A1 vs A2 stock theory


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Hoppy590
August 10, 2008, 08:16 PM
so im building an AR. i was looking into info about various aspects, twists rates etc.

i came across this guide.

http://forums.officer.com/showthread.php?t=81462

A1 Stock

The original M16A1 came with a fixed stock that fit well into the role of a combat arm. It fit most people, and allowed the shooter to get a proper combat position on the stock, touching the tip of the nose to the charging handle to serve as a reference point. This provided a consistant "cheek weld." It is important that the shooter can face the target and bring up his rifle straight in front of him, which positions his body armor towards the threat, giving him maximum protection.

A2 Stock

When the Army Marksmanship Unit developed the M16A2 to win shooting competitions, they incorporated a longer "target" stock. This fixed stock is designed to be used while "bladed" to the target. The shooter does not throw the rifle up in front of him, but brings it up alongside his body and stands perpendicular to the target. This is no good on a combat arm, as this exposes the "armpit" of your body armor towards the threat. This stock (along with the entire rifle) is for target shooters, not warriors. If you have an A2 stock, shuck it! There are better options.

while the posters seems overtly biased against the A2 as a whole rifle. but i was wondering if theres any truth to this stock theory. was there a training change from the A1 to A2 in terms of stance?

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Jimmie
August 10, 2008, 08:22 PM
When I first joined, they taught the "bladed" stance for handguns. Now they teach more of an isosceles stance to take advantage of body armor. I know the current taught stance for the M4 is straight on - again to take advantage of the torso body armor. I don't know how the training changed between the A1/A2, but it seems reasonable based on what is taught now.

ArmedBear
August 10, 2008, 08:50 PM
The A2 stock is 5/8" longer than the A1 stock.

You really think that 5/8" makes that much difference on a rifle with a short LOP anyway, and with people of different sizes?

Hoppy590
August 10, 2008, 08:53 PM
You really think that 5/8" makes that much difference on a rifle with a short LOP anyway, and with people of different sizes?

no i dont think the length would change anything, rather the training would.

i dont subscribe to this theory, im just looking for some more info to this guys ideas, especialy from possible military or AR gurus

ArmedBear
August 10, 2008, 09:18 PM
Also, one has to note that the M-16 has split into two very distinct variants, the Marines' rifles, and the Army's collapsible-stock carbines.

I think the A1 was designed at a time when it wasn't exactly clear what it was. Was it a new rifle? Was it a big submachine gun? Was it a new class of firearm, really?

cracked butt
August 10, 2008, 09:21 PM
Meh, the 'author' (looks like a lot of cut and paste from other sites I've seen) also trashes the A2 sight in favor of the A1 sight as well, then he was comparing M4 carbines without any mention of building one with a A1 upper. I guess he can't hang all of his tactcraptical junk off a carbine if he went with A1 sights.:rolleyes:

The A2 stock isn't a problem for people of above average height- which seems to be almost the norm for Americans. Compare the stock lengths to a AK which was made with underfed undernourished 3rd world peasants in mind.

mljdeckard
August 10, 2008, 09:30 PM
What's the difference between Marine A2s and Army A2s, or Marine M-4s and Army M-4s?

This is something I've actually been adapting to a lot. I went through basic training in 1991, with traditional rifles and stances. When I came back in a couple of years ago, a LOT of the training has changed. We now run the rifles with body armor, which means you want to present a broad armored picture to your target, rather than your un-armored left armhole. It means you stand differently, place your weight differently, etc. This is very difficult to do with an A2, gripping the forearm is too far, and grabbing the mag well seems too close. The stock makes you lean too far back. This is why you want a collapsible stock and a vertical handle in front of the mag well. If you are trying to train very small-framed soldiers (mostly females) with A2 rifles, they can't do this at all.

Either way, I can't see what difference 5/8" would make.

Neo-Luddite
August 10, 2008, 09:37 PM
As time goes on, the A1 and its clean lines start looking sexier--for lack of a better word.

Many A1s were upgraded over the years with A2 stock parts.

Personally, I was trained on the a2 first, then on the a1. I had better luck with the a1.

No real point to me mentioning this, except that if I were building an AR I'd look at the 'classical' a1 config--it was lighter and seemed to mount better. I don't recall a significant difference in training between the two but experience with the A2 was limited at the time.

Jeff White
August 10, 2008, 11:17 PM
First off, the A2 was designed by the USMC who adopted it as their standard in 1983. The Army didn't adopt it until 1985.

The 5/8 inch longer butt stock was specified for the competition shooter because it is a better length to shoot from the military prone position with.

Unfortunately, wars aren't fought on the rifle range and in many cases you can't shoot from the prone at all because of the terrain. Get your face down in the grass in most places that aren't a rifle range, golf course (waste of a perfectly good rifle range in my opinion) or parking lot and it's doubtful you'll be able to see very far.

The 5/8 inch difference is enough to change the way you shoulder the weapon. It's great for the standard positions that high power competitors use at Camp Perry and other matches where they are strapped into their shooting jackets, but it's less then optimal for other positions.

The M16A2, A3 and A4 aren't the only rifles that suffer from a too long length of pull. Most adult size American long guns have a length of pull that is way too long for most people. Most people, regardless of size shoot better when they have an 11 to 12 1/2 inch length of pull.

The longer butt stock isn't the only thing the competitive shooting community put on the M16A2 that is wrong for a combat rifle. The click adjustable A2 sights are another problem area. Very handy when you shoot high power and can change your impact for wind and range by just clicking the sights, but a dubious feature in combat. Most Soldiers and Marines set a battle sight zero on their weapon and don't ever mess with the sights again. For one thing, most engagements are at ranges that are well within the trajectory of a 300 meter battle sight zero. One of the reasons the sights on the original M16 were designed to be held in place with spring loaded detents was to keep them from being knocked off zero when the weapon is handled roughly.

I'm certain it must have happened more times then this, but I've only been able to find one documented instance of anyone adjusting his sights in a firefight. That occurred during the 1st Gulf war when a Special Forces team was compromised in a hide position and it took a lot of long range fire and a lot of good CAS to get them out.

There is no difference between Army and Marine M16s and M4s. The only difference you would find would be the accessories the services use, optics, lasers....that kind of things. The rifles and carbines themselves are the same.

Jeff

Onmilo
August 10, 2008, 11:26 PM
For the record, the M16A2 was adopted as Standard A in 1983.
There were several thousand M16A2 rifles issued to the 18th and 82nd Airborne for test and evaluation at that time.
It was 1987 before the rifle became general issue Army wide.

The standard A2 is a much better target shooting stock and as stated, the collapsing stock is much more advantageous for a combat rifle utilized with modern body armor.

The A1 stock worked better with the old Flak Jackets and LC-1 web gear than the longer A2 stocked rifles.

41magsnub
August 10, 2008, 11:33 PM
Back when I was in the Army (94-97) the A2 was too long for me when in a flak jacket. I scored way better without the armore than with. I have stubby little arms though, a standard youth stocked rifle is only just too short for me and when in my full hunting kit with extra layers actually fits me just right.

cracked butt
August 11, 2008, 01:27 AM
The M16A2, A3 and A4 aren't the only rifles that suffer from a too long length of pull. Most adult size American long guns have a length of pull that is way too long for most people. Most people, regardless of size shoot better when they have an 11 to 12 1/2 inch length of pull.


So you are saying that rifles with a 13-13.5" LOP are not ideal for the average shooter? This would include A2 stocked ARs and just about every mass produced bolt action rifle made in the last 100 years.:scrutiny:

The 5/8 inch difference is enough to change the way you shoulder the weapon. It's great for the standard positions that high power competitors use at Camp Perry and other matches where they are strapped into their shooting jackets, but it's less then optimal for other positions.


What other positions are those? Hell, I even shot my deer left handed last year with a rifle with the same LOP as my AR- The whole 'stock works well for target shooters but not for anyone else' theme doesn't compute.

The biggest problem I see is the 'one size fits all' approach. If a stock is too long, shorten it up, if its too short, lengthen it. The Brits were able to figure this out with their enfields, I know a few of the much derided target shooters who install A1 stocks on their rifles because they are short of stature or junior shooters. Collapsable stocks make sense if you are wearing armor or heavy clothes.

Jeff White
August 11, 2008, 03:34 AM
So you are saying that rifles with a 13-13.5" LOP are not ideal for the average shooter? This would include A2 stocked ARs and just about every mass produced bolt action rifle made in the last 100 years.

That's exactly what I'm saying.

What other positions are those? Hell, I even shot my deer left handed last year with a rifle with the same LOP as my AR- The whole 'stock works well for target shooters but not for anyone else' theme doesn't compute.

Ever been in the Infantry, either Army or Marine? Ever had any training where the goal was to learn to fight with your rifle, not target shoot or hunt? Ever wear all kinds of equipment and body armor while shooting?

You are going to learn all kinds of unconventional positions that will allow you to shoot from behind cover. The different positions would be a thread of it's own.

It's a lot easier for everyone to shoot with a shorter stock then it is for someone to shoot with one that's too long.

Jeff

Titan6
August 11, 2008, 04:32 AM
Most Soldiers and Marines set a battle sight zero on their weapon and don't ever mess with the sights again.


Units vary greatly these days but, most don't even use the sights anymore. Almost everyone that goes out on patrol or pulls guard has an optic of some kind. The Mairnes seem to favor the Trijicon stand alone while the Army favors the cheaper Aimpoint with backup flip-up shoot through. The Army has reatained the adjustable range of 200-600 meters on the backup rear flip-up but I don't know of a single person that has ever used that feature.

JNewell
August 11, 2008, 08:26 PM
I am 6-5 with 36" sleeves. The A1 works better for me, and I'm well above average height and arm length.

One thing to note is that the A2 buttstock is generally made of more durable material than the original A1 stock, which can be a factor to consider in rough use.

Irwin
August 11, 2008, 09:05 PM
The orginal quote says that you expose you arm pit to the enemy, does this really matter if your being shot at I can think of other places id rather not be shot :D

kcmarine
August 11, 2008, 09:10 PM
The arm pit doesn't have body armor in front of it. Thus, it is a weak spot.

I like both. That's right, I said both. Wanna fight about it?

Jeff White
August 11, 2008, 09:57 PM
Irwin said;
The orginal quote says that you expose you arm pit to the enemy, does this really matter if your being shot at I can think of other places id rather not be shot

There are few places you can be shot that are worse. The armpit is easy access into the chest cavity. It's above the ribcage so there is no protection, right there you have the heart and lungs and the arteries that feed them.

Where would you rather not be shot that is more vulnerable then the armpit?

Jeff

SoCalShooter
August 11, 2008, 10:05 PM
I suggest going everything A2 or A3 or A4. A1 is icky, the sights are junk and the extra 5/8in is just not noticeable.

alemonkey
August 11, 2008, 10:23 PM
Shooting straight on to present body armor rather than the armpit is a very interesting idea that I've never thought of before. Makes perfect sense when you think of it, but I think for me it would be very uncomfortable. I learned to shoot "bladed" towards my target. Good thing I don't have anyone shooting back at me:eek:

If you think about it, it's kind of a continuation of the days before firearms. Heavy plate armor meant the armpit was one of the few vulnerable areas, so combatants would often go for a thrust to that area. It goes to show it's really hard to armor a movable joint.

Irwin
August 11, 2008, 11:15 PM
I must have been on crack when I posted the first time for some reason I thought the shooter was exposing there full armpit, didnt quite take into fact that you can shoot through someones arm :uhoh: Yeah now you mention the lungs and heart and that id rather not be shot there either, or anyware come to think of it. For the armpit can you not get a flexiable bit of kevlar(if that exists) or even a dragonskin style layers of kevlar to go up to the armour or is this just extra weight and another thing to trap heat in?
Irwin

Hoppy590
August 11, 2008, 11:40 PM
One thing to note is that the A2 buttstock is generally made of more durable material than the original A1 stock, which can be a factor to consider in rough use.

while im not concerned about exposing my side to the enemy, as im a civi and dont own any armor. (except an old Nam era flak vest, just cause its awesome) im a short guy and would probably benefit from the A1 stock. a collapsible would be nice but

A iv never warmed up to them
B can only get pinned collapsible in MA

in my search for A1 stocks iv found the Cavalry Arms C1 stock is A1 length and of modern construction with todays more advanced plastics so im thinking of going that way.

found an A1 detachable site :evil:

ugaarguy
August 12, 2008, 12:36 AM
Hoppy, you might look at RRA's Entry Tactical. It's a fixed stock that's the same length as a collapsed M4 stock. I'm still learning to shoot body squared to the target, but my SOPMOD stock never leaves the full in position.

steveracer
August 12, 2008, 03:34 AM
I've got an A1 stock on my M16A2 in Iraq right now. It measures 7/8" shorter, OAL, than the other A2s in my unit. There are actually many advantages. One, the A1 stock has a rubber buttplate, which is nice for stability when shouldered. Two, it's easier to get close to the rear sight, and get a good sight picture, at least for me. Third, it's easier to fit to a smaller person. (One of my guys is 5')
I ordered them from Numrich's for $7 each, and got a dozen. The smaller guys love them. Many have had dramatic improvements on their rifle scores, and I was able to shoot 38/40 with mine. Cheapest way to fit a rifle to a guy wearing armor and shooting for the first time. Yes, we wear armor ALL THE TIME, so it's not like we train one way, and fight another.
The A1 stock is a real winner, and I will be installing them on my guns in the future. The one minor problem is, no trap door, but I left mine empty, anyway, so it's not a big deal.
Best,
Steve

mljdeckard
August 12, 2008, 05:38 PM
I am in the process of adding adjustable stocks to all rifles I would use for defensive purposes, including my SKS and my 870.

The only exception to this would be my M-1 carbine, since it is already pretty short, and honestly, I wouldn't know where to find one.

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