My New Springfield M-1A SOCOM

billt

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I've been thinking of getting that new Ruger Mini 14 Davidson's is offering with the Tactical black metal and flash suppressor, and Circassian Walnut stock, but I wasn't sure, so I thought I would go look at a Mini 14 Tactical at Cabela's before I ordered anything. Well, you know the story. They had this really nice Springfield M-1A SOCOM they just unboxed and put on the rack. Suddenly the Mini 14 didn't look so good. So after spending over twice as much I took the SOCOM home. It's a hell of a lot more rifle than the Mini 14 could ever hope to be on it's best day! This gun points like a Sporting Clays Shotgun!

It has the Trijicon illuminated front post with the Ghost Ring rear sight set up. I need to get a nice black nylon padded sling for it. I haven't decided if I'll go with a scout scope setup, or just keep it the way it is with the factory irons. Either way I'll take it out and light up a few next weekend. I got all of my crap done around the house, stuff I've been putting off, so now it's plat time! Bill T.
 

arizona hunter

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Like you I've often thought about the Mini 14, but after reading of your enthusiasm in spite of double the money I'll look at the Socom.
 

billt

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I think you'll be a lot happier in the long run. I've trained myself when I get into these kind of situations where I'm trying to justify the more expensive choice in a weapon, to keep price out of it as much as my thought process will allow, and just judge the gun based on quality and how much I want it. This of course is difficult because I'm not made of money, and I spend long hours earning it. With that said every time I went with the more expensive gun I've been happier because of it. The way I try and look at it is I'm only spending the money one time, but I'll be shooting the gun for a good number of years. It makes it a lot more pleasurable every time you remove it from the case. Bill T.
 

billt

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I had my Springfield SOCOM 16 out at the range the other day, just to run a few rounds through it and check functioning, sights, etc. I didn't run any handloads through it, just factory Winchester White Box and some Mag-Tech .308 ball I bought the other day. The gun ran flawlessly. Not one single FTF or FTE in the 10 round magazine the gun came with, or both my 20 round factory Springfield mags. I even tried the 10 round mag my Camp Perry Edition M-1A came with. Zero issues. As far as accuracy with the stock sights the only thing I didn't care for was the rear aperture on the SOCOM 16. It is a bit too large for me. I realize this is primarily a CQB rifle, but with such a large rear aperture you have to really take time to center everything properly if you're shooting at 100 yards or more. With that said I could maintain around a 4" group at that distance off a rest. Shooting conditions were ideal except for the heat which was around 103 late in the day.

Recoil was not an issue as the factory brake works very well. Muzzle blast was high naturally with such a short barrel. I wasn't deterred by any noticeable flash, but that was no doubt because of the bright sunlight. Shooting at night would of course be a whole different story. The gun will require optics to do any real accuracy testing, and that is something I haven't decided on yet, and most likely won't until Fall when things cool down a bit. Here in Phoenix Summertime shooting is difficult with the ultra high temperatures we have. Once you heat up a barrel, it simply takes forever for it to cool down. I used up a full can of that "canned air" trying to keep the barrel of the SOCOM cool enough to touch.

For Pluses I would rate the gun as follows. Extremely well balanced and easy to shoulder and get fast sight acquisition. It was very easy to perform fast, accurate double taps with this rife with just a bit of practice at the closer ranges. For a gas operated semi automatic the gun is easy to operate and magazine changes can be accomplished quite effortlessly once you have worked with the gun for a while. The sights are good and easy to adjust and very fast to align because of the large rear aperture. I found it to be quite easy to ring 12" steel gongs offhand at my clubs 200 yard range. Recoil is not bad and the stock configuration works well to absorb it. Even my wife found the gun not at all uncomfortable to shoot.

For the minus column there really aren't too many marks I can place against this rifle. Cost is of course quite high and it's price tag keeps it out of the hands of many shooters, but at the same time it reflects the quality the Springfield M-1A weapons have become associated with. Also I agree with the assessment of this gun not being good for social work at all. Shooting this weapon in the confines of a modern track built house would result with a serious over penetration issue, not to mention substantial hearing loss! With FMJ Mil-Spec ammunition this rifle could easily penetrate a home from one end to the other. The legal ramifications of that could be devastating. There are simply far better choices for home protection.

When all is said and done this is a very high quality "fun gun". It is a gun I will be bringing to the range often. With good optics and the right loads I have zero doubt the accuracy will be good if I want to explore that relm. Most likely I'll keep this weapon box stock. It is a fantastic rifle for putting a lot of lead down range in a really fun way. I think in it's factory stock configuration the gun would make an excellent woods, brush hunting rifle for deer, elk, or other similar size game. For Javelina I can't think of a better weapon. Of course if you were to employ the gun for that purpose it would require the use of a 5 round magazine to comply with local hunting regulations. All in all I'm very satisfied with the overall performance of this gun, and I'm glad I made the purchase. About all I need to do now is handload in a large volume so I'll be ready for shooting it when the weather cools down in the Fall. Bill T.
 

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