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New AR or M1A...help me decide

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by GreenTN, Aug 2, 2009.

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  1. GreenTN

    GreenTN Member

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    Local gun shop has SOCOM M1As.
    Plenty of ARs available as you know.

    For some reason I feel like I need a 308...is it a "must have" to you owners like the 223 is? Which one do you like to shoot?
     
  2. sjohn26

    sjohn26 Member

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    Same quandry here - except I'm torn 'tween the Scout Squad and an AR-----------I'm watchin this one close
     
  3. SC_1911Shooter

    SC_1911Shooter Member

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    Same dilemma here. Torn between a SOCOM II and an AR-10 of some flavor like a DPMS LR.

    Anyone own both that can give a contrast/comparison?
     
  4. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    why choose? If you like AR ergonomics, but prefer .308 over .223, get an AR-10.


    I personally like the ergonomics and operation of the M1A/M14 better than that of an AR style rifle, so that's what I have. Mine is the standard model with a 22" barrel, however. I personally think the Socom II and other short barreled M1As look dumb... *shrug*
     
  5. GreenTN

    GreenTN Member

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    I really like the SOCOM 16"....
    pros for M1A
    bigger caliber
    more power
    longer range
    enjoyment of having a M1A
     
  6. jackdanson

    jackdanson Member

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    I HAD an m1a. I now HAVE multiple AR's. Get it?

    The m1a is a good rifle. I just like the way the AR's point/feel better. I'm not a huge guy and my m1a was full size, it just felt a little big/heavy. Hold them both, see what you like better, there really isn't a standard answer for this, it's all opinions. Either way you are getting a good rifle. I also had a saiga in .308 and actually preferred it to the m1a. Of course the fit and finish wasn't as good and the sights were wretched, but for all practical purposes it was almost as accurate at 1/3 the cost.

    Same here.
     
  7. Jason_G

    Jason_G Member

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    I enjoy shooting the M1A more so than the AR, but that's just personal preference. I have never shot the SOCOM before. I handled one at a gun show, and it did not balance well for me. The full length barrel M1As felt better in my hands.

    Jason
     
  8. GreenTN

    GreenTN Member

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    I think its decided...M1A SOCOM 16"...I would like another AR but really, how many does one person need?
     
  9. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    Okay, I would make some suggestions before you go out and buy a socom. The Socom is very limited. It cannot shoot or cycle 175 grain bullets. That automatically reduces its accuracy potential at long range. The Socom is a short range weapon and it is less accurate than an AR with even worse sight picture. This is helped by adding a scope but then you turn it into a sniper rifle rather than a CQB rifle which negates the whole purpose of the short profile. If you are wanting an accurate AR that shoots larger than .223 buy an AR in 6.8 or 6.5 grendel (my choice). The .308 will give you more range, but it will not be more accurate than an AR in .223 at 500 to 600 yards (depending on the AR). And the .223 can do just about anything the .308 can do at close range anyway. To get the full potential of the .308 round you should go with the full length barrel like a m1a Standard, Loaded, or National Match. The only thing that I think a SOCOM does better than an ar in 223 is penetrate barriers.

    I have a m1a Loaded. My shooting buddy HAD a SOCOM. I liked them both but we found that the Loaded simply out performed the SOCOM in everything that we wanted it for. My buddy sold his SOCOM and bought an AR because the price of .308 was not justified when he could get the same or better results from an AR. The Loaded however was amazing at any range we shot it at with light and heavy bullets.

    If you want your rifle as a close combat rifle as you're running from room to room in your house shooting zombies then the SOCOM is a GREAT rifle, but if you want it for more practical reasons then go with the Standard, Loaded, or NM.

    The power and advantage of the .308 is wasted in a platform like the SOCOM. If you want a short barrelled .308 I would go with the AR10. This is just my experience and I am sure that there are a hundred SOCOM owners out there that would disagree with me, but one thing they have to agree on is that their rifles won't shoot m118 rounds.
     
  10. Retro

    Retro Member

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    For the OP, if you want a M1A platform, get the M1A Scout with 18 inch barrel. The scout is known as the most accurate M1A variant (I have tested three stock versions of M1A in my hand, namely stock full length, stock Scout, and stock SOCOM, and Scout is subMOA consistently, the full length is a 1.5 MOA rifle, and the SOCOM was a 2.5 MOA rifle). SOCOM was designed for CQB in a cement-barricaded urban scenerio.

    If you pick the AR 308 platform, get the 18 or 20 inch barrel (DPMS makes only 18 inch). There was an article written about barrel length and accuracy. The writer started with a 24 inch barrel with 168 grain Federal BHTP, and gradually cut the barrel down by 1 inch decrement. He found that the highest velocity was achieved in a 20 inch barrel, whereas the 18 inch barrel resulted in only a 32 fps loss of velocity in comparison to the 20 inch, whereas the 24 inch was 100 fps lower than the 20 inch barrel, and the 16 inch was around 250 fps lower than the 20 inch barrel. The reason he gave was a rational one that bullet has to offset friction while achieving maximal velocity, and it seems that at 24 inch, the maximal velocity was already achieved and the friction is slowing the bullet.

    In terms of accuracy, the writer found the 18 inch to be most accurate due to a stiffer barrel as a result of a shorter barrel. Hence M110 SASS was designed with 20 inch barrel.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  11. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I don't have an M14/M1A, but I have two FALs and a Garand converted to 7.62/308. I have plenty of surplus ammo stocked up so the ammo prices and shortage don't affect me. Yet, I prefer shooting 5.56/223 and shoot it much more. I like the ergonomics of the AR15, it's a lightweight gun (at least mine are, I don't go bolt-on crazy), low recoil and inherently accurate. I generally shoot the ARs every other time I go to the range. Yet the big bore guns only get shot once or twice a year.
     
  12. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Member

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    The scout is a nice rifle but that's the first I've heard it being the most accurate M1A variant. The most accurate M1A's are ones that have been accurized. Unaccurized M1A's are not sub MOA rifles. Will they shoot sub MOA groups once and a while? Sure. But to get consistent sub MOA performance from an M1A takes some work. Most of the accurized M1A's have 22" barrels. I'm not sure anyone has done any real tests to compare an accurized 22" to an 18" or 16".
     
  13. Retro

    Retro Member

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    Correction: I tested three factory stock unbedded versions of M1A. Stock scout shoots subMOA with federal gold 175 grain ammo.
     
  14. amprecon

    amprecon Member

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    I personally think you'd get more use from the .308 than from the .223. I use my rifles primarily for hunting and you are much more limited in .223 than .308. As a matter of fact I think the .308 would suffice for most large game in North America whereas the .223 has limited applications. I prefer the ergos and streamlined design of the M1/M14 style rifles over the AR style rifles, but that's my personal preference.
    As far as which M1A, I own an M1A standard but would also consider the Scout Squad for a good intermediary rifle, short enough for close quick snap shooting, yet retaining enough barrel length to work reliably at distance.
    I would not even consider a barrel length under 18" in .308.
     
  15. cameron.personal

    cameron.personal Member

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    Which can you afford to feed right now?

    Cameron
     
  16. Shung

    Shung Member

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    go M1A !
     
  17. SC_1911Shooter

    SC_1911Shooter Member

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    Awesome info in this thread. Thanks!
     
  18. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    what cameron said.

    if you want something to SHOOT, AR15 hands-down. why? cause good 308 ammo is about $1.50 /rnd.
     
  19. GreenTN

    GreenTN Member

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    thanks for the knowledge...this will be a major purchase and all the knowledge is very, very helpful...

    the ammo cost are a big concern to me because I dont have a 308...223 factory is $10 a box ($0.50 per round) and have lots...308 looks much more expensive...maybe $1.00 per round...
    thanks for the insight on the SOCOM...guess I never thought about the limitations on the short barrel...I really like the scout 18" barrel...seems to be the best option of manageable plus accuracy...
    another excellent point brought up was the 6.5 or 6.8 chambered AR...better range, flat shooter and more power...what about cost or availability, magazines, spare parts, etc...
    price on the M1A is at least $1600 plus the cost of mags, ammo and optics...(5 mags at $50, 500 rnds, EOtech/aimpoint)...could cost a total of $2800 with all the goods plus rifle...considerable amount of cash....
    ..all really good information, learning much
    thanks
     
  20. LoneStarWings

    LoneStarWings Member

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    I say both....but if I could only have 1 it'd be the M1A. It's more useful for things like hunting and .308 has an advantage at 500+ yards if you ever do any of that sort of shooting.

    What I'd really like is a select fire AR, but alas those will run you $15k+ to legally obtain. If limited to semi-auto only, the M1A is more useful in just about all aspects except close quarters/home defense.

    My stock scout will do 1.5 MOA all day long with match ammo, weighs only about 7 lbs empty, and balances well. It does have an impressively loud report when fired, however. Surplus 7.62x51mm can be had for about .60 cents per round, while 5.56x45mm will run you about 2/3rds-3/4ths that.

    I went with a scout personally, although the socom 1 is nice too. If going the AR route I'd probably look at a S&W M&P15 MOE.

    Mine:

    [​IMG]
     
  21. GreenTN

    GreenTN Member

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    thats a great looking gun...do you use open sights?...no aimpoint/ EOtech?
     
  22. THE DARK KNIGHT

    THE DARK KNIGHT Member

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    M1A it's a beautiful gun, a lot less common than an AR. There are also pistol-grip versions too where legally able to.
     
  23. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    yeah, the 223 will let you shoot a little.
     
  24. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    I have not had any experience with the scout so I cant say one way or the other, I will say however that the trigger, sights, and balance on the loaded are what sold me on it. If the Scout can compare to those three things then go for it.

    As for the 6.5 vs the 6.8, there are some huge flame wars on which one to go with. The 6.5 filled my needs perfectly. The 6.5 grendel can potentially out shoot the .308 at 1000 yards (with expensive uppers) because of the higher ballistic coefficient bullets. It also had a feature that I just could not pass up. You can easily make your own brass for it from 7.62x39 casings. I strictly handload 100% of the rifle ammo that I shoot so the availability of factory ammo was not an issue for me. Brass on the other hand was. 6.8 brass must come already made 6.8 which is expensive (more than 7.62x39) and is harder to get as well and as much or more than .308 brass. The 6.5 offers several more options than does the 6.8 in the way of bullet type and weights. The mags are cheap for either one from Cproducts. Though in the past Cproducts has been known to produce crappy mags, I just got 4 of them at $13 apiece and they all work perfectly. My 6.5 grendel cost me $715. I bought a 20" rifle kit from J&T distributing for $615 and I had a DPMS lower from before the craziness that was $100. I have since put a RRA NM trigger on it, but the base rifle itself was only as much as any other AR. There are much more expensive 6.5's out there though if you are into spending more money for more long range capability. They are available, but there is a waiting time of about 1-3 months from any manufacturer. I hear the same is true with the 6.8 right now as well, but I could be wrong. Here are some pictures of the 6.5 and my M1A.

    The bullet on the left is a 6.5x39 sized down from 7.62x39. The middle and right are 6.5 grendel after firing the 6.5x39 in my grendel.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of me and my Grendel.

    [​IMG]


    Here is me loading 1 bullet at a time to try out some homemade m118 rounds. (forgot to bring a mag. I was excited.)
    [​IMG]

    Here is a pricture of the groups I got at 200 yards that same day.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is a closer picture of the rifle itself. I put a wooden heat guard on it because thats how they came originally and I like the look.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. ShakyJ

    ShakyJ Member

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    I had an M1A Socom with an Ultimak rail, but traded it for another Colt LE 6920. The M1A is a well built rifle, but expensive to shoot and ,personally, I did not care for the ergonomics (especially when compared to the AR platform).
     
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