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

Gemtech Suppressors: Testing the Patrolman, the One and the Tracker

Gemtech Suppressors: Testing the Patrolman, the One and the Tracker

Patrick Sweeney tests and reviews a trio of Gemtech suppressors.

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.

3 Ring Silencers

3 Ring Silencers

Patrick Sweeney heads to the range to look at suppressors from 3 Ring Silencer Corporation.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

More and more people are choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection, here is why you may want to consider SIG Sauer's P365. Handguns

Is SIG Sauer's P365 9mm the Perfect Carry Gun?

David M. Fortier - August 16, 2020

More and more people are choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection, here is why you...

Anarchy Outdoors has introduced a series of upgrades for the T/C Compass and Venture rifles. Rifles

Anarchy Outdoors Introduces Upgrades For T/C Compass and Venture Rifles

Firearms News Staff - August 22, 2020

Anarchy Outdoors has introduced a series of upgrades for the T/C Compass and Venture rifles.

Governor Mike DeWine's STRONG Ohio anti-gun bill is facing strong, unified opposition. 2nd Amendment

Opposition to 'STRONG Ohio' Remains Strong

Buckeye Firearms Association - August 24, 2020

Governor Mike DeWine's STRONG Ohio anti-gun bill is facing strong, unified opposition.

The Masada is IWI's first striker-fired pistol and is an accurate, good looking polymer handgun that has a great trigger. Handguns

IWI Masada Pistol Review

Bob Taubert - August 19, 2020

The Masada is IWI's first striker-fired pistol and is an accurate, good looking polymer...

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

Flat-­shooting, soft and accurate, the AK47 has been refined and civilized by Dave Lauck and DL Sports. Patrick Sweeney takes this refined AK47, the DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine, to the range for a test drive. Rifles

DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine

Patrick Sweeney - September 01, 2020

Flat-­shooting, soft and accurate, the AK47 has been refined and civilized by Dave Lauck and...

The SIG MCX Virtus Patrol and the FN SCAR slug it out for supremacy in this clash of titans. Rifles

SIG MCX Virtus Patrol vs. FN SCAR

Will Dabbs, MD - July 24, 2020

The SIG MCX Virtus Patrol and the FN SCAR slug it out for supremacy in this clash of titans.

Vincent DeNiro, editor of Firearms News, does some shooting with the Aero Precision Atlas S-One 7.5-Inch AR pistol upper in 5.56. Rifles

Firearms News Takes a Look at the Aero Precision 7.5-Inch AR Pistol Upper In 5.56

Vincent L. DeNiro, Editor - June 05, 2020

Vincent DeNiro, editor of Firearms News, does some shooting with the Aero Precision Atlas...

This new Ruger 10/22 Target rifle features an attractive orange and black laminate thumbhole stock with an adjustable length pull as well as a sleek, stainless steel barrel and action. Rifles

Ruger 10/22 Target with Orange and Black Thumbhole Stock

Firearms News Staff - July 29, 2020

This new Ruger 10/22 Target rifle features an attractive orange and black laminate thumbhole...

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.

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