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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This will be my first thread on with the M14 forum, actually it's my first post at all, but I have been lurking here long enough to get the itch and acquire my first SA M1A. I recently swapped my dust collecting AR for a well taken care of, but ugly as nails M1A Socom II in a seudo-paratrooper stock (half factory synthetic jb welded to a Battle Creek Mini 14 folder): I have attached a photo of my M1A, as is, at the bottom of my post. The stock is surprisingly sturdy enough, but I hate the look and feel of side folders. So before I even go into my purpose for this rifle lets be clear. I have a chub for the look of these weapons in wood. Just something about them that screams "This is solid!" So I want to model my weapon something along the lines of this weapon, belonging to Shawn L:



That's the goal. I am looking for advice, thoughts, critiques, whatever. I have a long an fun road ahead of me and to achieve this my goal I have to do several things that I have never in my life done. Such as (if not more):
Assemble the Ultimate DIY M14 Toolbox
Learn to Disassemble, PMCS, Assemble, Clean and Care for my M1A
Find and Buy a M1A/M14 Wooden Stock.
Remove the top and bottom rails from the socom II (2to1 convert)
Begin to Upgrade Function within Reason (I do not want this to be miracle delivering DMR type rifle)

Again any guidance, anecdotes, personal experience or recommendations would be great. Wish me luck!



-Ecks
 

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Good show on getting your Socom! They look great in wood, I'd get a nice USGI walnut stock and call it done, maybe do an accuracy mod or two if it needs it.
m14brian
 

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Nice trade! Welcome to the forum, I like a walnut stock on my socom also. I've been pleased with a usgi Fiberglas also.

Sounds like you know what you want, start with tonybens videos on cleaning. Some upgrades to start with: shim the gas system, replace the bolt guts with usgi parts. Replace the hammer with a usgi forged.
 

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Make sure that the stock clears the Ultimak rail along it's entire length.

Get used to the large peep sight.

First choice of ammo is hand loads but if you have to buy commercial then use 110 - 155 grain ammo (Hornady TAP works great).

If the rifle is in proper condition then you should get about 2 MOA or better at 100 yards, assuming that you use a bench and front and rear rests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, been looking around a little bit and it seems that if I want a wooden stock that isn't warped or questionable I'm looking at paying top dollar. On the other side of the spectrum, people have great things (and terrible things) to say about places like Fred's. I know some of my fellow M14Forumites have your babies wrapped in wood, so I ask you this. Where'd you get it, what'd you pay, Would you recommend it? I am also curious about stock fit itself. I spend time behind a gun in theater and come back to find I don't know a thing about the science behind the bang. Please enlighten me, Why does it matter for a rifle to have a tight fitting stock?


-Ecks
 

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Ok, been looking around a little bit and it seems that if I want a wooden stock that isn't warped or questionable I'm looking at paying top dollar. On the other side of the spectrum, people have great things (and terrible things) to say about places like Fred's. I know some of my fellow M14Forumites have your babies wrapped in wood, so I ask you this. Where'd you get it, what'd you pay, Would you recommend it? I am also curious about stock fit itself. I spend time behind a gun in theater and come back to find I don't know a thing about the science behind the bang. Please enlighten me, Why does it matter for a rifle to have a tight fitting stock?


-Ecks
I purchased my medium walnut (new and unfinished) from Fulton. The stock was immaculate, fit very tight, well sanded and ready to finish, nice clean cuts throughout. I highly recommend them (both Fulton and their stocks). I paid the extra for a hand selected stock and don't regret it one bit. Don't forget about the hardware kit when you order your stock and I would also suggest a stock liner screw tool----.

Here is mine, before and after:






Good luck, and above all----lets see some pics as you progress through the project.
 
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Learn to Disassemble, PMCS, Assemble, Clean and Care for my M1A
No place better than to start with TonyBen's videos' on you tube--they are excellent.
 

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The tighter the fit between the stock and action the lesser the chance of movement between the two during recoil. Any movement results in changes in the point of impact. A good, tight fit between the trigger group and stock is the easiest, quickest and least expensive way to improve or maintain good accuracy. The use of shims (paper, wood veneer or metal) between the stock and TG is a recognized quick way to tighten the fit. You want to need to apply heavy force (to include hitting the TG) to lock the TG info the stock. There is also the fit between the ferrule at the front of the stock and the "hook" on the bottom of the piece that holds the handguard, but I can't remember how or the terminology, ask and the forum members will set you right. As you're looking for an accurate, NON-NM rifle (without the cost, time and effort, i.e.: parts, bedding and tuning), a good, tight wood stock is the way to go.

Fred's ( www.fredsm14stocks.com ) (call them Wednesdays, talk to a person and tell them what you want for best results.) has good stocks at good prices. While their customer service was spotty in the past, it's gotten much better lately. A stock from them will require very little prep (cleaning, refinishing and/or oiling) before mating to your action. You want an excellent to new stock as those will fit the best where needed. The more use (disassembled/reassembled) a stock has had, the greater the chance for looseness. Having a group of stocks that you can tryout for tightness would be your best route, but unless you're close enough to visit Fred's a gun show is your best choice. Be prepared for higher prices though. A excellent/good solid handguard can be ordered from Fred's when you get the stock. Vented guards are available, but mirages interfere with sight picture when the barrel gets hot.

Good lick, good shooting and welcome.

BTW, walnut or birch are both excellent woods...walnut has that "look", birch has yhr strength/stiffness but good examples of either wood is a good choice. On more thing: the "Big Red" stocks were designed (heavier, thicker, stiffer) to improve "drop-in" accuracy, but some people say they don't feel like a M-14 stock should feel. Personal preference.
 

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No place better than to start with TonyBen's videos' on you tube--they are excellent.
+1

I pulled apart my gas system for the first time the other day for a well deserved cleaning after watching how to do it from one of his videos. Now that I know how simple it is to do I intend to upgrade my piston soon and toss in a shim to tighten everything up.
 

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I bought my usgi walnut on gunbroker. I paid about $175 if I remember right, it is beautiful! I filed the edge of my brown, SAI hand guard down because it was hitting the stock.
 

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View attachment 36736
This one cost 59.00 to my door from Fred's.
Cleaned with pure acetone
6 coats of formby's low gloss tung oil.
Only used 0000 steel wool and 2000 grit sand paper between coats.
Total time 6hrs, one hour a day for 6 days.
Dozen different ways to do it but you can get good wood for not much money.
 

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There is also the fit between the ferrule at the front of the stock and the "hook" on the bottom of the piece that holds the handguard, but I can't remember how or the terminology,

Front band "hooks" stock ferrule. (You can shim the gas system to take out any play.)
 

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Good job getting your SOCOM! I love mine, and it is alot of fun to customize to get ready for a long road of good times.
I had my SOCOM in wood for a while, and sorta miss the classic feel. It sits in a VLTOR stock now, which I also love.
Make sure you get a nice and tightly fitting stock to maximize performance.
I recommend ditching the stock sights, and swapping them for a scout front and a standard rear. that will enable you to shoot much more accurately.
Then, shim the gas cylinder and do some shooting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks all for the wonderful advice! I'll be sure to keep you all up to date with my progress and pictures. Until next time.


-Ecks
 

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The tighter the fit between the stock and action the lesser the chance of movement between the two during recoil. Any movement results in changes in the point of impact. A good, tight fit between the trigger group and stock is the easiest, quickest and least expensive way to improve or maintain good accuracy. The use of shims (paper, wood veneer or metal) between the stock and TG is a recognized quick way to tighten the fit. You want to need to apply heavy force (to include hitting the TG) to lock the TG info the stock. There is also the fit between the ferrule at the front of the stock and the "hook" on the bottom of the piece that holds the handguard, but I can't remember how or the terminology, ask and the forum members will set you right. As you're looking for an accurate, NON-NM rifle (without the cost, time and effort, i.e.: parts, bedding and tuning), a good, tight wood stock is the way to go.

Fred's ( www.fredsm14stocks.com ) (call them Wednesdays, talk to a person and tell them what you want for best results.) has good stocks at good prices. While their customer service was spotty in the past, it's gotten much better lately. A stock from them will require very little prep (cleaning, refinishing and/or oiling) before mating to your action. You want an excellent to new stock as those will fit the best where needed. The more use (disassembled/reassembled) a stock has had, the greater the chance for looseness. Having a group of stocks that you can tryout for tightness would be your best route, but unless you're close enough to visit Fred's a gun show is your best choice. Be prepared for higher prices though. A excellent/good solid handguard can be ordered from Fred's when you get the stock. Vented guards are available, but mirages interfere with sight picture when the barrel gets hot.

Good lick, good shooting and welcome.

BTW, walnut or birch are both excellent woods...walnut has that "look", birch has yhr strength/stiffness but good examples of either wood is a good choice. On more thing: the "Big Red" stocks were designed (heavier, thicker, stiffer) to improve "drop-in" accuracy, but some people say they don't feel like a M-14 stock should feel. Personal preference.
hey, does Freds have any stocks with the selector cutout filled? I looked on their site, but didn't see any so i figure no.
 
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