The Springfield SOCOM stock is a great compact and light-weight M1A/M14 setup. I recently built an M14 from a Fulton Armory receiver, Criterion barrel, and USGI parts kit from CMP. I purchased a used SOCOM 16 stock (or Scout stock) with the intention of mounting a Red Dot Sight on the front handguard mount.

I’m not thrilled that the front mount clamps to the barrel, but this is an 18″ Scout length barrel and my intention is for short range (under 300 meter) usage around the ranch so I’m willing to accept some loss in accuracy for utility.

This is a great setup! The Vortex mounts low. It’s very maneuverable and fast.

Vortex Sparc on M14 with SOCOM 16 stock
Vortex Sparc on M14 with SOCOM 16 stock

My frustration with the Springfield SOCOM setup is that, unlike an AR-15, it doesn’t allow a red dot sight mount with co-witness use of iron sights. Many people run the Ultimak M8 handguard to drop the mounting height, but that’s a $200 option and I’m trying to keep this M14 build on a budget. $200 is more than I paid for the Vortex Sparc sight or the entire stock set ($80).

I finally found a cheap solution from the frugal UTG product line.

Vortex Sparc and two sizes of UTG risers
Vortex Sparc and two sizes of UTG risers

UTG makes several see-through riser mounts that have 3 rail slots, which is perfect for mounting the Vortex. I wasn’t sure which size would work best, so I purchased the UTG Low Profile Riser Mount which is a 0.5″ high riser and the UTG Medium Profile Riser Mount which is 0.83″.

Sparc on UTG low riser
Sparc on UTG low riser
Sparc on UTG medium riser
Sparc on UTG medium riser

Both risers work and allow the use of iron sights as well as the Vortex RDS. I found the following caveats:

1. I found the medium riser to be too tall. It doesn’t just look ungainly, it requires you to raise your head even more to use it. The low is a much better match, despite only being .33 inches shorter. This is entirely my personal taste.

2. Although you can see the iron sights in the low riser, there’s a reflection on the smoothly-polished upper interior surface of the riser that is significantly distracting.

3. You do have better visibility through the medium riser because there is more space over the front sight. The tip of the front sight is only a hair under the top of the low riser, which makes using it slower.

I may rough up the upper interior surface of the low riser or radius it slightly to both rough it up and allow a bit better visibility of the front sight. That may be the perfect solution.

Sparc and UTG riser mounted
Sparc and UTG riser mounted

I suspect the Ultimak M8 co-witness option is a better setup, but for a few dollars, the UTG see-through allows the use of both the RDS and iron sights, if not quite optimally.

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See Through Optics Mount for M1A SOCOM

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