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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got a chance to put my M1A Loaded action in my USGI fiberglass stock without the handguard and take a good look at how everything fit together.

I noticed that the gas cylinder is actually in contact with the right side (Looking from the rear) of the front ferrule. I am guessing that explains some of the group sizes I get with this configuration. The bottom of the gas cylinder does not contact the stock. I worked the action to see if the op-rod dragged anywhere, it doesn't. The op-road guide is not loose either.

I think it is worth doing the NM mod to the front ferrule and the part of the stock directly behind it. I've read some other threads that advise to clear out some of the stock material all the way back to underneath the end of the gas cylinder. At the very least, it would be interesting to see what happens with more clearance and without the gas cylinder already in contact with the ferrule.

I have a Sadlak rail mounted on this stock as well. I was worried that the backing plate would be too far forward to prevent clearing any stock material below the gas cylinder. It turns out that the backing plate is well aft of the gas cylinder.

I have read some other threads about using a Dremel to perform this work. Does anyone have any additional tips or words of wisdom from their experiences doing this work? I've read that some people use a quarter as a form to mark a line on the ferrule. Others say to just grind away half the width of the ferrule. The Duff & Miller book says don't use a Dremel and use a hacksaw and file. Also, how thick is that metal on the ferrule? It doesn't seem too thick.
 

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I used a rotary rasp in my cordless drill on high speed to do my walnut stock. It was rubbing on the right side also. I took more material on that side as compared to the left. Plenty of room now, much more than a sixteenth of an inch which is what the Gurus say.

Took about 15 mins with the rasp and another 5 with a half round file to clean up the rough edges.
 

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After I did my stock I discovered that Windycitysourcing has ready to go NM ferrules that are already opened up. You can use it as a guide if you want a perfect job. Or you can not be a "Tool" and send it to SEI and have them do it. Or will you be a "Tool" if you do send it to them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After I did my stock I discovered that Windycitysourcing has ready to go NM ferrules that are already opened up. You can use it as a guide if you want a perfect job. Or you can not be a "Tool" and send it to SEI and have them do it. Or will you be a "Tool" if you do send it to them?
After seeing the video where SEI demonstrates their method of making these modifications and then colorfully criticizing those that do it themselves and reading other accounts of less than cordial customer service, I am averse to sending my stock to SEI.

I have been reading about other gunsmiths like Ted Brown, Hueygunner, Arrington Arms, and Clint Fowler. I am thinking about contacting them to see if they would be willing to do something like this. I'm open to any other names of gunsmiths who do this type of work.

Or I can take a crack at it myself. Power tools and I have not had the best relationship in the past though.
 

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The ferrule is contacting the gas cylinder because the stock is warped. It's the nature of the beast. The accuracy requirement for the fiberglass stock was simply that they be no worse than the wood USGI stock, which was pretty bad by today's standards.

Opening up the ferrule on a USGI stock may just be chasing your tail unless you do all the accuracy mods like bedding the action for draw pressure and unitizing the gas cylinder.

Since you have the handguard off, try popping open the triggerguard and moving the receiver around. You might be able to center the gas cylinder within the ferrule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I left the trigger group out while I was looking inside the stock. The fit is actually pretty good. There did not seem to be any room for wiggling. I can go back and try though.

I know I have wavered back and forth on this and you've given me a lot of good advice, KurtC. You're right in that nothing may come of this. But I figure it's worth a bit of effort to find out. I figure there's nothing to lose. If there's no difference or if it gets worse, I can put it back into my Archangel stock.

The AG Composite stocks look really nice and appealing for a variety of reasons but I can't justify the expenditure. I've got too many other things going on that really do take a higher priority. Such is life.

I found a gunsmith in Omaha. I spoke with him and he can do this work. I don't live far from Omaha and I'll drop by his shop and check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I got the stock back from the gunsmith. He used marking fluid to determine where the gas cylinder was contacting the stock. He said he even wiggled the front end as much as he could to make sure to find all the areas where contact was made. He then relieved those areas. It's not quite opened up as much as in photos I have seen of other modified stocks but there is material removed.

The gunsmith also made the suggestion that the gap between the front band and the stock ferrule would be a problem. He was not referencing the bottom lip of the front band and stock ferrule (The draw pressure issue so often discussed). He was pointing out the front-back motion during firing that would result from this gap.

He also showed me that there was quite a bit of play from side to side at the front end of the stock. KurtC, you were right, this particular stock is slightly warped. I can push the front end of the stock to center everything but releasing it causes the front end of the stock to flex back to almost touch the right side of the cylinder again.

The gunsmith suggested that I use epoxy to build up the ferrule so that the gap between it and the front band is closed. He thinks that a tighter, better fit would result from this. I discussed epoxying in some carbon fiber strips in the stock forearm. We both speculated that both modifications might help or do nothing but there is only one way to really find out.

Since I can see there is warping in the stock, I am wondering if further work on it would not yield much result.

**Addendum**
I just read these posts:

http://m14forum.com/accuracy/98687-stock-ferrule-front-band-gap.html

and

http://m14forum.com/gus-fisher/82316-front-band-clearance-stock-ferrule.html

Apparently, there is supposed to be a gap. Otherwise, binding can occur. So that leaves the warping to deal with. Not sure if removing more material from the front end would help.
 

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I just read this post:

http://m14forum.com/accuracy/98687-stock-ferrule-front-band-gap.html

Apparently, there is supposed to be a gap. Otherwise, binding can occur. So that leaves the warping to deal with. Not sure if removing more material from the front end would help.

My guess is probably not. So shoot the rifle with the USGI stock and see how she does. If ya can get 3moa at 100 yards thats good for a fiberglas stock. When I opened up my Walnut stock it shot more consistant at 200 yards with iron sights. Thats what I was hoping for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My guess is probably not. So shoot the rifle with the USGI stock and see how she does. If ya can get 3moa at 100 yards thats good for a fiberglas stock. When I opened up my Walnut stock it shot more consistant at 200 yards with iron sights. Thats what I was hoping for.
I am guessing that even with the stock material relieved, if the front end can be pressed far enough by hand to contact the gas cylinder, it will probably do so while firing, even if there is clearance while at rest.

I'll add in the carbon fiber strips to see if that helps. I'm not looking to go to matches with this rifle. The results you got WalnutScout are about what I am looking for. If I can get 2-3 moa at 100 yards consistently, I'll be happy.
 

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I use a die grinder with a 1/2" x 1" 60 grit sand paper roll to get the basic shape and then a 3/4" x 2" roll and remove the material about 2" back in to the stock. I hold the stock in a padded vise to keep it from moving around.

Casey
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One more question: How important is it that the amount of material cleared out match what is in the photos? I ask because the smith that did the work on mine cleared out some material but it doesn't quite have the "smile" like Earthquake's photos.
 

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I got the stock back from the gunsmith he suggested that I use epoxy to build up the ferrule so that the gap between it and the front band is closed.
Noooooo, bad idea... Get too work opening the ferrule.


He thinks that a tighter, better fit would result from this. I discussed epoxying in some carbon fiber strips in the stock forearm. We both speculated that both modifications might help or do nothing but there is only one way to really find out.
Guy's have been doing that for a very long time, the very best I've seen done and later felt was a stock done by Jon Wolfe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Reinforcing USGI Fiberglass Stock and Opening Up Front Ferrule

**I meant to make this a new thread but I am unable to start new threads right now. The website just gives me an error page. All I can do is make reply posts.**

In some earlier threads, I discussed opening up the front ferrule of a USGI fiberglass stock to provide more clearance around the gas cylinder:

http://m14forum.com/accuracy/198967-clearing-out-material-front-ferrule-stock.html

I got some advice from forum member JD Russell on how much material to clear. I used a quarter as a guide and a silver Sharpie to mark the limit of how much material to remove on the ferrule. I marked an outline to remove about half the width of the ferrule. I borrowed my wife's Dremel tool and used a sanding wheel attachment. I am not sure what type of grit it was. It took more time to find all the attachments and adapters than it took to do the work. I clamped the stock to a workbench and set to work. The initial grinding took some time to see any progress. The metal of the ferrule is not that thick but it does take some time before it seems to give. Slow and steady seems to work. The fiberglass was easy to grind away. I used the outline marked on the ferrule as a guide to determine how much stock material to remove behind the ferrule. The Dremel tool I have would reach to about half an inch from the Sadlak rail mounting plate I have in the forearm of the stock. I used my best judgement to keep the Dremel straight and remove stock material in a straight line back from the ground down ferrule. For others undertaking this project, remember safety glasses and a mask of some sort. Fiberglass dust isn't the worst thing out there but probably still not pleasant to breathe in.

The next thing I did was JB Weld some carbon fiber strips along each side of the forearm. Forum members JD Russell and KurtC provided a lot of good advice on this part. I also did a lot of searching through this forum for threads on how others did their projects. I got the carbon fiber strip from Goodwinds. The 1/8" x 1/2" x 48" strip was more than enough. Many folks prefer carbon fiber arrow shafts and picked them up from archery stores that had demo or non-serviceable arrows that were just going to be thrown away. I called around to all the archery places nearby but none had any arrows they were just going to dispose of. Arrows might be stronger but the Goodwinds strips seem to work fine. I cut three lengths to go on the sides and on the bottom of the stock running from just forward of the mag well to about 1/2" from the end of the forearm. I ended up not using the one for the bottom of the stock because there was not enough room to clear the op rod. The strips on the side seemed to fill up space pretty well. If you're going to use anything thicker than 1/8", double check your clearance from the action. The carbon fiber strips are quite rigid and very light. I have not felt any noticeable added weight in the stock.

I finally got a chance to take this set up to the range a couple days ago. This trip also gave me an opportunity to correct my use of the iron sights. It turns out that I did not have my sight picture quite right. That problem is detailed in this thread:

http://m14forum.com/m14/219858-how-much-front-sight-should-you-see.html

The target labelled "Fiberglass" is the USGI fiberglass stock with no modification. The target labelled "Modified Fiberglass" is the newly modified stock. I know I pulled one round and it is the one farthest to the left. Ammo was Hornady steel match, distance was 100 yards, and iron sights were used.

I know this is not the most impressive group out there. I am working on my marksmanship but I am not looking to head to Camp Perry in the future. Between my little kids and grad school, I shoot once about every 4 months. I like the "classic" form of the fiberglass stock and I wanted to see if a little bit could be done to make it a bit more accurate. I was looking to get around 2 to 3 MOA with the modifications made. I think I got there and I am happy with the results. I could not have done this without the help, generosity, and knowledge pool of this forum. This forum and its members are awesome! I just hope this thread pays it forward and can help others out there too.
 
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