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Don't underestimate the SOCOM

This is a discussion on Don't underestimate the SOCOM within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Originally Posted by leonmckee Where did you source the stock from? Looks like a Boyd's Medium Weight to me? Did you get it finished or ...


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Old April 3rd, 2017, 03:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by leonmckee View Post
Where did you source the stock from? Looks like a Boyd's Medium Weight to me? Did you get it finished or did you finish it?

Leon McKee
I ordered this stock straight off Boyd's. It showed up really fast, just a few days! They call it their "finished" stock, which really means that they finished routing it for an EXACT drop-in fitment for a factory/commercial SAI barreled action. They then put their standard heavy oil rubbed finish on it. It comes ready to roll. You could always rub tru oil into it down the road, if you want a harder, shinier finish or more aggressive sealant than the oil-rubbed factory finish that is on the stock as-delivered.

See here:

https://www.boydsgunstocks.com/produ...l/4a4001d1v117

Note that it does not come with any metal. I got a complete USGI metal kit for the stock, from Treeline. http://www.treelinem14.com/M14-M1A-U...-M14BPEXBU.htm Be sure to also get a metal front ferrule for the stock, it does not come with one from Boyds. I'd also mention that a little two-pin stock liner screw wrench will be a big help when you put things together, and in the future when you wanna make sure things are still snug, see here, it will save you much aggravation: http://www.treelinem14.com/M14-M1A-S...ol-M14TSLT.htm

This stock is identical to the Boyd's stocks they make specifically for SAI, which SAI puts on all its M1A variants that come with walnut. It is in fact a medium thickness. I call it "heavy" because it is much thicker than a USGI walnut stock, and even thicker than the vintage, thicker birch "Big Red" stocks that came along late in the USGI history. I really like the thicker, modern Boyds stock better because it is much more rigid and solid, and has great tolerances, lending a tighter fit and greater accuracy potential than a USGI stock.

The ONLY part of the stock I had to clearance was the very bottom inside of the first 1.5" of the stock, up by the ferrule, directly in front of the strap mount screw holes. This is done so the bottom of the gas cylinder tube cannot come into contact with the inside bottom of the stock's fore-end. This stock creates proper barrel tension once you have clearanced everything, such as the handguard, and you can feel the stock flex, spring and rebound slightly, moving freely when you squeeze it all together up at the gas lock.

I also really like that the fore-end is quite a bit thicker than the SOCOM plastic stock or the USGI wood stocks. This totally keeps me from accidentally getting my fingertips too far up the side of the stock and bumping the operating rod while firing, which can cause malfunctions.

I will also tell you that Tony Ben's youtube videos were critical and incredibly informative, and helped me immensely in this entire process!!!!! Thank you Tony!!!!!!!!!! Don't forget to get a set of simple, inexpensive gas shims for when you put everything back together! http://www.treelinem14.com/M14-M1A-G...-M14GSSHIM.htm

Everyone out there, whether you have a Socom, Scout Squad, or Standard M1A, should, at a bare minimum: 1) take the time to shim their gas system so that the gas lock is properly tensioned and the barrel band is not loose, 2) clearance their handguard away from their stock on both sides of the handguard, and 3) if they have a wood stock, make sure that the gas cylinder is not touching the inside bottom or sides of the stock, or resting against the metal ferrule anywhere, and that there is some downward tension on your barrel, from the stock, at the barrel band.

The Boyd's stock upgrade can cut your groups nearly in half from what the plastic SAI cheap stock is producing, and these three basic fitment steps can cut groups down as much as another 30% or so, if they were problem areas before you started.

Thanks from leonmckee

Last edited by MGSchindel; April 4th, 2017 at 04:55 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 04:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MGSchindel View Post
I ordered this stock straight off Boyd's. It showed up really fast, just a few days! They call it their "finished" stock, which really means that they finished routing it for an EXACT drop-in fitment for a factory/commercial SAI barreled action. They then put their standard heavy oil rubbed finish on it. It comes ready to roll. You could always rub tru oil into it down the road, if you want a harder, shinier finish or more aggressive sealant than the oil-rubbed factory finish that is the stock as delivered.
Appreciate you providing such a detailed response. Thanks!

Leon McKee

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Old April 3rd, 2017, 04:32 PM   #18
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You did exactly the mods I did to my 16 minus the CG brake and I got my groups down to about 1.5-1.75 in at 100, almost identical to what you would be getting at that range.

Well done!
Yes, my SOCOM will now shoot most quality factory 168 grain match ammo into exactly that, 1.5"-1.75" at 100 yards, such as the American Eagle "made for M1A" 168 grain match ammo. It shoots black hills 168 grain boat tails right around 1.5" average, the Federal Gold Match at just under that, and its accuracy load is the Hornady 168 grain match BTHP (not the A-max or ELD, just their regular match BTHP) which it can get down to about 1.2" average, sometimes less sometimes more. With that Hornady BTHP, at only 50 yards, out of a five round group from a warm barrel, usually three of the five rounds will make one ragged oversized hole, pretty exciting! I can only imagine how well it would shoot with dialed-in handloads, and if I bedded the action into that wood stock!

And folks, do NOT give up on the factory scout scope rail mount that bolts to your barrel. If you like and want that feature, like I did, it will work just fine, if you help it along! First make sure it is centered in the opening in your handguard, front to back, and that it is sitting level on top of your barrel, not canted to either side. I took out each individual bolt from the scout mount, one at a time, cleaned off all residual grease and black sludge, put on a drop of blue locktite, and put each bolt back in, one at a time, just hand tight. I made sure the scope mount rail was level and was centered in the handguard opening, and then I snugged all six bolts in cross-patterns, gradually, to 25 inch-lbs, so all the pressure was even on the barrel, and the mount will not move or ever come loose while shooting! Then double-check to be sure your op rod is still clear of the scout mount when the rod is all the way forward. If it is hitting the mount, dremel or file the mount to take off just enough alloy that the op rod is not hitting it. Done! Both my Scout AND SOCOM, with the scout rail mount installed in this manner, can outshoot quite a few of my friends' full-sized M1A standard and loaded models that do not have the mount, so it can't be hurting accuracy that dramatically, at the distances I shoot my Scout and Socom. I now love the mount, and I run an Aimpoint T-1 micro on an American Defense low quick-release mount, and a Burris 2-7x Scout scope in leupold quick-detach low QWR rings. I really don't need a cheek riser to shoot either optic accurately or get a good sight picture, with the low rings/mount. The Burris is a God-send for testing ammo, I put it up to about 5x or 6x off the bench, then I turn it down to 2x when firing at silhouettes freehand. I find the scout setup soooo much more handy and fast, at the short and intermediate ranges I use my SOCOM and Scout for, up to 300 yards! I find the ultimak setup a bit ugly and too heavy, and I don't want to abuse my hand on the ultimak because it can get HOT.


Last edited by MGSchindel; April 3rd, 2017 at 05:35 PM.
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Old April 4th, 2017, 12:57 PM   #19
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Nice results with the stock and other mods , that socom looks so good in walnut

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Old April 4th, 2017, 04:25 PM   #20
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You've got it down to 1.2" at a hundred, thats national competition levels. With that short barrel your balance off hand will be really competitive.

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Old April 4th, 2017, 05:17 PM   #21
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I'm tempted to glass bed this little Socom in the Boyds stock, to help it with consistency. It's a really great shooter and I feel very lucky, after I nearly sold it for shooting the worst groups out of the box of any rifle I've ever bought! All I was really looking for out of the stock and fitment upgrades was to get it down from about 8MOA to maybe 2 to 3 moa at 100yds, and get it in an "acceptable combat accuracy" range, which is what everyone told me to expect, best-case. But they were mistaken. Of course, it won't shoot with my Nat Match, but folks told me it would never shoot as well as my Scout. It actually shoots a little MORE accurately than my Scout.... Then again, at 200 to 300 yards I can actually shoot slightly better groups with my Scout than I can with my friend's M1A standard, so go figure on that one, too. Every individual rifle is different, due to so many variables. My experiences with these tuned up shorter-barrel M1A variants, however, have been contrary to everything I was "warned" about. Granted, I'm not trying to shoot at 500 yards.....But don't let anyone tell you a shorter barrel can't be made to shoot. One of my most accurate bolt guns is a heavily modded Remington 700 SPS AAC-SD tactical, and it only has a shortly 16.5" heavy barrel with a 1 in 10 twist!!!

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Old April 4th, 2017, 08:14 PM   #22
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