Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16


Springfield Armory changed the shooting community’s perception of high power in a small package with the introduction of the M1A SOCOM 16 in the mid 2000s. Rather than option for a smaller caliber, shooters had the option of 7.62 NATO (.308 Win.). Best of all, the M1A SOCOM 16 offered less felt recoil and muzzle rise than anyone believed was possible in a rifle of its size and caliber.


Today, the heart of Springfield Armory’s SOCOM 16 is a specially engineered, 16-inch barrel mated to the gas system with a proprietary muzzle brake. The muzzle brake reduces felt recoil and keeps muzzle rise flat making quick, accurate follow-up shots all but a given. Sighting is a breeze thanks to the SOCOM 16’s enlarged ghost ring aperture rear sight and XS Tritium Insert in the front sight. Prefer an optic? No worries, Springfield Armory decks out the SOCOM 16 with its forward scout-style Picatinny mount.

Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16
Barrel 16.25 inches; 1:11 RH twist; 6-Groove Carbon Steel
Caliber 7.62X51 NATO (.308 Win.)
Length 37.25 inches
Weight 8.8 pounds with empty magazine
Sights Front: XS Post with Tritium Insert, .125-inch Bladetype; Rear: Enlarged Military Aperture .135 with MOA Adjustment For Both Windage and Elevation
Stock Black composite
Magazine 10 rounds, parkerized steel

Tell us what you think about the SOCOM 16 in the comment section.


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Comments (34)

  1. So I have always dreamed of getting a SOCOM 16 ever since my kid joined the marines and fell in love with the Springfield scout. We talked for hours on this. When I was in I used the M 110 SASS by Knights Armament. Since getting out I built an AmarLite variant of the Knight.
    I dont have time to load so I’m selective on the weapons I do load for. My 700 bolt rifles I load using 168gr Berger boat tail VLD round with Retumbo powder. Great round and EXTREMELY accurate. For my ArmaLite I have been using manufactured Federal Premium ammo which uses the same Berger and the weapon systems all love it.

    2 weeks ago I bought my SOCOM. I have tried every manufactured ammo and as well some hand loads I played with. I bought the federal ammo specifically for M1A and i can group to save my life. I found after tinkering with the SOCOM my rear sight was jacked. Fixed it. Still poor grouping hat 100yds. Put a scout scope on, still same results. Changed scope out for a sig romeo red dot which I’m trying out today.

    Can someone PLEASE tell me what I’m doing wrong. I have NEVER experienced this kind of trouble in all my years. I am at wits end. Is it the ammo? Sights? Just a 1 in 10000 bad weapon? I realize I’m not going to get the accuracy at range with a door kicking weapon but this is beyond ridiculous
    Email me 8f you have any knowledgeable solutions.

  2. What happened to the 30.06 round? My dad, a WWII vet, swore by it. A powerful bullet with great range. Why the NATO/British. 308? Just curious.

    1. @ R.A. Vine.

      You’re probably thinking of the British .308 Radway Green. The 7.8-mil (.308) is German in Origin. First being introduced in 1851…

  3. Pingback: SHOT 2015—Top 10
  4. I meant to comment on this earlier but have been skiing in Steamboat so have been somewhat preoccupied.
    Of the several M1A’s I have owned or still own I have found the SOCOM 16 to be the, out of the box, best available. Of the two which I have one has been restocked in a bullpup configuration the other into a mid range operational support platform. This second one is equipped with a Trijicon ACOG 5.5×50, bipod, and fitted into a McMillian tactical stock. Both platforms have seen substantially more than 800 round, each, thru them. No wear has been observers above normal. The barrels are fine and I’ve seen no loss of function or accucery to this point.
    I see them as one of the finest platforms in current production of a time proven design. These have and continue to serve me well in my travels and the design continues to find a high value slot with our armed forces today.
    Regardless of what your opinion of this platform may be its place in the history of firearms and possibly the all time top five combat rifle designs …ever. Is assured.
    The SOCOM 16 is just one of the newest kids in this family that’s several generation old and looks as if it will continue for generations to come.

    1. @ Pete in Alaska.

      The ~800-round limit, was using Military Grade Ammunition in a Civilian Grade Barrels. Considering No-Two Identical Looking Guns are Exactly-Alike. Firing are going to vary from gun-to-gun, also “ambient” temperature is going to have an effect on the results…

    2. Yes they’re great. I loved mine. 3000 rounds before the first failure. Less than 300 rounds for the last. Millions (I don’t know hoy many made by Springfield) of great guns and I get two slugs. Just be aware and cautious.ake sure you have the right case bullet primer and powder to shoot. Govt standard ammo gives Springfield heartburn.

  5. Wow I guess I must be the luckiest knucklehead in the USA. I have one of the so-called “most dangerous rifles made” I have a Fed Ord M14, had it for approx 38 yrs, purchased it from the mfgr in LaPuente Ca. I have fired at a min of 5000 to 6000 rounds through it, all brands of commercial and surplus ammo I could find, never a hicup. I have been told over the yrs that this rifle will surely blow up in my face. I have had no other rifle as reliable and pleasurable as this one, must be dumb luck?

  6. After reading all the data I could find on the M1A SOCOM, 800-rounds is about the Upper Limited of ammunition usage, if using Mil-Spec Ammunition. Before you start too wear out the barrels…

    1. Interesting comment, but hard to believe. I don’t keep round counts, but have probably put more than that through mine. 800 rounds is like four to eight trips to the range, or a season of three gun matches. I don’t think a mere 800 rounds would wear out any barrel from any reputable manufacturer of any firearm. Btw, I usually shoot mil-spec 7.62.

    2. @ John S.

      It varies between rifles, considering identical rifle are not exactly the same. 800-rounds was the “ball park standard/guesstimate”, some owner found they could shot more and some less. And some owners re-barreled their rifles to Mil-Spec. after purchasing them. It took about a week to go through all the comment/posting’s I could find. There probably several thousands of comments/postings I haven’t found. If I ever get one, I’ll probably re-barrel just too be safe, especially when using Military Grade Ammunition. Don’t need any un-necessary “law suit’s” between friends…

  7. Hope there different than the M1A Two of the have slam-fire exploded in my arms. Using Lake City military spec ammo. Springfield has an aggressive accusatory attitude. There customer service basically told me to go pound sand.

    1. The first one blew up on regular ammo. The second on Lake City over runs.. I’ve learned enough to leave them alone. They blow out and down so if you shoot left handed PLEASE do not fire these guns.

  8. Desert: For what it’s worth the salesman at Turner’s told me that what I wanted would be around two grand out the door with a good scope and bipod. That seems like an awful lot for a modified M-1 that would have cost me $96 if I had lost it. What are they going for here at Cheaper Than Dirt?

  9. I’m adding another pre-requisite: a composite stock. The one I saw on display had a wood stock and it was already scratched. Everything I had until recently had a wood stock and to keep them looking like new takes a lot of care. Recently we bought a couple of shotguns with composite stocks and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to wood. They clean up nicely. The M-1 I carried took a lot of lin seed oil and tender loving care to keep it looking good. Comments?

    1. I love wood stock and being a muzzleloader enthusiast I’m very familiar with linseed oil. I have to agree with you that a composite stock is the way to go for a rifle that will see lots of range time and time in the woods.

  10. This rifle is with out a doubt death on a stick. I took this rifle fresh out of the box and put a 20rd clip dead center at 50 yards on a standard target. look I encourage anyone who wants to get a reliable rifle to get this one as Feinstein and her forces of evil will stop at nothing to take them away. Also it doesn’t need to be cleaned often.

  11. Just wondering what the price is on the the M1a socom? If price is right I would like to have that in my Collection!!!!

  12. I had a Socom 16 as my first full size rifle, I put a Blackfeather RS stock on it and I traded it for an AR-10. Really wish I hadn’t done that… It shot great and was SUPER reliable but I wished it had a little longer barrel and I wasn’t a fan of the scout optic mount position. I’ll probably get a 20″ M1A when I get around to it.

  13. I have to agree with GRA; I wouldn’t buy a firearm without shooting it first. I’d also like to see a longer barrel for fun long distance shooting. Aside from that it has everything the M-1 Garand didn’t have. The recoil pad and the bigger rear sight will probably be helpful for us old farts. A ten round magazine is something a lot of us who carried the M-1 had on our wish lists in the 60’s. From what I saw it had the original M-1’s trigger and barrel and receiver group. In the bigger caliber softening the recoil will be a step forward.

    I’ve been looking out for one for about a year now. Every year, over the Memorial Day Holiday, Turners Outdoorsman invites all the manufacturers and potential customers to Rahaagie’s Range at Corona, California for a chance for us to fire what we’re interested in buying. If I recall correctly, the one I saw a year ago was a longer model equipped with a scope and a bipod. The line to fire it looked like what you see at Disneyland, but I really liked what I saw of the model on display. This year the only reason I won’t be there is if I’m dead and if it’s anything like I hope I’ll be a happy buyer, I’d like to hear from anyone who owns one.

    1. I have a Socom 1 and mounted a Nikon M-308 on a rail I bought from Canada called “” it put the scope back where you can look through it like your deer rifle. All you have to do is take out the iron sight and place theirs down in the top well and you are ready to mount your scope once you have the mount level to the barrel. (which can be a little difficult getting it level) I don’t have a place to shoot over 200 yards but it works great. I bought those side mounts for scopes and they are not worth the trouble and also work loose as well as problems matching the threads with the bolt they send you. Check out the mount I recommend here. Shoots great.

    2. I have a M1A Loaded and it shoots great at long distance. As an old fart I put a microsight from Creedmore and I can see the post and the target perfectly.

  14. Being a Wheelchair Driver Myself, size is my Biggest concern. Don’t want to go Turtle after shooting Rifle/Carbine configuration. I wonder if it comes in a Bullpup variant…

  15. I fired my buddies SOCOM II (very similar with a factory quad rail system) yesterday and it was the first time I fired this type of rifle. Very easy to control and mild recoil. We took turns blowing apart a large ice covered puddle in his yard….lots of destruction in a compact package. I’d buy one if they were so dang expensive.

    1. I have had a SOCOM II (a SOCOM 16 with a quad rail) for a little over 2 years. I bought it after being so pleased with my M1A Standard (think semi-auto only M14). It’s a fantastic rifle. Very reliable. Easy to control. Accurate. With the aid of a spotter, I made a 500 yard shot dead center on a steel plate the size of a man’s chest with the stock iron sights (which are designed for CQB).

      For those who say they want a longer barrel or other changes, Springfield makes a whole family of M1A’s. Get a different model. If you want a different mag capacity, mags come in 5, 10, 20, and 25 round sizes. The Feb 2015 issue of American Rifleman has a feature article on the M1A if you want to know more. (The Nov 2014 issue features the Rockola M14 series, which is another option for the platform.)

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