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Socom16 Experiences: A Reference Thread

This is a discussion on Socom16 Experiences: A Reference Thread within the Modern M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Hey guys, so in soaking up of as much knowledge as possible on here about the Socom since I was shopping for it last spring, ...


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Old January 19th, 2017, 10:34 AM   #1
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Socom16 Experiences: A Reference Thread

Hey guys, so in soaking up of as much knowledge as possible on here about the Socom since I was shopping for it last spring, I came across some fantastic posts from RAMMAC and I'd really like to pick his brain. They were a few years old so I'm not sure if he's around anymore but he had passed along some great info relating to Accuracy/Precision of the platform, how the Socom16 reacted to his bedding of a stock (resulted in wider groups which he attributed to the stubby barrel and that maybe the platform required things to be "not so tight" to function as intended), he also talked about the Socom's preferences for 145-155gr bullets and lighter handloads if you preferred to fire 168gr Milsurp, etc. I figured I'd either try to bring up some of his topics in a central Socom16 thread to generate the same kind of conversation and get feedback from the rest of the Socom-16 owners keeping in mind that the Socom's 16.25" barrel and gasblock/muzzlebrake change the characteristics and trajectory somewhat of the .308 in a battle-proven M1A platform. Maybe we as a group can find what's optimal to upgrade, what's too expensive compared to what it improves, what has negligible effects, etc for the Socom16.

We're all aware that the Socom16 out of the box is 2-3MOA and designed to be a fighting rifle under the 300yd range. This is what I expect from the platform but I've invested a little bit to make it a little better/ergonomic. I've seen some Socom16's in Sage EBRs which IMO is just a little too much money and weight to take 1-1.5MOA off of the Socom when it was never intended to be used for precision but some do and it really works out for them. Anyway, post your Socom16 shooting experiences with your add-ons, upgrades, what affects your rifle's ballistics for the better or the worse and whether your choices are worth it in your opinion.

In my own experience shooting it the past 7 months, I've had some variations to some other's experiences. For instance the amount of play between the barrel shoulder and the barrel band is so miniscule that (maybe) I could fit a .005 shim in there to shim the gas cylinder, which I happened to just order to get done since it couldn't hurt to do in any case.
In the case of my SAI synthetic stock which I know gets a pretty atrocious rap- my barreled action and trigger group actually fit very snug. The alleged amount of flex/twist aside, is it possible I just landed a decent one or that Springfield started making them a little tougher recently?

Here's my rifle specs & range report:

SOCOM 16 Serial 366XXX Purchased New 6/16
Added: Burris 2-7 Scout Scope on Factory Scout Rail
First zeroing and shooting:
147gr PMC Bronze
@25M: Irons BZO'd with 25m/250m M14 target
@100M w/Optic: Groupings of 2"

Recent Updates:
Socom 16 dropped into a Gen2 Vltor Modstock last month (still with factory handguard & scout mount) and the tightest 100M group was 1.5".

The Vltor has the modularity I was looking for without removing the irons like almost every other aftermarket option out there does. But when all was said & done, I spent about $500 to take off half of 1MOA. Was it worth it? it's debatable, I know it could probably be 1MOA with match ammo, but like I said I didn't intend to have this for precision work or do matches. I did find the synthetic stock light & comfortable (I occasionally drop it back in the synthetic when I feel like shooting with the irons). I probably could have taken that half an MOA off going with a USGI fiberglass for $150 and putting in a little finishing work. I am actually going to try out M14.ca's Scout Handguard and will report any and all changes to my POI with both my Vltor and my Synthetic. Also, I can confirm RAMMAC's findings that the Socom likes 145-155gr rounds, The few times I went heavier I got some random fliers out at 10:00 and 2:00 as much as 6". I will probably stick with the 147gr PMC Bronze since I've been getting 500rd cases for under $300 on targetsports and bulkammo.com and I've shot about 600-700rds of it without so much as a hiccup from my rifle.

My judging of the Vltor Modstock: although ergonomic and aesthetically-pleasing, the pricepoint is a little too high for what it gives the Socom. It would probably have better effect with a Scout Squad or Standard. However if you desperately want the modularity of a pistol grip and collapsible buttstock in your upgrade, you may opt for it. FYI the QD sling mount and rail that attaches near the front of the stock retail for over $100 and are useless and infuriated me a bit as I couldn't get a good fit seating the rifle until I filed an inlet on both sides of my handguard. You could install an Magpul MOE rail up front yourself and put a QD sling swivel mount on it for a total of $20 and that should have been my move since I did add a small rail section for the AFG.

All in all, im crazy about this rifle. If anyone is looking for Scout Optics, my Burris is on Warne QD "low" rings and holds zero flawlessly. I actually just bought an eotech off a buddy who was selling one used and will be checking out how optimal that is on my Socom.


Last edited by gunsbeerbacon; January 19th, 2017 at 11:12 AM.
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Old January 19th, 2017, 11:12 AM   #2
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I imagine the EoTech will do fine. I had known a guy put one on some of his AK rifles including one in 308. His did pretty good holding up.

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Old January 19th, 2017, 12:10 PM   #3
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Notice it says "Banned Camp" under his screen name. No, he is no longer with us on the forum.

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Old January 19th, 2017, 01:24 PM   #4
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Notice it says "Banned Camp" under his screen name. No, he is no longer with us on the forum.

(my gosh, I know I've been busy and haven't been on here for quite a few months, but......)

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Old January 19th, 2017, 01:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for that info.

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Old January 19th, 2017, 06:32 PM   #6
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trigger
http://shop.shootingsight.com/M1-M14_c2.htm

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Old January 26th, 2017, 08:02 AM   #7
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Eagerly watching

Great idea, gunsbeerbacon.

I'm subscribed, and will look forward to learning.

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Old January 26th, 2017, 02:53 PM   #8
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SOCOM 16, Purchased new 10/2016

Mods
  • SEI SOCOM gas block
  • SEI SOCOM gas plug
  • SilencerCo Saker brake
  • SEI front sight
  • USGI rear
  • Fred's "Big Red" stock
  • Hawk's selector kit
  • Sadlak sling swivel and front underlug rail
  • Midwest Industries SOCOM mount for Aimpoint Micro
  • Shootingsight trigger
  • Aimpoint micro



Ladder testing with all LC brass, Varget, and HRN 168gr AMAXes yields a good charge at 43.9gr (IIRC- don't have my notes) with a low SD and ES, but accuracy was exceedingly poor during the whole test. Different optic and different sights were swapped out to no effect. Bolt roller popped off during sighting in. I sent it in to Springfield and was repaired and the accuracy issues were confirmed by QA. The action was rebarreled by them while it was there. Buck from SA sent in a 100y target showing a 1" group of 5, so I'm optimistic. I'll post again once I take it out; I'm not too happy to have to ladder test again.

The suppressor works, and works surprisingly well. Kicks a bit of gas in your face but it's extremely quiet- someone from the next set of benches thought I was having squibs. The Saker shoulder requires an additional spacer of 0.140" thick on top of the SEI gas lock and plug to accommodate the Saker's locking mechanism. POI shift suppressed falls in line with what others claim, about 11 MOA down and 1 MOA right.

The Midwest Industries mount does a lower third cowitness, which is very nice. I'm kinda torn on leaving it on or removing it; the USGI width sights on it aren't too bad once that monster of a front/rear combo is removed. The stock sight blade is wide enough to set a cup of coffee down on and have room for your keys as well.

The Shootingsight trigger is worth it, creep is eliminated and the tunable weight makes it a real joy. It rivals my Geissele SSA-E in my AR.

It certainly is fun and expensive. I guess if I wanted boring and expensive I would have gotten an AR-10 in 6.5 or something.


Last edited by DkHelmet; January 26th, 2017 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention trigger
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Old January 26th, 2017, 04:59 PM   #9
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I really am interested in suppressing my rifles. I hope the HPA goes through. I've subscribed to this thread.

Working on sight issues. The front sight is rediculous, and the rear isn't much better. I've filed down the front sight to less than .062 in. I do not recommend this with the standard rear sight. I've found that the front sight is very hard to focus on with the rear sight being so large. I don't know if a smaller rear sight would remedy this or not. Also a NM front sight is too short for the Socom's gas block (there are at least two other threads all about this). Apparently SA has a front sight available for purchase that will work. I plan on getting one, and a NM rear sight.

So here we go (current configuration):
Bassett low scope mount
Weaver high rings
Leopold QDMA 3-9 scope
Modified front sight
Fred's walnut stock with some tiger stripes to it
Unitized barrel band and gas block
Shimmed locking lug and gas block
Removed barrel mounted scope mount
Modified fiberglass handguard for stock clearance
Lightweight plastic butt plate (feels cheap and flimsy but works)

I also have a Sadlac scope mount and Archangel stock but removed them for weight purposes. This took close to 4 lbs off the rifle. It weighed over 13 lbs with this setup. This would be OK for bench shooting, but not so much for lugging around on foot. Currently it weighs just over 9 lbs. (all weights are unloaded without magazine).

I tried to post a picture of it but it said I don't have enough memory or something like that.


Last edited by JoKer1121; January 26th, 2017 at 05:34 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 05:53 PM   #10
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Hey Dk, you sure did put a lot into that rifle, I'm excited to hear about your results. I just looked at that shooting sports trigger, i may eventually get it. I don't think i've ever seen a suppressed Socom, I always figured so much research went into that brake, that it may be detrimental to re-direct gas. Let me know how it works out for you. You also may have better luck with lighter grain ammo, it seems to be the consensus with other Socom owners which i can confirm. Everything I fired heavier than 155 definitely had flyers.

I recently posted some results in another thread after testing out some accuracy experiments while shooting in the springfield stock since i enjoy a little but of a challenge, i'll repost here. I currently have a vltor modstock that ive only used for some CQB AR-style drills. Its lighter and more comfortable in a traditional style stock though.

Socom 16 No. 366XXX purchased 6/16
SAI Synthetic stock w/ filed inlet around
gas cylinder; epoxied ferrule
Shimmed gas cylinder
Floated handguard (filed 1/16th" around every edge except front which is siliconed to barrelband.
Burris 2-7x32 Scout Scope on Warne QD rings (on factory scout mount)
PMC Bronze 147gr FMJ
Firing seated with a mag-well grip, my forehand leaning on a shooting bag:

3-shot groups of:
2.1"
1.75"
1.6"
1.2"

I should have done at least 5-shot groups, as some of the other guys brought up on my other thread, and will do that next time im out. It seems like its more of an accuracy (shooter) issue to me. I think the shooter's balance, grip, rest, steadiness have to be way more disciplined with a short barrel. I'm not sure if it was just me- but the few times I shot with a bipod, my POI was way off. Could the Socom require things to be a little loose/flexible as opposed to the rest of the M1As? It seems the stubby barrel and brake are a different kind of animal which was really why I started this thread for all of us to compare what seems to work and what doesn't.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7083_1485482654478.jpg (23.6 KB, 43 views)


Last edited by gunsbeerbacon; January 27th, 2017 at 08:29 AM.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 06:03 PM   #11
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Joker- your sight issues: Im not sure I'd try to shoot more than 50yds (100 at most) w the Socom's sights as they were designed for CQB. All ive done with them is the 25m M14 battlesight zero targets to calibrate my elevation drum. I'm sure you could replace them with NM sights, but remember your sight plane is still shorter.


Last edited by gunsbeerbacon; January 26th, 2017 at 06:40 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 07:20 PM   #12
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I personally think the idea of a .308 CQB rifle is pretty bizarre; it should have come with standard sights. Or at the very least a proper sight deck. The SEI SOCOM gas lock does restore the correct front sight height and allows you to use whatever sight you want, and a USGI standard rear is an easy swap. Ordering SEI parts makes me feel kinda gross, there a few alternatives out there I remember bumping into.

There's some good info in the "The M14 owner's guide and match conditioning instructions" by Duff on how to trim down the rear sight and where to peen the sight block to tighten it all up. If you do, go slow and be gentle. A few solid whacks with a steel punch and five minutes with a polishing compound did do wonders.

But yeah, that rear peep is useless with a proper front sight width.

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Old January 27th, 2017, 03:46 AM   #13
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SEI SOCOM gas block
Custom flash hider
Standard SAI rear aperture
SAI .62 NM Front sight
USGI Synthetic stock
4.5lb trigger job

Best groups ive gotten are just over an inch with Hirtinberger M80ball.



Last edited by Killashrub; January 27th, 2017 at 04:04 AM.
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Old January 27th, 2017, 06:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Killashrub View Post
SEI SOCOM gas block
Custom flash hider
Standard SAI rear aperture
SAI .62 NM Front sight
USGI Synthetic stock
4.5lb trigger job

Best groups ive gotten are just over an inch with Hirtinberger M80ball.

That's nice, with the flash suppressor!!!
You should take up building rifles as a serious hobby……….

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Old January 27th, 2017, 08:52 AM   #15
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That's nice, with the flash suppressor!!!
You should take up building rifles as a serious hobby……….
I do take it as a serious hobby. I seriously build them for me as a hobby HA!

Actually I am thinking of selling Mini 14 conversion kits. Or having people send me their Mini 14 and I do the conversion for them. But i think that requires a license.

Also im thinking of getting with Bula Forge and John Wolfe about the possibility of manufacturing the Sopmod M14 now that I have the Patent, Blueprints, and CNC machining disc.

A lot of crap on my possible plate. I just don't feel like getting a license.

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