November 2008

Semi-Auto Carbines in 6.8 SPC and 308 Win: Socom II Wins

We thought Springfield Armory’s Socom II was the big dog on the block. Also, Ruger’s 6.8 SPC KMini 14 could be a sleeper, but our Armalite AR10 A4C needed to be tightened up.

Semi-automatic carbines have become enormously popular. Applications range from law enforcement and home defense to competitive target shooting and hunting. The most popular platform is the AR15-based weapon chambered for 223 Remington. But if you visit your local shooting range, you will find AR-style carbines, circa the 1960s, shooting alongside historical battle-rifle actions made popular in the 1940s. For this evaluation we acquired three different solutions to the self-defense rifle equation, mixing midrange and top-of-category power choices with 6.8s and 308s. In the AR15 platform, we started with a 308 Winchester–chambered Armalite AR10 A4C carbine, $1502. Against that bigger, but still familiar, design, we pitted a similarly-familiar M1A variant in the form of Springfield Armory’s $2090 Socom II AA9627 with black fiberglass stock. To this mix we added a midrange-power 6.8mm Remington SPC Ruger KMini-6.8/5P, $894.

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