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How to repair a loose stock?

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choprboy View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 16 2018 at 7:51pm
After a couple years of looking for a M1 carbine, I finally took a chance on a Saginaw at public auction, based on some blurry pictures. To my surprise, it seems to be an all original S'G' 1823xxx with an Underwood 8-43 barrel and some IP trigger parts and buttplate. In my limited experience and research, there are a few oddities, but it seems to be correct.

Unfortunately... the receiver and hand guard are very loose in the stock, so much so that I would very much worry about cracking the stock when firing. Before removing the clamping block there was 1/16"+ of side-to-side and front-to-back movement, and still a lot of slop and rocking after retightening as much as I dare. The rear of the hand guard slides and rattles all over.

Assuming it is a period correct rifle and you did not want to destroy that, how would you repair the stock/tighten the receiver fit? Most advice for a loose stock I have seen is to just replace it with a later/new production. I would not consider that acceptable. Perhaps a removable thin wood shim plate behind the trigger group? Perhaps just buy a new stock for firing and keep the original in a safe place?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 16 2018 at 8:53pm
Hi and welcome tot he collectors forum!

It sounds like you might have a couple of things to look at to tighten up your receiver's fit.

1) Make sure the fit between the recoil plate and rear of the receiver is tight. The recoil plate should not move from side to side relative to the receiver. Also it should almost "stick" to the receiver between the top and bottom. Test this with the recoil plate removed from the stock. If it's not tight, carefully bend it using an aluminum jawed vise until vertical looseness is eliminated.

2) Next, make sure the recoil plate is solidly screwed to the stock.

3) The clearance between the outside of the receiver and the inside of the stock should only be 1.24" (Width of Stock Opening) minus 1.210" (Width of Receiver) = .030" or .015" per side. If more, add layers of wood veneer with adhesive along the inside of the stock to take up the space.

4) Side to side looseness in the rear of the hand guard usually can be corrected by bending the metal lips inward on the corners.

5) Looseness in the front of the hand guard can be corrected by gluing a thin (1/32") layer of wood veneer to the upper surface of the wood lip of the hand guard. If you don't want to glue anything to the stock, use double sided tape.

If you choose to obtain a shooter stock, I would recommend a Springfield Armory "potbelly" Type 5 stock with a wartime recoil plate. They can usually be found on Ebay for under $100.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choprboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 16 2018 at 11:27pm
Quote 1) Make sure the fit between the recoil plate and rear of the receiver is tight. The recoil plate should not move from side to side relative to the receiver. Also it should almost "stick" to the receiver between the top and bottom. Test this with the recoil plate removed from the stock. If it's not tight, carefully bend it using an aluminum jawed vise until vertical looseness is eliminated.

With the recoil plate pushed all the way to the rear (no screw), it is contacting the stock at the rear of the screw tang and the front has ~0.020-0.025" of vertical movement relative to the stock. The tang stays in place but almost as much horizontal plate movement in the front.

The recoil block has about the same 0.020 side-to-side relative to the receiver when hooked in to it, with a few thou of vertical movement and rocks side-to-side. There are some wear marks on the rear of the receiver where it looks like the bottom edge of the recoil plate has been banging. Not deep, but a bright shiny line either side.

I think I have now found one problem. About 2/3rds of the wood notch between the plate and screw is broken, chipped at an angle down towards the front. With the grime around it, I couldn't previously see the fracture line, but once I started manipulating the recoil plate it popped out.

Quote 2) Next, make sure the recoil plate is solidly screwed to the stock.

Tightly screwed in, but the front of the recoil plate still moves up/down and side/side a bit. When tightening the recoil plate moves forward, the rear of the tang no longer in contact with the stock. Looks like the escutcheon threads may have have a bit of gunk in them preventing further tightening.

Quote 3) The clearance between the outside of the receiver and the inside of the stock should only be 1.24" (Width of Stock Opening) minus 1.210" (Width of Receiver) = .030" or .015" per side. If more, add layers of wood veneer with adhesive along the inside of the stock to take up the space.

I get about 1.245 at the rear, 1.270 at the front of the receiver area.

Looking closely at other things, on the left side from about 1" behind the front of the magazine well to about 3.5" in front of the receiver, running diagonally forward and up, there appears to be a previously repaired crack. It looks like a slightly darker grain line on the outside, but is a more obvious discontinuity from inside the stock. There are also 2 circular patches, one on either side, at the top edge of the stock towards the front. It looks like where a knot may have passed thru the stock blank that was patched?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote James K Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 12:12am
I just received a hardwood potbelly from Numrich for $52. Turned out to be Italian FAT. Advertised as good condition but actually is better than good. Inside inletting for receiver, slide, barrel and trigger group is very very good. I did find a crack on left side but that is no problem as will dam the crack with blue painters tape, apply acraglass from brownells and put the stock across my knee and flex the crack. A line will appear on top of the epoxy telling me it's going into and chasing the crack. Don't get too excited and like Jack P says, get a replacement shooter stock like I did. Can't have enough parts on hand to try anyway and the answers will come.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 12:23am
The anchor at the recoil plate is the key here. If it moves, you will not be able to stabilize the receiver. It looks like you will need to repair the wood where the recoil plate mounts. How you do this kind of depends on how original you want the stock to remain. In similar situations I have bedded the recoil plate with JB Weld epoxy as a simple fix. A more elegant wood repair might be in order if you want to preserve the stocks originality. Once you fix the recoil plate problem I think the looseness will be fixed. The wear of the forward portion of the stock and the repair you describe doesn't really affect the fit of the receiver as long as you have a good fit with the barrel band on the nose of the stock and your barrel band is not worn or damaged.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choprboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 3:00am
Well... I don't get it. I just finished disassembling almost everything but the bolt to do a worksheet. I've taken the receiver out of the stock to look at parts and removed/inserted the recoil plate a dozen times. This time on reassembly the receiver is tight in the stock. I bent the hand guard plate corners a little bit to get a tighter fit to the receiver (still moves but a lot less clatter), but other than that I have no idea what I did differently.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shadycon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 9:10am
The cleansiness gods like you!
M1's are FUN!!!
TSMG's are more FUN!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 9:43am
Good news but you probably should look at getting the recoil plate mounting surface repaired. It might loosen up after you fire a few rounds.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 12:01pm
I stabilized my recoil plate by stuffing small pieces of inner tube rubber around the plate and bedded the front of the hand guard with pieces of foam rubber, the kind used around hot water pipes and bent the metal plate on the rear of the hand guard as mentioned above,just enough to get rid of the rattle which improved the accuracy like you wouldn't believe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote James K Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 2:00pm
looking under recoil plate, appears to be missing wood. I like to see the wood flush with bottom of plate, only tang sticking out to engage back of receiver. Most important is the stub of wood from screw hole to center back of plate must be perfect to take the brunt of recoil, was that piece the one that fell out on you? Under this is a slot milled out of wood for the plate tang that points rear, like the one pointing forward for the receiver. Factory inletting makes vicious cuts in these areas and looking straight down on the curved portions are overly generous but not as important as the internal fits. I would fill void with block of wood under plate clear out to transition with the trigger housing cut.
     Do I see a crack from screw hole to the rear? Take a tool like an external snap ring pliers with card board to protect tang slot wood and see if you can make it move. If so, fix it as explained as I posted before. Clamp hard overnight. Happy days for your wook working ventures.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choprboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 5:02pm
Yes, about 2/3rds of the wood between the screw hole and the back of the plate fell out. It's pretty hard to get a closeup pcture, but these more or less show it. You can see the crack from in the first picture now, when I first took it apart the grime/grease/wax in the tang slot concealed it. I may try using some solvent to wash the oil/grease out of the wood around the break and epoxy the chuck back into place.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 5:08pm
Great pictures. I think that is a good plan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 5:19pm
I finally found the picture that shows the critical contact points between the recoil plate and the receiver. Like I said earlier a correctly fitted recoil plate will almost "stick" to the receiver.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choprboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 5:44pm
Yeah, the top left and right contact points are there. The bottom contact is from the bottom lip of the recoil plate to the vertical surface of the receiver. The back of the receiver has a bright horizontal line on either side of the ramp. I'm assuming the bottom of the receiver ramp should really be contacting the lower bevel of the recoil plate lip?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 6:08pm
Exactly! That will cause the barrel to spring up 1/4" to 3/ 8" in front so it is "preloaded" when the barrel band is installed. To achieve this I carefully "squeezed" the recoil plate as required in a vise with soft jaws to close this space. This will really help accuracy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 6:36pm
Is the recoil plate cast or forged. I would be concerned that it could potentially crack if placed in a vice in an attempt to bend it, even if done carefully. But, I can certainly see that it would improve the fit if accomplished.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 7:02pm
That's why I said "carefully". It looks to be a wartime recoil plate. The cast post war "RIA" recoil plates have a narrower (7/16") tab that fits between the ears for the trigger housing. This one looks like a wider one (1/2").
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choprboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 8:43pm
Looks to be milled, I think it is early wartime production. Marked "IP-W" on the bottom of the tang.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote James K Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 9:19pm
Just had another thought on repair. I mentioned a block of wood in like remove bad then epoxy new block in, but the different angles to reinlet would be very difficult. Numrich has a bunch of 5 broken stocks for cheap. Hopefully one has a good recoil plate inletting you could cut that block out of and epoxy into yours. That would stop that crack also and save hours of careful inletting. Your stock does look nice and worth trying to save. The screw hole would help as a guide also. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 17 2018 at 9:34pm
So, after looking more carefully at the picture I can see that you have an early Type 2 Irwin-Pedersen recoil plate that probably has significant value as a collectible. However, it's not the best type for securely anchoring the receiver. I would recommend finding a later Type 3 to use for shooting and save the original. The later Type 3 will also bend more easily if you need to "squeeze" it as I mentioned earlier and it will improve the accuracy of your carbine.
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