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Springfield M1A Review: SOCOM 16 & National Match

Best marksman rifle or 10 MOA monster? We hands-on review two Springfield M1As with some quirks along the way. All with tons of pictures, video, and groups.

    Is the steel and wood Springfield Armory M1A still a viable battle rifle?

    Stick around, because we put a ton of .308 through a National Match M1A and a SOCOM 16, and had a profoundly weird experience.

    They sure are purdy, though.

    First things first: Historical firearms are cool as hell, and there’s nothing quite like owning, holding, or shooting a wood-clad gat that’s got a story to tell, if only it could speak. 

    The M1A, obviously a civilian variant of the iconic M14, fits squarely in that niche – you can check our full video over on our YouTube Channel!

    Table of Contents


    Springfield Armory M1A Pros & Cons


    • Classic styling
    • Great iron sights


    • Accuracy can be dependent on trim level
    • Not the best for optics

    Springfield M1A Background

    Now, obviously the M1A is merely the civilian variant of the iconic M14, and the M14 itself is essentially only a slightly modified M1 Garand that was developed after WW2 to fill the niche for a fully automatic battle rifle.

    While the countries in the newly formed North Atlantic Treaty Organization quickly agreed on a need to standardize small arms cartridges, a debate ensued over which exact cartridge that should be. 

    While the British focused on a smaller .280 cartridge out of concern for controllability in full auto, the US refused to adopt anything smaller than .30 caliber, citing concerns over diminished stopping power. 

    Assorted 7.62x51mm (MEN 147gr, PPU 165gr, PPU 180gr, Gold Medal 168gr
    Assorted 7.62x51mm (MEN 147gr, PPU 165gr, PPU 180gr, Gold Medal 168gr

    Fast forward a bit past a lot of bureaucracy and a point where the US almost adopted the FN FAL, and finally we have NATO’s adoption of the 7.62x51mm cartridge as its official battle rifle round – and with it, the US adopted the M14 in the late 50s.

    The M14, in theory, would simplify the makeup of the weapons fielded by the standard American infantry squad. 

    The leading brilliant minds of the time legitimately saw a future in which the M14 would replace the M3 grease gun and Thompson submachine guns, the BAR as a squad automatic weapon, the Springfield 1903 as a marksman rifle, and the M1 Garand and M1 carbine – a total overhaul of the ammunition and parts needed to keep a squad well supplied and operational.

    Pictured: Very good ideas.

    The gun was first fielded in Vietnam, and although 7.62 NATO proved great at punching through thick vegetation, the gun’s overall length was poorly suited for jungle warfare, it was basically uncontrollable in full auto, it’s wood stocks were subject to swelling from jungle humidity, which affected zero, and a DOD report found that the rifle overall was inferior to both the M1 Garand it descended from, and the soon to be introduced M16.

    *Creedence plays softly in the distance*

    What About Today?

    So where’s that leave us? 

    Why, with an ensuing internet argument, of course! 

    We’ll just say this: The M14 and M1A have incredibly vocal supporters and detractors both – and if you have the misfortune of wading into Mekong Delta of that online shit-flinging fest, it’s probably going to be quite hard to discern how these guns actually perform in real life. 

    Springfield Armory was kind enough to send us both a National Match M1A and a SOCOM16 to try out for ourselves – and we hoped that by the end, we’d have enough insight to give you a reasonable everyman opinion.

    Considering that you have folks claiming that these are sub MOA guns at 1,000 yards with irons on one side of the debate, and uhhhhh some nerd that won’t shutup about how the US should have adopted the FAL over the M14 on the other. 

    Silence, nerds.

    The Two Models: M1A & SOCOM 16

    The National Match M1A is, according to Springfield, hand-built to win competitions.

    at Sportsman's Warehouse

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    The gun’s action is glass bedded into the walnut stock, which overcomes the traditional issue M14s face with poor fitment apparently affecting accuracy.

    The gun’s also got a 5lb two-stage trigger, which might feel sort of heavy, but it’s really obvious when it’s going to break and there’s very minimal creep on the takeup. 

    Naturally taking the beautiful wood finish on the National Match and resting it on jagged rocks 🤷‍♂️

    The SOC16 is obviously a bit more compact and includes a 16” barrel in a black polymer stock with the iconic SOC16 muzzle brake upfront.

    at Palmetto State Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

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    The gun also has a scout style picatinny mount just forward of the action, allowing for the addition of red dots or scout scopes if that’s your jam. 

    Tattooine vibe check.


    First things first – in all honesty, these rifles are quite dated in terms of design ergonomics – as again, they’re civilian M14s, and the M14 was dated design-wise at the time even compared to the AK and FAL. 

    Considering you’ll be rocking the ergonomics of an 80 some odd-year-old rifle design, you can expect to feel out of place if you’re the type of dude that’s used to adjustable length of pull and a c-clamp style grip. 

    The rifles are heavy and quite cumbersome – weighing in at 8lbs for the SOC16 and 10lbs for the National Match, both unloaded. 

    Because of the op-rod placement, you’re likely going to have to jump your support hand out way further than what feels natural if you’re used to firing modern carbines – otherwise, you’ll be in for quite a shitty surprise when the gun bites you.

    The weird ‘teacup’ fingers you’ve gotta do to keep your hand out of the way.

    However, the sling mount kinda gets in the way of what, for me, feels like a natural hand placement – and you’ve got to keep your fingers away from the op-rod all the same. 

    The M1A’s safety is located within the trigger guard itself, and is essentially a metal tab that you press forward to disengage.

    Again, a bit of antiquated design here – I don’t particularly care for a safety mechanism that I have to get my finger near the trigger to operate, and the lever itself is quite stiff.

    Kinda sketchy, and I prefer to use my left thumb to flick it forward. 


    The swell of the rifle’s stock also creates a fulcrum point around your hand itself.

    Whereas an AR platform is going to recoil directly back into the buffer tube, the M1A essentially uses your dominant hand as an anchor point for the muzzle when it climbs upwards.

    The gun’s got a tendency to rotate around my right hand here

    I also find that for me personally, the combination of hand and head placement when shooting from a rest position always winds up grabbing a bit of facial hair that the rifle takes with it when it fires, so make of that what you will. 

    Mustache Pain Imminent

    Additionally, the magazines are a bit wonky to insert at first.

    You’ve got to rock them into the receiver sort of like an AK, but because the guns ship with short 10 rounders, you’ve really got to drive the front notch of the mag deep into the mag well, rock the rear of the mag back towards the trigger, and simultaneously push up to get the magazine seated correctly.

    It’s not the end of the world, and it does get easier over time as the mags get broken in.

    Like so

    So, yes – the design of the rifles isn’t super comfortable and feels antiquated, well, because it is.

    But how do they shoot? 

    Springfield M1A at the Range

    We took these guns out to the desert to ring some 200-yard steel, and in all honesty…the results were not fantastic

    Blastin’ with the SOC16.

    It seemed like no matter what type of .308 ammunition we used, from shitty PRVI to decent PM to federal gold medal match, we’d hit 1or 2 shots every 3-4 rounds using consistent holds on our steel target. 

    Various rounds we shot on Day 1

    Admittedly, we are not marksmen, and while we all have a good amount of long-range shooting experience, our inability to hit relatively close targets with these guns seemed pretty damn wild.

    The M1A’s worst critics online will tell you that the gun’s design itself literally prevents them from being accurized, due to the mechanics of how the rifle’s receiver fits into the stock itself.

    There’s also an infamous study on the M14 that essentially says the same thing, noting that the US Army tried for a few decades and concluded, a couple million dollars later, that the M24 was a better weapon system than the marksman-tier M14 they tried to create. 

    The M14 EBR in use with American SOF Personnel

    Could it really be us? Do we not understand the point of aim with M14 irons? Are they that different from the ARs and AKs we’re much more familiar with? Are we posers? Comment below if you think we’re posers.

    We weren’t sure, but we did find that both the National Match M1A and the SOCOM 16 performed about the same in this department – with the SOC16’s ironsights being a bit worse considering they’re thicker and obscure most of the target at 200 yards. (You know, because it’s a CQB gun)

    Iron Sight Comparison

    After a few mags, we decided to setup a shooting mat and rest to take some prone shots with an optic mounted to the SOC16’s scout mount to see if the irons themselves were just inexplicably way off.

    Not a huge fan of scout optics, personally.

    Unfortunately, we still weren’t getting great results, and the forward-mounted Picatinny rail on the SOC16 means that you’re essentially relegated to scout scopes with good eye relief.

    Again – we totally accept that we are by no means amazing shooters, but this shouldn’t be that hard. So what’s going on here?

    Considering the fact that it was 100+ degrees on our shoot day and firing a shitton of .308 on guns with meat tenderizers on their buttplates isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world, we resigned ourselves to chill on the M1As and take them to a local range to shoot groups and get them dialed in.

    Range Day #2

    Fast forward to our next shoot day! This time, we shot 100 yard groups with irons from the bench, and… the results were still pretty bizarre. 

    As you can see… the shot placement was all over the place. 

    No, this isn’t a 12ga.

    One of the weirdest parts of the entire experience was the tendency for both guns to pull off consecutive rounds either through the same hole or touching one another, only for the next round to be a complete flier somewhere else on the paper. 

    Pictured: WAT

    Again, we’re not so arrogant as to think that this isn’t our fault – but if so, why / how were we putting 2 rounds through the same hole only to completely fuck up the next round by several inches? At 100 yards from bench?

    That seems pretty unlikely. 

    Troubleshooting the M1A

    Not wanting to publish a pretty damning review on 8 MOA guns, we wondered if there might be something wrong with the rifles themselves. We therefore reached out to Springfield to see if they had any idea what the case might be.

    While they were alarmed at our results, they offered to bring the guns back and test them at their facilities to ensure we didn’t get flawed rifles for whatever reason.

    Springfield’s techs looked the guns over and purportedly found zero issues with any aspect of them. 

    literally how

    Springfield then mounted optics to the rifles using a 4th Gen Steel Receiver mount and tested them thusly.

    at Amazon

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    The National Match came in at 1.25 MOA with a Vortex 4-16x optic, and the SOC16 shot 2MOA with a Vortex 1-6 both at 100 yards. 

    Again, obviously much better than the results that we were getting in the two different times we shot the guns previously.

    At this point, we were pretty blown away.

    Is it really us? Do we really just suck that hard? 

    Springfield offered to send the guns back to us for another round of testing, and we accepted. They even included the optics and mounts to ensure we’d be able to repeat their results.

    Fast forward to range trip number 3, and close to 900 rounds of .308 later aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we were finally able to get some usable numbers out of these guns! 

    Sweeet Jesus thank you!

    Range Trip #3

    With the Vortex optics mounted we were now shooting about 1.5MOA out of the National Match, and ~2 MOA out of the SOC 16 using 168gr Gold Medal Match ammo.

    PRVI 145 and 180 grain out of the SOC16 both still felt subpar however, and PMC Bronze was decent but did have a flier in the group you see on screen.

    The National Match didn’t much like PRVI 145, but did okay with with PRVI 180, because literally nothing about any of this makes sense.

    PMC was okay and Match was, of course, the best.  

    We should note though that you’ll likely want to invest in a cheek riser if you wind up using an optic on these rifles, as they tend to sit quite high above the bore. 

    By the Numbers

    Reliability: 5/5

    For all of the weird issues we had with the M1As, reliability in terms of operation wasn’t one of them. We did experience one light primer strike on some of the poorer PRVI ammo, but are good to go outside of that.

    Ergonomics: 3/5

    This feels a little bit odd to grade with a number value, as the rifle’s design is quite dated. It was par for the course during the 40s, but is it fair to judge an antiquated set up by modern standards? The gun will work just fine if you adapt your shooting style to it, but it is not the most comfortable experience in the world.

    Accuracy: ?/5

    We’re genuinely super confused about what happened with the accuracy tests of the guns, and don’t feel particularly comfortable assigning this area a grade while the results were inconclusive.

    Customization: 5/5

    There are a ton of aftermarket accessories available for the M1A, such as radically different chassis that update its design ergonomics to something that feels much more modern if you can’t stand the old-school vibe.

    Value: 3/5

    The M1A is a little bit pricey depending on model, but if you’re in the market for a .308 American service rifle, it’s essentially your only option.

    Overall: 3/5

    Parting Shots

    Again…highly recommend you check out the video so you can see everything in motion.

    So the guns did okay and shot pretty close to what Springfield reported with the addition of optics.

    However, that makes the entire ordeal feel that much stranger?

    We still aren’t quite sure what to make of this entire experience, in all honesty.

    at Palmetto State Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

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    We really hope we don’t accidentally end up summoning the M14 defense squad by even suggesting that these guns are not the absurdly accurate sniper platforms it feels like a segment of pop culture has made them out to be, and for the umpteenth time we’re readily willing to accept that the problem may very well have been us. 

    What sticks out as extremely odd for me personally though, is that we’ve never experienced issues quite like this with any of our other .308 guns, and the issues occurred across multiple reasonably experienced shooters.

    It also seems unlikely that we’d be able to get two rounds to touch back to back if we weren’t decent shots to begin with, only to have a subsequent round end up nowhere near the previous two.


    Springfield’s lead tech also managed to shoot a 1.25” group with the national match using irons, so blaming the iron sights doesn’t seem quite right either – although I think it’s fair to assume a tech at springfield is likely a goddamn pro with the M1A.

    at Sportsman's Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

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    Truthfully, we have no idea, and we actually deliberated for a while on what approach we wanted to take with this review – because at the end of the day, it’s still sort of inconclusive.

    It’d be easy to pretend like the entire gaff just never happened, but that’s super disingenuous, and we try to be as real with y’all as possible.

    We will say that Springfield’s responsiveness in helping us sort out what was going on was fantastic, and worth letting all of you know about.

    If for whatever reason you do have issues with your guns, it’s nice to know that the manufacturer is going to look into the issue and treat your concerns as valid. 

    That being said, it’s certainly frustrating to present a gun review where the results are sort of inconclusive.

    Are we just miserable with iron sights? Did the guns get banged up in shipping? Are the guns haunted? Was mercury in retrograde? We may never know.

    As for the rifles themselves – they certainly have their niche. Guns that are a nod to the past are definitely a blast to own and shoot, and if you’re considering purchasing an M1A, we’d imagine it’s likely because you have some sort of sentimental or historical interest in the rifle – not because you’re looking for something that’s going to outperform an AR-10.

    Additionally, most models of the M1A are naturally featureless if that’s a concern for you, although it certainly would have been fun to play with some of the wilder EBR style chassis. 

    That being said, the M1A is still a blast if you want a big, chunky battle rifle with ties back to the iconic M14 – though we’d certainly still recommend finding a way to try one out before you buy it just to make sure you know what exactly you’re getting yourself into.

    Let us know what you think of the M1A and how it went all wonky for us. If you’re committed to the M1A, you can check out the list of Best Models. And check out the Best .308 Ammo, Best AR-10s, and Best 7.62×51 Battle Rifles.

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    92 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      J.L. Mausich

      I qualified, in the Marines, with the M14 in 1972. We used iron sites on the 200, 300, & 500 yard line. My rifle worked just fine, as I adapted to USMC standards. We used 6 o’clock on all targets. In 1976 I then qualified with the M16. In did not like the M16, short site radius, 223 caliber, plastic, difficult to clean, jammed a lot, and did not feel like a rifle in close order and bayonet drill. It took me several years to learn to shoot the M16. However, after I adapted to the ‘poodle shooter’ I became quite adapt. Why DOD did not go with the AR-10 is beyond me. I do believe you were probably use to handling an AR-15 and shooting a wood and iron battle rifle, that kicks, was a difficult endeavor. Anyone, worth their salt, can shoot with a scope; however, on the M14 you must have a comfortable cheek weld cushion to easily use optics. I own a National match and a Tanker M1A. My Remington 700 VSSF is much easier to shoot than any M1A or AR-15; however, butt stroking someone with my Tanker is a cake walk. The M14 fit WWII, not Vietnam era politics; however, I never heard any complaints about the M1 Garand stock swelling in the South Pacific. The M14 is a good rifle if you are trained to use it.

      September 15, 2023 4:27 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Brian E Bertram

      I decided to relent and sell my M1A because I didn't want to drop a thousand into a rifle I feel should have been better out of the box BUT I kept the SOCOM 16 because with iron sites at 100 hundred yards produced anywhere from touching to 2 1/2 inches! Surprised me! I have no answer for this.

      June 3, 2023 9:10 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      It seems as if you suck with iron sights. Who even really uses irons anymore. Get with the rest of the modern world and throw a scope on that thing. Problem seems to be solved

      March 26, 2023 11:39 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Just took mine out Wednesday.

      Open sights, 200 yards. I'm 72 years old and can't even get corrected to more that 25/20.

      Shot a 10 round group that was 3.6" width and 6.8 inches high. For a result of 3.29 MOA

      If I had changed my sight picture to shoot bottom of circle instead of center, I believe I could have shot a group with height no larger that the width. This would give me a 1.5 MOA result

      I am going to test this theory again next week.

      Again I'm 72 with way less than perfect vision. I think this gun in the hands of a good shooter is easily a sub MOA gun.

      Plus it's just a lot of fun to shoot :-)

      February 24, 2023 6:38 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Forgive me if I sound like Captain Obvious, but do you think the fact that you shot .308 and not 7.62 might have something to do with it? I know the debate about whether it's ok to use both in a rifle chambered for one or the other, but the fact that these are both 7.62 tells me you should use that if you're testing accuracy.

      August 20, 2022 12:04 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        m1a is chambered for .308, stamped on receiver.

        August 14, 2023 5:48 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Martin Flick

      I sent my SOCOM 16 back to Springfield 2 months ago. I was getting better grouping with my shotgun at 100 yards. They sent it back saying they recrowned the barrel and replaced the gas block on the end of the barrel. They said it now shoots 3 MOA at 100 yards using my scope which was attached at the time of repair, which is their spec for the SOCOM. They also sent the targets they used and were signed by the repair technician. I’ve not tested this rifle since their repair. Their customer service was excellent, but I still have my doubts about the rifle. Especially since it left their factory with defects. That seems like very poor quality control with no recalls, even though many people are having similar problems. They used Federal Match 168 grain ammo for testing.

      July 3, 2022 6:00 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I shot my first M14 in the crotch, now I have a JRA M14 Rockola which shoots lights out with irons! I must have a good one because I can't see shit nowadays LOL

      June 4, 2022 8:53 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Allen Mul!en

      To old to miss here , just bought a Palmetto socom16 , zeroed scope starting at 50 yards , punched one hole after zero. Moved out to 100 yards , 1.5" group shooting 150 grain fmj handloads , nothing special just basic loads . Rifle has a Burris 2x pistol scope . Have a friend that has a m1 garand in 3006 that does the same . Probably an anomaly in your case . That's what my doctor told me once when he didn't have a clue

      April 17, 2022 5:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Now you should do a head to head comparison of both the Springfield Armory M1A and the DSA made FAL….

      March 31, 2022 10:12 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I own an ex military Winchester made M14 and like everyone else pretty well has commented it’s a very accurate rifle. I’ve also owned a standard M1A and really couldn’t tell any difference.

      March 31, 2022 10:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Ft. Benning 1966 Airborne

      I liked the M-14 for it's accuracy and ease of disassembly for cleaning. I was disappointed when I had to trade it in for an M-16. Had no choice. In my opinion the M-14 was a great battle rifle. Too old now to buy an M-1A.

      February 22, 2022 12:19 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I qualified expert with the M14 in ‘66 with targets from 50 to 400 yards. In RVN a VC carrying six rifles 600+ yards away was sent to the big rice bowl with another non-National Match M14. I believe you approached the test with bias against the rifle and then set about to prove the bias. The SuperMatch I’ve owned for 3 decades
      still gives me sub moa groups … as recently as the beginning of the month. Further, I learned to shoot the weapon not whine about it.

      February 20, 2022 9:06 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        If u started young , 5 or 6yrs old(22lr) it's easy to remember ergonomics. My loaded M1a shoots sub MOA @ 100 yards & has since 1998 when I purchased it. My SR25 shoots sub MOA as well. My FAL shoot well but so did my FN 49 in 30 06 (& another 1 in 8×57 shot good also). Had a SVT40 that shot well also. Never owned a rifle that after i learned it that didn't shoot well. The gun is out dated ergonomically & pen il barrel has issues. I learned to solve these issues. Their approach was bias.

        November 8, 2022 4:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Bummer about your results with the M1A and M1A SOCOM. I've had an M1A Squad Scout (18 inch barrel) for about 9 years now and have never experienced the inconsistent performance you identified in your review. I had been interested in the SOCOM version, but decided against it due to the shorter barrel length (16 inch) being a little more inefficient with the .308 WIN cartridge.

      Not challenging your experience with and observations of the rifle. I just find it interesting and completely different from my experience with this rifle. It works well for me.

      Thanks for the review!

      December 12, 2021 8:07 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      if u are going to war u want the m1a. The 7.62 does the job !

      November 16, 2021 5:36 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Ammo can make a huge difference in these rifles depending on the age and wear of the barrel. However, with brand new rifles it is hard to determine which is at fault and presuming SPGFLD was not "shining" you, I would highly recommend that you acquire some of the MK118 LR ammunition and give it another try.. Also I would definitely clean the barrels with a copper dissolving solvent (your choice). Once you have done all this and you still have not satisfactorily tightened the groups...........................................................................................................................................................................


      October 21, 2021 5:34 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Peter Fallert

      I packed an m 14 for two years while stationed in Germany, and I was a combat medic. I had to be qualified with that thing at all times. I was sick of that heavy thing. So 50 years later what do I do, but go out and buy an M 1A. When I took it out of the box, my heart nearly stopped. Here was my old heavy friend back. Go figure???

      September 14, 2021 7:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mark Hicks Sr.

      When I was growing up the FN FAL was the dream rifle of everyone but now they are just a fading memory. Not to mention noone our age at least ( I'm a 60 model) had the $ for one of those things, not when you could buy a 69 340 Barracuda for $800!

      August 31, 2021 6:46 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mark Hicks Sr.

      Great article. I would just be satified with getting my hands on the NORINCO copy of one as I hear they are great for $600 . But it would have to come from Canada.

      August 31, 2021 5:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      El Mac

      I'll say, nerd or not. The US would have been better off with the FAL.

      August 26, 2021 4:20 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      This review saved me from being hugely disappointed. I was trying to find a M1A in 6.5 Creedmoor and all the information I found online talked about what an awesome rifle it was. Then I came across this video review. When I got done watching it I realized that the other articles and videos I watched and read were just “blowing” the manufacturer’s so they would keep sending them guns to review. I went back and looked at the other reviews and noticed all of their reviews were 100% on every gun. What made this one stand out was that you could tell that they didn’t want to make a negative review of such an iconic gun. It takes balls to do that! There are very few sources online that have the credibility to be able to tell the truth, this is one of them. I don’t always agree with everything they say, but I do believe that they are telling you what they actually think. Thank you!
      P.S. the comments video they made for this review is a must watch! I really hope you guys keep making those in the format you used, it was perfect.

      August 7, 2021 11:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Don Miller

      I'm no great shot, but my M1A loaded regularly gets 3 shot groups from 100 yards, off bags, where all 3 rounds touch a quarter, with irons. That's shooting 168 gr match ammunition.

      July 19, 2021 11:45 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I would love to shoot the M1A. I fired expert in basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood in the winter of 62/63 with the M14, but I am out of practice. We were the first training regiment at Wood to be issued the M14 and I have fond memories of that rifle.

      May 29, 2021 11:50 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Interesting review and a bummer about your results. I'd be disappointed too if I had those results.

      I am no sniper and I don't get to go out to the range much. I have a M1A Loaded that I bought used. Admittedly, my first experiences shooting it were not great. I am a skinny guy and I found out that a 308 rocks me back some. I have trouble shooting off a bench with it.

      I did make some modifications to it to improve accuracy. Nothing that involved extensive gunsmithing or modifications. Most of the stuff I did was learned from Youtube videos and the M14 Forum online. It just took me a while to find time to work on it.

      Next, I had to adjust my shooting style. I found I shoot it best while prone. I have to line my whole body behind the recoil for best results. I originally shot it using an ammo box with a piece of carpet for a front rest. This rifle does not like resting "hard-on-hard". I eventually started using a bipod. it did not take too much work to get a group about 1.25 inches at 100 yards.

      I still wonder what is going on with the rifles you reviewed. It's possible for any company to turn ot a lemon. But Springfield did respond to your inquiries. Like I said, I am no expert marksman by any means so I am not sure what happened. This one is a headscratcher.

      April 19, 2021 7:16 am
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      Hi John, thanks for the review. I own an M1A Scout and had a totally different experience. My first real prolonged exposure to shooting was in the military, so I basically grew up on the AR platform. That being said, we used the M14 for drill and ceremony purposes and I had a desire to purchase one. I have to say I absolutely love my M1A Scout. The ergonomics of the rifle design suit me better I guess. It just feels good to me, and I find that I actually get a more consistent sight picture with the M1A than I do with ARs. Shooting iron sights I had no issues getting tight shot groups at both 100 and 200 yards. I later purchased a relatively inexpensive scout long eye relief scope from UTG. The rifle has proven to be a tack driver, making me look like a better shooter than I am. I also love the fact that the M1A is much less finicky with maintenance. This rifle actually likes to fire dirty, whereas you can't really say the same for an AR. I can't really pinpoint why we would have such differences in experience except to say that sometimes you just get used to a certain platform. The only complaint I have with the M1A is that I agree with you that the safety is very stiff and can be somewhat counter-intuitive, particularly if you have trained in CQB/MOUT shooting where you need to rapidly go from safe-to fire-to safe again. I would actually prefer a selector switch similar to the AR platform for that sole feature. Otherwise I actually prefer my M1A to my ARs. Just my experience and preference at this point.

      April 7, 2021 11:49 am
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        Imagine doing CQB with a 1903 or a K98 Mauser..............The safety for that scenario is only in your trained body and mind. Finger off the trigger but posted on the trigger guard. Rifle in a high ready OR (you won't believe this) tucking the stock under the arm pit to shorten the rifle immensely. Here, it will be up close and bad breath range. You'll get one shot then have to work the bolt as usual (just a LOT faster)...There are a couple of other inventive, adaptive techniques to move through tight quarters with a 45" cannon, but it can and has been done. As it is aptly stated: Necessity is the mother of invention.
        ...Incentive is the key. Hopefully, one would not be alone in their endeavors.

        October 21, 2021 5:51 pm
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      Feliberto Martinez

      Well, it's the weapon I was trained for, BCT 1969 Ft. Bliss, Tx. I do have an M1a1 (M14) but I changed the muzzle suppressor with one that have a bayonet lug bought from Brownell's. Purchased a bayonet w/scabbard at a local gun show. This rifle really brings back memories.

      March 8, 2021 1:00 pm
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      I have a Scout Squad and it is accurate enough for its intended purpose, hog hunting. I also run a PTR-91 for the same purpose. They are about equal as far as accuracy. I love both rifles. I have zero issues with the ergonomics of the M1A. I grew up shooting M1's. As far as loosing facial hair my AR platforms are the worst. Yes I am a bearded wonder and find shooting shotguns and AR's uncomfortable in the unwanted grooming department. Point is you own one of these rifles because you want to. I am an ageing Marine infantryman that trained on an A2 service rifle. I can run my M1A just as well as any AR pattern rifle. Like anything else in life just takes training.

      February 8, 2021 7:00 am
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      I was an across the course NRA high power service rifle shooter for many years and I took the Match M1A out to 600 yards shooting with iron sights and it was great! My hand loads had the sierra 168 grain matchking with Varget and I could routinely shoot greater than 90% at 600 yards. I don’t like the socom version, Just the match M1A and of course, the super match M1A. Maybe you should have tried the high power sling supported positions.

      February 5, 2021 7:18 pm
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      Great rifle, just takes skill and practice to know how to shoot them. I made NRA highmaster class and distinguished with one. I’ve seen marine Corp team shooters shoot 3” groups at 300 yds with irons. Takes time learning it.

      February 3, 2021 8:16 pm
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      Whiskey charlie

      Trained with an m14 in the Corps in '68..I can tell you that to obtain consistant groups requires proper sight alignment, sight picture, and a proper grip, and consistant weld. To get the proper weld you have to place the knuckle of your thumb of your trigger hand against your nostral...this brings your cheek to stock weld in the exact same position every time. The drawback to this is that the recoil can give you what is referred to as a " whores lip" ... just like the Garand, and the '03, some shooters can put ten rounds in the black at 500 yards, while others could go nonqual at 25yards. Damn few servicemen today are in former group, and seem to be trained in the "spray, and pray" method and would be lost without an acog.

      December 29, 2020 10:01 pm
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        You sir are correct.

        January 17, 2021 5:40 pm
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        Alex Fleury

        mine gives me a small mouse of a black eye when I do it right !

        have shot 98/100 in NRA Match prone with it.

        February 24, 2023 6:43 pm
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      Raymond D. Hammond

      Thanks. Good review. I have both of the rifles tested and must say I own them for many reasons none of which are long range accuracy. Don't care. They are deadly center mass as far as I can see. When I go to any range and get out one of these or my Garand Tanker, people stop and walk over. That's part of what makes these rifles so special. Thanks again.

      November 30, 2020 4:23 am
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      I’ve seen more bad reviews than good on socom 16 version. I was going to purchase one, then decided on something different. Anyways for every 1 good review I found 5 bad. Which was enough for me, I’m not gonna buy a rifle at that price that has a 1:5 good:bad honest review ratio. They were all accuracy problems, every stinking one.

      November 17, 2020 4:35 pm
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      Gee Schwag

      I've had an M1A for about 11 years now and had zero problems with achieving acceptable levels of accuracy that are comparable to other rifles that I own. Very surprised by your experience with the platform.

      November 3, 2020 9:30 am
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      It is very likely your shooter not being familiar with the weapon system that got you the results that you achieved. I purchased a SOCOM 16 in 2010 and my first outing with it, I found the sights hardly needed to be adjusted. I regularly saw slightly over 1 MOA with iron sights and probably 1 MOA with an ACOG at distances less than 300 meters, probably 3-3.5 MOA out to 600 meters with 147 grain federal fmj, and I could get back down to that 1.5 MOA range with 168 blackhills. With practice, reloads can be just as fast as AR.....one thing I would like to mention, when I went through Marine Corps boot camp and infantry school, we were doing reloads with the shooting hand, and not the offhand. When you use the m14 platforms, as well as AK’s, you will find that there is a more natural use of controls using your shooting hand for everything. With the AR platform, I find I can keep magazines on my left and right side and reload with off or shooting hands very quickly, with using using just one.

      October 29, 2020 8:09 pm
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      I have a M1A National Match in 6.5 Creedmoor. I have to say my results are very different than yours. Out of the box I've found the weapon to be very accurate with iron sights. The looks are seconds to none. The feel is amazing. The fit and finish are great. I'll give it that inserting a magazine requires a little practice. Even a little wonky compared to my Smith & Wesson M&P 15, but shooting it is a hell of a lot more fun!

      September 17, 2020 6:09 pm
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      Thanks so much for doing this review. I have a standard m1a and love it. It shoots very reliably and I love the looks and history. The piece that always nagged at me is that it has never shot as accurately as I thought it should. I was worried there was something wrong with mine, but not enough to try to do anything about it. The results you were getting were similar to mine, but a bit worse. I think now what I’m seeing is more like an average typical Springfield m1a. My accuracy comparison is to a 30-30 lever gun and an sks both with iron sights at 100yds. One thing that might be useful for folks is that I found certain bullet weights to be more consistent than others. Mine really seems to like 147 grain PMC xtac. Also, it seems to be more consistent once it warms up. From cold to warm it seems to move a bit.

      August 23, 2020 6:34 pm
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      Mike Henry

      Hate to pick out just one thing...but this "ergonomics" thing...some people are Glock Fanatics, some are AR/M4 lovers...me not so much. But I am left handed. Maybe that makes a difference. The AR's charging handle is the most mis-placed of any in the firearms world. It cannot be operated from the shoulder at all. It is impossible to operate in a straight-line motion, without side loading the handle, with a scope that overhangs the handle. Also, and this surprised me more than anything you wrote...why...WHY would anyone want to disengage the safety WITHOUT putting their finger near the trigger? An AR with an ambi-safety (I am left handed) rubs my thumb/finger junction when I fire the weapon. The M1A's is perfection. Ready to fire? Finger in the trigger guard...push forward, safety is off...pull finger back and fire. Why have the safety where you have to move the safety off before finding the trigger? Think what (aside from reliability) made the Glock so attractive to police, military, etc. The safety was inside the trigger guard. Actually, on the trigger itself. How neat is that!?!?! So, the safety being operated from inside the trigger guard is not "dated" or inconvenient. It is exactly where it needs to be. So-called "modern technique" keeps the finger off the trigger until ready to fire...so what is wrong with having the safety in the same locale as the trigger? It worked for Glock, and most every modern hand gun manufacturer. Me-thinks you are an AR snob. Just sayin'.

      August 18, 2020 11:15 am
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        I am left handed and know several other lefty shooters that can't second any of your claims about the AR. You are also misguided about Glock's safe action triggers as well.

        April 28, 2021 8:24 pm
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      William Kuykendall

      I totally enjoy your video on this every time I see it!
      The first time I was exposed to the M1A was when I qualified with it in Guam with the Marines back in 1980 or so. It was a semi-auto and had no full auto switch on it. I was on a sub so we had to know the .45, .12 gage and M1A. You had to be a torpedoman to play with full auto-anything. (Lucky bastids) As a kid from Texas this was a day doing one of my favorite things with a new rifle thrown in to boot. I don't remember the number of rounds fired for qualification but I'd fulfilled all my points before I was half way through so the rest was gravy. My friend pulling targets down in the pits said the Marine Sargent supervising and making sure no one's head became a desirable target asked if I was using a scope because my groups were so close. This was a 100 meter range so it was a little over 100 yards and, in all fairness, I had done some competitive shooting but only in small bore. The rifles were well cared for and I'm sure there was no "new" on any of the barrels but I told the guy assisting me right then an there that "I have GOT to get me one of these!!" Needless to say the Marines don't like it when Navy guys out shoot them. I have my Garand and it does need a buddy but I've not sprung for one yet. (Beware of the scammers on Craig's List!) Your video makes it just that much more of a thing to do one of these days!

      July 22, 2020 5:25 pm
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      The reason that the safety on the M1 and M14 is located on the trigger guard is so when the soldier or Marine using the weapon reaches to place his finger on the trigger he will feel that the safety is still engaged.

      June 29, 2020 5:36 pm
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      Lloyd S Smith

      I did enjoy the review on the M1A and this little short-barreled partner. Your review was very accurate been there done that. I've been playing with blinkers my whole life to include 23 years in the military. My love affair with a 308 as lasted my lifetime. But I have experienced the same thing as you have, are beautiful rifles and sexy as hell just not something I need around my house. I've shot and loaded 308 most of my life and I kind of know what works. If somebody wants a 308 battle rifle I always recommend just go buy a AR 10 and be done with it. I have one and loved it along with my 700. There are probably at least eight maybe 10 calibers that may outperform a 308 none of them are very interesting to me and I really don't like hearing about all the new stuff. I know what works for me and has my whole life. Interesting though, I've had a c308 laying around my closet for 2 years and really didn't like it even though I hadn't fired it. the pandemic hit and I need is something to keep my mind off so I tore it completely apart rebuilt it and made it something I don't know whether to call it a G3 or let's just call it Smitty's 308. Would love to send you a photo of it and I keep records of all my targets. I'm certain I made some changes that nobody has on a c308. Turned out the way a s*** ton more than it started off as even though it's shorter than it was. Wonderful rifle gives me lots of headaches on my reloading if I was more into people knowing or I lived and who I was I do a video on it myself but I try to stay to myself. Enjoy your review it was very accurate good job

      April 30, 2020 4:22 pm