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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been through multiple configurations of the M14 throughout the years. I have never been able to fully settle or be satisfied with a set up that fills a "do-all" role. I am working on a project for a .308 rifle for the proverbial "SHTF" scenario that creates great discussion. I love the M14 platform and wanted to use my SOCOM 16 to fulfill that role but, I have had some set backs that I hoped you may be able to help with.
  • I wanted magnified optics (preferably a LPVO of some sort) but, while trying to overcome the cheek weld issue, I have found that I have often had to choose between the optic or the iron sights. I would want the irons to maintain a back up sight role while focusing on optics. I have a CASM GENII mount I was trying to utilize as I liked how lightweight it is while ignoring the side mounting used by others. Although it's peep sight is very limiting, it at least had the "back up" aspect covered. By raising the stock to optics level, the iron sights become unusable without adjustment. How have you overcome this for your rifles?
  • Although there are other chassis systems out there that might alleviate this issue, they all seem to be relatively heavy. As of now I have utilized the Delta 14 chassis as a way to modernize the platform without increasing weight. However, the issue of sight alignment is still not solved. Also, because the chassis is 2 pieces (chassis + buttstock assembly), there is some flex behind the receiver where the connection point is. This has me concerned for long term durability as the stock and chassis are held together by a single screw. The factory stock at least has full rigidity while remaining relatively light weight. Unfortunately it does not have the MLOK mounting options or weight reduction aspect of the Delta 14. What compromises have you found between weight, durability and functionality in your hunt for a great stock/chassis system?

    I have been through this ride a few times now and am still having a hard time settling! I have a Sig Sauer 716i that is fully set up for the same role but, I wanted to prove to myself that I could get the same ease of use and function from the M14 and not feel it necessary to settle for a soul-less AR-10 just because of "things" Any help would be appreciated!

    Here is the current set up:
    454798

    SA M1A SOCOM 16
    Delta 14 Chassis
    Mesa Tactical LEO Telescoping Stock Adapter (Mossberg 500)
    Magpul CTR w/ 0.75" Riser
    Hogue Overmolded AR-15 Grip
    Magpul MVG
    Ultimak M8 Rail
    Trijicon MRO
    Olight Odin Mini

    I removed the CASM mount once I couldn't settle on proper cheek weld at least in this configuration. Even with the .75" riser it wasn't even close to cutting it. But, I am open to ideas! Even a scout scope? The Ultimak M8 rail is a game changer I will admit that.
    Thanks for your help,
    MP
 

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I’ve had good luck with my Tac Pro cheek riser on the SAI synthetic stock. At the lowest position it works with my irons and at the highest it works with my Leupold 2-10x scope on a Sadlak Airborne EBR mount and Leupold QRW low rings. It also helped me get a better weld when I had a Burris LER scope on the scout rail.

I have the removable riser that is held in place with friction and Velcro - it uses Phillips head screws to adjust so in a back up irons situation I would just pull it off the stock. The riser that requires drilling holes through the stock is easier to adjust on the fly since it uses large knobs to lock it down.

The SAI stock is the lightest as far as I’m aware. It has a little more flex in it than others supposedly. No such thing as a free lunch.
 

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Hey! A kindred spirit!
Naturally, I really like what you've done with your rig. Naturally, I can't just leave it with kudos because, hey, I can't leave good enough alone. :ROFLMAO:
I always seem to get the all-over-fidgets when it comes to pumping a .308 down a 16" bbl. Yes, lots of them out there. I just think a guy is shortchanging himself on anything under 18". Myself, I've kept 20 as my minimum. But I totally get the choice and it makes for a useful, attractive, functional package.
The pistol grip is always a welcome addition no matter what the role, IMO.
What often happens, though, is that in the pursuit of Tacticool duties, the M14 owner will end up building "an AR the hard way". We've all seen it. You did not, just yet, but I think you're within earshot of it. The vertical forearm is such a touch that, IMO, could be better served with an ultralight, short-leg bipod. After all, the .308 carries a punch for a long way, might as well capitalize on that ability. If you wanted punch only at short range, you could have built something in .458 or so.
Were I out for a "do it all" I might be inclined to look around (or machine myself) a side folder. While yours is already "compact" it may well capitalize on that, too, for deftly packing it around in those situations you'd want "sub-compact".
It's been my experience that you're walking a very thin tightrope in such a pursuit. Like its counterparts, AR and AK, the M14 does certain things really well and to get it to do other things beyond its design is gonna always be tough.
Nice rig!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have you checked out the scope mount that *** Yankee designed ? It sits directly over the irons with very minimal variation in comb height.
I had not but now I am aware of them! Very interesting design. If that side mount could be 45 degrees that would be pretty interesting although I can see why that would be difficult and bulky. Thanks for the idea!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’ve had good luck with my Tac Pro cheek riser on the SAI synthetic stock. At the lowest position it works with my irons and at the highest it works with my Leupold 2-10x scope on a Sadlak Airborne EBR mount and Leupold QRW low rings. It also helped me get a better weld when I had a Burris LER scope on the scout rail.

I have the removable riser that is held in place with friction and Velcro - it uses Phillips head screws to adjust so in a back up irons situation I would just pull it off the stock. The riser that requires drilling holes through the stock is easier to adjust on the fly since it uses large knobs to lock it down.

The SAI stock is the lightest as far as I’m aware. It has a little more flex in it than others supposedly. No such thing as a free lunch.
I have considered the Tac Pro as well as the Bradley cheek rests as I have heard good things and definitely see the need for a riser. One of my concerns is it's durability or longevity aspect. Relying on something strapped on in that fashion for the long term feels risky even though I know the polymer and materials used for the riser and straps are likely sturdy. What has your experience been? Any reason for concern if exposed to the elements or rough treatment?
 

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If you can find a LPVO that will have enough eye relief and a small enough rear dimensions to fit low enough on your Ultimak, that is probably the best chance at getting a good cheek weld with either a low riser in a fixed position, or without a riser that will work for both iron sights and a scope, though probably not low enough to co-witness, and you'll probably have to remove the scope to use irons.

If you want to be able to use irons without removing the scope, you'll need to either remove or adjust the cheek rest. The Rédneck Yankee DSM mount provides probably the most open window and clearance above the chamber, while also keeping the scope relatively low. This picture is with a modified prototype that is a bit shorter and lighter, but the function and position is the same. The only potential issue I see is that it requires that you bed the lugs to the receiver, which could be a good thing, in that it will perfectly fit your receiver one way or the other, but some people aren't comfortable with that, and I can attest that it is possible to screw it up, which means you have to do it again, either tearing it out and starting from scratch, or adding a skim layer. Also, to center the scope, you're limited to 1" or 30mm tubes (a 34mm tube will offset by 2mm, for example, which is useable, but it would bug me), and not all rings are the same. I have found that EGW practical rings are great (******* Yankee's first recommendation) and Warne Maxima work well too, and if you want QD, they're the way to go. ARMS rings, even the 'low' versions, are too high, and will put the scope to the right of center.



As for chassis, I would suggest considering a Blackfeather. Rugged aluminum, if you want to forego the original sights, you could use the LSP full length rail, with the high buttstock adapter, and maybe do a low scope mount with offset backup iron sights.

It's an idea anyway.


454810
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey! A kindred spirit!
Naturally, I really like what you've done with your rig. Naturally, I can't just leave it with kudos because, hey, I can't leave good enough alone. :ROFLMAO:
I always seem to get the all-over-fidgets when it comes to pumping a .308 down a 16" bbl. Yes, lots of them out there. I just think a guy is shortchanging himself on anything under 18". Myself, I've kept 20 as my minimum. But I totally get the choice and it makes for a useful, attractive, functional package.
The pistol grip is always a welcome addition no matter what the role, IMO.
What often happens, though, is that in the pursuit of Tacticool duties, the M14 owner will end up building "an AR the hard way". We've all seen it. You did not, just yet, but I think you're within earshot of it. The vertical forearm is such a touch that, IMO, could be better served with an ultralight, short-leg bipod. After all, the .308 carries a punch for a long way, might as well capitalize on that ability. If you wanted punch only at short range, you could have built something in .458 or so.
Were I out for a "do it all" I might be inclined to look around (or machine myself) a side folder. While yours is already "compact" it may well capitalize on that, too, for deftly packing it around in those situations you'd want "sub-compact".
It's been my experience that you're walking a very thin tightrope in such a pursuit. Like its counterparts, AR and AK, the M14 does certain things really well and to get it to do other things beyond its design is gonna always be tough.
Nice rig!
Haha well my original M14 variant was a scout model with the 18" barrel as we both think alike. But, the16" SOCOM has the weight reduction and mobility in it's favor. Not to mention I got it in a battle pack set up from a good friend of mine. So now I am working with what I've got. I had a bipod installed but removed it once I felt that the optic choice was back to being limited to a red dot optic. However, if I were to add magnification then I would agree with your thought process on that. For now it kind of fits a nice, CQB kind of role although I feel that is limiting to it's actual capability.

I thought about adding the folding stock which is easy to do with this chassis however, I am already concerned about the flex in the stock behind the receiver and felt that it would add yet another point of vulnerability.

Yes trust me this tight rope is a tough one. Especially if you have rampant OCD. But, I just can't bring myself to give up on the platform. Back when I lived in California it was the best option IMO for semi auto rifle not limited by their ridiculous laws. Now that I have the freedom of choice, I still have a sentimental attachment to the platform and want it to be my "go-to". But I guess we'll see if I can make that a reality! This dang Sig 716i is really nice for the price...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you can find a LPVO that will have enough eye relief and a small enough rear dimensions to fit low enough on your Ultimak, that is probably the best chance at getting a good cheek weld with either a low riser in a fixed position, or without a riser that will work for both iron sights and a scope, though probably not low enough to co-witness, and you'll probably have to remove the scope to use irons.

If you want to be able to use irons without removing the scope, you'll need to either remove or adjust the cheek rest. The Rédneck Yankee DSM mount provides probably the most open window and clearance above the chamber, while also keeping the scope relatively low. This picture is with a modified prototype that is a bit shorter and lighter, but the function and position is the same. The only potential issue I see is that it requires that you bed the lugs to the receiver, which could be a good thing, in that it will perfectly fit your receiver one way or the other, but some people aren't comfortable with that, and I can attest that it is possible to screw it up, which means you have to do it again, either tearing it out and starting from scratch, or adding a skim layer. Also, to center the scope, you're limited to 1" or 30mm tubes (a 34mm tube will offset by 2mm, for example, which is useable, but it would bug me), and not all rings are the same. I have found that EGW practical rings are great (*** Yankee's first recommendation) and Warne Maxima work well too, and if you want QD, they're the way to go. ARMS rings, even the 'low' versions, are too high, and will put the scope to the right of center.



As for chassis, I would suggest considering a Blackfeather. Rugged aluminum, if you want to forego the original sights, you could use the LSP full length rail, with the high buttstock adapter, and maybe do a low scope mount with offset backup iron sights.

It's an idea anyway.


View attachment 454810
Thanks for the information! I have to try some of these ideas to see if there is any chance to accomplish my goal here. That scope mount is really interesting and I can see why it would be a good choice. I have looked at the Blackfeather chassis before and it is definitely interesting. Reminds me of the Troy MCS as well. Do you think it would be ridiculously heavy? Or is it worth the trade off for full modularity?
Thanks.
 

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The blackfeather chassis is relatively light. Exactly how light compared to a stock will depend on the butt stock and grip arrangement you choose, to some degree the optional rails you place. It's not quite as light as an SAI plastic, but it's certainly not the heaviest thing around...

The entire rifle, equipped as shown, with a Magpul SGA buttstock, USGI profile 18" barrel, SEI USCG brake, AD QD mount and Holosun Red dot, and the O'Light Baldr Mini Disco light and laser show is 10 pounds 5 ounces without a magazine. That's not a light rifle, but it's the lightest M14 type I own.



You can definitely go lighter. The lightest configuration I know of is on the Blackfeather website, which claims 8.2 pounds... That doesn't have everything you're talking about, obviously, but it gives you an idea of the relative impact of the chassis weight.

The other thing to consider is balance. If you load up the front, you'll feel it a lot more, than if for say that weight is in the butt stock portion.

I like the chassis from the modularity standpoint. It gives you a lot of options. It also allows you to adjust the barrel tension through the proprietary operating rod Guide that secures barrel to the chassis at the operating rod guide location, while letting the front of the barrel float, where it would otherwise apply draw pressure from the stock at the ferule. SAI plastic stocks aren't known for having much if any draw pressure. That won't guarantee a more accurate rifle, but it provides a control point to perhaps facilitate tuning.

I would suggest contacting Frank, the owner of M14.CA, or H20man, his U.S. Distributor, and discuss options and compatibility. They've both spent time with me while I pondered it over deciding what I really wanted out of it. If you're wanting to get ARish modularity in the M14 platform without loading up on weight like a Sage chassis, I think it's probably on the top of the list for contention. I have no experience with other options, though, so I can't offer you a comparison.
 

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Also, here is a picture of it's factory stock configuration if there might be better options utilizing it instead:
View attachment 454813
The Tac Pro riser is pretty robust - it holds on tight even without the velcro, and while I don’t love velcro for outright durability and longevity, it’s cheap and effective, modifiable and easily replaced. Which is kind of my feeling re: stock selection - keep it simple. Buy a couple spare stocks for a fraction of the cost of a chassis, unless that chassis offers something critical to you. Get a backup cheek riser, or think ahead what you would need to make a temporary or more permanent repairs if it did get damaged in some way. I’m much more worried about my head or my scope in any scenario where the rifle comb would be taking damage. Worst case the riser comes off and you have sub-optimal weld - pretty manageable. That’s my feeling anyways… I totally get the appeal of a different stock system, I just can’t rationalize it for myself in this thought experiment.

Anyways if you decide to sell that OD stock let me know!
 

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Just get a USGI fiberglass stock, Sadlak forward rail section, Sadlak optic mount, and a Tac Pro Gen II kydex cheek riser. Then a US Optics TS-6x FFP 1-6x24 with some QD rings. Just have the gas cylinder unitized, upgrade to match spring guide, and throw a little smear under the heal. Nothing fancy.
 

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The M14 is at its best when kept simple and stupid. The Socom is a trim little variant meant for getting in and out of vehicles, going thru doorways and down hallways. Keep it that way.

In a SHTF scenario, you will be using the rear of the rifle as much, if not more, than the front. Make sure the buttstock is strong enough to break glass, bust door handles and break your fall when "going prone." It should be solid enough to buttstroke anyone too close to shoot.

The Ultimak M8 is an excellent rail that also helps stabilize the barrel. It is all you need. Keep a Leupold Scout Scope, and RDS and an offset flashlight in your kit bag. Attach to the Ultimak as needed.
 

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I think Kurt Touches on a very good point, the whole SHTF concept.

There is the Tactical Fantasy, where you are roaming among the walking dead, scavaging among ghost towns and occasional zombie outbreaks, getting into shootouts with rival warlords, lone wolves in a sea of Jackals and Lions, which I think is perfectly fine itch to scratch.

And then there is likely probability, and people will have different circumstances, but they will most likely not resemble what is most often portrayed, and while a given rifle may make a difference, conceivably, its best value is a deterrent to entanglement, encouraging would be predators to find a softer target, so you can get home, or to another location, to where you have stockpiles of food, water, medical supplies, and preferably a community of similarly prepared individuals who can work together to ensure each other's safety, because lone wolves have a hard time lasting.

Which kind of brings up one of the most neglected SHTF issues, if we are engaged in a realistic prepper discussion. How is your weight and cardio? Half of Americans are Obese, and one study quoted that I cannot recall suggested only about 12% of Americans were actually healthy. Stress in itself can do a number on you.
 

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I think Kurt Touches on a very good point, the whole SHTF concept.

There is the Tactical Fantasy, where you are roaming among the walking dead, scavaging among ghost towns and occasional zombie outbreaks, getting into shootouts with rival warlords, lone wolves in a sea of Jackals and Lions, which I think is perfectly fine itch to scratch.

And then there is likely probability, and people will have different circumstances, but they will most likely not resemble what is most often portrayed, and while a given rifle may make a difference, conceivably, its best value is a deterrent to entanglement, encouraging would be predators to find a softer target, so you can get home, or to another location, to where you have stockpiles of food, water, medical supplies, and preferably a community of similarly prepared individuals who can work together to ensure each other's safety, because lone wolves have a hard time lasting.

Which kind of brings up one of the most neglected SHTF issues, if we are engaged in a realistic prepper discussion. How is your weight and cardio? Half of Americans are Obese, and one study quoted that I cannot recall suggested only about 12% of Americans were actually healthy. Stress in itself can do a number on you.
The SHTF concept creates compound challenges for those of us lucky enough to be wheelchair bound. While we don't get to choose the hand we're dealt, we do get to choose how we play it. Simply holding some cards truly is a blessing- it's determinedly better than being left empty-handed...
 

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Para Pete, there are many more of us who are not prepared to go out roaming looking for someone smarter, bigger, meaner to hand us our butt than there are those who think they are. I for one plan on holding the fort right here at home and need a rifle that can reach out and touch those who want to do me and mine harm. Therefore, M1A and M1.
 
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