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M1A noob - 16" vs 18" vs 22" ??

This is a discussion on M1A noob - 16" vs 18" vs 22" ?? within the Modern M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Hi all - I am looking to buy my first M1A and had a question that I am sure has been beat to death that ...


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Old July 14th, 2009, 08:25 AM   #1
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M1A noob - 16" vs 18" vs 22" ??

Hi all -

I am looking to buy my first M1A and had a question that I am sure has been beat to death that I can not find using the search function, so please bear w/ me -

I am somwhat familar w/ the basic gist of things, the longer barrel is going to be more accurate, the shorter the barrel the easier to manuver w/ it, blah, blah, blah..........

I also understand there are some "issues" w/ the 16" guns too as far as noise, cycling, and some other issues too......


Here's what I really want to know - I am leaning towards the 18" gun b/c it makes the most sense to me, but what is getting me is the 18" gun is only "that" much longer than the 16" one, how ,much of a difference can that really make? (in other words, isn't it really the 16" & 18" guns vs the 22" ones?)

Also know going in I already also own a 16" non-AR .223 semi-auto rifle, an AK clone, an 18" 12 ga pump, and a 26" bolt action .308. All of my bases as far as carbine, a reliable HD long gun, a reliable semi-auto rifle for defense, and a long range gun are very well covered. The M1A at this point is just an additional piece to the tool kit in my case, and it's role is already overlapped by more than one of the long arms I alreday own.

Buying one of each (a long M1A and a short one) is not need really either, as if I were looking to buy multiples of anything to have extras I'd either get another .223 carbine for other household members to use in an HD situation, or another AK as a backup/same reason.

I don't want to get a 22" just for the sake of having a good long range gun as I already have the bolt action .308, but I also don't want to go w/ another carbine when I pretty much have the basis for short length long arms covered between the .223 carbine, AK, and 12 ga.

My biggest thing is again, beyond the basics, is there anything specail I need to know between the 3 gun lengths, or any reason to avoid one of them vs the others, and ultimately would one be a happy medium (the 18" I am thinkging ??) between the 3, and not that close to being just like or prettty close the other one (agian the 16"?)??

Thanks -

Eric

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Old July 14th, 2009, 09:05 AM   #2
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Smile Barrel Length

Any length barrel can be accurate. Short barrels just have limitations. The 16" SOCOM is not known for it's stellar accuracy or reliability. That has more to do with the SOCOM's overall design than the barrel length. 18" barrels are available in standard and medium weight with the medium weight being match grade. That may be the right choice for you. Standard length barrels can be had in several grades and weights to suit your particular needs.

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Old July 14th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #3
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This issue gets beaten to death on here and............................ then beaten again, so I wouldn't expect a strong response

Here's a link to the thread I posted when I was deciding which one to get.
http://www.m14tfl.com/upload/showthr...reen66chevelle

I got a lot of good input from some people and basically came down to what you want to use it for.
Learn about the features of each rifle and maybe google some magazine reviews.

The line a friend of mine uses works well also.
"A gun is like a woman, first you have to like how it looks, then you have to like how it feels in your hand."


PS. forgot, I ended up with the scout because I couldn't find a socom at the time. Turns out I couldn't be happier, I think it looks cooler then the socom too


Last edited by Green66Chevelle; July 14th, 2009 at 09:57 AM. Reason: added PS
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Old July 14th, 2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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Here's a review of the SOC16 in G&A.

http://gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satelli...th+An+Attitude

I've got one on the way right now...can't wait.

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Old July 14th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #5
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ESG2145 - I am still very new here but I went through a similar evaluation process as you are going through. I also had the short/mid range requirements covered with my AR's (Colt/LWRC) and a few AK's. I have a fine Sako in .270 with nice glass so a bit of a difference from your 308. However, I do think having 20 rounds of .308 in a semi-auto is a big plus

I narrowed it down to the 18" ( Scout ) and the 22" (Std/Loaded/NM) depending on what I could get my hands on in terms of price/delivery. I did not consider the SOCOM based on a combination of already having my semi-auto battle rifles and the fact my club has a 600 yard range. I thought that the majority of my shooting would be in the 300-600 yard range and I wanted to go with either the 18" or the 22". Not knocking the SOCOM but that was my rationale.

Besides a shorter barrel the weight difference between the models is dependent on the stock choice. The walnut stock gets you the same weight on the Scout vs the Std. The NM weighs in at .5 more. With the Scout in composite you are shaving .3 off the walnut stock, coming in at an even 9.0 lbs. Not a big difference unless you plan on humping it all day long.

To be honest, had a Scout with the walnut stock been available at a "nowadays" decent price I most likely would have jumped on it. The Scout as you know is harder to find now and the GB prices reflect that. I also asked those in the know here about the toughness/reliability of the components in the Loaded/NM. My rationale was the rifle I bought needed to shoot well but not be a fine tuned shooter in a semi-reliable platform. The consensus was that these models were as reliable as the Scout and Std. model. That was the process I went through along with numerous calls throughout the country and scouring the internet daily in regards to price/availability.

All this said, I actually ended up with a very very competitive price on a NIB SA NM. As my first M1A it certainly is a platform well above my average shooting capabilities, but at this point I could say that most likely with any model M1A. My advice is to go with your gut feel at this time and combine it with the best delivery and price. I can tell you with 100% confidence that I will have a Scout sometime in the future. My rationale - only because I want one. Besides one less AR or AK on trade in makes room in the armory. Good luck.

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Old July 14th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #6
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Go for the Scout

I have both a SOCOM 16 and a Scout Squad. The SOCOM has a different gas system than the other M1As and reliability has been improved. However, it is actually a bit heavier than the Scout by about 3 ounces. The Scout has a better sight radius and better sights than the SOCOM and just feels better in your hands. It's 18 inch barrel doesn't resonate as much as a 22 inch barrel in a full size M1A would so it's fairly accurate for a shorter barrel. The Scout is shorter like the SOCOM and more accurate like the full size M1A which is why I would recommend the Scout since you already have a long range rifle.

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Old July 14th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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My personal experience is that I have found no difference in reliability, velocity difference isn't enough higher in the longer barrel to make me choose one over the other and given proper set up(if you don't want to use it stock and you would set the SOCOM, Scout, and Standard up the same way) the sight system you use has as much to do with accuracy as anything. Neither my SOCOM or Loaded is going anyplace and one of these days there'll be a Scout in there too!! It all goes back to what green66chevelle's friend said.

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Old July 15th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info guys, appreciate it. :)

I think I am going to go w/ a 18" Scout, just as I suspected, it seems to fit the bill for what I am looking for / need it for. :)

I forgot to mention I already have a EO Tech mounted on the AK and am pretty happy w/ that setup, I am thinking either a similar deal for this Scout project (again, only b/c I have a long range bolt gun w/ long range glass on it), or a low powered scope on it, as I am not really looking to "get out there" that much farther than medium range distances w/ this particular gun.

Thanks again -

Eric :)

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Old July 15th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #9
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Rock on man, good luck!

You can't go wrong

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Old August 16th, 2009, 09:18 PM   #10
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Any difference on the gas system on the 18" Scout vs std length M1As, as there is w/ the SOCOMs?

Any other difference in the 18" Scout, other than the obvious barrel length?


On the fence now between the Scout and a std length M1A, as I have a 16" .223 carbine, a 18" 12 ga, and two AKs now - one an underfolder.

I know I do NOT want a SOCOM, as it serves no purpose I have a need for, but I also know the 26" barrel Rem 700 I got last year is just a "bit" to long to lug around all day (wishing now I had either gotten the 20" .308 or .30-06 in 22" barrel instead :( ).


I'm thinking a standard length one might be a good idea, but then also thinking the Scout is a little handier and worth holding out the extra $$ for (??).


Thanks -

Eric

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Old August 16th, 2009, 10:33 PM   #11
 
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The scout's gas system is identical to the standard model's AFAIK. The only other significant differences that that I'm aware of (besides barrel length) are that the scout comes with a muzzle brake instead of a flash hider and has a "scout mount" that works well with a pistol scope or aimpoint type reflex sights.

The thing I like most about the scout is its relatively light weight....mine weights about 8 lbs unloaded. The standard is probably a pound or two heavier and a bit more unweildy due to the 22" barrel. On the other hand a heavier rifle absorbs recoil better, and the scout will knock you around a bit, even with the brake.

Which one to get depends on what you want to use it for. As an all around, general purpose rifle that you might be carrying around, I tend to favor the scout. For long range shooting (>500 yards) an accurized model with the 22" barrel (loaded, national mach) etc is the ticket. The standard is good if you want something pretty close to what GI's in the 60's had, minus the happy switch of course.

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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:14 AM   #12
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I have owned all sizes, and I favor the 22'' barreled rifles. Some people would make you think the full sized rifle is like carrying a long lance or something, but I have found that a standard rifle with a USGI type stock is light and handy in my hands...I also like the longer sight radius.

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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:19 AM   #13
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Im still new here and I just got a Socom 16. So these guys have way more knowledge that I do on the topic.

I will say I love mine. Shoots great. Accurate for me but I am also not shooting at great distances either.

My next one is the scout.

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Old August 17th, 2009, 06:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneStarWings View Post
The scout's gas system is identical to the standard model's AFAIK. The only other significant differences that that I'm aware of (besides barrel length) are that the scout comes with a muzzle brake instead of a flash hider and has a "scout mount" that works well with a pistol scope or aimpoint type reflex sights.

The thing I like most about the scout is its relatively light weight....mine weights about 8 lbs unloaded. The standard is probably a pound or two heavier and a bit more unweildy due to the 22" barrel. On the other hand a heavier rifle absorbs recoil better, and the scout will knock you around a bit, even with the brake.............


When you say knocks you around a bit, how would you compare it to say either an AK or a Garand?

I have an AK and have shot Garand. How about compared to a 870 w/ 00 buck? (if you can relate it to any of these)


I'm sure the scout is controlable, it's just for a med to long dist semi-auto like this, I prefer it not to jump around anymore then needed be (like an AK does for med range stuff).


Thanks -

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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:31 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESG2145 View Post
When you say knocks you around a bit, how would you compare it to say either an AK or a Garand?

I have an AK and have shot Garand. How about compared to a 870 w/ 00 buck? (if you can relate it to any of these)


I'm sure the scout is controlable, it's just for a med to long dist semi-auto like this, I prefer it not to jump around anymore then needed be (like an AK does for med range stuff).


Thanks -
I have not shot an AK or a Garand but I imagine it would be a good bit more than the AK and about the same, maybe a little more than the Garand.

Any M1A has much, much less recoil than an 18" shotgun with 00 buckshot slugs. Not even close in my opinion. My 18" 870 probably weighs 6 lbs and it will leave a mark after 20 or 30 full power buckshot shells. I fired 500 rounds through my scout yesterday, couldn't imagine doing that with buckshot.

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