M1A vs. M1A Socom vs. M1A Scout Accuracy


September 18, 2011, 01:09 AM
How much more accurate is the 22" inside of 300 yards or so? Is the Socom capable of sub MOA out to that range? What about the Scout?

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September 18, 2011, 12:18 PM
What I've read suggests that the accuracy of M1A rifles roughly follows this list from most to least accurate:

22" match barreled, glass bedded models
18" Scout model
22" "loaded" (medium barrel, not bedded)
22" standard models
16" SOCOM II with quadrail

The idea of a SOCOM being sub-MOA at 300 yards is laughable. You would be lucky to get a glass bedded match barreled M1A to be sub-MOA at 300 yards. It is possible (for the glass bedded match barrel) but not easy. For some reason the Scout models seem to do quite well on average. But if you want sub-MOA you would do far better to look at another platform (namely AR-10 or bolt action).

September 18, 2011, 12:39 PM
You would be lucky to get a glass bedded match barreled M1A to be sub-MOA at 300 yards.

1996 was the last year the USMC shot the M14 as an across the course rifle. That year I talked to the Armorers and their standard was a ten shot group at or less than 3" at 300 yards.

I think they shot using a cradle.

People are very lucky to shoot under a MOA at 300 yards, wind for one thing, the slightest change of wind, and poof!, you are out.

National Champions never shoot as well as Internet Commando's, so internet shooting standards are somewhat inflated.

September 18, 2011, 12:40 PM
Um, MOA is range independent, so it has exactly the same chance of being sub MOA at 100 as it does at 300. Perhaps you mean sub 1 inch groups at 300 yards (1/3 MOA), which would indeed be a laughable notion from a SOCOM.

My standard M1A 22" shoots under 2 MOA with non premium commercial ammo.

Edit: Not assuming effects from wind, etc that multiply with range.

September 18, 2011, 01:11 PM
my scout will out shoot my standard at 100yds by a half inch or so. out to 300yds...i dont know. if you are looking for sub moa accuracy and you have a socom....you need to look else where.

from my experience with standard weight barreled M1As.....the 18" is real nice and will be very accurate.....but once you get out the the 300yd range as you mentioned....i believe the 22" will stay more accurate at that range and beyond.

September 18, 2011, 01:14 PM
When shopping for my M1A I did a lot of research and for the money the Scout Squad is your best deal in my opinion.

September 18, 2011, 01:45 PM
For some reason the Scout models seem to do quite well on average.

It's because the barrel is shorter, and therefore stiffer, I'd imagine. You do give up some velocity, and therefore range, though.


September 18, 2011, 03:08 PM
After owning and shooting the 3 you mentioned, my M1A Bush rifle would out shoot both the Std, and the Socom, but not by all that much, and out to 300yds you mentioned and then some.

FWIW...... My Socom started out as a Socom II, and did shoot better once I removed the rails up front, and replaced them with a std hand guard. The rails are clamped to the bbl (Same as the scout mount), and in my case...had an adverse effect concerning consistent accuracy. ( I for one would be interested in what other M1A owners have found, regarding the scout mount). IE....... bbl harmonics.

As they come from the factory, all have iron sights only. The 3 you mentioned all sport different front sight posts. They vary when it comes to height and width. The difference in height correspond with the differences in bbl lengths. The widths on the other hand have the most effects when it comes to acquiring a target. The Socom has a rather wide front sight post, and while this feature works rather well (in conjunction with this rifles larger rear sight aperture) for close quarter shooting, it makes it very challenging when it comes to the type of actual precision your referring to.

There are other factors to consider when it comes to this type of rifle as well.....with the end goal of said rifle cycling smoothly, and with all moving parts returning to the same spot every time it is being fired....... to make it short and simple.

Sub MOA at 300yrds?

If you are serious about an actual sub MOA rifle then look here....

George and company can make it happen. I haven't had the opportunity to speak with him recently due to my current job overseas right now, but he has built precision rifles from the M14/M1A platform. Not sure about the sub MOA requirement of yours however. Look at his website above and see what he has. If he says one of his rifles can do it, then it is the truth.;)

The M1A std/Scout/Socom do not fall into this category. They are built to be extremely reliable/work in all environments/climates/weather conditions semiautomatic "battle/MBR" rifles, and cover this aspect very well from my experiences with them.

FWIW..... The M14 works just fine in the role of DMR at work:)

If you get one and shoot it long enough to "out shoot your own rifle", you can always look at additional options at that time.


September 18, 2011, 03:37 PM
Thanks. I haven't bought one yet, but I'm in the market for a semi auto .308 rifle.

September 18, 2011, 03:51 PM
For accuracy, you can't beat the AR-10 styles, and for accuracy per dollar you can't beat the DPMS .308 models, particularly the LR-308 (24" SS barrel) and LR-308B (18" heavy c-m barrel). I'm not saying they are the best all-around, only that they are regularly the best for accuracy. Either one of those could reasonably be expected to be slightly sub-MOA (perhaps .9 MOA) with appropriate match ammo. Separately, Rock River claims 1 MOA for their .308 models (LAR-8) although I don't know if's well established that they reliably shoot that well. At the pricier end there are very nice options from LMT, KAC, Larue and Noveske.

I own both an LR-308B and a Springfield "loaded" M1A, and I've previously owned another loaded M1A, so I'm not speaking purely from reading.

Is sub-MOA a requirement? There are a lot of nice rifles that are great in all other ways but just won't regularly do sub-MOA, including most of the M1A models, as well as better FALs.

September 18, 2011, 03:56 PM
I have the Scout Squad with the Burris Scout Scope, it is no precision target rifle but it fits its niche quite well. I think barrel length is relative to bullet stabilization and maximum velocity not accuracy. There are some very accurate 14" contender pistols and my 30-30 won't quite do MOA at 300 but it will hold under 5". I haven't really pushed my M1A1 from the bench yet, I guess it needs to be done.

4v50 Gary
September 18, 2011, 04:03 PM
One should remember the most significant criteria for the military (and law enforcement) of the weapon is reliability. The weapon must work each and every time the trigger is pressed. Accuracy takes second place. To make a military weapon super accurate means tampering with reliability. The weapon may become a prima donna such that if certain conditions are not satisfied (special ammunition, bedding condition, cleanliness) are not fulfilled, that it will not function reliably. Other concerns include parts interchangeability. The more specialized the part, the less likelihood that available spares are available. Thus, there is a tradeoff between accuracy and reliability.

September 18, 2011, 07:09 PM
While this is true, that is where real engineering comes in. It is quite possible to make a 100% reliable, accurate weapon. Maybe not eyeball at 500 yards accurate, but definitely accurate. It's also possible to make a 100% reliable weapon that is "battlefield accurate" or less. It's possible to make prima donna tack drivers, and it is possible to make total trash.

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