M1A Stock Options: Pro-Mag Archangel

M1A Stock Options: Pro-Mag Archangel

While there are several different wood stocks available for M14 type rifles at reasonable cost, choices in synthetics priced below $400 have been limited. At the high end we have the excellent McMillans and at the low end G.I. fiberglass but until recently there were no full length moderately priced synthetic marksman stocks available. I have often lamented this gaping hole in the accessory market.

I have fitted many of the G.I. fiberglass stocks to M1As over the last 25 years and their primary defect is flimsiness. The forend is very flexible and it bends from the weight of the rifle if a bipod is employed. I would rate the G.I. fiberglass stock as utilitarian only. Anyone requiring top accuracy would be better off with a bedded commercial wood stock. Springfield Armory supplied their basic M1As with the fiberglass handle for many years, but they must have run out of them since recent production rifles come with an injection molded plastic stock which is an improvement over 1960s G.I. issue.

A couple of months ago I received a call from Drew Kelly, Director of Marketing for Pro Mag Industries asking me to evaluate a new M14 stock they had just introduced. Honestly, I'm really not familiar with Pro Mag products and didn't know what to expect. (Disclaimer: I usually leave new product introductions to the real gunwriters at SGN and stick to gunsmithing tips but this particular item is so significant to M14 shooters I am going to cover it here.) Before I received a test stock I browsed the sites of internet vendors searching for pictures of the product and pricing. At one point Midway USA had them on sale for $207 and I had my doubts that a U.S. company could produce a high quality synthetic stock in that price range.

I have evaluated the product and test fired several rifles in it over the last few months. It is well worth the money. Constructed of carbon and glass fiber with no metal spine, it is extremely rigid. A bipod mounted to the 1913 rail molded on to the forend should have negligible effect on accuracy or point of impact. The pistol grip is near vertical with ambidextrous palm swells and contains a storage compartment for odds and ends.


The cheekpiece is adjustable for heightusing an easily adjusted wheel with detents for repeatable settings. The cheek weld on scoped rifles is about as good as it gets. Pro Mag has dispensed with the standard M14 hinged steel buttplate and replaced it with a 1-inch recoil pad mounted to a plate  that is adjustable for length of pull.


One of my few criticisms of this stock is the minimum 14-inch pull length.  A standard rifle has a 13-1/2-inch length of pull,  and the new stock seems a bit long if you are used to shooting M1As with G.I. stocks. I may shorten the pad 1/2" on my test sample. Sling swivel studs are positioned front and rear, along with flush mounts on the sides for the push button type detachable swivels if you wish to mount a carry sling. The Pro Mag weighs only one pound more than a standard walnut stock.

While the stock is advertised as a drop-in unit, rifles I tested required a bit of fitting under the trigger housing pads so the trigger guard will lock closed. The instructions cover this eventuality. I found the stock ferrule to front band fit to be too tight on rifles with unitized gas systems, so a small amount of material might need to be removed from inside the stock in this area.

Receiver to stock fit is tight like a bedded rifle and the actions I tested all fit nicely with one exception. Springfield Armory M1A receivers made prior to 1990 (estimated) may have a ridge on the bottom right hand surface that will interfere with stock fit (see photo). The stock will have to be relieved in this area so the receiver will seat flush. The forend is deliberately designed with a downward curve to tension the barrel by pulling on the front band, moderating barrel harmonics for best accuracy.

And it is accurate. I tested standard and "loaded" Springfield M1As by firing groups with the factory stock and again in the Pro Mag stock. The accuracy of every rifle tested improved when the new stock was installed. A typical example was a standard Springfield M1A manufactured in 2000 supplied with a black painted G.I. synthetic stock and chrome lined G.I. Winchester barrel.


Aside from a unitized gas system the rifle was unmodified. Firing Federal American Eagle 168-grain OTM ammo (cat #A76251M1A) at 100 yards from the bench with a 4-12X scope produced 3 round groups in the 1-1 1/2-inch range. I thought this accuracy was outstanding for a standard rifle with a surplus barrel, but installing the Pro Mag Archangel stock reduced groups under and inch, with my best measuring 3/4". From a G.I. barrel? Wow. I was impressed. Subsequent testing of other rifles yielded similar results.

I believe rigidity is a major reason this stock shoots so well. The built in barrel tension combined with the stiffness of the carbon fiber and the general ergonomics of this stock results in an excellent product "made in USA" that M1A owners should take a hard look at.

Test rifles

Test rifles were fired from the bench with a scope in a removable Bassett Machine mount. The Archangel M1A stock has a very distinctive appearance; no one will think it's a surplus military stock.

Fiberglass stock and chrome lined barrel

This test rifle was equipped from the factory with a black-painted G.I. fiberglass stock and G.I. chrome lined barrel. Norcross didn't expect a whole of accuracy from it, but would be surprised.

Pro Mag Archangel M1A stock

The Pro Mag Archangel M1A stock weighs only 1 pound more than a standard walnut factory stock, despite having an adjustable cheekpiece, rubber recoil pad and palm shelf on the pistol grip.

Cheek rest

Cheek rest height and length of pull are easily adjusted by thumb wheels. Norcross would have preferred a little less length of pull, but getting a good cheek weld was easy with a scope mounted.

Pro Mag forend

The rigid Pro Mag forend is supplied with a 1913 rail and a rail cover. This will allow easy bipod mounting and fore-and-aft adjustment. The sling swivel is placed all the way at the front of the stock.

Receivers

Current production receivers (top) have a flat bottom but pre-1990 rifles had a rail on the bottom right-hand side. Stocks fitted to these older rifles must be inletted for enough rail clearance.

pro-mag-7

Three-shot groups from the factory rifle were in the 1 to 1 1/2-inch range, but that was tightened up to 3/4" with the Archangel stock installed. It's a lot of improvement for the price, Norcross says.

pro-mag-8

Three-shot groups from the factory rifle were in the 1 to 1 1/2-inch range, but that was tightened up to 3/4" with the Archangel stock installed. It's a lot of improvement for the price, Norcross says.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

If you need to see your game, and know the distance in all hunting environments, the GPO RANGEGUIDE 10×50 is your winning ticket.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-Lok® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

Jake Edson of Bushnell Optics tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about the brand new Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 rangefinders.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

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.

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...

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to tactical folders, and many of their models are offered in several different styles. Accessories

Ruger CRKT Knives Review

James Tarr - July 08, 2019

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to...

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

The AR-556 with Lite Free-Float Handguard is a minimalist approach to achieving maximum performance. Rifles

Ruger AR-556 with Lite Free-Float Handguard

Ruger Newsroom - December 18, 2019

The AR-556 with Lite Free-Float Handguard is a minimalist approach to achieving maximum...

The Lee Enfield No. 4(T) was perhaps the best sniper rifle of World War II. Rifles

Lee Enfield No. 4(T) Sniper Rifle

David M. Fortier - October 11, 2019

The Lee Enfield No. 4(T) was perhaps the best sniper rifle of World War II.

Legacy Sports International's Howa Model 1500 Mini is a handy bolt-action hunting rifle available in .223 Rem, 6.5mm Grendel, 300 BLK and 7.62x39mm. Rifles

Howa 1500 Mini Action 7.62x39mm

David M. Fortier - September 27, 2019

Legacy Sports International's Howa Model 1500 Mini is a handy bolt-action hunting rifle...

Did you know the US Air Force recently adopted a specialized carbine for pilots and aircrew members? Rifles

US Air Force Survival Rifle: GAU-5A ASDW

David M. Fortier - January 14, 2020

Did you know the US Air Force recently adopted a specialized carbine for pilots and aircrew...

See More Rifles

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.