Ya'know, I think the M1A is a great rifle. It can be tuned up to go the match/competition route, way out there, and the rifle is in use as we speak by our military in the middle east as a sniper and DM package. Proven, durable and rugged system. The cartridge has lots of punch . Mags with enough ammo to serve any purpose. And that SOCOM model....man, I'd love to have one. I see no reason why a fella shouldn't get some version of the M1A if he wants.
But I don't think I'd shoot it much. I don't do service rifle matches. And my .308 sporters are lighter and shorter for hunting. Not easy to scope either. I can't seem to find an easy way to carry an M1A short of port arms or slung. And ammo is through the roof these days, even if you load.
The Mini gets shot a good bit. The x39 ctg was affordable for so long that laying in a good supply was not to expensive. I can carry it (w/ the 5 rd box) about as easy as any other carbine, and way easier than a std M1
A. The factory 20 rd box added more options for other uses, SD/HD. Scopes easy, rings included. Mines been as reliable as a brick. Enough accuracy, range and punch to do about everything I need to do with a GP rifle...... if I'd just admit it.
But then I'd never justify a SOCOM.....