5 Best Scopes For M1A SOCOM 16

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The Springfield Armory M1A SOCOM 16 is one satisfying 308 rifle to shoot.

In this article, we narrow down the best scope for M1A SOCOM 16 after testing out a few products both old and new on the market today.

But…

There are others worth checking out below:


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5 Best Optics For M1A SOCOM 16 Including Red Dot Sights

Disclosure: All products have affiliate links for earning commission to support the website when you purchase

For Ruger Mini 14 fans, please also check out our best optics list for Ruger Mini 14 (Scaled down version of M14/M1A) as they share similar features and use.

CQB Shooting (25 – 75 Yards)

Image Referenced Guns & Ammo
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BEST MICRO RDS

HOLOSUN HS507C

  • Features:2 MOA dot (Red/Green), Motion activated, Fully multi-coated lens, Grade 5 Titanuim housing, CR2032 Battery, 1 MOA/click adjustment, Same mount as Trijicon RMR
  • Benefits: Handles heavy recoil like a boss, Fast on target with wide FOV, Battery providing ~100K+ hours, 2 MOA dot (65 MOA RING) great for CQB shot placements
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BEST AIMPOINT ALTERNATIVE

HOLOSUN HE503GU

  • Features:Aimpoint Micro style body, 2 MOA dot, 7075 T-6 AL, 0.5 MOA / Click 
  • Benefits:Low profile optic for M1A, Precision dot for CQB & medium range engagement, Fast target acquisition, Mil-Spec durability @ 1/4 the price of Aimpoint Micro  
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Don’t like what you see here? Check out here for more best red dot sights

Mid Range Plinking (75 – 200 Yards)

m1a shooting prone mid range
Image Referenced Tactical Life
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BEST VALUE LPVO

PRIMARY ARMS SLX 1-6X24 ACCS PREDATOR

  • Features:1-6X24mm, Illuminated ACCS reticle, 6063  body, 0.5 MOA / Click, IP67 waterproof, fog resistant
  • Benefits:Lightweight, 3.3-3.5" generous eye relief, ACSS Predator reticle allows for incredible speed when ranging and engaging coyotes, pigs, and other similar sized animals. 
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BEST LPVO PERFORMANCE

VORTEX RAZOR HD GEN 2 1-6X SFP

  • Features:1-6x24mm, APO optical system, 2nd Focal Plane, 30mm tube, Capped finger adjustable turrets, Armortek coating
  • Benefits:One-piece tube withstands heavy recoil & impact, Increased light transmission, Generous eye relief & eye box for fast TGT acquisition 
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Long Range Steady Shooting (250 – 600 yards)

long range shooting with springfield m1a
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BEST 16X FFP FOR THE VALUE

VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-16X44 FFP

  • Features:4-16X44mm, 1st Focal Plane, Illuminated EBR-2C reticle, XD low dispersion glass, 0.25 MOA / Click, 6061 T6 body
  • Benefits:Best F1 for the value , Increased light transmission, 0.25 MOA/clicks for finer adjustments, Steller performance at an unbeatable price, LIFETIME VIP warranty 
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BEST PERFORMANCE 

VORTEX VIPER PST 2-10X32 FFP

  • Features:2-10X32mm, 1st Focal Plane, Illuminated EBR-4 reticle, 0.25 MOA / Click, RZR Zero-Stop finger adjustable tactical turrets
  • Benefits:Shockproof against 308 recoil, Increased light transmission, LIFETIME VIP warranty, 0.25 MOA finer ELR adjustment
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Practical Applications

m1a socom 16 firing without any optic
Image Referenced Midwest Tactical

The M1A SOCOM 16 is a tactical model with a Picatinny rail mount and an enlarged ghost ring aperture rear sight and XS Tritium Insert in the front sight.

This rifle is set up right out of the box to have fast target acquisition for CQB (close quarter battle) applications.

Mounting a Trijicon RMR or an Aimpoint Micro type red dot sights on the top handguard is as easy as it gets without having to buy aftermarket mounting accessories.

Shooting a 7.62 X 51mm round out of a 16″ barrel, you can reach up to 1000 yards without any problem, but if you want to shoot further then you should get the M1A with 22″ match grade barrel instead.

The optics you should use should be comfortable enough for close-range and medium-range applications, which is why low power variable optics are the best for the M1A today.


What To Look For?

m1a socom 16 with vortex razor hd long distance shooting
Image Referenced Gearsofguns

The M1A SOCOM 16 effective range is definitely beyond 1000 yards with a 16″ barrel with good optic magnification.

For the purpose of the SOCOM 16, the rifle is more than enough to make consistent hits out to 600 yards with about a 3 – 4 MOA shot group.


Magnification

m1A socom 16 with vortex razor hd

Image Referenced Gearsofguns

If you set up the rifle for long-range up to 500 to 1000 yards, then a maximum 10X magnification scope is all you need and you need. For every 100 yards increase in the distance, you want your optic magnification to increase by 1X.

For the SOCOM 16, a MAX 6 – 8X magnifications are way enough for what you’re trying to hit downrange.

A low power variable optic like the Vortex VIPER PST, Nightforce ATACR 1-8X, and Vortex Razor HD Gen 2 are great because they have the ability to go from 1X to magnified power with just one optic, so you can use one gun for CQB and distance shooting without having to swap out optics.

Another important feature to have for a variable zoom optic is parallax, if you’re not sure if you need it please read here to learn more about parallax adjustment

Read More: Vortex RAZOR vs NightForce ATACR 1-6X

Keep 3.5 – 4″ Eye Relief Distances

m1a rifle scope eye relief
Image Referenced Iraqveteran8888 (YT)

4″ eye relief distance is the most comfortable for magnified scope users. It gives the shooter enough room to look through the sight and it prevents scope bite as the gun recoils.

The M1A does kick a little bit when a 308 round goes off, so you do want to keep that eye distance from the scope to protect your eye.

The Vortex RAZOR HD, VIPER PST, and Nightfoce ATACR all have eye relief distances between 3.5 to 4″.

Note: For red dot users you can ignore this spec.


Optic Weight

The M1A SOCOM 16 definitely feels more balanced than the long barrel models. In order to balance the weight of the rifle, a micro style red dot mounted on the handguard rail doesn’t significantly add perceivable weight to the gun at all.

However, when mounting a tube scope that weighs 20 oz as close to you as possible for the best balance.


Durable Optic Mount

M1a optic mount
Image Referenced Iraqveteran8888

There are many ways to mount an optic on the M1A SOCOM 16. For the guys who want to run red dots the GG&G Aluminum Scope Mount and the SADLAK Tactical Scope Mount are the two best options, which lets you mount your red dot sight closer to you and it also lets you mount magnified optic right over the ejection port without any interference.


Add Cheek Riser

m1a sight height
Image Referenced M14 Forum

It’s highly recommended to have a low mount for any optic for the perfect sight picture alignment, otherwise, you might need cheek riser.

Please check out on our site: Best Scope Mount For M1A


MOA Dot Size & Reticle

If you’re using the M1A with a red dot sight a 1 MOA or 2 MOA dot size is perfect for precision shooting.

If you’re engaging targets further out in the distance, a first focal point reticle is the best because the reticle changes as you adjust the magnification power, so your crosshair zero doesn’t change when you zoom in and out.

In other words, your zero and bullet drop compensator markings are true for all magnification power, and you can easily perform holdover estimation at any magnification power while using a first focal plane reticle.

It’s very annoying to have a second focal point reticle where the zero is only true at maximum magnification power.


Additional Resources

If you didn’t find what you were looking for, please check out these scope guides below:

Best Long Range Scopes For 308

Best Long Range Scopes For 1000 Yard

Best Long Range Scopes Under $1000

Best Low Power Variable Optics

Best FFP Scopes


Wrap Up

m1a with ebr chassis

The M1A SOCOM is a hard-hitting 308 battle rifle and with its 16″ barrel it’s lighter and easier to maneuver with than its long barrel models.

Optic
Vortex RAZOR HD GEN 2
Sig Sauer ROMEO5 Standard
Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6x24 SFP Riflescope JM-1 BDC
HOLOSUN HS403R Micro Reflex Sight
Best For
Medium range Shooting
CQB
Magnification
1-6X
1X
Eye Relief
4"
Unlimited
Weight
21.5 oz
5.1 oz
MOA Size
VMR 2 MOA
2 MOA
MOA Adjustment
0.5 MOA / Click
0.5 MOA / Click
Battery
-
CR2032
Focal Plane
Second Focal Plane
N/A
Mount
30mm Ring Mount
Factory / Aftermarket
Optic
Vortex RAZOR HD GEN 2
Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6x24 SFP Riflescope JM-1 BDC
Best For
Medium range Shooting
Magnification
1-6X
Eye Relief
4"
Weight
21.5 oz
MOA Size
VMR 2 MOA
MOA Adjustment
0.5 MOA / Click
Battery
-
Focal Plane
Second Focal Plane
Mount
30mm Ring Mount
Optic
Sig Sauer ROMEO5 Standard
HOLOSUN HS403R Micro Reflex Sight
Best For
CQB
Magnification
1X
Eye Relief
Unlimited
Weight
5.1 oz
MOA Size
2 MOA
MOA Adjustment
0.5 MOA / Click
Battery
CR2032
Focal Plane
N/A
Mount
Factory / Aftermarket

For close quarter applications such as home defense, plinking on the range and fast action shooting a micro-size red dot sight like the Holosun HE508T or something like the Holosun HS403R are great options, and you can mount them right on the rifle out of the box.

For medium range to long-range shooting, a 1-8X magnification low power variable optic with at least 3 – 4″ eye relief distance is a good match for the rifle. The Nightforce ATACR 1-8X first focal plane scope is the best out of all.

I hope you have gotten a lot of value out of this article, go out have fun on the range and be safe!

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Jason gordon

Jason has 15 years of experience in software engineering, and his hobby on the weekend is to master firearm skills for fun and for protection. His engineering background also landed him a side job at the local gunshop where he is in charge of the daily operation of online sales, so he is surrounded by guns and gun experts. He is an also an active competition shooter in IDPA, USPSA and 3-gun with 7 years of experience.