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Synthetic stock question *Update*

1618 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Willie G
Just got a GI synthetic stock from Fred's as an alternative to my SA synthetic. The GI stock shows a gap (about 1mm wide, beginning at the forward edge of the bolt release depression and extending back about 4") in the middle of the receiver on both sides - the SA does not. The trigger group fits, but is definitely tighter on the GI.

Do I dare sand the GI down a smidgen to eliminate the gap and relieve the pressure on the trigger group?
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No, don't sand it down.

The gap is suppposed to be there (as long as the receiver heel is firmly touching the stock) & you want the trigger group lock down to be tight.

I read something about this gap on the DGR website that made sense to me. It was concerning Garand receivers & stocks, but the principle applies to the M14/M1A as well I think:

Basically, the gap needs to be there to keep the receiver from rocking back & forth on the lugs. If the area was flat, or slightly higher than the area the receiver heel sits on, then there is nothing to keep the receiver from shifting from shot to shot. The gap, with the the receiver heel firmly on the stock helps keep the the receiver from shifting.

Make sense? Just having the heel touching the stock provides tension that braces the receiver in place & helps keep it from moving. I never understood why the USGI synthetic stocks had this gap until I read the info on the DGR site. Hope this helps.

If I'm wrong then someone let me know. No ego here, just trying to help figure this out. ;)
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Thanks, Quag. The heel is definitely touching the last 1" or so. I'd rate the trigger group effort to be about 50% higher than on the SA stock - just didn't want to "spring" anything.
Quags right on the money ...

Gap aint gonna hurt a thing in that area altho some feel its cosmetically imperfect ...

If it aint broke ...

Leave it alone and don't think your fixin' it ... :wink:

different stocks?

I thought SA Inc. used filled and painted USGI synthetics.
What about the second part of the question - how much effort should it take to close the trigger guard? Is it possible to break something?
No, it'd be awfully hard to break it as the trigger guard/hammer pin is very thick. You'd know if it were too tight to lock down.

The only time I've been worried about that was when I was trying to close the trigger group on my preban M1A with the "step" on the underside of the receiver in a stock that wasn't inletted for the step.


The receiver heel was way the heck off the stock. :roll:

I thought SA Inc. used filled and painted USGI synthetics.
They do.


I have seen some tough ones, but have not seen one break.

Take Care,

I put a ploytech in one of Hawk's stock's it had the gap but it was a tight fit just like you want. 8)
After reading all your comments, I decided to reassemble to make sure I understood correctly. That's when I noticed that the heel did not rest evenly against the "horseshoe". There were only two points of contact: at the 4 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions and only minimal contact at that.

Seemed to me that the heel should rest evenly on the horseshoe as much as possible? A little sanding of the high spots would therefore be in order?

Thanks again for the help.
Willie: I'd recommend against sanding the high spots of the horseshoe area. If you do that, you will create a more uniform gap in the fit, not what you want. Then you will be tempted to start sanding the forward bedding areas in order to get horseshoe contact, not a good road to take.

What's needed is to build up the horseshoe area, and the easiest way is to glass bed it. While you're at it, you can bed the four trigger group pads, and the two receiver rail pads. As you get more comfortable with using bedding compound, you can bed the front and rear of the receiver legs.

The GI fiberglass stocks are somewhat light and twisty in the forend area. Fixing that takes just about a whole Acraglass Gel kit and a fair amount of time.

As to your question on how much clamping pressure it should take to lock up the trigger guard: it's commonly accepted that pressure should begin at about the point of the trigger as you close the guard, and pressure should be considerable within about half an inch of lockup. The hole at the back of the guard, above the latching point, is for inserting a lever to open really tightly locked guards.

Do your beddding with the trigger group slightly open. There's fixtures for this but they aren't really necessary. HTH
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Hi Willie, If you want a fiberglass stock, pay the money and get one of the better grade stocks. The GI stocks were for war time use and in my opinion were second to the wood stocks. Why not get yourself a good walnut or birch stock, like an old comercial on TV once said "Nothing beats the feel of wood" :D
Yeah, Milo, there's nothing like the feel of wood...especially in the morning!

Prairie Fire - Before I read your post, I just HAD to sand a little bit! Contact in the horseshoe area is much improved and the closing pressure is just as you described - starts about the trigger and locks up solid. I'm much happier with things the way they turned out - seems like a "normal" fit, now.

Even got it painted! (OK, so it's not Whamo Camo quality, but it's much better than the last one I tried!)

Thanks for all the help!

FWIW, you should do a check to make sure the semi-auto sear is working properly after swapping out stocks (with trigger depressed, cycle the action and make sure the hammer doesn't follow the bolt).

Thanks for the advice, 30Cal. It works fine.

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