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Building an ar with the A2 stock

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by horsemen61, Dec 5, 2018 at 11:51 AM.

  1. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Howdy folks

    Here is the situation I am building another ar 15 but this one is different because I am using an A2 stock having said that

    Do I need any special tools or anything to build it up? Thank you
     
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  2. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    No special tools for an A2 setup. The difference is there is no castle nut on an A2 setup. The A2 stock has a flange that holds the spring and detent for the rear takedown pin in and mates the stock to the back of the receiver. There is a flathead screw that screws in from the back of the A2 stock to the buffer tube. So to complete your lower you need the stock to retain the spring and detent.
     
  3. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    ^^^ What he said.
     
  4. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    A2 stocks are pretty easy peasy to install.

    If you have a castle nut wrench and some way to stake it (don't recommend loctite here but some use it instead), a big flat bladed screwdriver for the stock bolt, then you should be good. Decide if you want the basic castle nut or a fancier one.

    Just make sure to put the spacer for the A2 stock (this is to take up the difference between the A2 and the earlier A1 stock in length) in before you put the buffer and spring inside.
     
  5. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    The A2's Ive replaced (I like the shorter A1's LOP) all had a plastic spacer on the buffer tube to make up the difference in length between the original A1 type tubes. They also use a different screw (the one with the vent hole in it) on the top. The A1 screw is shorter.

    Not sure if the newer tubes are longer and the spacer is still needed though. other than those two things, I dont think youll find any differences.

    One thing I did find out with the screw is, if you try and use the A2 screw with the A1's, youll go nuts trying to figure out random feeding malfunctions. The little bit of difference in length in that screw is all it takes to drive you crazy. :)
     
  6. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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  7. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    If you're converting from a carbine buffer tube, the hardest part will be getting the carbine tube castle nut off if it was staked in place. Putting on the new A2 (or 5/8" shorter A1) parts are easy.

    Buy the whole A2 parts kit, which does include the buffer tube spacer and correct length screws.
    https://www.fulton-armory.com/buttstockassemblygroupa2newblack.aspx

    I turned my carbine stocked AR into an A1 stocked AR a few years ago. If any of y'all are looking to do so, it looks like some USGI A1 type stocks are back in inventory.
    https://www.fulton-armory.com/buttstockstrippeda1newblack-1.aspx
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 12:28 PM
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  8. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I strongly prefer the A2 stocks over any other AR stock I've ever used or picked up.
     
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  9. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    Yes, I should have clarified. I assumed you are starting from scratch utilizing an A2 buffer tube. Like others mentioned above if you are changing from a carbine setup to an A2 setup using a carbine buffer tube there are differences in installation.
     
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  10. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    Yes, they are very nice.
     
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  11. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    My personal standard is the fixed A1 stock. Those are better than the longer A2 if you have short arms, or are wearing heavy winter clothing, or body armor. A1 and A2 stocks use the same buffer tube. The difference is that the A2 uses a spacer and a longer screw. I never liked the collapsible stock, ever since it came out on the Vietnam-era XM-177. It always looked like a kludge job to me. If I want a folding stock I'll go with an AR-180 or a Daewoo.
     
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  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Another A2 stock fan. Not much cold weather here. Medium long arms.
     
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  13. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    +1
     
  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    It requires the stock, spacer, buffer tube, buffer, buffer spring, and the correct length A2 stock screw. For tools you need a flat tip screwdriver and some blue lock tight. Less tools than required for a carbine stock. We made carbines with A1 or A2 stocks during that '94-'04 silliness.
     
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  15. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

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    I LOVE my A2 stocks over any other stock i have on my MSR's
     
  16. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    The A2's are actually a tad "long". Most military rifles have a LOP of about 12.5-13", and the M16/M16A1's are that length, as are the M1 and M14, and believe it or not, the AK's.

    Contrary to what you usually hear, the AK's are not "short" stocked. A lot of people just shoulder them wrong. ;)
     
  17. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I like the fixed stocks, either length is just fine with me. My beard appreciates not being yanked out every third shot. Most of my rifles have collapsible stocks, but I don’t really know why other than that’s what came with the parts kits or what I could find. For some reason they seem to be more fashionable than the fixed stocks. Maybe because they were listed as one of the evil features?

    FWIW one of my A2 stocks came with an Allen screw instead of a flat blade. I may be wrong but I think it was the Colt.
     
  18. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    A2 is 13 5/8” length of pull, same as most full size bolt rifles. I’m 6’4” so anything shorter than that feels like a toy
     
  19. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Rather than replacing the A1 stock with the A2 as the standard, the military should have kept both in inventory and issued them to individual soldiers based on their height and what other equipment they might be wearing. The British, for their No. 4 rifle, issued four lengths of buttstocks (Long, Normal, Short, and Bantam) with 1/2" difference in length from one to another. I think two lengths would have been adequate for the M16.
     
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  20. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    There was a REALLY good thread on ARF.com a while back from one of the guys in the Marines who developed the M16A2. I forget what his exact role was, but he was in the thick of it. He actually created the finger nub on the A2 pistol grip by Bondo-ing some plastic scraps onto an A1 grip at the spot where some ergonomics study said it should go, tested it by giving his prototypes to a squad of troops, and when they were happy with it, he sent the grips off to Colt.

    Anyway, he said one of the driving philosophies behind the A2 was to make as many of the changes as possible reversible back to the the A1. The Army really did not like the A2 change proposals (there's a really good PDF online where they dispute the changes for like 40 pages), and this was a sales pitch from the Marines to the Army saying that if they screwed something up, the Army arsenals could just refit all the rifles back to the A1 standard with a minimum of fuss. The A1/A2 stocks are a perfect example of this.

    He had mentioned that the Marines originally wanted a 14" LOP stock on the A2, based on some ergonomics study showing that it would fit something like 90% of riflemen (how I don't know, the A2 stock is already too long for probably half of the civilian shooters out there), but the rifle racks on board ships limited them to a maximum of 13 5/8" LOP stocks, and so it was. Looking it up, it looks like the rifles were intended to be one-size-fits-all, although brand new plastic-style A1 buttstocks were supposed to be available to the outlier troops who needed a shorter LOP. It looks like the Army never developed a new A1 stock using the A2 plastic material, so that plan kind of fell by the wayside.

    Just some cool history I wanted to share.

    EDIT: Got Googling and found the original thread. I wrote the original post from memory, but went back and corrected some things I had wrong from the source thread. If anything else I've wrote here is wrong or contradicted in that thread, I will gladly defer to the authority.

    If you're an AR nut, this is a treasure trove of info.
    https://www.ar15.com/forums/AR-15/W...rip-to-the-A2-pistol-grip-/118-626884/?page=1
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 2:43 AM
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  21. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Speaking of A2 grips, my favorite AR grip is the A2 -- but with a twist. It's called the Stow-Away II by a company called Lone Star Ordnance. It's a tiny bit fatter than a standard A2, with a storage compartment closed by a hinged door at the bottom. The company went out of business years ago, but Numrich had an inventory of the grips. Then they ran out, but, strangely, still had the Airsoft version. That was identical except that you had to drill the small hole for the selector detent spring. Now I don't know if even any of those are available. Anyway I have it on most of my AR's.

    ETA: I just checked and they're selling for $40-$70 on ebay.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 9:04 AM
  22. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    All my "military" bolt guns (and actually, "all" my long guns) have that same basic LOP as the autos, around 13".

    The newer commercial bolt guns (generally from the late 60's, early 70's on), have a longer LOP, and a lot of that is due to the add on recoil pads that seem to be the norm these days. Their stocks in general are also built different than the pre-early 60's rifle stocks. The older guns had stocks set up for iron sights, with a lower comb. They also usually came with steel and later, plastic butt plates, and that same, shorter LOP.

    I think a lot of that is based on how people tend to hunt and shoot these days, and also with what they learn on. Just look at how many seem to think the .308 or 30/06 is a heavy recoiling gun. ;)

    The shorter stocks work much better for shooting from field positions and reactive type shooting, especially those without a recoil pad.

    The longer stocks tend to be more comfortable/easier to shoot from a bench or rest, and generally suck for trying to shoulder and shoot them quickly. The recoil pad adds to the aggravation on the last part. Add winter/bulkier clothing to the equation, and things just continue to get worse.

    Size of the person and length of the arms really isnt an issue if you shoulder the rifle properly. I think a lot of the problem is how you were taught to shoot and what you learned on. Its pretty easy to tell when you see someone shoulder a rifle and where their head is on the stock.

    We learned on old military guns and from field positions. The rifle is pulled tight into your shoulder and your head is down and forward on the stock with a good cheek weld (think "nose to the charging handle" if you learned to shoot the M16's properly.) With the iron sights those rifles come with, your eye is properly aligned with the sights.

    If you watch people who learned on a newer bolt gun, especially one with a scope, they usually hold their head up and back when they shoot. Not forward and down, where they belong.

    If you really want to see an exaggeration of this, watch someone who learned to shoot on one of those type stocks, try and shoot an AK. Most times, they usually hold their head up and back, trying to get a cheek weld on the rear "comb" of the stock, instead of getting the cheek weld up at the "wrist" of the stock, by the trunion, with their head down and nose at, or along the top cover.

    Trying to shoot the gun in the first instance, and it feels awkward and "short", and the sights don't naturally line up.

    Shoot the later, and the gun shoulders naturally, "feels" right, and the sights are right there and lined up when you do.

    For me, thats the same with the M16 and AR's with the A1 stocks, as well as most other rifles and shotguns I have, that have that same LOP. That extra 5/8" with the A2's (or anything else with those longer LOP's), silly as it might seem, instantly feels "off", and throws things off. The longer the stock, the worse it gets too.

    It would be interesting to hear who learned on what and how, as well as how they normally shoot, and what they prefer as to how the gun is stocked.

    Im betting the "static" shooters tend to prefer the longer stocks, and the "reactive" and/or "field position" shooters, tend to prefer the shorter.
     
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  23. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I prefer a stock which fits my body, and then practice various positions so my eye position is consistent regardless of shooting position. For me, that also means stretching to retain sufficient neck flexibility to avoid fatigue in some positions. Maybe I was wrong, but I thought that was a basic, fundamental principle of marksmanship...?

    A2’s are too long for me, and far too low of comb for my cheekbones when using an optic. I have a short neck, high cheekbones, a 6ft wingspan, but broad shoulders and a thick chest/shoulder. My scopes will hang 3” behind my charging handle on an A2 stocked rifle.
     
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  24. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Scopes on the AR's are something that you have to work out with the mounts.

    The few AR's I have, or had a scope on, all used low rings that put the scope down to where the irons would be, height wise, and forward on the gun, to where the rear of the scope is where the rear sight basically would sit.

    I get the same cheek weld with my scopes (or very close to it), as I do my irons and red dots.

    This will give you an idea as to what Im getting at.....

    enhance.jpg
     
  25. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Nice analysis. Made me think about cheek welds but most of my rifles have iron sights anyway.
     
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