Long-time readers know I love my M1A SOCOM II to death, even though I do not get to shoot it nearly as often as I might like thanks to steadily-spiraling ammunition prices and a distinct lack of ranges comfortable with it going off on them. However, there are times – rare, but still times – that I wish I had gone with a more… mainstream design of that particular platform.
As those old and oh-so-shoddy-looking-back-on-them pictures show, the SOCOM II has that massive-assed rail cluster wrapped around the forearm of the rifle, and while the ventral rails do pop off fairly easily, the side and dorsal rails are part of the handguards, would require tools to remove, and would leave the upper part of the barrel exposed and might actually affect the operation of the rifle. What this basically means is that my aftermarket stock choices are severely limited… as in, you get one choice: VLTOR’s M1S Stock System, which makes a certain degree of sense, given that VLTOR came up with the CAS-14 rail system attached to the SOCOM II.
Not being intimately familiar with the inner workings of M1A stocks, I cannot really speak to how this would or would not improve your rifle in general. However, I can tell you that this stock provides you up to 10" of ventral rail space, 4" of rail space on each side, and the ability to use any non-beaver-tailed AR-15 pistol grip and pretty much any AR-15 stock you would care to, along with all-metal construction, a new (and arguably better) oprod guide, and a few other little bells and whistles here and there. Plus it looks pretty slick.
One thing to bear in mind, though, is that installing this stock on an M1A platform in any state that still cares would run you afoul of an
"Assault Weapon Ban" Ban on Evil-Looking Rifles, due to the addition of a pistol grip to the equation. Obviously this is a problem for the VLTOR solution as well (and, in fact, pretty much every other M1A stock replacement I have ever seen aside from the JAE-100, which was specifically designed for Kalifornistanian consumption), but it is one of those stupid little legal details that a person might not think about until it was too late.
Me, I just need to give up and finally buy a designated scout scope for my SOCOM II (or snag one of these specially-designed mounts, depending on what I want its ultimate application to be… hm…), but if you are looking for something to spruce up your plain-Jane M1A, this might fit the bill.
(Obligatory Middle Finger to the FTC: nothing at all was exchanged for this post; the proprietor of M14.ca simply dropped me a note, and being an M1A shooter (at least occasionally), I figured it was worth posting about. In other words, piss off.)