambers may vary slightly, and yes, the pressures are slightly different as well as case thickness, but externally the cases are the same. 762-308comparison.jpg
 

Arc Light

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I've never heard anyone refer to the SOCOM as an extremely accurate rifle. I have a Scout model which I am happy with, but it's not gonna win any matches. But it's a fun gun and I have no plans to get rid of it.
 

eastexsteve

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Show me on this chart where they are different dimensionally. Chambers may vary slightly, and yes, the pressures are slightly different as well as case thickness, but externally the cases are the same.
I could have specifically said "chambers." But, the "chambers" are dimensionally different enough that I have two .308 win rifles that won't even begin to chamber a 7.62x51 NATO round. And, the difference in pressure is enough that my HK-91 will blow primers out of their pockets if you try to shoot .308 win in it. They are different. And, the difference is probably why the two M1A's that I've fired shot tighter groups with 7.62x51 than they did with .308 win.
 
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Hobo Hilton

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When the bad guy is quickly moving in on you and your 1,000 yard bolt gun has consistently missed him.... You pick up a SOCOM and send rounds down range.... At that point, you have his attention.... 2" at 100 yards will get your point across. In fact, 10 rounds in a paper plate at 50 yards is an attention getter.
Just depends on the situation... At that point "noise" is the least of your worry...

Hobo
 

wtomblin

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Thanks for all of the replies. I did check on m14forum.com and that was a good resource. So I’ve decided to send my rifle off to Smith Enterprise inc and have them put a 16” barrel on with a new gas lock. Those are really the only parts that are different between standard and the SOCOM. Before I get a bunch of replies on the waste of money, I realize any customization on a rifle is a bad investment for resale but why work if you can’t enjoy it. I also plan to run a suppressor so that’s another deciding factor for the shorter barrel. I will let you guys know how it turns out in a couple months.
 

Greg Langelius *

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In 1966 and 1967, I carried an M-14 in training and combat in Vietnam. It became a semi-attached appendage, a true extension of my body. It was a representation of the simple fact that the human being is ultimately adaptable given need and repetition.

None of us had complaints about the ergonomics, except those that stem from the simple fact that one size never fits all. If that had been your question, I'd be stopping right here.

Accuracy is bound up by factors like structural integrity, sights and sight radius, or optics, and ammunition compatibility with a given barrel. The driver skills are also important.

Iron sights can be very accurate, and I had a lot of practice shooting the M1 and M1a in High Power N/M out to 300yd. My abilities allowed me to be as accurate with sling and irons as I was with a scoped rifle, but this is not always the case for all.

I'd say that the ammunition/barrel issue hold the most pertinent answer to your question. Dispersion with the same ammunition will differ between the two barrel lengths, but prediction will not say which is 'better'.

What will be true is that the loads we commonly apply to the M1a/M14 will not be as compatible for a different barrel length; more, less, who's to tell off the cuff?

So Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware; there be lawyers in the waters, Matey....

YMMV

My M1a was the Springfield Loaded, and it was damned accurate; but that involved glassbedding it and handloading. I miss it greatly, but not enough to cough up the cost of replacing it. I'd rather build my own AR-10; but I bought my PA-10 complete instead, and the savings was substantial over the M1a. The PA-10 I have is not the PA-10 I bought; there are a lot of upgrade parts in it/on it which I added/replaced myself. I would not have been capable of doing that with the M1a.

Whether you get the SOCOM, or something based on, say, the AR-10 would depend on the reasons behind the desire to have another 308 semi.

I can't address those reasons; but I can strongly suggest that if you are to secure an AR-10 based rifle, get one that's been designed and built by a proven builder. There are a lot of sneaky little hidden snags lurking in the home design/build process. They can cost time, cash, and stress to relieve; which is the reason I went with a complete PA-10, at least to begin with.

Greg
 
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RobertGoodrich40

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An M1A is a nostalgic throwback to the golden era of full power, wood stocked autoloading rifles, between 1937 and 1943. The SOCOM isn’t a nostalgic gun, so what’s the point?
You’re a couple of decades off. M1A is a non-select fire M14, which didn’t see the light of day until the mid 50’s. The M-14 is a current combat rifle for all services. If utter reliability and massive punch make it a winner. The SOCOM 16 is not a tack driver, but is accurate enough for me to hit head shots at 200 yards. That’s all I need.
 

RyanScott

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Full power, conventionally stocked autoloading rifles designed for general issue became obsolescent in 1943. If one was developed after that don’t blame me, it wasn’t my mistake.
 

eastexsteve

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Full power, conventionally stocked autoloading rifles designed for general issue became obsolescent in 1943. If one was developed after that don’t blame me, it wasn’t my mistake.
The Ford F-series pickup definitely isn't the fastest, lightest, or the most fuel-efficient vehicle out there. It doesn't haul the most cargo or passengers, either. And, women, by-in-large, don't like to drive it. Yet, if vehicle sales were an election, the Ford F-series pickup would win the popular vote every year. So, I wonder why that is?
 

RyanScott

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I don’t understand the comparison. The F-series is the best truck in its class, and the existence of its class makes sense. The M14 is one of the worst in its class, and the class of weapons doesn’t make sense.
 

Hobo Hilton

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The Ford F-series pickup definitely isn't the fastest, lightest, or the most fuel-efficient vehicle out there. It doesn't haul the most cargo or passengers, either. And, women, by-in-large, don't like to drive it. Yet, if vehicle sales were an election, the Ford F-series pickup would win the popular vote every year. So, I wonder why that is?
LOL.... Seems you made your point.

Hobo
 

eastexsteve

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I don’t understand the comparison. The F-series is the best truck in its class, and the existence of its class makes sense. The M14 is one of the worst in its class, and the class of weapons doesn’t make sense.
Because like the M14/M1a, there is nothing I listed above that it is the best at. As a matter of fact, there are some things that it is worse at than almost any other vehicle. So, why do you like an obsolete vehicle like the F-series Ford truck? It's been around forever, and it sucks at many things.
 

RyanScott

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You’re really missing the point.

Trucks are useful for what they are useful for. The best pickup truck is the Ford F series. Hell I even like them in light and medium truck applications.

308 rifles that aren’t scoped for accurate shooting don’t make and sense and haven’t since the Sturmgewehr was developed. So as a class they are pointless except as range toys, which they excel at. In that class, the M14 is a worse rifle than the AR-10, FAL, G3, SCAR and others.

So the comparison doesn’t make sense.
 

eastexsteve

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You’re really missing the point.
I think your missing my point. That is, as much as the Ford F-150 sucks at many things, there are a few things it excels at, and has done so for decades. I have both AR10 rifles and M1As. As damn fine as my 18" barrel AR10's are, they can't shoot the distance with 7.62x51 milspec ammo my 22" barrel M1A can. And, in the world beyond paper and lead-sleds, there are some instances where you just don't want glass optics mounted on a rifle. So, if you take the optics off of them and put A2 sights on them, they can't even touch the M1A for accuracy. Everything has a niche'. And, everything has faults.
 

RyanScott

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When don’t you want glass on a rifle? I can think of a couple of circumstances but non involve long range shooting.
 

eastexsteve

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When don’t you want glass on a rifle? I can think of a couple of circumstances but non involve long range shooting.
Just about anywhere I shoot long range that doesn't involve the use of a bench, pack, bag, or a bipod. Add to that, milspec ammo. Also, quite often, it's not where you shoot, but what you have to do to get to where you shoot, and your shooting conditions. Scoped guns are generally not as durable as iron sight guns.
 

nick338

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I think your missing my point. That is, as much as the Ford F-150 sucks at many things, there are a few things it excels at, and has done so for decades. I have both AR10 rifles and M1As. As damn fine as my 18" barrel AR10's are, they can't shoot the distance with 7.62x51 milspec ammo my 22" barrel M1A can. And, in the world beyond paper and lead-sleds, there are some instances where you just don't want glass optics mounted on a rifle. So, if you take the optics off of them and put A2 sights on them, they can't even touch the M1A for accuracy. Everything has a niche'. And, everything has faults.
You aren't comparing apples to apples. A 22" AR-10 will outshoot a 22" M1A all day every day, and I've been an M1A fanboy since the day I picked it up in the military in 1991. Have owned 10 of them from SOCOM's to 22" custom LRB M25 rear lug bedded rifles and while they can be made to shoot accurately they are harder to maintain their accuracy and there are far too many moving parts along with proper barrel tension to hang with the AR class of rifles.

Can't agree with you on optics either. With the choices of red dots, LPVO's or HPVO's I can't imagine a scenario where I would choose irons over optics.
 

nick338

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Just about anywhere I shoot long range that doesn't involve the use of a bench, pack, bag, or a bipod. Add to that, milspec ammo. Also, quite often, it's not where you shoot, but what you have to do to get to where you shoot, and your shooting conditions. Scoped guns are generally not as durable as iron sight guns.
A magnified optic doesn't make the gun more accurate, it just helps you see the target better, so where is it that you shoot where that would not be an advantage?
 

eastexsteve

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You aren't comparing apples to apples. A 22" AR-10 will outshoot a 22" M1A all day every day..
Well, most good ones should anyway. My 18" AR10 clone doesn't have the same range though with comparable ammo. But, I don't know what magic set of sights you have on yours, but the LMTs I use on my AR10 aren't good for much past 600 meters. They run out of adjustment after that. The sights on my M1A NM are good past 1200 meters. And, there is that long sight radius.
Can't agree with you on optics either. With the choices of red dots, LPVO's or HPVO's I can't imagine a scenario where I would choose irons over optics.
My red dots aren't worth a damn past close range. And, I do a lot of unsupported shooting with no bags, packs, sleds, etc. Just a sling. And, I don't shoot much paper. And, as I said before, it's the conditions. Scopes are fragile. (I've wrecked a few.) And, when you add the restriction of milspec ammo, it narrows it down even more. My AR10 clones have .308 win target chambers and won't shoot milspec ammo. Why do I shoot milspec ammo? Because I have a lot of it! I know all AR fanboys think nothing can beat them. And, for most things, I agree. But, there is also the "fun" factor. For some of the shooting I do, that M1A is just more fun.
 

eastexsteve

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A magnified optic doesn't make the gun more accurate, it just helps you see the target better, so where is it that you shoot where that would not be an advantage?
I know what the magnified optic does. I own many. I've also wrecked a few. I don't do much shooting from benches and rests at paper. My guns tend to see a certain amount of unintended abuse.
 

nick338

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Well, most good ones should anyway. My 18" AR10 clone doesn't have the same range though with comparable ammo. But, I don't know what magic set of sights you have on yours, but the LMTs I use on my AR10 aren't good for much past 600 meters. They run out of adjustment after that. The sights on my M1A NM are good past 1200 meters. And, there is that long sight radius.


My red dots aren't worth a damn past close range. And, I do a lot of unsupported shooting with no bags, packs, sleds, etc. Just a sling. And, I don't shoot much paper. And, as I said before, it's the conditions. Scopes are fragile. (I've wrecked a few.) And, when you add the restriction of milspec ammo, it narrows it down even more. My AR10 clones have .308 win target chambers and won't shoot milspec ammo. Why do I shoot milspec ammo? Because I have a lot of it! I know all AR fanboys think nothing can beat them. And, for most things, I agree. But, there is also the "fun" factor. For some of the shooting I do, that M1A is just more fun.
Ok so in your situation which is the exception, using milspec ammo because the 14 chamber will eat anything, it has a slight advantage. Start using match grade ammo or hand loads and the 14 will fall behind, even with the longer barrel.

Can't argue with you about the fun factor though.
 

eastexsteve

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Ok so in your situation which is the exception, using milspec ammo because the 14 chamber will eat anything, it has a slight advantage. Start using match grade ammo or hand loads and the 14 will fall behind, even with the longer barrel.

Can't argue with you about the fun factor though.
Well, it's more than just ammo and the "fun" factor. How tight a gun groups is just part of the equation. The other part is how well you can shoot it in a variety of conditions. Try shooting your ultra-light AR10 clone offhand or from a sling. See what you can do with it at 1,000 yards resting it in the fork of a tree. Make yourself up a rack of 8 or 10 hanging plates on a piece of pipe and start out at 200 yards and see how fast you can swing all the plates while shooting off of a pack. When you get pretty fast at it, move 'em back 100 yards more and try it again. Then, when you think you're pretty fast at it, take that scope off of it and get you some good A2 sights (I like LMTs) on that gun and try it again and see how far you can hit 'em. Make a challenge out of it. That's what will make you a better shot. Then, one day you will discover that you are such a consistent shooter that when you do have a problem hitting a target, you know the problem isn't you. And, you also will discover that a gun that can shoot like a laser beam from a lead sled isn't necessarily that accurate a gun when you have to pick it up and shoot it offhand.
 

Wading

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I had a Scout Squad and its balance was perfect for me. I never thought I would get rid of it . . . until I got the SCAR 17. Still, between the full size and the SOCOM and the Scout Squad, I like the Scout Squad best.
 

hlee

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If the m1a gets you all wound up inside, maybe it’s the right gun for you. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy? Go for it. Hand-rubbed oiled walnut and blued steel? Yes please. But, if your one of those that carries around a set of calipers to measure group size, even when not carrying a rifle, maybe the ar10 is your baby. Extreme spread? Mean radius of dispersion? If these get you going, the ar10 is for you.

We’re on a gun forum and most of the people here are here for the hobby, even if they carry a rifle for work. This argument always comes down to a subjective set of criteria that each of us carry around, mostly without regard for the subjective criteria of anyone else. Prefer the m1a? Great. The ar10 makes your balls feel tingly? Great.

is the m1a obsolete? Yes. Is it a fun gun to shoot? Yeah. Are these mutually exclusive concepts? No.

The F-series is objectively best in class? Bwahahahaha!!!!!
 

hlee

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If you’re looking for an accurate off hand rifle, you should look to what the AMU is shooting. They sure ain’t m14s...
 

eastexsteve

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If you’re looking for an accurate off hand rifle, you should look to what the AMU is shooting. They sure ain’t m14s...
I have a 20" Colt HBAR similar to what they use. It's not a light gun, relatively speaking for a 5.56. It shoots damn good. But, it definitely has it's limits. And, you start to see them when you get past 600 meters. Oh, it will definitely shoot 1,000 yards with the right ammo. But, shooting 1,000 yards, and shooting 1,000 yards accurately can be two different things. Using those A2 iron sights, there is one thing that can give it an advantage over an M14 out to 600 meters under the right conditions. If you've been shooting irons on ARs and M1A/M14 rifles for very long, you know what that is. It has nothing to do with how tight the gun groups. From my own meager personal experience, I can shoot my 20" HBAR AR15 with a bit more consistent accuracy than I can my M1A NM out to about 600 under the right conditions. But, as you start to go beyond 600, that M1A starts to play "catch-up" in the accuracy department. And at 1,000 and beyond, it's the clear winner.
 

nick338

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I have a 20" Colt HBAR similar to what they use. It's not a light gun, relatively speaking for a 5.56. It shoots damn good. But, it definitely has it's limits. And, you start to see them when you get past 600 meters. Oh, it will definitely shoot 1,000 yards with the right ammo. But, shooting 1,000 yards, and shooting 1,000 yards accurately can be two different things. Using those A2 iron sights, there is one thing that can give it an advantage over an M14 out to 600 meters under the right conditions. If you've been shooting irons on ARs and M1A/M14 rifles for very long, you know what that is. It has nothing to do with how tight the gun groups. From my own meager personal experience, I can shoot my 20" HBAR AR15 with a bit more consistent accuracy than I can my M1A NM out to about 600 under the right conditions. But, as you start to go beyond 600, that M1A starts to play "catch-up" in the accuracy department. And at 1,000 and beyond, it's the clear winner.
It's not the accuracy of the rifle that is allowing it to play catch up, its the bullet that is less affected by environmental conditions.
 

eastexsteve

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It's not the accuracy of the rifle that is allowing it to play catch up, its the bullet that is less affected by environmental conditions.
This is definitely one of the reasons. But, overall "accuracy" is made up of many factors. How the bullet behaves under certain environmental factors is just one of them. How tight a group it shoots out of a vise is also one of many things that contribute to "accuracy." But, you could have a gun that shot sub-MOA out of a vise, but had a crappy sighting system. You wouldn't get much practical accuracy out of that rifle.
 

nick338

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This is definitely one of the reasons. But, overall "accuracy" is made up of many factors. How the bullet behaves under certain environmental factors is just one of them. How tight a group it shoots out of a vise is also one of many things that contribute to "accuracy." But, you could have a gun that shot sub-MOA out of a vise, but had a crappy sighting system. You wouldn't get much practical accuracy out of that rifle.
Agreed
 

sharfshutz762

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Had 2 socoms. First one shot like shit so sold it off. Didnt learn my lesson and got another and shot just as bad on top of bending the op rod with surplus ammo and finally breaking the gas piston. Stripped the thing down to the reciever and built it into a scout with a 18" Kreiger barrel, TRW oprod, TRW bolt. shimmed gas. sadlak gas piston. NM sights. USGI fiberglass stock.
I recommend you just get one from Fulton Armory or LRB rifles and not a POS SA "socom"..
 
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nick338

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Had 2 socoms. First one shot like shit so sold it off. Didnt learn my lesson and got another and shot just as bad on top of bending the op rod with surplus ammo and finally breaking the gas piston. Stripped the thing down to the reciever and built it into a scout with a 18" Kreiger barrel, TRW oprod, TRW bolt. shimmed gas. sadlak gas piston. NM sights. USGI fiberglass stock.
I recommend you just get one from Fulton Armory or LRB rifles and not a POS SA "socom"..
Couldn't agree more with this as it sounds like me only I didn't learn my lesson after 3 SOCOM's and tried to do a custom 16" build and it still shot like shit. Really need a medium weight and 18" barrel, those standard weight 16's aren't worth a shit and the I've has standard weight 18's start to walk on me as the barrel heats up.

If I were going to do it again (I probably will), it will be an 18.5" medium weight Krieger stainless barrel and decent USGI stock.