M1A Accuracy Issues: The Handguard

M1A Accuracy Issues: The Handguard

Gus Norcross, originally trained on National Match rifles and pistols by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Unit specializes in Garands, M14s and 1911s at his small shop on the coast of Maine. His website is www.angusarms.com. He will be offering gunsmithing tips and tricks on Fridays.

When we think about tuning M14-type rifles to improve accuracy, factors such as bedding, barrels and triggers usually come to mind. Most never consider the fit of the handguard to be a problem, but eliminating contact between it and the stock can vastly improve accuracy. Keep in mind a prime directive of M14 accurizing: nothing forward of the receiver should contact the stock except the bottom lip of the front band.

GI handguards were made from fiberglass, with the underside painted silver. Current commercial offerings are plastic and less prone to cracking than the originals. The only function of this piece of plastic is to keep your hand away from the hot barrel.

Accuracy problems occur when the guard is too long, causing pressure between the front band and the receiver, or when the bottom edges are making hard contact against the stock.


If the guard is too long, shorten the receiver end with a belt sander. Relieve the edges of handguards that are touching the stock by laying a piece of coarse sandpaper on a flat surface and sanding as necessary. Test fit frequently and keep the edges straight. A 1/8" to 3/16" gap between the stock and guard is fine. Removal or replacement of the handguard clip can be tricky without the right tool. Badger Ordnance manufactures a set of handguard clip pliers available through Brownells as part number 093-200-050.


Plastic handguard

This commercial plastic handguard exhibits hard contact with the stock. No good can come of this, and more likely, it will prove to hurt accuracy.

Remove plastic

Just place the edges of the guard against coarse sandpaper on a flat surface to remove a little bit of plastic to provide proper clearance.

Clearance

Make sure there is clearance between the rear of the guard and the receiver. If there's not, use a belt sander to shorten the handguard.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Pioneer Arms PPS-43C Pistol

Pioneer Arms PPS-43C Pistol

The PPS-43 served Poland and the Russians during WWII. It is now available as a pistol for the US market.

SCCY CPX-4 in .380 ACP

SCCY CPX-4 in .380 ACP

New for 2019 is the SCCY CPX-4, a .380 ACP semi-automatic pistol that extends beyond the existing SCCY CPX-3 line of pistols.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to do nothing but pass more gun control! 2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Just how much do you have to clean a suppressor? Or do you ever have to clean a suppressor? Your questions answered here. How-To

Should Suppressors Be Cleaned?

Patrick Sweeney

Just how much do you have to clean a suppressor? Or do you ever have to clean a suppressor?...


Mosin-Nagant and SKS rifles are leaders in the field of entry-level bang-sticks and can be found at good prices How-To

How to Buy and Clean a Mosin-Nagant Rifle

Jeff Knox - June 17, 2016

Mosin-Nagant and SKS rifles are leaders in the field of entry-level bang-sticks and can be...

Give me a Garand, a pocket full of clips and a place to shoot it, and I'm a happy man. The M1 is How-To

Troubleshooting The M1 Rifle: Bolt Release Timing

Gus Norcross - February 09, 2015

Give me a Garand, a pocket full of clips and a place to shoot it, and I'm a happy man. The M1...

Hoppe's announced that it has added another new video to its popular “How to Clean” Series. How-To

Hoppe's Debuts 'How to Clean' Video Series

Firearms News Staff - June 22, 2020

Hoppe's announced that it has added another new video to its popular “How to Clean” Series.

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now