M1A Socom II. talk me out of it.


March 22, 2013, 03:43 AM
Im thinking about pulling the trigger on a new m1a socom 2. This not by any means my first gun but I have never really played with one. Is the $2k price tag really worth it? I want it for the history, to pass down to kids when im dead, and I might shoot a deer with it just to say that I did. Plus they just look cool. Im not rich by any means but I have saved my pennies and want to make sure im not going to regret it.

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March 22, 2013, 04:21 AM
You're on the wrong forum to be dissuaded against buying a nice gun. Just letting you know :). The price is a tad high IMHO but in these uncertain times it may be the market price.

Joshua M.
March 22, 2013, 05:20 AM
Like stated above, you'll be hard pressed to be talked out of a gun, especially a M1A. Although I don't have a Socom, I do have a standard, run of the mill M1A, that I really enjoy shooting...Sorry, can't talk you out of it, other than that is a little high on money...$1500-$1700 is pretty common...pre craze...but I guess by the time tax is figured in 2K ain't to far off.

Texan Scott
March 22, 2013, 05:26 AM
Now might not be the time. A good one will cost close to $2k. Almost nobody has magazines or ammo for it. Good ammo may run $1.50 a pop, and the mags are often at least $80. Wait... I'm thinking of AR-15s, never mind. :neener:

March 22, 2013, 06:03 AM
No. Go for it. You will not regret it.

March 22, 2013, 06:08 AM
Talk you out of it?


-Too short (more muzzle blast, decreased sight radius, decreased velocity)




I've handled and fired the SOCOM, and a far better alternative (if you MUST have something shorter) is the Scout/Squad M1A , with 18" barrel. Personally I prefer the standard-length rifle.

Magazines for all semi-auto rifles are pricey right now. www.44mag.com still has Checkmate Industries' 10-rounders in stock at $35 each. However, that SOCOM is UGLY (life's too short to mess with UGLY rifles!).


March 22, 2013, 06:08 AM
Do I recall that version of the rifle not being as reliable as the standard version due to the shorter barrel or gas system?

March 22, 2013, 06:31 AM
I have a SOCOM. Love it. Took a nice 8-point whitetail 2 yrs ago with it.

I can't help you decide NOT to go for it.

March 22, 2013, 06:43 AM
Why not a nice CMP Garand?

March 22, 2013, 06:45 AM
Obnoxiously loud. If you actually need to use it for what the M14 was designed, it will quickly become painfull both in noise and recoil.

March 22, 2013, 06:52 AM
Love my SOCOM. I think you should send me the $2,000 as a birthday gift, and we'll call it good. I'll buy a short, ugly, ill-balanced SOCOM II for myself and save you having to suffer the fate that others have detailed, because I'm a good friend. :D


March 22, 2013, 09:58 AM
i don't think they're ugly. i think the M1A series is actually really cool looking. especially with dark stained wood.

but ime, the controls suck (ergonomically), they are heavy, slow, and still have a lot of recoil, and the 16" barreled ones are quite loud. the funky gas system means you can't swap out muzzle devices without some additional futzing. the sights are irritating. and worst of all, they are not particularly accurate unless you do a lot of work to them.

Steel Horse Rider
March 22, 2013, 10:56 AM
I would (and did) buy the standard (or match grade) M1A rather than the SOCOM version as my preferences run that way but you should buy whatever trips YOUR trigger, not mine.

March 22, 2013, 11:35 AM
I like the SOCOM. I dislike the SOCOM II. The tri-rail front makes the SOCOM II really heavy. If you want a short and handy M1A, I would personally go with the SOCOM over the SOCOM II. Of course any M1A can be hard to find these days so you could get the SOCOM II and just swap out the front stock and heatshield on it.

March 22, 2013, 11:56 AM
The Socom 16 in a wood stock or a LRB tanker would be my choices for a short M14. I question the usefulness of a short M14 (you're not going to use .308 for CQB) but they are really cool.


March 22, 2013, 01:06 PM
The $2000 was after tax, after taking a look and taking in your suggestions, I realize that I'm going to have to wait until I can get one at a reasonable price. What were the Socom 16 going for before all the madness?

March 22, 2013, 01:16 PM
I have a standard M1A and a SOCOM 16. I like both of them a lot, don't plan on ever selling either of them. The SOCOM goes to work with me every shift. The 16 inch barrel makes it a great fit in my vehicle rack w/ the 870. It is fine out to 200 yards for my purposes, and the 7.62x51 turns cover into concealment. I'd say go for it :D.

March 22, 2013, 02:14 PM
The problem with the currently available M-14 pattern rifles is that the USGI parts have all but dried up. And some parts, like extractors, just don't hold up when made from MIM instead of being forged.

For my money, in a .308 rifle, the only option is the SCAR17. Modern fully ambidextrous design, designed to mount optics, and fully free floated barrel. Plus the stock is full adjustable for length and comb, besides folding for compact storage.


March 22, 2013, 02:30 PM
Nothing wrong with the SOCOM, though I don't care for the IIs rails. I'd put the Smith gas plug in. The M14 series and it's clones have excellent irons, but were designed at a time when optics were not found on military rifles. Mounting optics can be problematic, but since the SOCOM is really a short range rifle, irons or a forward mounted dot sight are all you need.

There are plenty of good parts available from SEI if you want to replace the factory stuff. I have several SA M1a that are years old with nary a problem. You can used modified GI Garand extractors, or BM59 extractors if you are worried about the SA ones. They can be had for less than $20. Original GI are going for about double that.


March 22, 2013, 02:33 PM
BTW, I wonder where the previous poster is going to get a SCAR17 for $2000?

March 22, 2013, 02:46 PM
I think you should get one :evil:

March 22, 2013, 03:41 PM
I just looked at the scar17, yeah, not even CLOSE to my budget. For that kind of money I could get a pre ban M16. Okay not really but jeez those are expensive.

March 22, 2013, 03:43 PM
Equivalent to a dump truck in weight with that monstrosity of a rail.

About as loud as one too.

Not my preferred M1A variant, but there's no BAD M1A variant.

March 22, 2013, 08:00 PM
I just looked at the scar17, yeah, not even CLOSE to my budget. For that kind of money I could get a pre ban M16. Okay not really but jeez those are expensive.

I hope you've priced .308 ammo. 1 case will be more than the difference between $2000 and the pre-panic price of a SCAR.


March 22, 2013, 08:47 PM
I was looking for a SOCOM or a Scout, and ended up finding a used LRB M14SA priced a bit higher. Wanted to mount a scope over the receiver too, so it worked out well.

March 22, 2013, 09:16 PM
what bruceb and mobuck said. loud, expensive, unattractive, unbalanced, better choices for less money, such as the standard M1A. but that's just my opinion after owning two standard M1A's and being impressed with a squad scout. I wouldn't go any smaller than that, and prefer the standard M1As.

Float Pilot
March 22, 2013, 10:16 PM
I have owned pretty much every M-1a variant and have shot real M-14s extensively.

That said I would never buy another socom. instead opting for the regular size M-1A.
The shorter length of the socom degrades accuracy and they weight almost as much as the full size rifle.

Plus, after years of goofing around with trying to find a good reason for a Scout Scope. I quit... All a scout scope mount does is goof up the barrel harmonics.

So SOCOM : shorter louder and less accurate.
Full Size, more accuracy, more velocity and less muzzle blast. For about the same weight.

March 23, 2013, 08:35 AM
Look at the SIG716.

It was my second choice, but I opted for a Bison Armory 6.8

March 23, 2013, 11:27 AM
1st choice for me is full sized national match or super. 2nd choice would be Bush model. Then Scout, SOCOM, then SOCOM II. I've heard of SOCOM II accuracy issues and it is heavy enough without all the additional front end regalia.

March 23, 2013, 11:49 AM
I'd only try to talk you out of the SOCOM model. LOL... Either get the normal M1A or something else if you really want to transform it from a tool to a toy. ;)

March 23, 2013, 11:50 AM

Wife and I were watching Burn Notice last night, and the main character picked up a SOCOM M1A and praised its balance... I chuckled to myself. HAHA

March 23, 2013, 12:59 PM
The first thing I did when I bought mine was to remove the rail system. (It just defeated the purpose of what I wanted out of a short, handy rifle.) For me at least, the rails destroyed the balance of one of the best designed "point and shoot" rifle ever made. It had a front heavy, bulky feel to it. (I bought it because it sported alot of USGI parts).

I bought this SocomII back when they were selling them with USGI synthetic stocks and metal buttplates. The front sling swivel had been removed, as it wasnt much of a use with the rails on it. (Not sure about the new SocomII's).
Once I added added a GI handguard to it along with a sling, it felt more like a rifle of this type should feel. ( I sold off the rails)

Mine has the 24/7 XS front sight post along with a rear sight aperture that is quite a bit wider vs a std aperature. They work well together for what they are designed for from my hands on with them. ( Close quarter shooting/ aquiring targets in low light/ moving targets)

In comparison with my M1A Bush rifle/ M14S Tanker/ M14S 22in bbl......... my findings were that while it's short length makes it handy, it didnt have that much of a difference vs an 18in bbl M14 type to matter. ( Especially with an 18in tube sporting a SEI DC Vortex flash hider with GLFS). Sight radius was very close, as was OAL of both.
The big difference is noticed when comparing the Socom to the 22in bbl M14S with it's 44in of OAL. Much more "user freindly" when using it to hunt hogs in brush, compared to the std 22in bbl types.The iron sights on the Socom are better suited for this type of hunting from my experience. It also shined when moving in and out of vehicles, as well as ATV's, and horses. (Especially with a 10rd mag, or a 5rd flush fit mag)......... Same thing for the 18in variety)

I also didnt notice much difference in one from the other in terms of shooting them, but I firmly believe that hearing damage will be the result around any bbl length M1A without the use of hearing protection, so I cant help much in this dept.

I was impressed with the short little muzzle brake, as it does the intended job quite well. Then again, the other M14 types I have all sport flash hiders. If memory serves here, it did tame muzzle rise a tad bit better than the muzzle brake that the M1A Scout sports.
One other thing I would mention is what the front sight looks like after a few 20rd mags of South African. The front sight post caught alot of residue from it. More so than the Scout's muzzle brake did.

For $ 2000, I would save up a little more cash and have LRB Arms build me a "Tanker" off of thier M14SA or M25 receiver. The extra money for such a build would be worth it to me, as I would end up with a rifle built the exact way I would want it, and be the more versatile of the bunch over a wide range of shooting situations….. plus I got a thing for well made chrome lined bbls.

At the time, I didnt want to wait a year for the build, but looking back now, I wish I would have had more patience.


March 23, 2013, 01:30 PM
If you want it and if the price does not take food off of the table, get it. If I were interested in one I'd buy it. As it is, I like the M1 Garands as they are genuine US Military and all have some historic value.

March 23, 2013, 01:32 PM

that is all

Welding Rod
March 23, 2013, 01:55 PM
May not be very accurate - my SOCOM isn't. The balance will suck. The balance will be even worse if put some kind of optic on it. If you don't, the sights suck for any kind of precise shooting. They are made for up close and fast.

Additionally, the workmanship on the M1As is questionable in my experience. I would be sure to give the gun a very thorough inspection before buying. Check for a misclocked barrel, bent sight ears, gouges in the chamber, no fore-end pressure, no clamping pressure on trigger guard closing, sloppy op-rod to receiver fit, an so on.

I have owned the SM, Loaded, Standard, and SOCOM. The Standard or Loaded are my favorites. However the my Standard essentially ruins brass on one firing due to extreme stretching... so I haven't been too head over heels for it either.

The only M1A I have bought that met my expectations was the Loaded, and I like the gun very much, though I prefer the weight of the Standard barrel.

Loc n Load
March 23, 2013, 03:35 PM
I have several M1A's and have shot them since the 60's.....I competed with a rack rifle and then a NM in service rifle comp for years, then used a M-21 as a precision rifle "on the job".....I bought a SOCOM II several years ago and use a EO 552 on it or a T-1 aimpoint for close work.....it is heavy with the quad rail.....and LOUD.....but it is a .308 with a short bl.....for me, it is "another tool in the tool box".....handy for getting in and out of vehicles, handy for urban work.....Over the years I have shot and worked with all the main line battle rifles ( FAl's, G-3's,AR's .308 / 5.56, Ak's, Garands, etc), and they all have their pro's and con's....I have a long track record with the M1A / M-14 and they work for me.

Messenger Guard
March 23, 2013, 05:08 PM
My experience has not been the best. I've owned four M-14 type rifles. One Norinco and three Springfield Armorys. The Socom I bought was an early version. It had to go back twice and i traded it before a third time. The front sight was like an oak tree (far too wide). I am much happier with a scout squad which doesn't compromise the original gas system.

July 1, 2013, 11:35 AM
Late to the party and brand-new to the board, but I had to post after reading Welding Rod's post. "gouges in the chamber" is what caught my attention.

I bought a SOCOM II in January of 2010 that was rife with problems from day one. To make a long story short, (because this story is plastered all over the M14 forum), the receiver was "out of spec" (magazines went in and out as if the receiver had been run over by a truck) and there was some serious gouging in the chamber. Also, it stovepiped brass almost every other time you pulled the trigger. Springfield Armory re-barreled it, swapped the receiver for a new one, and gave it back. Mags fit properly, gouging was gone, but it still jammed up. I swapped the bolt guts for GI parts, changed the op-rod spring, and put a Sadlak spring-guide in and the brass finally started to behave. Don't take my word about accuracy, but I gave my m1a to a certain Garand/M14 expert near Trenton, NJ and he was impressed with the accuracy.

I don't know what S.A. does to their guns before shipping them out, but I've never seen gouging like that before in my short life.

Steering this post back on topic... I would probably go with the SOCOM 16 if I had the chance to go back and do it again. The SOCOM II is heavy for a CQB gun and it has more picatinny rail real-estate than I know what to do with (I have the extended rail version of the SOCOM II, because I'm a jerk). The positive side to the weight of the gun is that it reduces felt recoil, which isn't such a bad thing. Nothing I've said here probably helps, so I apologize. S.A. has a fantastic warranty and customer service is great if anything breaks. All that said, I really don't regret my S-II, despite the fact that I said I would probably get the 16 if I had to do it all over again. Do what makes you happy... that is, if you haven't already done it in the past three months.

Pics of the gouges:


July 1, 2013, 11:57 AM

I can't believe those gouges in the barrel. I've never seen anything like that on any firearm. My own SOCOM 16 is awesome. It is heavy as I installed a McMillan adjustable stock. I also added am ARMS 18 mount. It fires reliably, and is accurate easily keeping 1.5" to 2"ish groups at 100 yards with an EoTech sight. Indoors, the muzzle break does create quite a flash upwards. I don't notice it outdoors. But, it quells recoil nicely too. I can never decide f I like my SOCOM 16, or my M1A Loaded better. Different rifles, different applications I suppose. As to the OP's question of the SOCOM II, I looked at it and found it felt bulky, and awkward, so I went with the SOCOM 16.


July 1, 2013, 12:00 PM
I think you could do better for $2000. For that kind of dough, you could almost get an M-14 with a forged receiver, mil spec parts, and chome lined barrel from one of the higher end vendors like 7.62mm Arms, Smith, or Fulton, instead of the commercial spec Springfield. Like others have said, if you must have a carbine version, the Scout or Bush type rifles with 18" barrels are preferable. They have more GI parts compatibility instead of the funky gas system and muzzle device of the SOCOM, and handle just as well if not better. If you want a forward mounted optic, Ultimak's M8 rail is a lot better than any of the factory rails. It is lighter and sits lower, so you can actually co-witness a red dot with the irons.

Other options that I think would be better include the S&W M&P 10 and Armalite AR-10, both in the $1500 range.

July 1, 2013, 12:54 PM
Get a Garand for about $1000 instead. More history, half the price and available ammo.

July 1, 2013, 01:15 PM
I was horrified when I saw the gouges. No one who has seen the pictures, including S.A., has been able to offer up an explanation. I didn't ram anything down the barrel, either, so that takes my own foolishness out of the equation.

Looking back at the things for which I've used my SOCOM II, I probably would have been better off with the SOCOM 16, Geno. The McMillan's added weight combined with the SOCOM's flash suppressor really do a great job with recoil, haha. I only sort-of notice the flash at indoor ranges, but it's invisible outside. I have Ruger's AR15 and since I live in New Jersey, they shipped it here with a naked barrel. It puts out way more flash than my m1a.

The worst part about its bulkiness are the two bolts on the left side that attach to the receiver and the VLTOR rails. I hate them with a passion. They dig into my back and seem to get caught up on everything from straps to slings to clothing and more. I can hardly believe that VLTOR couldn't machine or find bolts that were less obtrusive.

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