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Does this look typical for a SOCOM II?

This is a discussion on Does this look typical for a SOCOM II? within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I've had my SOCOM for a couple of months now. I've shot probably around 300 rounds through it (without any malfunctions). I've tried a variety ...


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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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Does this look typical for a SOCOM II?

I've had my SOCOM for a couple of months now. I've shot probably around 300 rounds through it (without any malfunctions). I've tried a variety of rounds, bullet types, grain weight, manufacturer, etc. and it just doesn't seem to group as well as I would like. Maybe I'm expecting too much of out of a 16 inch barreled semi auto gun, but with the asking price being what it is, I expected more.
Today I went to the range with my SOCOM II wearing a Burris 1-4x LRS scope in a GG&G cantilever mount, a Caldwell Lead Sled, and a box of Winchester 147gr. FMJ NATO 7.62 rounds. I shot out of the Lead Sled on a very sturdy bench at 100 yards. My results are in the pics attached. I took pics after 3, 10, and then 20 rounds(this was the best I could do, due to range traffic).
My question is; should I be expecting more, or is this pretty typical? Thanks!
Attached Images
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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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My Socom doesn't have a great trigger, so over its lifetime the groups tightened as I improved and adjusted to the trigger.

Second, I shimmed the gas cylinder. I believe this is the best $15 you can spend on a M1A.

Third, I took my time and let the rifle cool between each shot. At least one minute. This have good results for tight groups.

Fourth, my Socom loved 168s. Shot some 147s, 150s, even 175s and 180s had the best groups with the 168s. They were handloads though, but the Socom has a fairly quick twist so I think haver might be better.

Thanks from Alpha Wolf
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Old February 7th, 2012, 04:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback! I wouldn't call my trigger great by any means but, it is consistent and breaks cleanly.

I would love to see a video tutorial on shimming the gas-cylinder! If someone has a link I would be grateful!

As far as letting the barrel cool between shots...I understand it leads to greater consistency but I kinda feel like I shouldn't need to if that make sense. This particular design is made for higher rates of fire, right? So, I feel like it should be able to sustain a pretty high rate of fire and still remain fairly accurate. With that being said, I did not rapid fire the group you see.
As an aside, I don't let my bolt-action barrels cool down either when shooting groups. I understand the idea, but for real-world practical shooting, it seems illogical. I want to know what to expect (accuracy-wise) out of my guns in practical application.
Thanks again for the feedback,
Seth.

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Old February 7th, 2012, 04:35 PM   #4
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I understand what you mean. Slow shots lead to good accuracy, but it's almost feels like cheating. You're shooting your auto slower than a bolt gun and getting worse accuracy. I think it is using the rifle outside the intended design but it'll give you an idea what it is capable of.

The difference between the Socom and a bolt gun is that as you shoot the bolt gun, the barrel hearts and expands freely. On the M1A you have different components, with multiple contact points, that heat and expand at different rates. This will give you some binding and a slight change in the point of impact. This will open up your groups.

Shimming is a great place to start. look here

I'd say that it would be reasonable to expect 2" or smaller groups @100 with more rapid firing. You'll just have to work out all the gremlins.

Thanks from damon1272
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Old February 7th, 2012, 04:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58blackflag View Post
I've had my SOCOM for a couple of months now. I've shot probably around 300 rounds through it (without any malfunctions). I've tried a variety of rounds, bullet types, grain weight, manufacturer, etc. and it just doesn't seem to group as well as I would like. Maybe I'm expecting too much of out of a 16 inch barreled semi auto gun, but with the asking price being what it is, I expected more.
Today I went to the range with my SOCOM II wearing a Burris 1-4x LRS scope in a GG&G cantilever mount, a Caldwell Lead Sled, and a box of Winchester 147gr. FMJ NATO 7.62 rounds. I shot out of the Lead Sled on a very sturdy bench at 100 yards. My results are in the pics attached. I took pics after 3, 10, and then 20 rounds(this was the best I could do, due to range traffic).
My question is; should I be expecting more, or is this pretty typical? Thanks!
To get the most out of a SOCOM you really have to really tweek the weapon as RAMMAC has done. It's more meant to be a close quarter weapon, than a tack driver. Ammo that you feed it needs to be needs to be something different than mil-surp as that is only good for 3-4 moa at best. Be prepared to spend the $$$, if you want to make the girl a tack driver. dozier

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Old February 8th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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I agree your dispersion is greater than I would be happy with. I have had better luck with a SOCOM I. Have you tried taking of the cluster rail and shooting it in a SOCOM I configuration ? It would also be good if you chart the shots as they were fired so you can see the difference as it get warm and barrel fouled. Except for the six o'clock flyer the couple of rounds in tgt. 1 were grouping OK. If the six o'clock shot was the first cold barrel shot then it would be important to note.

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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #7
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If it bothers you that much and you are serious about accuracy, look into a Smith Enterprise Socom barrel. They claim it will give 1 MOA with M118LR ammo. I am thinking about this barrel for mine eventually, in addition to a unitized NM gas cylinder and shims. Should be a huge improvement.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 05:32 AM   #8
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I've decided just to "fun shoot" with my SOCOM instead of worry about "grouping" or fine tuning it for accuracy shooting.
This past weekend I took it the the range and just shot a bunch of rounds with it off-hand with the open sights at a few targets at different ranges from 50yds and in, including a section of log around 2.5 feet long and 18 inches in diameter. I'm starting to get used to the fat front sight now and while I may not be able to get tight groups, it sure was fun to blast away at the log. I should have taken some pics;by the end of my shoot the back side of the log was pretty much destroyed.
So, I think I've found what my SOCOM was REALLY made to do. Not, be a sub MOA target gun, but a "make a lot of noise" and "make a lot of big holes in stuff" gun!
I may still do a bit of tweaking to try and get it shooting a little tighter. I have a Gem-tech Sandstorm 7.62 on order so I know I'm going to need to change out my gas lock/flash-hider in order to thread on the suppressor.
I will also probably replace the spring guide soon as well.

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Old February 21st, 2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by m14brian View Post
If it bothers you that much and you are serious about accuracy, look into a Smith Enterprise Socom barrel. They claim it will give 1 MOA with M118LR ammo. I am thinking about this barrel for mine eventually, in addition to a unitized NM gas cylinder and shims. Should be a huge improvement.
m14brian
I've got one of these barrels. I drill round after round into an 8" steel plate at 500yds with 168gr Hornady TAP. Love it!

Thanks from m14brian
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Old February 21st, 2012, 12:06 PM   #10
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The least expensive upgrade you can make is better ammo. If you want to just find out what the rifle will do try some Federal or Black Hills Match Ammo in the weight of your choice. For general shooting the 150 grain range is the least expensive and often(but NOT always) the least accurate, particularly in service grade ammo.

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Old February 21st, 2012, 03:46 PM   #11
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The least expensive upgrade you can make is better ammo. If you want to just find out what the rifle will do try some Federal or Black Hills Match Ammo in the weight of your choice. For general shooting the 150 grain range is the least expensive and often(but NOT always) the least accurate, particularly in service grade ammo.
I'll try and get some black hills to try, thanks for the recommendation!
I've tried quite several different loads from Federal Match to Prvi Partisan Match to NATO spec from a few different makers as well as several handloads with different powders, loads, and bullets that work well in my bolt-gun. I've just recently gotten some Federal NATO ball ammo, but haven't tried it yet.
Like I mentioned, I'm just going to use my SOCOM for fun shooting from now on and not worry so much about shooting tight groups.

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Old February 21st, 2012, 05:15 PM   #12
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I ran your 20 round target results through my OnTarget PC software which helps me analyze targets.

This is the target along with the basic impact information.




And this is the associated analysis results.



The group size (5.7") isn't all that uncommon for that ammo in that model rifle, better ammo should create a smaller group size with a like number of rounds but there might be other issues too.

I always break my impact analysis down in to three areas;
  • Shooter
  • Ammo
  • Rifle

Your impacts tend to indicate a reasonable randomness (impacts don't seem to be in any one place more than any other) and that usually means that there aren't any problems with the shooter, ammo, or rifle. In this case though, the group size is larger than I would expect and that could be due to the shooter having aiming issues, the ammo being of poor quality, or the rifle having problems with fit or loose parts.

The group width and height are pretty close to being the same (5.289" x 5.696") which means that while the impacts are spread vertically and horizontally pretty evenly, there is some tendency for them to spread more vertically. Vertical dispersion can be caused by;
  • The shooter not positioning the rifle the same for each shot (I know you used a rest but if it moved under recoil and you didn't place it exactly the same for each shot there will be a change in impacts)
  • The ammo having consistency problems (speed, pressure, dimensions, concentricity, etc.)
  • The rifle (poor stock fit, loose parts, sights, etc.).

Considering that you used a Lead Sled, and ammo that doesn't have the best reputation for accuracy, I would start by changing to better ammo. A good 168gr load like the Black Hills or the Federal Gold Medal Match should be a good standard to compare against. Shoot another 20 rounds like you did this time and compare the groups. There should be an improvement and hopefully you will get a group of around two inches or so. If there is no improvement then I'd start looking for problems with the rifle; loose parts, stock fit, etc. Even if there is an improvement but the groups are still over two inches, then I'd still assume that there is a problem with the rifle or optics. There really isn't any reason why you shouldn't get at least two inch groups using a Lead Sled from a bench.

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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58blackflag View Post
I've decided just to "fun shoot" with my SOCOM instead of worry about "grouping" or fine tuning it for accuracy shooting.
This past weekend I took it the the range and just shot a bunch of rounds with it off-hand with the open sights at a few targets at different ranges from 50yds and in, including a section of log around 2.5 feet long and 18 inches in diameter. I'm starting to get used to the fat front sight now and while I may not be able to get tight groups, it sure was fun to blast away at the log. I should have taken some pics;by the end of my shoot the back side of the log was pretty much destroyed.
So, I think I've found what my SOCOM was REALLY made to do. Not, be a sub MOA target gun, but a "make a lot of noise" and "make a lot of big holes in stuff" gun!
I may still do a bit of tweaking to try and get it shooting a little tighter. I have a Gem-tech Sandstorm 7.62 on order so I know I'm going to need to change out my gas lock/flash-hider in order to thread on the suppressor.
I will also probably replace the spring guide soon as well.
I suggest a red dot sight, those are fun. I have an EOTech on my Socom.
m14brian

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Old February 21st, 2012, 07:04 PM   #14
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Get some 168g FGMM or black hills, these seem to shoot the best out of my scout.

If you have the time/will to use a little elbow grease, consider some of the following modifications and try again:

Shim the GC.
Bed the stock.
Clear the handguard from the stock.
Clear the GC from the stock.
Clear the front band from the back of the GC plate
Grease the front ferrel.
Look for oprod to handguard/scout mount/stock interference and clear it.
file/sand/bed/shim the stock so the reciever heel has correct contact.
Shim/bed to reciever to increase front ferrel tension.

All of these aside from bedding the stock and shimming the GC can be done with very little cost. Once I did these my accuracy improved significantly. I also started shooting better ammo which surely helped.

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Old February 21st, 2012, 07:37 PM   #15
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I had some seriously dicked up groups after I swapped the action into the Vltor stock but I just figured it was a matter of getting everything settled in. I was shooting crap ammo as I wasn't necessarily looking for accuracy as much as getting the action comfortable in the new stock. I dialed in the scope as best I could and after 40 rounds the groups were getting smaller but still not to my liking. The POI was unpredictible and in some cases more than 1" from the POA. I switched to Federal 168gr and the groups shrank immensely. They went from similar to your groups to close to 1 MOA . I was only able to shoot 6 rounds before the range closed but given a few more shots I could have easily had it shooting sub-MOA. I would definitely try switching your ammunition before you start tweaking the weapon.

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