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Discussion Starter #1
So since I've joined this forum you guys have shared a plethora of information and help. In an attempt to document and share this I figure I'll start a thread for my rifle.

To start and clarify, I bought my m1a Socom 16 new from PSA on a whim. No research, no preconceived notions about it, I saw it and I've always wanted one, so I went with it.

After my first range trip, I had developed my love hate affair. This rifle is awesome to shoot, flat out. And as a battle rifle it's hard to argue. But, as I was warned, I wanted more. I knew the rifle could be more accurate, and the limiting factors were within reach and a reasonable budget.

Step 1- I reinforced the synthetic stock as best as I could. For me that was attaching a section of 9" of 1913 flat milled universal picatinny rail. Runs from just fore of the mag well to just even with the original sling mount. Stiffened up the stock enough I wasn't going to chase more rigidity and risk running into issues. I can still get some torsional twist, but it's about 100% better and I'm not gonna get greedy.

Step 2- clearances. This is the biggest thing I noticed. Status quo here. Got comfy and grabbed the dremel. 2 hours later I had clearance for days everywhere. The m14.ca handguard required alot of forearm work to fit properly.

Step 3- added draw pressure. My rifle came to me with the GC resting on the ferrule. Even after clearancing I knew this would not help with my end goal. Part of why I reinforced the stock was so I could add some draw pressure into it. I used shims cut from a magnet about as thick as a business card. Glued them to stock under the receiver. 2 layers and it's about as much as im willing to go before I feel like the stock won't handle it. Takes a firm squeeze to release the FB from the ferrule.

Step 4- shimmed gas cylinder and added washers between muzzle and the break. After all the reading and info I knew the gap at the muzzle was something I wanted to try and eliminate. Being in NJ I'm not looking to play games with the law, or an officer not versed enough to know a threaded Delta P would be legal, so my options were limited. I used peel washers from mc master carr and just removed layers until the brake timed just before 6 against the barrel. Light pressure is required to line up the gas plug, and my shim sizes for the front band were spot on.

Step 5- I custom filed the landing strip of a front sight post down to near NM sight thickness. About all thats left is the white painted insert and tritium. Again, easier to tinker than mess around with the whole muzzle device.

Step 6- Red Neck Yankee DSM scope mount,
Evolution Gun Works Rings
Primary Arms 1-6x28 Raptor ACSS
Fulton/Bradley Cheek Riser

My eyes stink plain and simple. At 100yds I had a pretty hard time with my irons. So this was a no brainer. I can't shoot what I can't see.

And that brings us to today. I just finished bedding the mount to my receiver so I'm waiting for the JB weld to cure and my scope +rings to show up. I'm still on the hunt for ammo this rifle likes. Gonna grab some boxes of 175 and work my way down in grain sizes until I find it's happy place. I don't have any huge expectations, but I can only imagine it should shoot much more consistent. I don't care for MOA sized shots, but the excessive stringing and fliers were unacceptable to the extent I was seeing. I'm hoping this will hold 2-2.5 MOA out to 300 and I'll be happy. It's a battle rifle, but it doesn't mean I have to hold shotgun sized groups either.

Hopefully this helps someone new, who grabbed a cheap socom 16 and realized it need some love to see it's potential. A little sweat equity, research and time is all it takes.
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Discussion Starter #2
And some terrible groups to show. Mind you, I'm 10000 times better at minute of man vs precision anything. Part of the group size is me and part is the rifle. But for reference, the best group I'm gonna post I tried my best at 100 with irons. Hoping to just close this up some. The fliers, well, I was just as surprised, and I still have no idea how I threw 3 like I did. But that's for another days debate lol.
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Did you send your rifle to SA and see if there was any issues with it? I don't remember if you did.

Below is my target from today with my SOCOM for comparison. I put the XS sight back on and reset to mech zero. Only 50yds and using American Marksman 147 reman ammo. Only change I made was taking off the picatinny rail on the barrel and putting a regular handguard on it.

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I look forward to the more finished product. I say 'more' finished, because it never really ends, definitively at least :p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Did you send your rifle to SA and see if there was any issues with it? I don't remember if you did.

Below is my target from today with my SOCOM for comparison. I put the XS sight back on and reset to mech zero. Only 50yds and using American Marksman 147 reman ammo. Only change I made was taking off the picatinny rail on the barrel and putting a regular handguard on it.

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Nope I figured I'd give it a whirl myself. Again a big part of my issues at 100yds is me. I haven't thrown it into a lead sled yet, which I plan to just to remove myself as the variable.

Your group looks great. I put 3 or 5 rounds out at 50 and they held about 1"-1.5". And that was the most I did in that close. I do need to get back on the range this weekend and do some data logging on ammo and if these tweaks changed anything for me.

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Hodge, when I first started out with my SA standard, I was all over the place as well. Took a lot of rounds, some trial and error, and a lot of reading on this site to better my groups.

Keep at it. You can only get better.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I read a little every night. Learn a bit more as I go and apply what I can. Considering the rifle ran 3-5 MOA at 100yds anything is progress comparatively speaking. I'm enjoying making it into my own and the challenges this little rifle imposes.

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I read a little every night. Learn a bit more as I go and apply what I can. Considering the rifle ran 3-5 MOA at 100yds anything is progress comparatively speaking. I'm enjoying making it into my own and the challenges this little rifle imposes.

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Another idea to consider is going with a Sadlak spring guide rod. I've done that to all of my rifles and noticed an improvement in accuracy and slicking up the action movement in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got the optic mounted. Can't wait to go run it and see how it does.
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Discussion Starter #10
Side note. Looks like I'll be running 100% m80 surplus ammo. At this point I don't have access to, nor the desire to track down trivial amounts of match ammo. It's out there, and if I can find it locally I would like to run through some varieties and see what holds the best, but I have all Milsurp and that's what it will get a steady diet of. Don't have too high of hopes for it tightening up much with this ammo from what I've seen but I'll find out this weekend.

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Range report!
Today's goal was simple. Shoot the rifle and get it to settle in and see what/if any accurization was accomplished, as well as get a quick "close to zero" on the scope so i can focus on finer adjustment Saturday. I'm super excited about how today's preliminary test run went as I wasn't sure what to expect. Since my last range trip I added the scope mount, the optic, shimmed the receiver with an extra layer for draw pressure, shimmed the GC and shimmed the gap between the muzzle break and crown. That's alot of changes and I was worried it was almost too much to trace if I ended up with an issue, but range time is limited so I wanted to get a bunch done before this weekend. I'm glad I went today as I ended up shooting my scope rings loose as well as was able to find out which ammo to move forward with. Nothing about this rifle is quick, which makes the results so much more gratifying.

Once I had the scope relatively close to my zero, I transitioned into just shooting for group consistency and load testing. I used all box ammo.

147g m80 German Surplus
150g Federal
168g Hornady Match
180g Remington Stuff

Of the about 7 ammo's I've tried surprisingly enough my rifle LOVES this German Milsurp. This is huge for me, since I have over 2k of it and it's what I planned on feeding this rifle.


The proof is in the pudding guys. I can't pinpoint what made the difference since there's multiple variables at play but i cut the rifle down to about 1.5-2moa. This is down from 3-5 i was dealing with out of the box. Saturday I'll update this again since I need to fine tune my zero as well as I'll have my scope rings properly tightened. Lol

Big thanks to all you guys who have helped out and regurgitated the info needed. This little socom has turned into quite the rifle compared to its reputation. For a battle rifle I couldn't ask for more.
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Discussion Starter #14
437127

Don't mind all the stuff I had hanging on it like a mall ninja, I was test fitting things for future configurations depending on what my needs are. Here is how it normally lives its life
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Looks like a great little rifle. Getting down to 2” groups is really cool.
It's hard to convey the excitement I have. This being my first full power rifle it's a big learning curve from plinking and clay shooting so I'm a bit leery and try to keep my expectations realistic.

Considering we were chasing a bit of POA/POI disparity for the morning there's a chance my scope had loosened early on and was a reason my results were pretty lack luster. If thats the case Saturday may yield even better results, albeit slight. At this point I'm happy with my results so anything else would just be icing on the cake.

Best part is, I'm able to easily use my irons so expect me to be posting another attempt in the November Dirty Bird as well.

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Discussion Starter #17
Works been busy and I've not been able to get back to the range yet. I have a walnut stock I grabbed off the px coming and there's another locally im hoping to get my hands on. The synthetic stock will stay as my "beater/all weather" furniture but there's just something about the wood that keeps drawing me back to wanting it, so I'm gonna see how I like it and how it shoots. I'm pretty confident the wood stock should shoot similar if not better than the poly stock considering this forearm is still super flimsy. The normal clearancing will be done and ill see what needs done from there.

After seeing the @m14army hardened big red stocks, I may do the modifications to the wood that I want (accurized and attachments) and send it to him for some marine-tex love. Again, this is another tinker project simply due to boredom. I need to order an adjustable riser for the wood stock as I can't bring myself to drill holes in it for the one I have on the SAI.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Happy Thanksgiving Guys!

Got my walnut stock in from @forceman, This thing is beautiful! I had to pull my m14.ca hand guard off to fit the action into this stock. There was no way I was going to be chopping into this walnut for any reason. Fits perfect, has good draw pressure with my shim setup and just looks right. I tossed the scout mount back on and have a not so mangled handguard coming, as well as a Fulton Armory Velcro attached riser.

Excited to see how it shoots in a proper chassis. I can't believe how much bigger this stock is compared to the SAI synthetic. One thing....she is CHONKY now, as pictured it's about 11.2lbs.


 

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Discussion Starter #20
I like the looks of the std M14 , but the SOCOM looks good in a wood stock or any of the M14 type Stocks for that matter .
This phone camera does the rifle ZERO justice. In person it looks great. I liked the poly stock for what it was, and had no qualms butchering into it for fun. This stock though, I can't bring myself to do any of that. Unfortunately the m14.ca handguard won't even come close to fitting, so back on went the SAI scout mount and handguard. I just cant bring myself to chop into such a nice piece. The only things I plan on mounting up there anyway is a QD sling and eventually a red dot so no big deal, but still, I was surprised how much work it would take to fit.

I like this look much better, and will be working with m14army to make a custom replacement for my poly stock when I want to abuse it. There's just something about the wood that is so attractive.

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