Danerd's M14 Overhual

Discussion in 'Gun Building, Modifications & Repairs' started by danerd, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    The M14 is a platform I have always had a spot for. Between the classic look, smooth, sleek lines, and the (in my opinion) contrast between a fine wood stock and steel upper assembly is nice piece of eyecandy. I finally got a chance to pick up a CYMA CM.032A for a near steal and jumped on it. (traded a JG G36K I put back together in an afternoon for it).

    This thread will document my travels with this particular rifle platform: the changes I make, notes about the rifle, and initial and expected performance. This will not be a project that will be done in a week, or even a few weeks, but I will do my best to keep this thread up-to-date with my plans and any modifications I make on a regular basis.

    BACKROUND

    Ive been playing airsoft for 10 years and teching for the past 7. Ive built and done just about everything, save for a DSG and ER hop. Although this build may just test my skills at ER hopping. We'll have to see ;) It will be the third 7.62-style rifle I have personally done, and the first M14 I have actually built into something.

    (3/10/2019 EDIT: I finally did build a DSG...All thats left now is the ER-hop)

    INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

    I obtained the rifle (and a few extras) from someone on HopUp. I will not mention names, but the person knows who they are ;) The rifle arrived in a large box, untypical of some of the more recent CYMA ones I have seen. Its decorated with a large picture of the rifle, model number and a few lines of text on a black background. Inside was the gun, 470rd steel hicap mag, the factory 9.6v battery and a G&P 9.6v the seller included. I made the switch to lipos years ago, so the nimh batteries are useless to me. Perhaps a few of my teammates who run them will have a use for them...

    The rifle looks good initially. No obvious nicks, marks, scratches or other deformities are visible in the stock (more on that later) and the metal upper receiver and barrel also show no signs of being mishandled. The stock is something I would like to address. The quality of it feels very cheap and almost toyish. The way it feels along with the sheen it gives off when exposed to light tells me its made of ABS. Its clearly not the best ABS as if I grab the butt end of the stock and give a squeeze, it makes an audible "creak". It also has a sort of sandy texture to it that apparently is to help with gripping it. I think this is a bit counter-intuitive given how the stock is still fairly slick with this texturing there, but, whatever. My last complaint with it is the color. Some people like OD green, but in my mind this "OD Green" is more like pea-soup green. Almost there, but not quite. Im leaning towards this being an older model rather than one from a newer batch, but im not certain. As for rigidity, the only pieces that move around when the rifle is shaken are the front sling point and the wiring in the stock.
    The upper receiver is all metal. No steel here except for the front sling mount and trigger guard. Everything else is potmetal. This is a bit disappointing as I expected a bit more to be steel. The finish on the metal parts does seem to be nice. Its all a consistent color with no visible blemishes. The orange tip is just a cap that is molded over a metal pin. Nothing 5 minutes, a dremel and a pair of pliers didnt fix.
    Overall I give the rifle 6/10 on the externals. The stock and potmetal parts take away from the score.


    PLANS FOR THE EXTERNALS
    Its an M14. There are just as many things to do as things there aren't. The ABS stock isn't my cup of tea, and the faux woods ones just don't give it the look I want. A nice wood stock for airsoft is hard to come by state-side without paying a good chunk of change AND it being in stock. I have found them overseas in the UK, but am hesitant with the shipping, customs and import regulations between here and there. Even then, they are around $100 for just the stock. However, I have found surplus stocks from de-milled M14s for a good price depending on the condition. I will be taking that route for this build. There will be some [significant] modding to do to get everything to fit right, but that's what makes these sort of things fun. Depending on the condition and color of the stock, I may or may not refinish it.
    As for accessories, a nice say, 2-10x optic and a bipod will complete this. I want to keep it simple and elegant.

    PLANS FOR THE INTERNALS
    Its been quite a while since I last opened up an M14. The last one I did was a G&G Veteran and that was some 5 years ago, and the one before that was a KART (for those of you who remember those) right around the time I began teching. My research turned up a polycarb spring guide, piston, cylinder head and air nozzle along with a brass cylinder. The stock gearset can be hit or miss depending on batch and QC. Hopefully I get lucky with them as the only replacements are, correct me if im wrong, Guarder, SHS and Riots. Not that any of those are bad per-se, it would just be nice to not have to replace them within a short amount of time.

    The goal for this is a semi-locked 450ish FPS rifle to keep with local field and OP fps requirements. This won't be the stereotypical "I put a big*** scope on my gun and bipod and now its a DMR" thing, although some could see that. It will be a very finely tuned piece that will shoot as nice as it will look. I'll eventually post up a parts list of things that may or will be replaced based on my analysis of the gearbox, hopup, barrel and durability requirements. Obvioulsy a decent marksman rifle has good, crisp trigger response, range and the precision between shots to consistently place rounds on target.

    The last picture is what I hope to [roughly] accomplish with enough time and elbow grease.

    Will post updates as I tear into the internals tomorrow.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  2. Chow

    Chow Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    This looks awesome!

    I always thought that Airsoft M14's looked great on the outside. However, you will not find me anywhere near the Gearbox on one of them! I do enjoy reading through these type of threads on the Forum. As such, I have subscribed and I look forward to seeing the next update.

    Best of luck!

    Chow
     

  3. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    6-18-2017 HUGE UPDATE

    Its a little later than I had hoped, but I wanted to make sure that I got everything I had for this.

    Taking down the M14 isn't as bad as it looks. Sure, there are a few more (ok, a lot more) steps to it than a comparable AR, AK or G36 platform, but everything went fairly smoothly. My main concern is keeping track of all the small body and bolt handle screws, along with the hardware that attaches to the external of the gearbox. I forgot how streamlined the version 7 gearbox is; the complexities of the mechanics are all visible and I think this may be a dream to really work on.

    CYMA appears to not really have done much updating over the years. The biggest change I noticed was the black paint/ anodizing on the outside of the gearbox and motor cage. They used to be just plain grey.

    Cracking it open revealed a bit of a disappointment, and also confirmed most of my research. Rather than polycarbonate parts, I found most them to be made of a nylon fiber. They are a bit better, but a far cry from what I would like - especially with the performance goals I want. These won't stand up too long to the abuse I will be putting them through.

    Gearbox cracked open
    20170618_013809.jpg

    Spring guide. No bearings, no washer. Nothing. It is a V3 however which makes quality replacements very easy to get.

    20170618_013829.jpg

    Main Spring. Feels around an M110-115. Chronoed at 332 +/- 8fps.
    20170618_013852.jpg

    Piston and Piston head. No AOE corection. No teeth partially removed. Piston head seems nice, is fixed to the piston with the external screw and a chunk of metal inside the piston.
    20170618_013911.jpg
    20170618_013919.jpg

    Airseal assembly. A nice stainless steel cylinder has replaced the brass ones. Its a type 0 (full) cylinder that is a tad longer than a normal V2/V3 cylinder. No need to do anything about this. Maybe polish it up.
    20170618_013939.jpg

    The cylinder head sits very loosely inside the cylinder and is made of a nylon fiber polymer. This will probably be replaced with an aluminum one mainly because I have broken these in the past on M130+ springs. Shooting the brass nozzle into your hop up unit and having lodge itself in your barrel makes for an infuriating (and expensive) repair. The airnozzle is clear plastic. In my experience these seal as well as a screen door in the bottom of a boat. Its 21.50 mm long, so hopefully finding an o-ring nozzle shouldn't be too hard. The tappet plate is not nylon fiber, and both feels and looks like polycarbonate. Its reasonably flexible, no need to change this out unless it breaks. The entire assembly has zero compression and will need to be thoroughly tuned to get it to seal properly.


    20170618_014123.jpg
    The motor is your typical Chinese, high TPA, weak ferrous magnet stock motor. No markings whatsoever but I assume its a Chaoli of some sort. It only manages 11rps on my 11.1 lipo, and trigger response is abysmal. The rest of the electronics are nothing special. 16AWG sliver wiring runs from the motor to the FIRST SET of mini tamyia plugs. From there is 16AWG copper wiring that runs to the mini tamyia battery plug. There is a 20 amp glass tube fuse just behind the battery plug. All of this needs to be gone through and redone. The fuses are unreliable and break easy, not to mention a high-powered semi-auto only gun will draw more than 20 amps on initial start up, even if its for a brief instance.

    The gears are PIM steel. Nothing special here. The bevel is marked with a "1" on it. The spur gear is the only V7-specific gear of the set. I have heard that these can be hit or miss. Hopefully this one is a hit. The sector gear is, again, nothing special. The cut-off lever is potmetal. When this eventually kicks the bucket, I'll put a steel one in.

    The bushings are 6mm in diameter and are also PIM steel. Its nice for CYMA to include a set of steel bushings, especially when they are NOT cross-slotted. However, they don't sit flush with the gearbox shell, nor do they sit tight. This will cause issues when I go to shim everything. Speaking of shimming, its bad. Plain and simple.

    The gearbox shell seems pretty strong. However I did notice this issue with the front of the shell. I'm not sure if it was a manufacturing error, or if it was intentional. It doesn't seem to affect how the gearbox cycles, or how things are aligned when everything is put together.
    20170618_014247.jpg

    As for the hopup and barrel, the hopup is plastic and the barrel is brass. I like the way the M14 hopup works. Its very similar to how the ICS M4 ones work. The main arm puts an even amount of pressure across the nub and bucking and doesn't create pressure points at the front or rear of the arm. The adjustment wheel clicks into place and is very sensitive. The bucking is a shortened version of your typical AEG bucking to accommodate the different cut of the barrel and hop unit. It's very soft and doesn't seal well at all.
    The barrel is brass with an inner diameter of 6.09mm at the crown and 6.1mm at the chamber end. Scratches and gouges are clearly visible down the length of the bore. I'm not sure if it would be worth it to try to lap these out.


    Overall its going to need a substantial amount of work.
    I plan on keeping the:
    - Cylinder
    - ARL
    - Gears
    - Tappet
    - Cut-off Lever

    I plan on replacing:
    - Spring Guide
    - Spring ; I know the stock one won't get me near the 450fps goal I have.
    - Piston ; The stock piston wont last long on a heavy spring. Ive ripped off enough pickup teeth to realize this
    - Piston Head : I've shattered the stock ones on relatively mild setups before.
    - Cylinder Head : see above
    - Airnozzle ; you don't want a screen door for the bottom of your boat, do you? Keeping it will ruin the seal and consistency.
    - Motor. High TPA motor on stock (20:1?) gears does not give the response I want. I wouldn't expect it to.
    - Barrel ; the stock one is in pretty bad shape.
    -Bushings ; maybe, depends on how much they affect my shimming and how loose they sit in the shell when glued/epoxied in.

    MODS TO DO:
    re-shim
    re-grease
    correct AOE
    MOSFET install + Rewire
    IR-hop, maybe IER-hop if I feel daring enough. ( I live in northeast Ohio, so winter and cold are a thing.)
    general air-seal mods


    PARTS LIST
    This is where things get fun. I already have a pretty good idea of what parts I plan on putting into it. As always, you guys' input is appreciated.

    Spring Guide: ZCI Stainless steel w/ bearings
    Spring: ZCI M140 (should put me around 440-450 when it settles)
    Piston: SHS15t
    Piston Head: SHS Aluminum
    Cylinder head: SHS Aluminun
    Air Nozzle: Not too sure on this one. SHS makes an M14 nozzle, but the description Ben's (Clandestine) description has that it wont work with CYMA M14's due to them using an "off-spec" nozzle. M4 nozzles are supposedly to work, but this is unconfirmed. I'll do a bit more research, and re-measure the stock nozzle to find one that fits best.
    Barrel: I was thinking of a ZCI. Ive used them in the past and have had good performance. They also already have the necessary barrel cuts for the M14 machined. A good lapping should really make it shoot great.
    Bushings: If need be, a set of CNC steel from ZCI, SHS or maybe FLT. Ive used the ZCI ones in the past and they have fit great and sat flush in Lonex, G&P, and multiple JG gearboxes.
    Motor: I'm thinking of an ASG 16 or 22 TPA, or even one of the Matrix Torque motors. Normally I would just take one of the neo cans I have laying around and build a motor myself, but I don't have any short type arms that are between 16 and 22 TPA.


    EXTERNAL PARTS UPDATE:

    After many, many days of research, I opted for a solid Birch wood "big red" M14 stock rather than a normal USGI issue stock. The difference between the "big red" and the standard issue one is the "big red" has more reinforcement around the pistol grip and magwell areas to help remedy an issue the M14 had with soldiers cracking those areas when in training and in the field. They were mainly issued as replacements for when the original stock broke or wore out. Based on pictures of them and the stock that is currently on the rifle, they seem to be similar in size and amount of material that appear to be present. Using a normal USGI stock requires a lot of material to be removed near the pistol grip and this causes that area to become very weak. Hopefully the added material in that area will remedy that issue. I'll have to see when it arrives sometime in the future.

    USGI issue stock is on bottom, "Big Red" is on top. Note the thickness of each.
    M14StkHeel.jpg


    The condition of it was described as "Very Good - looks well used. Will have multiple dings and scratches, finish is OK to rough. There may be a ding or scratch that will not steam out, no matter how hard you try. May have a minor arsenal or manufacturer's repair. Metal is used (worn). No unrepaired cracks. Straight (not fancy) grain."
    Not bottom of the barrel, but also nowhere near a mint-condition piece, which is fine. Sometimes the wear, tear and abuse adds a bit of character.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  4. Swift17

    Swift17 Member

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    Brunswick
    Looking like a good build, some advise and things I have learned from building tm based m14
    Part list looks pretty good
    I personally use a Lonex piston head because I wasn't a fan of the shs one, it may have been just mine but didn't have a great seal the Lonex was much better IMO and I don't like the aluminum ones, adds extra stress and sound and weight, but they are a bit more sturdy once again all my own opinion

    For nozzle I would go shs, it's $4 if it doesn't fit try another if it does then great, it also seals amazingly with the shs cylinder head, all other m14 nozzles I have tried always had bad seals with cylinder head (prommy, magic box, guarder, tm) now another thing you may want to do is shave the nozzle at a slight angle, the gun is design to have a slight angle (see pic) the green is shs and black is stock tm (cyma is mostly tm clone) after I did this the consistency went up a ton and fixed a slight feeding issue.
    ImageUploadedByAirsoft Society1497817440.927352.jpg
    After shaving it down
    ImageUploadedByAirsoft Society1497817567.298788.jpg


    For barrels go zci and lap it or prommy (prommy makes a m14 cut) and lap it, or get in touch with edgi on Facebook and have a custom one made (have one in my tm m14 rn and love it)
    I just use a shs high torque has a good tpa
    For gears go either shs or seigetek, the guarder ones strip pretty easily

    Look into getting a mosfet with active breaking

    For mags I like the tm mids or g&p mids with hunterseeker mag followers in them, tm mids are pricy but feed great however only hold 70 rds

    But other than that looks pretty solid build

    You could look at the g&p dmr stocks as well if you like the look just know they take long type motors
     
  5. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    The reason I plan on using the SHS piston head is that I've used them before in a few builds and they have sealed great. I don't mind the added weight since the gun will be semi-locked. I also have a few in my parts bin so I may as well use one of them.

    Thanks for the great info on the nozzle. I'll take a gamble on the SHS one and mod it if I need to. As for motors, the older SHS HTs were 16tpa, the newer ones are 22. Still plenty of oomph to them; I had one in a 12:1 ssg that did a tad over 34rps. As for gears, the info on the guarders is nice to know. Worst case scenario if one goes south I'll just replace it with a spare I have laying around. If the spur goes, I'll pick up a set of SHS.

    I think I'll go with a ZCI and just lap it. I have a Prommy in my current primary and I can then lap it and compare the performance between the two.
     
  6. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    6-21-17 Update

    The stock shipped out today from Colorado. Should be here Thursday. Gearbox parts have been ordered and should also arrive Thursday. I've been digging through my parts boxes and have not found a suitable short type arm for a motor. I do have a G&P M120 long arm that I'm thinking of cutting to length and using that to see how it goes.
     
  7. Hangtight

    Hangtight Well-Known Member

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    SHS HT motors are still 16TPA. The G&P 120 is also 16TPA and very well built (I'm a fan of the terminal and brush arrangement) but let down by the weak ferrite magnets. It you have some decent neodymium magnets you can replace them with then that makes an excellent balanced motor, with snappy trigger response on 18:1 gears and 11.1v, or preferably 13:1 gears and 7.4v.
     
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  8. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    The stock came in today along with the couple of items for the gearbox from Clandestine. Its in rough shape, but the color is almost exactly what I was looking to get. Nothing some good elbow grease wont fix. I don't think a few of the gashes and gouges will steam or sand out, but I'll have to see.
    20170622_120007.jpg
    20170622_120034.jpg

    Taking off the buttplate revealed a manufacturer ID and a drawing number. For anyone who can't see what is in the picture, the make ID is "W-W" and the drawing number is 11010263. W-W stands for Winchester-Western (Yes, that's THE Winchester arms company ;) ) and the drawing number designates this as the larger "Big Red" stock. Sadly there are no DOD proof marks or cartouches on the stock, which means it was probably never issued; but it was certainly used. There is a [very] faded "SA" in the area where the trigger guard sits. I'm not sure what that marking is.) Some say its an armorer's stamp, but I haven't managed to find out.
    (4/9/2020 EDIT: The "SA" in the trigger guard is indicative of inspection and acceptance at Springfield Armory, the U.S. Government Arsenal.)
    20170622_120116.jpg
    20170622_132146.jpg

    Nice to see the CYMA upper is nearly a drop-on fit. Its a bit tight on the front stock ferrule.
    20170622_120253.jpg
    20170622_120321.jpg


    The stock ferrule has pin-punch marks that help to hold it on. This is usually indicative of early-production stocks, although this is not always the case. Either way, based on what is present, I assume this stock comes from somewhere between the late 50's to early to mid 60's. Seeing as how production of the M14 was stopped in 1964, the fact that this model of stock was developed to help alleviate the issue of them cracking shortly after its introduction, and a few other things, I'm fairly confident that it comes from that era. Now to say whether or not it saw any action during that time is something that I can only speculate about :) It's one of those things that I'll probably never find out.
    20170622_133427.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  9. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    A large amount of progress had been made since my last post. I'm still doing the write-up since I wanted to incorporate a "How-To" into this. I haven't found a good source of information on how to do the mods I'm doing, so I'm kind of making it up as I go along. I'll be splitting it up into 3-4 parts, with each part focusing on a specific aspect of modifying the stock and body parts.
     
  10. AnotherM4Normie

    AnotherM4Normie Member

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    This is awesome! Looking forward to your next posts! Keep up the good work.
     
  11. Hangtight

    Hangtight Well-Known Member

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    We need more of this. It's good to see people doing really interesting stuff with their guns, and it makes such a change from the endless stream of COD clones. Carry on please, we'll be watching with interest!
     
  12. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    Progress update:

    I cleaned the majority of dirt, grease and grime off the stock and more of the old finish and color of the wood came out. I'm really liking how it's looking, so I think I'll keep it the way it is and just put a few coats of sealant on it when everything is said and done.

    After cleaning I began the process of modifying the stock to accept the airsoft components. I'll post the process as a pseudo-guide for anyone who wants to try this themselves.

    Modifying a Real M14 Stock for Airsoft AEG Use.

    ***DISCLAIMER***
    I will not be responsible for any and all damages, mishaps or other errors that result from you doing these modifications. This process involves A LOT of measuring, tweaking, fitting, and most of all PATIENCE. If you aren't comfortable doing this process, do not attempt.

    Items needed:
    - a de-milled surplus M14 stock. I'm using a "big red" stock rather than a USGI issue because it has more material in a few vital areas. More on this later.
    80, 100, 120, 150, 300 grit sandpaper
    various wood and metal files
    a dremel or other rotary tool with:
    sanding head
    wood drill bit
    metal grinding bit
    wood cutting head
    - various screwdrivers needed for assembling the upper receiver
    Not needed, but very helpful:
    - table vice
    - paper towels or shop towels
    steel wool (used for gentle cleaning and removal of dust from surfaces)

    PART ONE: Setup, Initial Installation, Fitment, & Hop Up Notch

    You will want to begin by removing the steel stock liner (if your stock has one) It is held in place by two front prongs and a screw on either side of the stock. You will need a specialized tool to loosen the screws, or a good set of pliers and a tight grip. Once the screws are removed, simply pull the liner out of the bottom of the stock and set it aside.

    Stock with the liner removed:
    20170622_194309.jpg

    Next, assemble the upper receiver with everything EXCEPT the gearbox (and associated parts), motor cage and hop up unit and barrel. You should only have the upper receiver, charging handle + return spring, handle guide and hand guard. Make sure everything is assembled as if you were going to re-assemble the rifle. Now take your surplus stock and place it into your vice (*** Make sure to place some paper towels or shop towels inside the vice to prevent it from damaging the stock***). Be sure to only tighten the vice so the stock doesn't move AND NO TIGHTER. If you over-tighten the vice you run the risk of warping the stock and cracking it. It will also throw off all of your measurements and you will ruin your stock.

    Stock and Upper Assembly:
    20170622_194134.jpg

    Stock in Vice
    20170622_194854.jpg

    Now that your stock is safely in the vice (or whatever method you are using to secure it) and your upper assembly is put together, go ahead and GENTLY place the upper assembly into the stock. It will not sit flat and flush in the stock. Look at the area where the hop up adjustment wheel is. You will notice that the stock does not have the cutout for the wheel. Make a mark with a pencil, sharpie, marker or whatever of where the wheel assembly is and the space it will need to fit.

    Marking where the hopup wheel is for the notch:
    20170622_194226.jpg

    Double check, then triple check this. Take your rotary tool with your wood drill bit and begin making a series of 90 degree vertical holes in that marked area. Drill a few holes as if you were swiss-cheesing a piston. Now, with your rotary tool, switch to your wood cutting bit and go ahead and carefully begin to clean out the holes with that bit. The reason is the stock will either be made of Yellow Birch or Black Walnut. Both are very hard, dense woods. Using only your cutting bit will not only take forever, but will begin to burn the wood as you work. By drilling the holes first, you cut the stress on your bit and the wood dramatically and your work time is reduced. This also allows you to make a series of precise cuts the first time and then you simply join them all together. Once this notch is made, place your upper assembly into the stock to check fitment. If you need to make adjustments, use your wood file and only remove necessary material. Repeat this fitting and filing process as needed until there is enough clearance for the hop up dial to fit nicely without too much of a gap.

    Hop up Notch cut:
    20170622_205016.jpg


    PART 2: Magazine Well, Bolt Assembly, & Upper Receiver

    With that part done, its time to work on the fitting of the magazine well. This part sits where the old steel stock liner sat (hence why it needed to be removed). This process it a bit more intuitive than the last.

    Begin by placing the entire upper assembly into the stock. Make notes of where the magazine well is resting on the wood of the stock. Take your rotary tool with the wood cutting bit, and remove the material on either side of the stock as shown below.

    Removing material to for the new magazine well:
    20170622_214633.jpg
    20170622_214653.jpg
    20170622_214732.jpg

    I used my tool as a make-shift milling machine, holding it vertically and working the tool right to left and taking off layers of material in clean passes. You want the sides of the interior of the stock to be even and flush. (as shown) Do this process on either side of the stock in each area.

    Make sure you check the area of the stock where the magazine well and hop up dial meet. This was an area that gave me a few fitment issues. Again, use your files to gently remove material from this area until the magazine well slides into place.
     
  13. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    Now this part requires substantially more work and time. You may have noticed that the magazine well still doesn't fit right, even after all that careful work. If you look over where the bolt catch is located on the stock, you will notice that a large portion of the stock material needs to removed in order for it to slide in and fit. DO NOT REMOVE ANY MATERIAL FROM THE STOCK IN THIS AREA. The side walls of the stock are already very thin here, and removing any more material will compromise the integrity of this area; thus making it extremely prone to cracking.

    The area to NOT remove material form:
    20170622_214848.jpg

    Take your upper assembly and look at the area where the bolt catch should be. Then, look at the ridge that is directly underneath that area. ALL of this material needs to be removed. Use your rotary tool with your metal grinding bit to remove this material. As you may have guessed by now, make sure you constantly check your fitment between parts to ensure a great fit. The “finished” result is below. The gap that is created can always be filled back in with epoxy or putty later. With the gearbox inside, it should be covered up. However if you are worried about it go ahead and fill it back in.

    (4/9/2020 UPDATE NOTE: The step(s) mentioned above do not necessarily need to be done. Due to the differences in tolerances between everything, you may need to remove material from the receiver piece, and you may not. The removal of material is entirely up to the user. If the receiver price fits in snug, that is entirely fine and wont harm anything.)

    The part of the magazine well BEFORE (opposite side. both sides are the same):
    20170624_140528.jpg

    Magazine Well AFTER:
    20170624_140542.jpg

    Once those parts are fitting nicely, place your upper assembly into the stock. Check any major fitment issues that still exist on the parts you have modded already. If you feel confident that there aren't any, go ahead and move on to the next series of steps below.

    PART 2B: BOLT ASSEMBLY

    At this point, the entire upper assembly * should * fit into the stock. Now place the bolt and its return spring on the upper receiver and check fitment. Double and Triple check your fitment everywhere. Now place the charging handle guide on the assembly and check its fitment. You should notice that it doesn't fit. Make a small notch in the stock in the area where the front of this piece sits to give it clearance to sit properly. Be sure to also leave the ledge to help the wood keep its strength below this piece. BE VERY CAREFUL HERE as the material can get very thin, very quickly. If you don't feel confident removing this much wood, skip this and go directly to the next process.

    You will need to modify the charging handle guide in order for it to clear the stock. Remove material as as needed where it comes into contact with the wood of the stock.. If you did not remove material from the stock, you may have to remove more metal off of the guide to compensate. This will be a lot of trial and error, so be extremely careful during this step. This is where constantly checking how the pieces fit together is absolutely critical.

    PART 2C: UPPER RECEIVER

    Once you are done with the bolt assembly, reassemble the stock and upper portion. You will notice that there are two (2) areas that need filing. One is the area where the small screw terminal is for attaching the charging handle guide, and the other is directly under the upper receiver.

    The screw terminal is a fairly easy area to mod. Simply measure the area that needs to be removed (the same process that you did for the hop up notch) and remove it.

    Marking where the notch should be cut:
    20170623_164047.jpg


    Cut out a small notch for that terminal to sit. The next part is an area that needs to be removed for the upper to sit properly on the stock. Place the upper assembly in the stock and mark the area that needs to re removed. Using your rotary tool with the wood cutting bit, remove the material necessary and create a small recess for the receiver to sit in (see below) When you are done, double and triple check EVERYTHING. If you think everything checks out, you * should * have a result such as this:
    20170623_184837.jpg


    There is a slight gap, around 1/32”. This is being caused by a bit of tension torque on the front stock ferrule. Nothing a bit of filing up in that area won't fix.

    This is how the rifle looks with the current work done:
    20170623_184816.jpg

    This concludes the “easy” parts to this process. The hardest parts are yet to come: Drilling through the pistol grip, making the battery compartment and fitting the gearbox and motor cage, as well as the trigger guard. I have already done the modding for the gearbox and trigger guard earlier today and will be working on the write-up for those. They should be up sometime Monday.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  14. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

    793
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    Ozark
    Post-few weeks update:

    Life has been very busy the past few weeks so I havent had much time to devote to this project. However with the holidays past us (here in the U.S. at least) Ive been able to put more time in working on the rifle. I've managed to cut a pretty good portion of material out of the stock for the motor cage. I'll get that write-up and a few others done in a while. The progress is painfully slow because I don't want to screw anything up - especially with how far I have come. I am most proud of the fact that I have managed to bore through the pistol grip and into the stock to finally join the two compartments together with nothing more than a set of analog calipers and a lot of "eye-balling" it :) More is to come in the following days.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  15. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

    793
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    Ozark
    I have finally managed to get everything to fit! The motor cage needed very extensive modifications and (a lot of) coaxing, but with the entire upper assembly put together it sits nearly perfect in the stock. All thats left to do is carve out the battery space and check fitment between the external parts of the gearbox. Then its on to cleaning, sanding and refinishing it. The original finish was in sorry shape to begin with and all of the work that has been done didnt help preserve it any.[​IMG]
     
    link0 likes this.
  16. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

    793
    858
    Ozark
    7-9 to 7-10-17 Update

    I have managed to fit everything inside the stock – gearbox, motor cage, external gearbox bits (minus a wire harness, that will come later) trigger guard, and complete upper receiver and bolt assembly. I have removed the selector arm to semi-lock the gun.

    Below I will detail the process on how I went about carving the rest of the stock to accommodate the entire assembly. Bear with me on this one as its going to be a doozy :)

    Picking up where we left off: We had just completed modifications to the stock and upper receiver so that they would fit. The next part is to drill through the pistol grip, carve out a space in the stock for a battery and some wiring, and modify the stock further to accommodate all of the extra gearbox bits and pieces.


    ***DISCLAIMER***
    I will not be responsible for any and all damages, mishaps or other errors that result from you doing these modifications. This process involves EVEN MORE of measuring, tweaking, fitting, and most of all PATIENCE.


    PART 3: DRILLING THE PISTOL GRIP

    Items needed:

    a dremel or other rotary tool with:
    sanding head
    wood drill bit
    wood cutting head

    A handheld power drill with:
    3/8” wood drill bit
    5/8” wood paddle bit

    Table Vice
    80, 100, 120, 150 grit sandpaper

    Not needed, but EXTREMELY helpful:
    Wood chisel set (1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”, and 1” widths)
    Hammer/ Mallet



    You will want to begin with your stock that has been modified so far. You will notice an area toward the rear where the pistol grip is, and the sheer amount of material that is there.
    20170624_185909.jpg

    Using your rotary tool and wood drill and cutting bit, remove the material. This will take some time, so be patient. I used my drill bit first, making a series of holes that are close together, and then using my cutting bit, joined them together.

    Before
    20170624_190128.jpg

    After:
    20170624_200215.jpg


    Now comes what I consider to be the hardest part of the entire process: drilling through the pistol grip AND into the stock. This will require an extremely steady hand, and a good eye as you will not be able to see where you are drilling.

    Begin by taking your handheld power drill with a 5/8” paddle bit, and place it in the center if the pistol grip where it meets the interior of the stock (where you removed all of the material in the previous step.) This will take a keen eye to keep everything straight and true.

    Area of the stock to drill:
    20170624_215149.jpg

    When you think you have it centered, begin drilling. Don't be afraid to remove the bit and check your progress as you go; make any adjustments as you deem necessary, AND GO SLOW! The last thing you want is to go too quickly and end up drilling through the stock (and ruining it) or cracking the stock (and ruining it). You will know when you have reached the buttstock portion when the bit begins to “give way”. This means you have reached the top hole in the stock that would have contained part of the cleaning kit.

    Rough area in which to drill:
    20170705_215101.jpg

    Drilling completed:
    20170709_201020.jpg

    If you have done this, congratulations! The hardest part of the ordeal is now over! Go ahead and clean up the hole and continue it into the buttstock as needed.

    The next part is to widen this area so that it will fit the motor cage. You can do this with your rotary tool and various bits, or with your handheld power drill. If you decided to get (or already have) a wood chisel set, go ahead and use these. They will make the work (and life) much easier :)

    Using the chisels, carefully care out the space needed to fit the motor cage. This is a lot of trial and error, so only remove small amounts of material. When using your chisels, ONLY remove material that goes WITH THE GRAIN. IF you go against the grain, you ruin a great risk of cracking the wood. You also want to be sure you aren't hitting the chisels too hard. You don't want to gouge or crack the stock. Be sure to constantly check your fitment.


    PART 4: MODIFYING THE MOTOR CAGE (**OPTIONAL**)

    Items needed:

    rotary tool with:
    metal grinding bit
    metal sanding bit

    You may notice that the motor cage will simply not fit no matter how much material you remove. The last thing we want is to take away too much material and cause the stock to become weak and break. You may need to modify your motor cage accordingly in order to get it to fit properly. Simply set the cage into the stock and remove material in areas where it is coming into contact with the stock.

    By now your stock is nearly complete. The upper receiver assembly is able to slide into the stock with relative ease, and sits (nearly) flush with it.


    PART 5: CREATING THE BATTERY SPACE

    Items needed:

    rotary tool with:
    wood cutting head
    wood drill bit

    Handheld drill with:
    wood drill bit

    Wood chisels
    Hammer

    This process is relatively simple (compared to what has been done so far). All that needs to be done is remove the portion of wood that is between the two holes that are already present within the buttstock. How you go about this is completely up to you. The way I did mine was I took my handheld drill and bored a channel into the central piece of wood. Then using my chisels I simply removed the excess on the sides. The amount you remove is up to you and is directly dependent on how large of a battery you want to fit. Just remember that you don't want to remove too much or you'll make the stock weak. Also keep in mind your wiring, fuse and MOSFET (if you have them) and connector all need to fit in this space.

    Before carving:
    20170622_120116.jpg

    After carving:
    20170708_150541.jpg

    Once this is done, your stock is virtually complete! Unless you want to re-finish your stock, there is really nothing left to do, except maybe some final filing and sanding for better fitment.

    I'm re-finishing my stock since the original 50-60 year old finish is beyond repair from use, abuse, dirt, grime, and storage. The process on how I have gone about this is below.
     
  17. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

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    Ozark
    PART 6: RE-FINISHING YOUR STOCK

    Items needed:

    your stock
    cotton balls
    acetone nail polish remover
    (very) fine steel wool
    dish sponge
    Oxiclean (more on this)
    baking soda
    your choice of wood stains and colors
    wood conditioner (optional)
    sandpaper (100, 150, 220, optional 400+ grit if you want a really smooth finish)

    This process, while not as intensive as the modifications that have been previously done, still requires a good deal of time and patience. The amount of time and work that is put into this process will affect the quality of the end product.

    You will want to begin with your stock, cotton balls and acetone. This process is done to gently remove the surface dirt and grease. Wet the cotton balls with the acetone and wipe the stock down until the cotton ball come clean. This will take a while, so be patient! Once this is done, take your stock and Oxyclean, and place the stock in a utility/slop sink. This step can get messy pretty quick so be sure to not wear your best clothes for this one! Fill a bucket with warm water and oxyclean and mix it into a concentrated slurry. I used around 5-6 “scoops” of oxyclean per 1 (one) gallon of water.

    The oxyclean acts as a stripping agent to remove the original finish, as well as any dirt , grime and grease that the acetone could not. This is a method that is nowhere near as harsh as using a paint-stripper or mineral spirits that could damage the wood (and your body) and does not produce any harmful odors.

    Simply soak your dish sponge and steel wool in the slurry and begin to scrub the stock. Don't forget to rinse the sponge and clean the water in the bucket every so often. This process took me around 3 hours and 2 14oz containers of oxiclean. I just mixed one container of oxiclean with a gallon of water. For those really tough-to-remove areas, spread some baking soda along the problem area and work it into the stock with your hand, then go over the area(s) with your sponge/steel wool. The baking soda will act as a release agent and help to lift the stain out of the wood. This process may have to be repeated many times to get everything out.

    Here is the stock as I received it:
    20170622_120034.jpg

    After cleaning and stripping:
    20170709_203805.jpg

    Once this is all done, hang the stock and let it air-dry overnight. DO NOT APPLY HEAT OR MOVE AIR ACROSS THE STOCK. Just let it air-dry as if you were hanging clothes on a clothesline. You don't want to move air or apply heat because this will dry out the wood and cause it to crack and split.


    After letting your stock air-dry overnight, its time to begin the process of sanding the stock. You want to begun sanding with your 100 grit sandpaper. Remember to sand WITH the grain. Once you get done with your 100 grit, move on to your higher grit papers. You can stop at 220 grit for a nice finish or 150 grit for a more authentic “military” finish. I prefer to have a very fine, smooth and sleek finish on my stocks, so I went up to 800 grit on my stock. Doing so resulted in a surface that was nearly as smooth as glass. Once you are satisfied with your sanding finish, go ahead and clean the stock again. Wipe it down with a clean cloth to remove any excess wood shavings or dust from sanding. My entire sanding process took about 8 hours.

    "Finished" sanding results:
    20170709_182935.jpg

    From here you can begin to apply your choice of wood stain or sealant. Personally, I want a nicer finish, so I went ahead and got a can of wood conditioner. Its similar to conditioning ones' hair. It also allows for the stain to spread out more evenly across the surface and soak into the wood better. I applied 2 coats of conditioner, and then let it sit for around a half hour (30 mins). The time may vary between manufacture, so be sure to read the directions on the can.

    In my case, I'm using Varathane Wood Conditioner and Varathane Oil-based Stain that is “Red Oak” colored. So far after 2 coats of conditioner and 6 coats of stain my results so far are shown below.

    Potato picture of the stock hanging and drying (will be replaced with a better one when the stock is done drying):
    20170709_221540.jpg

    Once you are satisfied with the color and hue of your stain, you will want to take your fine steel wool, and GENTLY buff out any brush marks or brush fibers that may have been left behind. Once that is done, you can apply whatever sealant/ top coat finish you want. I'll be applying pure Tung Oil to my particular stock. Tung Oil is a popular finish that is all natural and has great moisture and wear resistance characteristics. Many of the folks who own M1A's and M14s will refinish their stocks with Tung Oil. I like the look it gives as it's not too glossy. I'll post the results when the oil comes in and I apply it.
     
  18. Chow

    Chow Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    DFW
    This is one of my favorite projects that I have seen on this forum in a long time. You really have an attention to detail and I look forward to seeing the finished result.

    Do you plan on taking more detailed pictures once it is complete?

    Keep us updated,
    Chow
     
  19. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

    793
    858
    Ozark
    Yes I do plan on taking more pictures of it when it's done. I have a few bits and pieces on order to change it from the Socom16 to the Scout Squad model. As far as I know there is no conversion kit available on the airsoft market for this, so I will have to get creative.

    Looking at the stock next to me as its still drying, I'm amazed at how nice its turning out be. Its certainly one of the best jobs I have done in a while, and it will definitely be a head turner when its all done.
     
  20. danerd

    danerd Well-Known Member

    793
    858
    Ozark
    Here is an updated picture of the stock thats not a potato. Its looking really good in the light. The Tung Oil I ordered is due to arrive early next week, so it'll be a while before I can 'finish' the stock.
     

    Attached Files: