Poor quality of the SOCOM 16 Fiberglass Stock


November 29, 2008, 07:30 PM
I disassembled my SA SOCOM 16 with black fiberglass stock today to install a USGI heavy weight walnut stock, and I discovered that the quality of SA fiberglass stock was poor. Unlike the GI walnut stock which has a steel lining for the main pressure points, the SA SOCOM 16 fiberglass is completely made of fiberglass, and also the stock is very loose-fitting.... the receiver literally dropped out of the stock after the trigger group was taken out.

Plus, I saw a fine crack on the fiberglass stock on the right side supporting the part of the receiver containing the serial number. I bought this rifle new and only fired 100 or so Mil Spec Lake City rounds through it... I was slightly shocked by the poor quality of the factory fiberglass stock.

I compared it with my friend's 15 yo M1A with black fiberglass stock, and that fiberglass stock was much much better made in quality... He is unsure whether his stock is USGI or old SA factory.

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November 29, 2008, 07:31 PM
Did your friend's fiberglass stock have a metal lining??

November 29, 2008, 07:50 PM
yes, it does... in his heavy-weight fiberglass stock, there is a metal guard at the front end, and a few pieces of metal in the middle, not as many as the USGI stock. Plus, his fiberglass stock is much heavier and much tighter fitting, and it feels more sturdy... the current new SOCOM 16 stock feels like solidified foam...

November 29, 2008, 07:55 PM
Well how new is your SOCOM stock because until quite recently SAI just painted USGI fiberglass stocks textured black. The M14 USGI synthetic stock do not have any metal reinforcement if your friends has any then someone added it to the stock to stiffen it. The wood stocks have a metal liner in the magazine/receiver area but the fiberglass stocks do not. So pretty much what you described sounds like it is a USGI synthetic stock painted black. SAI now make their own synthetic stock and it is a bit less sturdy but still serviceable.

November 29, 2008, 07:58 PM
Very new, made in 2007... this rifle contained no USGI parts at all... unlike my M1A which was made in 2001... I am very shocked by the fine crack after 100 rounds, and was using mil spec rounds, not hot handloads...

Edit: after comparing the two stocks, I am simply not comfortable shooting 7.62 x 51 through that kind of fragile stock anymore... should stick to wooden stocks with metal lining.

November 29, 2008, 08:07 PM
Your stock is a USGI synthetic then and the crack was probably always there even before SAI painted it. There is nothing wrong with a USGI synthetic stock I've never heard anyone question their durability. Send the stock back to SAI they will replace it, take advantage of the lifetime warranty even if you just want to sell the stock. And yes it is common knowledge that SAI stopped using USGI part completely for a while now except for the synthetic stocks they just recently started using their own.

November 29, 2008, 08:09 PM
Wow, I am surprised to hear this considering where it came from and the cost associated with it. That sucks. How much did you pay for it and then how much was the wood stock to replace the fiberglass one?

November 29, 2008, 08:27 PM
I got my used heavy wt USGI wooden stock with proof stamp about 5 years ago from a gunshow for $90. U can still get them from fulton armory, or on gunbroker. But they are much more expensive now as the USGI parts are drying out. Back then, I could get a USGI TRW bolt for $100 dollars... but now the price has tripled...

November 29, 2008, 08:31 PM
Lipadj46, my cracked SOCOM stock is not USGI... It looked completely brand-new and feels light and foamy... and the crack is new because I sensed/heard a weird sound last time when I was at the range firing. I will probably call SA on Monday to get a replacement stock, hopefully a medium weight wooden stock...

November 29, 2008, 08:32 PM
It is what it is, USGI M14 parts have for all intensive purposes dried up so SAI had to make there own parts. They use Boyd's walnut stocks but no one has made an aftermarket M14 USGI style stock so they just painted USGI fiberglass stocks for years and I'm sure recently they were scraping the bottom of the barrel and sent out a few stinkers. They now make their own synthetic stocks. And as far as the loose fitting action, that's how they fit. We are talking about mass produced battle rifles here. You'll notice SAI does not offer a match rifle in a USGI synthetic stock. That is due to the fact they don't lock up tight and are not stiff enough in the for-end. And for the price, I guess that's what people are willing to pay.

Edit: Retro I'm surprised to hear they were making their own synthetics 2 years ago. It was my understanding they switched over in 2008. Does the stock have any numbers on the inside mag area? They always looked new because SAI put on a crinkle coat and sprayed them black but if you stripped them they would be USGI brown underneath. Yes definitely send it back. I've heard nothing but good things about SAI customer service they may send you a Boyd's if you ask them. The lifetime warranty kind of makes up for the lack of USGI parts and price for many people.

November 29, 2008, 08:40 PM
It can happen during the mold/curing process.

Sorry to hear about it and hopefully they will get you a new one.


November 29, 2008, 10:15 PM
I just emailed the sales department of SA. Thanks for your advices.

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