Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16 AA9626 7.62 NATO/308 Win.
The SOCOM is short, powerful, and accurate enough for most any chore. The rifle proved reliable with a variety of ammunition. The choice between this rifle and the Scout Squad is difficult, but in the end, the slightly shorter SOCOM is our choice.
This was a pre-virus price at Cabelas.com. The price difference across the board on the Scout Squad and SOCOM averages $120, but it was difficult to find them both in stock at the same outlet or the other for reference. The SOCOM is usually the more expensive. MSRP is $1849 for the Scout Squad and $1985 for the SOCOM.
Overall Height (w/o magazine)
5-, 10-, 20-, 25-round magazines
16.25 in., 6-groove carbon steel, 1:11 twist
(1) 10-round detachable box
Ghost Ring .135 Aperture, MOA adj. for windage & elevation
XS post w/tritium insert, 0.125 blade
Receiver Scope Provisions
Rail in front of receiver/side mount
With the SOCOM, you get a 16-inch-barrel rifle with more of a muzzle brake than a flash hider. The front sight also features a narrow tritium insert. The Scout Squad shooter may fit an XS Sights front blade for $63 to come on par with the SOCOM. We liked the balance and fit and feel of the SOCOM rifle. We did not attempt to mount an optic on this rifle. In common with the other M1A, the bolt was easy enough to rack and all functions were positive. Each rifle had a stiff safety, but after a few dozen manipulations, the safety was a bit easier to move. The magazines slid in properly and locked in place as designed. The magazines were not difficult to load to full capacity. Firing the SOCOM offhand, we felt little difference between this rifle and the 18-inch-barrel Scout Squad. We did not fire in dim light; however, in certain firing sessions when clouds covered the sun, the sky was darker and we detected some muzzle flash with the shorter rifle. This was also true of the other M1A rifle but was slightly more pronounced with the SOCOM. This was most noticeable with the Fiocchi hunting load, but was almost nonexistent with the Hornady Black in either rifle. Fired offhand in rapid fire at the same ranges and the same type of targets as the Scout Squad, the SOCOM presented no difficulty getting hits. The slightly shorter sight radius seemed no deterrent to getting fast hits. In fact, we found the SOCOM faster in moving between targets and getting rapid hits out to 100 yards. Fired at the steel gong at a 100 yards, the rifle delivered excellent function. We had no difficulty sighting the rifle in properly and delivering good results in fast-paced drills. We rated the rifle a notch above the Scout Squad in this regard, which was counterintuitive but true. We felt the SOCOM would surely be easier to stow, which it was, but it was also easier to get fast hits with. In firing for absolute accuracy the SOCOM exhibited good practical accuracy. With the Hornady Black load, it was more accurate than the Scout Squad, but not with the other two loads. Our Team Said: We feel that if you wish to own and use a short-barrel M1A1 that handles quickly, get the SOCOM. If you value greater accuracy, get the full-size 22-inch barrel M1A.