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Old February 23, 2021, 12:15 PM   #16
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 7,450
SOCOM

I had the first SOCOM to appear in my area in my hands when they first became available ( late 1988?) As I recall, the asking price was in the neighborhood of $1300. The M1A was approved as a .30 cal rifle bymy agency. The compact length was appealing for use as a patrol carbine, as was the .30 caliber punch. I did not purchase the rifle, that was a lot of money (then and now) that needed to be spent elsewhere. I've regretted not buying that rifle ever since!

As the hog problem worsened in other portions of the park, there were complaints that hogs shot with .223 AR's were escaping after hit on NPS lands ( the US lands were very narrow in spots) onto pvt. property and complaints re same. By great coincidence, a small quantity of genuine M14 rifles (sans auto sear) were being returned to DOD by a local sheriffs department. DOD advised it was "easier" to transfer them to our agency directly, than to return and reissue. The NPS was able to acquire and distribute them to selected staff, and I was lucky enough to get one. As recall, the NPS honor guard had walnut stocked M14's, but these rifles we used in the field had fiberglass stocks.

There were Winchester, TRW and Springfield rifles in that lot. Mine was a Springfield, but had a VERY good Winchester trigger group in it. With match ammo, it was astoundingly accurate, always firing 1.5MOA groups (even with iron sights) with 3 shot clusters often MOA or less, but occasionally displayed a slight wandering zero. The zero would shift by 1-2 minutes on occasion. The rifles were scoped by our agency, and lived in patrol vehicles almost exclusively. I could not say if the issue was the rifle or the scope/mounting system. Shortly after I retired, those rifles went back to DOD,and were replaced by AR10's.
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