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M1A SOCOM 16 vs Scout Squad Login/Join 
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I'm looking at buying one of these rifles and trying to understand the differences. The SOCOM fits my needs: compact, full power rifle for 0-250 yards max use. Plus I like the "sleeper" look of the M1A vs a tacticool AR system. From what I read the main differences are: SOCOM's sights are less precise at distance (excess of 300 yards), and the gas piston system is non-standard. Whereas the Scout has standard sights that are good for any distance you might shoot irons and uses a standard GI piston system. Is that about it? Is the proprietary gas system a big deal? Does the M1 gas system have a high enough failure rate that I should I be worried about sourcing proprietary parts for maintenance? I've read that the Scout's OAL can be modified to almost the same as the SOCOM via aftermarket parts, but why should I spend the extra money to do that if the SOCOM does it out of the box?
 
Posts: 289 | Registered: February 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had a SOCOM that I ended up selling after I got my Scout Squad set up how I wanted it. I like that the Scout Squad, with a few alterations to make it as compact as a SOCOM, does everything the SOCOM does, plus more (namely at moderate ranges).

I was happy with my SOCOM. I'm happier with the Scout-Squad.



At short ranges, the Scout Squad doesn't give you any real benefits over the SOCOM. However, if you're going to be shooting irons at 200ish yards, you'll likely appreciate the more precise iron sights on the Scout Squad over the wider and chunkier SOCOM sights. The flip side is that if your priority is compactness, the SOCOM does that out of the box with no additional cost or effort, whereas the Scout Squad requires you to remove the standard front sight/flash hider and add a new gas lock front sight and muzzle device to get it down to a similar length.

The proprietary gas system likely won't be an issue either way. It just means that if you get a SOCOM and decide to replace parts or add certain accessories later, you have to look for SOCOM-specific gas system parts/accessories.

Also, if you're after a wood stock, the Scout Squad is available from the factory with wood. The SOCOM is only available in synthetic, so you'd have to buy a replacement stock and matching handguard, like I did on my SOCOM below. (And the factory M1A synthetic stocks are crappy, cheap, and flimsy. But the factory wood stocks are made by Boyds and are nice.)

And one last minor thing: As you can see, the SOCOM has large "SOCOM 16" markings on the op rod. Not a huge deal, but a little tacky, especially when you're trying to classy it up with some nice walnut. Wink

 
Posts: 22545 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought I was happy with the black plastic stock till I saw those wood stocks. I could buy the SOCOM and pay to replace the stock, or buy the Scout and pay to replace the gas lock/brake. I will say I really prefer the look of your SOCOM with the wood handguard vs the rail on the Scout.
 
Posts: 289 | Registered: February 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The rail on my Scout Squad is an aftermarket one anyway. It's made by Ultimak.

The walnut handguard on that SOCOM is made by Boyds. Understand that if you want to install a Boyds wanlnut handguard, it will require a small amount of final hand-fitting, to ensure proper clearance from the stock and from the op rod. This is fairly easily done with some sandpaper, followed by touching up the sanded areas with some tung oil.

The factory Scout Squad (even with Walnut stock) and the factory SOCOM both come with plastic handguards with a cutout for the small factory rail. The factory scout rail is fairly chintzy, and is just held in place around the barrel with some screws. It is not nearly as stable or robust as the Ultimak. In addition, the Ultimak rail sits lower than the factory scout rail, so with the right optic and mount, you can cowitness a red dot with the iron sights. (Like the Aimpoint PRO in low mount on my Scout Squad.)

So if you want to mount a red dot or scout scope on either style of M1A, I'd recommend replacing the factory rail with an Ultimak. And if you don't want to mount an optic, you can get a walnut handguard, but you'll have to buy that separately and do the final fitting yourself.

It sounds like, no matter what, you're going to be doing some customization. You might want to price out the two options and compare:

Walnut Scout Squad with Smith Enterprises gas lock front sight, your choice of muzzle device, and either Ultimak or walnut handguard

versus

Synthetic SOCOM with walnut stock and either Ultimak or walnut handguard


Here's a factory walnut Scout Squad and factory synthetic SOCOM, so you can see what the factory plastic handguards and scout mounts look like:



 
Posts: 22545 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a quick price breakdown. Looks like going the SOCOM route works out to be slightly cheaper by $69. But for that $69 in savings, you're giving up the ability to use the irons at longer than short ranges, although with the SOCOM you do gain a tritium front sight (though I didn't find that to be very useful in my experience) and save an inch or two in OAL.

This is just a rough ballpark. You should be able to shave more off either of the below builds, if you hunt around even more for better pricing, or catch something on sale or used.


M1A Scout Squad with walnut stock: $1500
Boyds Walnut Handguard: $47 or Ultimak M8: $200
Smith GLFS: $90
Smith Vortex Flash Hider: $90
Total: $1727 (walnut HG) or $1880 (Ultimak) plus shipping fees


M1A SOCOM with synthetic stock: $1500
Boyds Walnut Stock: $111
Boyds Walnut Handguard: $47 or Ultimak M8: $200
Total: $1658 (walnut HG) or $1811 (Ultimak) plus shipping fees
 
Posts: 22545 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
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Go with a Scout. I'm messing with a SOCOM right now and getting it to shoot as good as a scout or full length rifle at 100 yards is proving to be difficult and I built mine with premium parts.

The length and handiness of the Scout vs SOCOM is really negligible. Getting the Scout to shoot accurately will be much easier and cheaper than the SOCOM.

The SOCOM really takes some handloading to get to shoot well. Off the shelf ammo doesn't normally shoot well at all, especially with a stock SOCOM. I bedded one to a carbon fiber stock and it shot about 2" with 168 grain match ammo.

I don't see these issues with a Scout.

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 3156 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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To me, a scout squad is better balanced while shooting. It is the perfect backdoor gun.
 
Posts: 290 | Location: East Texas | Registered: June 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by benny6:
The length and handiness of the Scout vs SOCOM is really negligible. Getting the Scout to shoot accurately will be much easier and cheaper than the SOCOM.


The counter-argument to that is that the SOCOM isn't really geared towards tight groups at range, so that matters less for most SOCOM buyers. It's made for quick hits on man-sized targets at closer distances.

However, the Scout is able to do that just as well, plus more. Hence why I think the Scout is the better option, no matter what role you plan to fill.
 
Posts: 22545 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

We're saying the same thing. Wink

Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 3156 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Decisions! The Scout sounds like it's more capable, but that SOCOM woody... It's like a 44 magnum snub and an M1 Carbine had a kid together; bad ass!
 
Posts: 289 | Registered: February 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Chuck Perry:
Decisions! The Scout sounds like it's more capable, but that SOCOM woody... It's like a 44 magnum snub and an M1 Carbine had a kid together; bad ass!


Yeah, you gotta love the "classic wood and steel" look.

 
Posts: 22545 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you're going to be ditching the stock and handguard anyway and replacing them with walnut, you might as well take advantage of this sale that Palmetto is having on the fugly Kryptek SOCOM. You'll save ~$300 over a "normal" SOCOM or a Scout. That'll cover the cost of the Boyds stock and handguard, and still have some left over for mags and ammo.

https://palmettostatearmory.co...ghlander-aa9613.html

Something that I forgot to mention earlier (and that I didn't take into account on the SOCOM price breakdown) is that you'll need to also purchase hardware for your Boyds replacement stock and handguard. They don't come with any hardware.

That will also require buying or borrowing a stock liner tool, to install the liner screws:



And a handguard clip tool:
 
Posts: 22545 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rogue,
What kind of clearance is there between your red dot/irons and your AAC can? How much do s the suppressor impede sight picture? I love the look of your scout, but it looks like your sight picture would barely clear the can?
 
Posts: 721 | Location: Volunteer | Registered: January 16, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't use a suppressor on it. The AAC 51T is just one of the only flash hiders available for the oddball .595"-32 M14 thread pitch.
 
Posts: 22545 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have the Scout and am very happy with it, but will likely add a better trigger than stock (or have Bruce Dow work over my stock unit) to improve weight and break. I am also adding a cheek riser so that I get a better cheek weld for scope alignment. I have slightly higher rings on mine which permits use of the irons. However the front post on mine is the wider SOCOM front post with tritium insert. Works great for up close, not so good for distant precision.

Overall, I love the rifle. I have shot the SOCOM, and the full size, and think that the Scout is the perfect set of compromises.

The wood is nice and I would have bought wood if I were buying new, but the polymer stock is pretty good, too. It's not a McMillan, but it's plenty good for the purpose.




"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012

"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."

Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
 
Posts: 9765 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:





Stop posting that! My wallet can't take it. Every time I see it I get the urge to call benny6 and have him make me one.


"Ultima Ratio Regum"
Life Member NRA
Member Washington Arms Collectors
The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. 'Make it evil,' he'd been told. 'Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with.'
 
Posts: 662 | Location: T-town in the 253 | Registered: January 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had the same dilemma years ago and went with the synthetic scout, couldn't be happier. The iron sights are incredible. Truthfully the furthest I've ever shot it is 200 yards but I could hit a bowling pin pretty consistently. It's currently equipped with a vortex red dot on the stock rail, and I built up a cheek rest with medical foam and soft tape. It is most definitely louder than my buddy's standard M1A, otherwise at the distances we've shot there's not much difference



*Handguns are fine, Shotguns are final
 
Posts: 1193 | Location: IL | Registered: August 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Yeah, that M14 video guy...
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quote:
Originally posted by Loswsmith:
quote:





Stop posting that! My wallet can't take it. Every time I see it I get the urge to call benny6 and have him make me one.


No need to resist! It's good to cave to urges once in a while. Here's what I was up to yesterday. Kreiger heavy barrel install on a M21...





Tony.


Owner, TonyBen, LLC, Type-01 FFL
www.tonybenm14.com (Site under construction).
e-mail: tonyben@tonybenm14.com
 
Posts: 3156 | Location: USA | Registered: February 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by benny6:
quote:
Originally posted by Loswsmith:
quote:





Stop posting that! My wallet can't take it. Every time I see it I get the urge to call benny6 and have him make me one.


No need to resist! It's good to cave to urges once in a while. Here's what I was up to yesterday. Kreiger heavy barrel install on a M21...
Tony.


My wife begs to differ.


"Ultima Ratio Regum"
Life Member NRA
Member Washington Arms Collectors
The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. 'Make it evil,' he'd been told. 'Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with.'
 
Posts: 662 | Location: T-town in the 253 | Registered: January 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've owned the full size, scout and Socom. The only one left is the Socom. I wanted a light, battle rifle.


-----------------------------------------

Roll Tide!

Glock Certified Armorer
NRA Certified Firearms Instructor
 
Posts: 6566 | Location: Hoover, AL | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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