Springfield SOCOM II 7.62x51mm

Springfield Armory has dabbled in all sorts of projects, such…


Springfield Armory has dabbled in all sorts of projects, such as importing licensed copies of HK G3s made in Greece and FN-FALs from Brazil, but the M1A has and is a solid mainstay. Springfield always manufactured their own receivers, from investment castings that are CNC machined to precise tolerances.

The legacy of the M1A was quickly established as the gun to beat in NRA service rifle competition with National Match and Super Match versions, essentially custom-built target rifles, setting record after record.

The walnut stock, iron-sighted M1A presented such a distinctive profile that Springfield Armory’s logo of a kneeling serviceman springfield-2.gifshooting the rifle became their signature brand, even as the company’s 1911 business grew far faster than its M1A sales. In fact, Springfield’s greatest claim to fame remains its incredible brand building in the 1911 market, literally stealing the thunder right out from under Colt’s tent, and growing the 1911 into the iconic handgun that it is today.

Their M1A has soldiered on as a steady, if unglamorous, workhorse in the Springfield stable. Historically, the company sold a steady 5,000 to 6,000 M1A rifles a year (source: ATF Rifle Production figures) but getting a steady supply of receivers resulted in a back-order problem. “We’d sell a lot more if we had them,” Springfield co-chairman Tom Reese told me on a visit to the factory several years ago. “We won’t compromise quality, so we build as many as we can.”

Production increased steadily as the company grew, virtually doubling to some 9,000 rifles a year, but then in 2004 everything came together with the introduction of the SOCOM 16 version of the M1A, along with an expanded manufacturing capability.

The SOCOM 16 featured a cut-down 16-inch barrel from the standard 22 inches and was equipped with several sections of the Mil-Std-1913 Picatinny rail on the top of the handguard and along the black synthetic stock, allowing the mounting of a forward eye-relief optic on the top rail and a choice of accessories, such as a bipod or SureFire WeaponLight on the stock.

The SOCOM 16 featured a new muzzle brake with a series of small ports instead of the large birdcage configuration of the original M14. Shooters were amazed at how controllable the short-barreled SOCOM 16 proved to be with the new brake. Whether or not it was designed to defeat “flash hider” laws is immaterial, as it was hailed as a highly effective brake by shooters.

springfield3.gifThe SOCOM 16 was indeed handy, light and fast with an Aimpoint or other close-combat optic (CCO) on its forward-mounted top rail, but one couldn’t mount a conventional magnifying riflescope. Springfield addressed this issue with an updated version called the SOCOM II introduced in 2005.

Gun Details
The key difference between the SOCOM 16 and the SOCOM II was a different handguard system, essentially a solid aluminum unit that included a full-length Mil-Std-1913 Picatinny rail on the upper portion and three shorter sections of rail at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Fully CNC from aerospace-grade aluminum and Mil-Spec hard anodized, the new handguard was dubbed the Cluster Rail System (CRS) by Springfield Armory.

Springfield’s CRS is designed and manufactured by Vltor of Arizona, the innovative tactical accessory company that manufactures what many consider to be the best aftermarket stock out there for the AR-15, the EMOD stock, as well as AR rail forends, receivers and complete uppers. Originally, the CRS was developed as the CAS-14 to be sold as an aftermarket accessory, but Springfield saw the potential that a complete Picatinny forend would afford the SOCOM II.

The SOCOM II’s CRS handguard can be ordered in an “extended” configuration with a longer upper rail section that connects to the stripper clip guide and makes the SOCOM II scope-worthy for conventional magnified optics and not just extended eye-relief CCOs like L-3 EOTech and Aimpoint.

springfield21.gifWith the extended CRS rail, a Trijicon ACOG or a tactical scope like Leupold’s Mark IV can be mounted precisely in line with the barrel, something that’s a bit of a hit-and-miss affair with the sidesaddle scope mounts that otherwise must be used. For long range precision shooting, the sidesaddle mounts are not as well aligned as the CRS and not as stable.

However, one problem remains with the SOCOM II for optimal performance with a magnified riflescope, the stock. Of conventional shape, the black fiberglass stock of the SOCOM II does not permit a head position with a proper cheek weld for a scope. It’s made for iron sights and even with a forward-mounted red dot CCO, you have to lift your head off the stock to get a sight picture.

A great way to solve the stock problem is to order a JAE-100 stock from J. Allen Enterprises. This radical stock design includes the necessary adjustable comb to allow for correct head positioning and a solid cheek weld, but it doesn’t stop there. Machined from solid aluminum and then chemically bonded with a plastic-like outer covering, the JAE-100 stock actually increases a SOCOM II’s accuracy substantially.

How? The stock, with its precision CNC machined aluminum bedding blocks, basically becomes a giant pillar bedded interface for the barreled action. Precision riflesmiths like Kenny Jarrett have long advocated the pillar bedding method to squeeze the best accuracy from bolt-action rifles, and that’s exactly what the JAE stock does without any gunsmithing.

It takes all of ten minutes to remove a SOCOM II from its factory stock and secure it into the JAE stock.
The JAE-100 stock features Picatinny rail sections at the forend at 9, 3 and 6 o’clock as well as a small section at the toe of the stock to install an optional monopod for precise elevation adjustments from a secure hide. There are palm rest inserts and pistol grip inserts available from J. Allen Enterprises as well, making the JAE stock a versatile modular upgrade for the SOCOM II. At $599 retail, the JAE-100 may be the best bargain in the accessory world for an M1A.

stock.gifShooting Impressions
With the JAE-100 stock in place, groups shrank from 1.5 inches at 100 yards to 0.75 of an inch, less than 1-MOA. While the increased accuracy from the JAE stock is indeed worth it, the reduced ballistic performance of the SOCOM II’s abbreviated barrel warrants mentioning. Six inches of lost barrel reduces the muzzle velocity between 200 and 300 feet per second (fps) with military issue M80 ball. That’s not a big deal with the M80’s 150-grain projectile, as it will still carry enough retained velocity at 300 yards to be effective, but I’d be concerned with such a velocity loss using 168- or 175-grain match loads. Then again, if I wanted to shoot match loads in an M1A, I’d get a standard version with a 22-inch barrel and leave the SOCOM II for what it does best—fast and close shooting.

Springfield Armory has come a long way. Guns like the SOCOM II are one very good reason behind the success.

Load Comments
  • msh441

    I bought one, and I absolutely LOVE it. But be aware: if your coming from an AR (or other 556 carbine platform), you might find yourself needing to do a few more push-ups each morning. Particularly if your planning on adding any accessories like a scope, bipod, light/laser, etc. It’s not a lightweight out of the box, and those accessories pictured here add up to a rifle that’s pushing upwards of 14+ lbs!!!

  • MEU Soup

    I’ve used both weapons in different situations and different levels of operation. Both weapons are exceptional tools providing YOU as the operator are prepared to use the tool provided. I own a standard AR, gas piston AR and the M1A. M4geries can be just as heavy as an outfitted M14. It doesnt matter what you bolt on it if you cant move with it and/or shoot it. My suggestion is you start small and work your way up. Funny how all the “cool, tactical” toys become a hinderance when you try to move quickly and silently. Anyway, thats my 2 cents worth, my personal favorite “my Charlene” is my M1A sitting in the Vltor chassis, the CASV upper and full 1080p HD via Trijicon’s ACOG relative to the .308. The only outlier here is the CASV’s extended rail over the action “can” cause some jams. Recommend a solid upper handguard replacement. An Ultimak M8 is to be purchased at the next available opportunity. Hope this helps, if not move on to the next non-operative’s assumptive post. Happy hunting and Semper Fi.
    “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first hour sharpening my axe.” – Abe Lincoln

  • eric underwood

    dont know what dud 5.56 these boobs shoot but my 5.56 dose the job,unless longrange angle

  • Pingback: Socom2 rifle | Dmkimages()

  • Wraith

    @Robert McDonald
    a 556 will not penetrate a car door? You Sir…..are an idiot…

  • Pingback: Any JAE-100 G3 stocks received yet? - Page 6 - M14 Forum()

  • robert mcdonald

    socom 16 is for urban war fare,under 100yds,110gr.,I got mine for when war breaks out in old usa,bring enough gun,308 will go through car doors,556 will not,they bounce off,thanks

  • MrIncredible

    My friend has one of these and boy does it make a noise when firing. When shooting it even without the quad rail system the muzzle break keeps the jump down and the recoil down as well. However with the shorter barrel you have a massive flame out the pipe, I guess if you dont hit them with the round you sure as hell will light them on fire! I love that gun and I own the full size myself because of the look and balance of the full size Fulton Armory. I hope I dont piss anyone off by dropping that name on a SA post, but I sure love SA 1911s. Anywho The Socom II is one sweet gun, I just wish I could find the urban camo stock just by itself for another M14 project im working on….

  • mike

    Velocity drop is only 140-150 fps and not 200-300

  • Bob

    I have to agree with Haywood. I took my socom16 with me in ’05 and it was a God-send. You have to keep in mind that the 556/223 was designed with the sole intent of wounding and thereby creating a scenario where one of their comrades has to carry them off the field. (This was back in the day of regular warfare and not guerrilla warfare was in the forefront of the “strategists” collective mind.) The 762/308 was designed to put your target down and keep him there. The extra weight to me is just a little reminder to me that yes I may be carrying half the rounds, but I need half the rounds to get the same job done.

    …Also, I didn’t know there was such a thing as excessive firepower…

  • Mariano

    Haywood is a real life hero!!… He is about the only here that actualy shot people not with 1 but multi caliber… Your my hero…. NOT!

  • Christopher

    Hows that Medieval break do during rapid fire Haywood? Everything they promised?

  • Haywood Djablome

    A lot of comments on weight and “excess firepower” and “prefer my M4 comments. I’ve shot people with an m4, I’ve shot people with an m14 and I’ve shot people with an AK. IF you hit someone with m855 (SS109 green tip) in a non-lethal body part, it pokes a hole and they keep going…they might die later from exanguination, but he can still kill your ass before he goes. The 77 grain bullets that the SOCOM troops are using are basically a 77 grain Black Hills load that has helped this immensely. Shooting someone with a .30 cal round is a different animal. They go down and tend to stay down…and dead if a center of mass shot. A short barreled m14 (SOCOM II) was originally designed for the US Navy SEALs. Yeah, it penetrates…but it hits ‘EM hard and they are less likely to get back up. Too many armchair commandos read crap written by gun magazine “experts” who have never been under fire think their edjamacated opinions are gospel. I just bought one and will use it kicking doors and ‘shootin’ and lootin’. If it is too heavy? Do more push-ups. Too much penetration? I want to be able to shoot him THROUGH a cinderblock wall or a car door. This is a short barreled, extremely handy hand cannon that will allow my enemy the maximum ability to give HIS life for his country…or his god. My SOCOM II will help arrange the meeting. BTW, mine sits in a VLTOR stock, which helps with vehicle operations, wearing armor etc. and sports an EOTech 553 and a Troy Medieval FH. Totally kicks ass! If you want a lightweight, this puppy ain’t it, but if you take your M4, put a rail system, optics, IR laser, Tactical light etc. on it you’re already carrying a 10+ pound rifle. It is a specialty weapon…remember that if you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  • Ski

    Chris, it is enevitable that any highpower rifle will lose rifleing at the muzzel end after prolonged shooting but even more so with magnums. I have put well over 6K rds through a match M1A and it was still a nail driver… The point with barrel lngth is getting best performance from the load or one will have to adjust powder type and chrg for a shorter barrel…

  • Ski

    I haven’t seen anything on converting a SOCOM II etc to fully auto… If one had the selector could it be done or has the bolt been ruined so as to prevent such a makeover?

  • Bill

    Having used both calibers in combat, I can not think of a time I ever felt undergunned. If you can shoot, put the bullet where it belongs. Who cares if you get a one shot kill, Stop the agressor, and you win.

  • Le Nguyen

    Hi gentlemen,
    I just want to know whether the Socom 2 would fit the Sage EBR stock system or do I have to purchase the standard barrel to be able to utilize the EBR system? Thank you for your information.

  • Jeff

    If you want a good tac sling check out the Specter arms 3 piont tactical sling. I got the CTS universal model and it’s a perfect fit to my JAE100.

  • Matt

    What make/model sling do you all recommend for the jae-100 stock m1a? I’m getting one and I need a nice tactical sling.

  • Chris

    I’ve heard that a M14-platform needs 18″ bbl for long-term reliability: Has anyone observe this?

    I’d like to buy a SA Socom 16 and install a birch stock.

    I plan to buy cases of ammo for the range and use it for deer and feral pig hunting, all well under 200 yards. (I have a bolt action .308 rifle now).

  • K.J.C.

    I love the 5.56. Simply put, it’s a bullet built for relatively high velocity and excellent penetration. I’ve studied cartridges since I could pull the trigger on my dad’s .45. That being said, everyone should check out the 5.56 loads that spec ops uses. The muzzle velocity is substantial while the kinetic energy is much more effective. Don’t forget, not everything goes through NATO’s guidelines.

    The 7.62 is an amazing cartridge too. Excellent power, notable accuracy and dependability. I love this round just as much. My biggest attraction is the M40A3 sniper rifle used by the US Marines. Because of my attraction to this gun, my interest in the bullet is just as sincere.

    Putting the 7.62 in a versatile package like the SOCOM II is icing on the cake. The M1A operating system matched with the JAE 100 stock and the 7.62 cartridge is probably one of the best assault rifles ever conceived. The stock is not a necessity as it is added weight but all together, the gun rocks.

    In reality, the 5.56 is designed to be effective in certain situations just as the 7.62 is. Comparing the two is not really possible. It really comes down to preference of cartridge and mission objectives on the battlefield. The only reason this argument has continued is because the 5.56 is used in a “battle rifle” platform such as the M16. I do believe that the “battle rifle” requires a harder hitting caliber, but the 5.56 is perfect for the “assault rifle” cataglory. Placing the 7.62 in an “assault rifle” platform is a nice thought and is obviously very effective, but the added weight is somewhat a deterrent to me if I were in a “assaulting” situation. You need to be fast, carry as much ammo in a single mag (drum mag) as possible, and be able to but several shots on a nickel-sized target for maximum effectiveness.

    Plus, if your a Marine, you’re trained to get head shots anyway… so it really doesn’t matter if you use a .22 or a LAW, you’re going to move some brain matter. And yes, I use a lot of “” .. Gives more “emphasis”.

  • Kent

    Though I agree that the 7.62 Nato round is a better long range weapon for killing all things being equel. I do not underestemate the ability of the smaller 5.56 especialy in an urban setting, they both have their place. Unfortunatly most 5.56 ammo issued to soldiers in combat is 62 grain FMJ and the true killing ability of the caliber is not able to be apreciated. If some 68-70+ grain personal defense bullets would be issued to our troops. The killing power of the smaller 5.56 could be fully understood, unless the enemy was wearing body armor. In that situation the 7.62 again would be the answer. When it’s tight especialy at night fight with what’s light 5.56. If fighting long bring out the bomb 7.62. If you do choose to use the Socom II as a room cleared there is ammunition available for such scenarios. Ammunition like Hornady TAP 110 grain bullets which are designed to minimize penetration and maximaize killing potential.

    “If they leave the light on for you just shoot it out.”

  • Tucker McNeese

    I am on the fence when in comes to buying a SOCOM II or a 16. Seems there is no difference except for the rail system. I’m open to any and all comments, good/bad to help me lean either way. Looking for a rifle that is fun on the range and can bag a whitetail with ease. I’ve been shooting traditional bolt rifles and AR’s for as long as I can remember and just looking for something different. Thanks.

  • Paul

    If you like the bipod, it is a VLTOR. My VLTOR/EOTECH/M1A combo shoot great every time.



  • I am a member of the NRA, can I receive a catalog on these things?

  • Jose

    I bought a SOCOM16 a month ago and I stripped down and add a SOPMO chassis which is now a M14, it is so amazing how much recoil change! my AR-15 has more recoil than my M14(socom16), if you ever get a chance to converst your socom16 ot socomII, go fot it, it’s really, really much nicer looking and less recoil.

  • Brandon

    I’m just gonna throw this out there. My birthday is in June. So if someone wants to be my new best friend, you could get me one of these…I’m just sayin

  • Kelly jones

    I forgot to add, in addition to mounting a VLTOR modstock to my SOCOM II, I topped it with an EOTECH 512. Alot of fun to shoot.

  • Kelly jones

    I put a VLTOR modstock on my SOCOM II. It is the pride of my arsenal. It is totally dependable and highly accurate as with any M1A.

  • Martin

    Hey Aus, I might be wrong but the scope looks like a Leupold, probably a mark 4 LR/T M2 with illuminated reticle…I think the army uses it, so it could be

  • Kent

    I own the Socom II I was sceptical about it at first I was hearing alot of negative press about it. I was initialy looking for a 22 inch barrel to get the most power possible as far as I am concerned it is a fine reliable firearm. I have dumped about 600 rounds through it and it has done everything I have asked of it. I am planning on taking it to gunsite in a year or so to shoot one of the police marksman classes with it. I am sure it will preform. As my father says never skimp on glass, or things that attatch your glass to the weapon, spend the same amount on optics as you do on the weapon and all will be good. I know it will hold its own to 500 M and in. Since I probably wont be taking out a hostile threat past that I am comforted to know the weapon will do it. It is slightly heavy but it will handle all my needs inside that distance with energy left over. anything past that is better served by a good turn bolt, preferably 300 win and up anyway.

  • i have a standard out the box m1a with a smith enterprise heavy barrel sage para trooper collapsable stock leupold mark 4 LR/T scope and its a total tack driver up to six hundred yards… would not own or shoot any thing else!!!!

  • Aus

    Not sure if anyone will see this, but does anyone recognize this scope? I’m looking into good tactical scopes for longer distance shooting, and I like the looks of this one.

  • Kevin

    For those who want a Great CQB stock but do not want the length of the JAE-100, go with the Sage EBR stock if you can find it. With the stock retracted, it is just as short as my 14.5 inch M4, got to love M118 in a short rifle.

  • robert pires

    i own this gun it is bad ass but its too heavy real reliable fun to shoot but a little violent for me i got a killer deal on it put a bipod and burris fixed scope extended eye relief with green laser looks impressive

  • Sergio G.

    This is the sickest stock I’ve ever seen! One will have to go on my Rem 700 SPS Tactical, Varmint Barrel.

    Thanks You JAE!

  • While I probably wouldn’t put the JAE stock on a Socom II – I’d use McMillan’s MFS-14 for that – it would definitely be my first choice for one of Springfield’s longer barreled variants like the M21 (which happens to be my personal favorite M1A).

    Historically, using the M1A/M14 as a precision rifle came with three problems: how to securely mount a scope; how to get a solid cheek-weld with a scope; and how to keep the bedding from wearing out and ruining the accuracy. Springfield’s Extended Cluster Rail System easily solves the first problem and the JAE stock handily takes care of the other two. With the two upgrades there is no reason – that I know of – an M1A wouldn’t make just as a nice a sniper rifle as a Remington 700 or an AR10.

    Properly equipped, the rifle in this article would make a very nice multi-use urban sniper rifle itself! Imagine, a rifle that could not only make 400yd shots from a window or the roof of a tall building, but was well suited to clearing that same building on the way up! Nice!

  • Jacob

    Same question As Gary, were do you gat that Bipod I have looked at a lot of sites but cant seem to find it.

  • Pingback: Gun Collection, All kinds. - Page 4 - XDTalk Forums - Your HS2000/SA-XD Information Source!()

  • victor

    As people have said the 6.72 round is alot better thn the 5.56 round but it also depend on what grain of round you use in the AR type of rifle.Me mayself I own two M-14 type weapons Ones a SOCOM I
    them other is a standard M-14 on a Jae-100 stock
    but i also own two AR type rifles One is a Stagg Arms 5.56 and the other is a 6.8mm I find the the 6.5 is like in weight and has 80% stopping power of the 308 round it is also about as light as the 5.56 round so i can carry more if we ever have trouble in the great country.

  • garry

    the bipod is a tango down. $200. comes in two colors. black and dark earth. note that tango’s dark earth is exactly the same as jae’s coyote brown.
    hopefuly tango will produce other colors to match the jae variants.
    $200 though. my socom II has already become a $4000 dollar rifle. between the jae with accessories and a leupold mark 4 1×3. love it, but i could have bought nearly 4 dpms lr-308’s!

  • Eric Pieper

    Get weapon. Has its place in quick reaction sniper set ups, but for leading the Stack on a room, it is not what I would want. Way too heavy to move quickly. 308 round will over penetrate rooms. Do not get me wrong, this is a great and reliable weapon system. My best freind in Tagab Valley Afghanistan, last year fell in love with his M14 there. Scored many confirmed KIA’s with it. However, being a former shooter, I can say that I prefer a light compact weapon system in QCB, and this one does not fit that tool box.

  • I would have to combine M1A to EMX RIFLE SIGHT THERMAL IMAGERY to maintain higher power.Thats the bottom line.
    thank you,mercy boku.

  • The 5.556 SS109 round was supposed to be superior to the 7.62mm Nato cartridge. Having used both rounds during my time in the L1A1 SLR (Australian version of the FN)and the AUSteyer (Australian standard lght nfantry weapon) as well as the UK SA 801 there is no doubt that the 7.62 has superior hitting and stoppng power as well as penetration rates for solid mass; .e. walls and doors that the enemy use for cover. I have seen firepower demos were 5.56 could not penetrate doubel spaced brick walls yet 7.62 could easily. I guess a good exampe is the move towards a 7.62 Section weapon and a move away from the 5.56 SAW.


    The M-14 rifle is a confidence inspiring piece of work that gets the job done if you do yours. Physics cannot be denied. The best man stoppers are .30 caliber or larger, witness the .458 SOCOM round, and the .45 ACP. One new one old but the effect is the same, one shot kills. The philosophy behind the 5.56 was a travesty to begin with. Simply wounding an enemy soldier does not necessarily mean that 6 of his comrades will stop shooting at you to help him. As a matter of fact it will probably just increase their aggravation at you. DO NOT LEAVE AN ENEMY ON THE GROUND BEHIND YOU LEST HE RISE AND STRIKE YOU….

  • Having evaluated many Springfield product and hoping to do an article on the SOCOM as soon as we can arrange for one, I exspect what I have always found in there products. Reliability, performance, low maintanance also ability to handle all ammo feed to it. I have been handling all or most all weapons in it’s class since the 1960’s and found most to be at least 1moa or better. My preffered carry is the ultra compact. Keep the quality your noted for. We can’t wait to put the weapon to the test in the field and competion shoots.

  • I have been in tactical situations in Grenada and Panama and found the 5.56 to be undergunned. I have a civilian Springfield SOCOM 7.62 that I would much have rather had than the CAR 15 that I was used to. But I preferred that to the M-16.Being a Army pathfinder I was capable of possesing other weapons that I found much better suited than what I was issued.I have heard mostly negetive comments about the 5.56 in Iraq,Mostly about being outgunned. Time to upgrade to a larger cartridge!

  • Aaron Gibson

    I believe that the bipod shown on the cover of this months issue is the Tango Down Advanced Combat Bipod. You can find it at their website http://www.tangodown.com

  • Gary Vick

    I bought the October issue of Special Weapons because of the cover photo: I already have a JAE-100 Stock on order, and I had intended to mount a Harris Bipod on it. However, the bipod on the cover photo JAE Stock is what caught my eye: it’s the best looking bipod I’ve seen on a rifle since Jeff Cooper’s Scout(Steyr) rifle. It looks like the Scout’s in that it appears to be an integral part of the stock, designed to be that way. I assumed that JAE must’ve added that bipod as an option after I ordered my JAE stock. In checking JAE’s site the only option bipod-related is what I’d ordered: the stud for mounting a Harris. So I carefully re-read the article, by Cameron Hopkins, repeatedly and carefully. There is NOTHING about the bipod!! Would you please query Mr. Hopkins about the specifics of the bipod, and e-mail me with the bipod info? One other thing, did he encounter any fit problems with the Springfield Armory CRS rail and the JAE stock? Whether he did, or not, would’ve been a bit more helpful to the reader. Please let me know about the bipod. Thank you for your time.