Not too long ago, I got my hands on the M1A SOCOM 16 to review. If it tells you anything, this is my third review of it. I just can’t seem to stop having fun with this, and coming up with new ideas is a way to have more fun with it.
I was at a shooting event a little while back and came across a product called the “Ryker Grip”. When I first saw it, I thought it was a laser/light or something like that and it caught my attention. I quickly discovered it was a side-attached “vertical grip” (according to the ATF).
I have to be honest; I thought, “really?”. How many ways can we market grips? What is wrong with the standard vertical grips I have? That was, until I held it and aimed. Again, I thought, “that feels really different/strange.” It only took a few seconds of holding it out aiming for me to start liking how it felt in my hands.
Side Mounted Foregrip on a SOCOM 16
The first thing that popped into my mind was how it would feel on my M1A SOCOM 16. To be frank, the SOCOM is a heavy gun and I had been thinking about trying a vertical grip on it. I really wanted to get one of these to put on it and put it to the test.
Ron, the founder and owner of Ryker Grips, was kind enough to send me home with one to test. He also had a prototype of a rail that went with the grip and, of course, my mind instantly envisioned putting my Viridian X5L-RS Gen 3 Laser/Light on this as well. So, as soon as I got home, I put this on my SOCOM and started playing with it.
Testing the Ryker Grip
It really does feel different in your hands, and in a good way. I can’t really explain it — you just have to hold it and see what you think. I had a buddy over to do some shooting and handed him the SOCOM with the Ryker on it. He held it up and said the exact same things.
But all of these initial impressions are irrelevant. The only thing that really matters is if it makes a difference when you shoot. Check out the video at the top of this page to see how it worked out for me on the range.
The next thing I wanted to test was the Viridian X5L-RS Gen 3 Laser/Light in conjunction with the Ryker Grip. I have already reviewed the X5L, and I love it. In another review, I added a scout scope to my SOCOM for distance and hunting purposes.
Now, with a scout scope being able to dial down to 2X power magnification, it is easy to get quick target acquisition from 25 to 50 yards and beyond, but it can be a challenge under 25 yards to do it quickly. If this platform were to be used for CQB, I think we absolutely needed a laser/light for rapid target identification and acquisition under that distance.
The X5L-RS did NOT disappoint. Now, instead of mounting the laser on the Ryker accessory rail, I found the perfect set-up was to put the laser on the other side and use the rail for the pressure pad. With the way the grip is positioned, it was a match made in heaven. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself! Just when I think I have exhausted new ways to have fun with my SOCOM, I come up with something new.
Ryker Grip Review: Bottom Line
If you plan on carrying your M1A SOCOM 16 and shooting from an unsupported position (standing), you are going to want to consider the Ryker Grip for yourself. If you do decide to put a scout scope on your SOCOM, you can still use it for CQB with the Viridian X5L. You can “have your cake and eat it too” — my favorite thing to do.
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