Picture of Build A Custom Stock for the Springfield M1A
I'm a big fan of the M1A rifle in all it's configurations - it's accurate, fun to shoot, and reliable as an anvil (and almost as heavy - lol) - but even it can be improved.  I also like pistol-grip stocks - mostly because I find them more comfortable for the target shooting I typically do.  The issue for me is that while there are commercial rifle stocks out there for the M1A (Vltor, McMillan, etc), they're pretty far from what one would consider "inexpensive" - ranging in price from $500 to $900 dollars.... so I decided to build my own. 

A while back I picked up a handful of surplus Vietnam-era synthetic stocks (1 nice one, 2 thrashed ones) with the idea of using them as a starting point, and after some experimentation, came up with a technique that I think is worth sharing.  Depending on what materials are used, a nice stock can be built for as little as $150-$200.  In this Instructable, I'll show a technique that I used to build 3 variations of a comfortable and functional stock.

What you will need:
  • Donor stock - this can be a nice one, but it's better to use a structurally sound "less pretty" one as the nice synthetics are becoming harder to find - and the less "aesthetically pleasing" ones are a lot less expensive.  Expect to pay around $20-30 for a solid candidate.
  • A pistol-grip style buttstock.  I've found the aftermarket stocks for the Mossberg 500 series shotgun seem to work well and have about the right shape as well as a good "keying" surface.
  • Epoxy - I use a quality 30-minute epoxy.  I find the faster-setting epoxies don't seem as strong and don't seem to bond as well - just my opinion, of course.
  • A Tee-Nut that matches the buttstock mounting bolt you intend to use.  5/16" X18 X 7/8" in this case.  I used the 3-hole version, not the barbed version of the tee-nut.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fiberglass cloth or chopped fiberglass
  • Petroleum Jelly to act as a parting compound or release agent
  • A sculptable epoxy clay or similar (possibly fiber-filled bondo, but I like to use similar materials for better bonding)
  • Paint - Duracoat in my case, but rattle-can paint would work, too.
  • An electric handpiece, Foredom, or Dremel would be very helpful
  • Various files, sandpaper (wet/dry aluminum oxide), clamps, hacksaw or sawzall, sander, etc
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Tiger872 months ago
Nice, glad to see someone else having the same idea as me. I'm currently working on a stock for a Mosin Nagant that I'm building. So far so good, but now that I saw your epoxy set up, I'm finally gonna be able to finish it! Thanks for the idea!
gunguru3 months ago

I have 3 surplus wood M14 stocks and have been pondering building a custom wood stock with an adjustable comb ........but I would definitely consider a build like this for my Scout. Awesome build and thanks for pimping it!

Hogtheman0075 months ago
Nice man. Ever thought
Of putting a new stock on an m14 now that's hard.
jwilliamsen (author)  Hogtheman0075 months ago

I have been thinking about it for a long time and have been playing with the idea of a bullpup (the Juggernaut stock is kind of ugly IMO - and heavy). I think the only way it would be worthwhile is if I was going into production, though. The inletting for the M1A1/M14 would be the challenge - there's a lot of dynamics going on that have to be alternatively controlled and allowed to run wild.... Still, a sleek carbon fiber bullpup stock with a 7075 aluminum backbone would be pretty awesome :)

tsa'ad1 year ago
Thats awesom. Thanks for sharing and inspireing.
MrBeta1 year ago
Great project. I'm a bit jealous of your hardware and skills. Keep them coming!
ilpug1 year ago
Well done!