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I know that the stock and receiver should lockup fairly tight as you close the trigger guard latch upon reassembly of the rifle. Is there any tolerance for left-right movement of the receiver heel in the stock, or is 0 movement generally considered optimal?

I am also wondering if it's normal to simply push down on the trigger guard (feeling resistance at around 3/4 inch to closing) and hearing it click. I have seen some videos of reassembly where people need to use a lever (by sticking a cleaning rod through the hole in the trigger guard) to force the guard close, but I don't feel this type of resistance.
 

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You need to make sure that the little hook oon the end of the trigger guard snaps into the slot at the back of the trigger housing tang. Sometime it does by itself, sometimes you need to pull back on the trigger guard or use some dort of leverage to get it to snap into place.

JWB
 

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The receiver's heel shouldn't move at all.

The trigger guard should become more difficult to close as it's tip is about three quarters of an inch from closing. It should take a light slap with your palm to snap it shut.
 

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MGySgt USMC (ret)
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This question got me to thinking and going back to 1972-73 when I was still a standard Infantry Weapons Repairman (Armorer) MOS 2111 and we still had the M14 as the standard service rifle in the 1st Marine Division until the end of the summer in 1972.

For my entire 26 years in the Corps, Armorers had to inspect or have all rifles inspected shortly before the Marine went to the annual requalification range. That inspection was called an "LTI" or Limited Technical Inspection for years until the mid to late 80's when they changed the name to "PFI" or Pre Fire Inspection. As far as I know, the terms LTI or PFI were only used by Marine Corps Ordnance folks.

Back through the 1970's and into the early 1980's, these inspections had to be done by 3rd Echelon Repair Shops as they were the lowest Maintenance Unit that had the gage kits to inspect the rifles. Your local unit Armorer had to take a bunch of rifles to the 3rd Echelon Shop to have the inspections done every week or so and unless you were the Armorer or Arms Custodian - you probably never realized this was done. (Sometime in the 1980's, they changed this to supplying M16 gage kits to many 2nd Echelon Armories so real MOS 2111 Armorers could do these inspections right in their own Armory.)

Since I took my OJT for MOS 2111 and worked in the 3rd Echelon Infantry Weapons Repair Shop at Las Pulgas on Camp Pendleton in 1972, we did many, Many, MANY inspections like this on all Infantry Weapons up to and including the 106mm Recoiless Rifles and even the Flame Throwers. We would also go out on "Contact Teams" to do the inspections at different areas for the 1st Marine Division when they scheduled them up with us.

The problem for many folks to understand is that what we actually did during the LTI's was never written down in any of the normal Ordnance Technical Manuals. We went off locally made inspection check lists that included checks from information we got from the TM's, Ordnance Bulletins, Safety Bulletins, PM magazines, etc. So an LTI that we did on standard M14's in 1972 would have been with the most up to date information we had at the time.

OK after supplying almost too much preparatory information (Grin), let me now get into what we did to inspect standard Infantry M14 stocks. We squeezed the stocks up by the stock ferrule to look for cracks between the sling swivel and stock ferrule. Then we pulled left and right on the sling swivel to see if the SS was loose and the rivets needed restaking. Then we grabbed the stock with one hand near the ferrule and one hand on the grip and pushed the stock down against our thigh to look for cracks in wood stocks. We did this on the top and bottom and both sides of the stock. We never checked for fore and aft movement of the receiver in the stocks as with the stock liner and G.I. receivers, it was not deemed necessary. We also never checked for side to side movement in the stocks as that was also not deemed necessary. (However, looseness of the receiver in the stock either way WILL negatively affect accuracy.) Minor cracks were allowed in non-vital areas as around the cut outs for the connector assembly - especially in the rear void, but they were not allowed between the sling swivel and ferrule or in most other places on the stock. What many folks here may be surprised at is we never were concerned with how much tension was on the trigger guard. Looking back, that surprises even me, though it was not something we normally checked for an LTI. Most all lthe wood M14 stocks we had even in 1972 still were fairly tight on the trigger guard tension. I "think" that stocks "got cracked" by unit armorers when they were so loose the rifle would not shoot well on the Requalification Range, though, and the stocks were then replaced.
 
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