Accessorizing Your SOCOM for Defensive Purposes
April 13th, 2019
4 minute read
When it comes to the defensive weapons I choose as a survivalist, I have a list of categories I consider.
- Reliability: Without the confidence of a reliable firearm, your defense is just a guess.
- Capability: A weapon that can’t hit what it is aimed at with ‘minute of bad guy’ practical accuracy is a noisy version of suicide. Things like compactness and an ability to keep you from being noticed easily are also important. A collapsible stock and ability to mount a flash suppressor come to mind.
- Durability: A weapon that constantly breaks parts is more of a burden than a help in a defense.
- Cost: The last category I consider is cost, because saving money on a weapon that doesn’t exhibit the above traits is just trading confidence for fiscal economy.
The SOCOM Rifle
I purchased a Springfield Armory Inc. M1A SOCOM in 2004 for $1500. Having owned M1A’s in the past, I knew the traits were there to make a solid defense rifle. One of the reasons I purchased the SOCOM was due to the uptick in the M14’s use by the military after 9/11. I’ve always been a fan of having a similar weapon to what the military uses, because more quality parts and accessories are generally available for those models.
Once the 1994 gun ban ended in the fall of 2004, it was time to accessorize my SOCOM with what the hoplophobes had banned during the previous ten years.
I started with a Sage International EBR stock from Fulton Armory , since I needed an effective and accurate way to mount an IR laser and light to my weapon. It cost about $700. At that time, my SOCOM was also made more compact by the 6-position adjustable EBR collapsible stock. My EBR stock is one of the older models and weighs a little more than the newer ones because of a longer front end. Springfield Armory now offers a CQB stock on the M1A SOCOM 16 model, as a factory configuration.
In the summer of 2011, I purchased a Delta P Design gas cylinder replacement for the SOCOM for about $200. This enabled me to mount a 5/8×24 threaded, flash suppressor to my SOCOM’s barrel. Along with Delta P’s flash suppressor (a 4-prong straight vortex type), this gave me stellar results (see video) with 1970’s German Ball ammunition at night. A 16″ barreled 7.62 NATO caliber rifle with no flash is pretty epic.
With the optic and a full 20-round GI mag, the SOCOM weighs in at 14.75 pounds. Without those items it’s 11.75 pounds. Is that too much weight for a 7.62 NATO chambered rifle with a “Tough as a Tank” stock? I don’t think so. Most “Battle Rifle” class firearms weigh in at approximately the 10-pound mark without accessories, and the newer EBR chassis (shorter and lighter) has the SOCOM down around that weight.
The SOCOM rifle with the EBR stock, Delta P front end, and a Millet DMS 1-4x scope (one of a few I’ve used on this rifle) produces average groups in the 1.5-2.5 MOA size at 100 and 200 meters. Match ammo that I used to test accuracy was from Hornady and Federal.
The Hornady 168 grain AMAX Black, and the Federal 168 grain Match “M1A” shoot to the same point of aim, point of impact and grouped the same for the SOCOM. The ball ammo used for the test was Winchester 147 grain FMJ “White box.” The Match ammo in both brands and types generally groups into 1-2MOA. The Winchester ball is in the 1.5-2.5MOA range on average.
When it comes to optics for this rifle, any quality 1-4x or 1-6x scope suits me. Right now, I’m using the Millet DMS 1-4x, but the optic is not what impressed me. The two game changers with this rifle, are the Sage EBR stock, and the DPD threaded GC replacement. The DPD gas cylinder is threaded, allowing suppressors to be mounted to the M1A. Scopes are helpful, but they don’t contribute to the reliability and durability of a weapon that has quality iron sights; a solid, durable stock does.
Both the stock and threaded gas cylinder replacement are helpful when building an M1A for high performance. Having carried this rifle for the last 15 years. I can tell you I’ve never had an issue with the weight, considering what the rifle is capable of. It is reliable with whatever I feed it. It is capable of doing what is required and performs well in all areas. Its durability is exceptional, and when comparing costs to other similar rifles, they are optimal in my book.
“Parata Vivere” – Live Prepared