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Carbon-fiber bullpup for M1A standard... interested?

This is a discussion on Carbon-fiber bullpup for M1A standard... interested? within the Stock forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; Ok, I've gotten out of cars (built WAY too many, body can't take it any more), but still have a garage with plenty of room, ...


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Old March 17th, 2017, 10:19 PM   #1
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Carbon-fiber bullpup for M1A standard... interested?

Ok, I've gotten out of cars (built WAY too many, body can't take it any more), but still have a garage with plenty of room, and NOTHING to build.

And I hate my M1A.

Not because it's a "bad" rifle... Hell, it's a kick-@$$ weapon. I hate it because I'm 5'10", 150#... the length of pull sucks for me (too long, plus too heavy rifle) so I can't shoot off-hand for NOTHING.

So I started looking at other stocks (all heavier and clumsier than what I already have in my USGI stock), so that's a dead-end. Juggernaut used to make the Rogue bullpup platform, but they had LOTS of problems with it (squishy trigger, way too heavy), and they were expensive and complicated to put together, as I understand... In other words, if I want something cool, I'm gonna' have to make it.

So while I'm still considered a NOOB here, my skills are pretty well-developed, esp. with fiberglass fabrication... and stuff has gotten WAY easier since I learned how to lay glass...

So here's what I propose, and I'd like some feedback. Assuming I can get this to work from a technical perspective, I'd like to gauge the interest for a carbon-fiber/kevlar hybrid bullpup design, with the following features:

1. using the stock trigger-group and barrel-band setup to keep the action in the rifle... (allows standard bedding methodologies of action to maximize accuracy)

2. Estimated weight of ~1#. Top cover mimics factory design in carbon-fiber but screws to rest of stock, built-in 6" section of picatinny rail for optics or whatever. I haven't thought much about this detail, will have to work on it...

3. Butt-pad 1-3" behind rear-most edge of exposed action (adjustable to get 11-13" length of pull).

4. Use AR-15 style grip and trigger ahead of magazine, factory trigger enclosed in stock, but with adjustable (pull-type) linkage to alter trigger-pull pressure required to fire.

5. Avoid any alterations to the steel parts of the weapon itself. In other words, it should be a 15-20 job to drop it in the new stock, and be off and rolling, and everything fully reversible.

6. No change to op-rod configuration or mag-release locations and function.

7. Price point...? I'd guess $600-800, tops. Probably less after a while, as any potential kinks get worked out. Maybe $400 for a semi-finished model where you add your own sling loops or other "sexy" mods, with no paint.

Anyway, I know... it all sound like baloney, but I've looked at this for a while, and I don't see any reason why it can't be done, both to bring the M14/M1A into the 21st century, and for a reasonable price. And I have the skills and time to do it, so....

Comments? Suggestions? If you could have a 1-pound stock that'd turn your heavy-weight into a sleek and sexy beast for a given price, WHAT would the price be, where you'd say "oh, I GOTTA get this," versus "Hmmm, I'll have to think about that...?"

I'm getting the goodies together for a prototype now (fiberglass), as a proof of concept, and work out the trigger/safety/fitting details... when that's done, then I'll step up to carbon/kevlar... I just want to see what kind of interest there'd be for this.

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Old March 18th, 2017, 02:50 AM   #2
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I've toyed with this for quite awhile. To use existing design of the receiver and trigger group, you're going to need something big and bulky. Using a traditional style handguard means your cheek weld is on your bolt. The trigger linkage in the Rogue is semi adjustable like you stated, but the connection to the original trigger is what makes it crap. I dropped the idea and redesigned the receiver and trigger group to reduce the size and weight, and allow for a solid mechanical connection for the trigger providing a much better trigger. The op rod is also highly modified so it has a non-reciprocating charging handle on the left side. The trigger is just OK, not terrible like most bullpups. The result was our Rogue X, which is significantly smaller and lighter than the original Rogue, but still pretty portly. I'm already part of the way down the road in the design of a carbon fiber / polymer version as well, and intend on finalizing it. It will have to be even further away from the original M14 design to reduce the size even more and the chassis costs are going to be well in excess of what your target numbers are, but my approach is pretty different as well. Anyway, just tossing a few thoughts out there. If you can come up with a stock system at that price point in carbon fiber that works, you won't have a problem getting rid of them, that's for sure! I'm just not smart enough to do it.

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Old March 18th, 2017, 07:11 AM   #3
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Google "M14 bullpup" and you will.see what McMillan and also the Israelis did with this concept.
I have been intrigued by the idea of a bullpup M14 stick for several decades, but unfortunately for me personally, here in CANADA a BULLPUP STOCK COVERSION is legally prohibited.

Complete BULLPUP rifles are NOT prohibited. Go figger?

I have invested a lot of time as the technical.consultant for the Blackfeathet ALLOY chassis system, and one part of the system that still gets me truly excited, is the possibility of adding in an optional BULLPUP conversion package to the Blackfeather. I have discussed this with Frank, the owner of M14.CA, and this is wayyyy down on the list ( about 40 items) of M14 products he would like to develop and market. Too many projects, not enough time.

I have discussed this with Joe Dlask, a top quality Canadian firearms manufacturer, who has the necessary licenses, skills and resources to successfully build this for me, but he is also too busy with other projects. I have also discussed this with Kevin, aka H2Oman, who at one time was a big ROGUE bullpup fan.

Bottom line ...
Building a new M14 bullpup stock will be a complex and complicated project. Starting from scratch, it could be overwhelming for a small.time builder. As Jeff mentioned, any bullpup stock designed to fit an un-modified M14 MUST be big, bulky, and heavy. When discussing this concept with Joe D, we were mainly concerned about working around the restrictive Canadian laws concerning bullpup stock conversions, which led us to similar conclusions regarding the advisability of major modifications to the basic M14 receiver. Possible, but probably prohibitively expensive for small numbers. Jeff has the expertise and resources to be able to pull off the necessary receiver and op rod changes ... but it won't be cheap or easy.

ROCK BOTTOM LINE ...
THERE ARE BETTER DONOR RIFLES FOR BULLPUP CONVERSIONS.
Lighter, more compact, and chambered in intermeduate power cartrudges, which are more suitable for the bullpup's primary role as a CQB tool. Take a look at what is being done with bullpup stock conversions for the Mini 14, M1 carbine, AK 47. and the SKS.

Also, look at the T97.CA website for some ideas of what can be done with actual genuine bullpups I was the technical consultant for the T97 upper and lower upgrade projects. We replaced the orginal weak and FUGLY plastic parts wth high quality CNC milled aluminum . The results were amazing .... we turned an ugly, awkward design into something with much better ergonomics and looks.

Good luck with your bullpup M14 project, and keep.us posted. One thing we do at M14.CA is open up the design process to feedback from interested bystanders ...aka the knowledgeable members of this great web site. The contributions made by the potential customers during the design phase, BEFORE you build it and market it, can be invaluable.
(;-)
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Last edited by Lazerus2000; March 18th, 2017 at 07:38 AM.
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Old March 18th, 2017, 07:15 AM   #4
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A bullpup m1a is just a dream for those of us cursed with the Devils paw (left handed). I'm still looking forward to see what comes from this.

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Old March 18th, 2017, 03:33 PM   #5
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http://www.shortrifles.com/ bullpup

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Old March 19th, 2017, 10:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazerus2000 View Post
Google "M14 bullpup" and you will.see what McMillan and also the Israelis did with this concept.
...
I have invested a lot of time as the technical.consultant for the Blackfeathet ALLOY chassis system, and one part of the system that still gets me truly excited, is the possibility of adding in an optional BULLPUP conversion package to the Blackfeather. I have discussed this with Frank, the owner of M14.CA, and this is wayyyy down on the list ( about 40 items) of M14 products he would like to develop and market. Too many projects, not enough time.

I have discussed this with Joe Dlask, a top quality Canadian firearms manufacturer, who has the necessary licenses, skills and resources to successfully build this for me, but he is also too busy with other projects. I have also discussed this with Kevin, aka H2Oman, who at one time was a big ROGUE bullpup fan.

Bottom line ...
Building a new M14 bullpup stock will be a complex and complicated project. Starting from scratch, it could be overwhelming for a small.time builder. As Jeff mentioned, any bullpup stock designed to fit an un-modified M14 MUST be big, bulky, and heavy. When discussing this concept with Joe D, we were mainly concerned about working around the restrictive Canadian laws concerning bullpup stock conversions, which led us to similar conclusions regarding the advisability of major modifications to the basic M14 receiver. Possible, but probably prohibitively expensive for small numbers. Jeff has the expertise and resources to be able to pull off the necessary receiver and op rod changes ... but it won't be cheap or easy.

ROCK BOTTOM LINE ...
THERE ARE BETTER DONOR RIFLES FOR BULLPUP CONVERSIONS.
Lighter, more compact, and chambered in intermeduate power cartrudges, which are more suitable for the bullpup's primary role as a CQB tool. Take a look at what is being done with bullpup stock conversions for the Mini 14, M1 carbine, AK 47. and the SKS.

Also, look at the T97.CA website for some ideas of what can be done with actual genuine bullpups I was the technical consultant for the T97 upper and lower upgrade projects. We replaced the orginal weak and FUGLY plastic parts wth high quality CNC milled aluminum . The results were amazing .... we turned an ugly, awkward design into something with much better ergonomics and looks.

Good luck with your bullpup M14 project, and keep.us posted. One thing we do at M14.CA is open up the design process to feedback from interested bystanders ...aka the knowledgeable members of this great web site. The contributions made by the potential customers during the design phase, BEFORE you build it and market it, can be invaluable.
(;-)
LAZ 1
OK, I took your suggestion, did the google search, don't know why I didn't find it before... basically, what I have in mind is a carbon-fiber version of the AWC G2 package. Looking closely at the available pics, there doesn't seem to have been a lot of changes with the underlying mechanics.



I honestly do NOT like the Juggernaut setup, as I already mentioned, due to weight considerations and the major disassembly required to make it all come together. I DO like the AWC G2 approach, especially if I can come up with a similar package with essentially no weight. My only concern is how to provide a strong foundation for a picatinny rail on top.

So, we'll see what I can get away with. For now, I've already ordered up a couple of sacrificial stocks, I have the initial supplies to start making molds and playing around with packaging... Finally, I've got a mental picture of how to integrate an updated pull-rod trigger and some precision machining to allow better linkage that avoids warp or flex of trigger rods.

Finally, the new Kel-Tec RDB Survival model has some interesting ideas, especially with regard to the grip:



While it looks funky, the youtube reviews of it so far say that it's well-designed, and comfortable. The fact that it makes it small enough to fit into a gym back is just gravy...

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Old March 20th, 2017, 05:10 AM   #7
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Other than compactness I have never seen the advantage of a bull pup design even though there are those that make them even for bolt action rifles?? Number one would not like my eye/face that close to the bolt/action whereupon a problem would take place(most likely place.) The rifle depicted with large scope mount on it to me defeats the purpose of a rifle/carbine mainly used for close quarter work, in a building, across the street, confusion of a crowd of bad guys approaching at a full run, etc., etc. and that scope is a hinder not a helper to me on such a platform. Aimpoint, Trijicon, etc. sight or similar would be much better and does not add weight. No question from your experience in the fiberglass field you have earned the skills and techniques to construct such a stock, but I don't think the market is that large for such a project. The "bottom line" is the only deciding factor that must be taken seriously in such a venture and it can not be taken as something to marvel at with your ability to produce. Such adoration does not pay the light bills. I am not just trying to be negative at all, but spent a career trying to decipher good ventures from bad ones and a cardinal rule is that any such commercial venture must have "some very strong light cast in some very dark corners" for that is where the danger/problem exist. If you proceed wish nothing but the greatest success in your venture. JMO

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Old March 20th, 2017, 09:08 AM   #8
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BTW, while it obvious that there are better platforms for bullpup configuration (as Kel-Tec has recently demonstrated), the M14/M1A platform simply has a level of "cool" to it that others don't, as well as being battle-proven in its normal configurations. So... why not? :-D

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Old March 20th, 2017, 09:43 AM   #9
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The AWC G2 is indeed "cool". I have the original catalog from AWC and a gun mag article with details and pics and test drive.

The stocks were made by McMillan, and are no longer in production. Some one with $$$ and time should look into where the molds for these G2 stocks ended up, and the possibility of re-marketing this design. I am surprised that AG composites has not already BTDT.

PS:
I have seen an interesting M14 prototype stock which duplicated the AR 10 magazine release. Similar to what some bolt action rifle manufacturers are doing. Having the magazine insert and drop.straight down instead of requiring rotation, is an ergonomic improvement with the tight spacing between mag and pistol grip of the bullpup design.

PPS: In shooting the TAVOR BP VS the T97 BP, most people quickly decide that the TAVOR absolutely requires a trigger upgrade, which is EXPENSIVE. When we redesigned the T97 lower in alloy, I spent quite a bit of time re-engineering the existing T97 trigger. We ended up with an improved trigger that was AMAZING. We marketed a complete ergonomically improved alloy lower shell, with a much improved trigger feel, for a price competitive with the Tavor trigger upgrade.

The trigger on most Bullpup designs is the weak link. Designing a decent trigger will go a long way towards making an M14 BP stock more marketable.

PPS: When it comes to an M14 picatinny rail for a bullpup, the solution is simple. Look at the M14.CA LSP or SHG. Either will provide what a bullpup M14 requires ... depending on how you want to treat the receiver cover/ buttpad.

And this was not some accudent. I consider the BLACKFEATHER chassis SYSTEM as a genuine MODULAR SYSTEM. I planned for a BP optional upgrade right from the start. The LSP is the perfect solution for a BP upper.

Good luck
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Last edited by Lazerus2000; March 20th, 2017 at 09:58 AM.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 10:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Instructor View Post
Number one would not like my eye/face that close to the bolt/action whereupon a problem would take place(most likely place.)
I think Instructor raises a whole bunch of good points, but this is my personal hot button.

I love the idea of a bullpup, in that you can get the weight closer to your body for shooting off hand, and from a space efficiency perspective, as well as indoor maneuvering perspective (which I really hope never applies to me), but putting my head smack up against the most likely area of possible catastrophic failure (and closer to any catastrophic failure) is probably the single reason I haven't pursued a bull pup in any form, let alone a .308/7.62 Nato, which is a relatively large firecracker to lay your face against.

From a business perspective, I'm obviously not your target demographic. However, if it can be done, with a reinforced steel or titanium plate, adequately anchored within the stock so as to not become a projectile itself, some kind of safety blast deflector, encouraging any such catastrophe to go out into the world in the opposite direction, may be an appreciated feature. I don't know how feasible this is, nor from a business perspective, if it will convert enough people on the fence, or if there are enough on the fence to begin with, but as long as we're slinging ideas... If it was thoroughly tested (blow up enough guns with a dummy holding it), that might change the feelings of somebody like me.

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Old March 20th, 2017, 11:35 AM   #11
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As for shooting off hand with a rifle, about any rifle, one must adapt to that rifle in his stance and gaining Natural Point of Aim(NPA) in order to do so effectively. A very short sight radius is not conducive to skilled off hand shooting and in fact some weight is a plus factor for it tends to inhibit the wobble factor that all encounter. No one can hold the rifle absolutely still while shooting off hand for it requires great muscle strength versus the desired skeletal support w/ minor influence from the springy muscle systems in the arms, shoulders, back, etc., muscles tire, bones do not. Be it M14, M1Garand(excellent choice for off hand shooting I might add due to it's length and weight factor,) AR, or bolt rifle I firmly believe if you would spend some time at the range with a skilled off hand shooter he could analyze your method of shooting off hand with your issue type M1A/M14 and you would overcome some of the problems you are experiencing, just a suggestion.

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Old March 20th, 2017, 12:17 PM   #12
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Another good point. There is ease of holding it up, but there is also ease of holding steady, in which case length adds to stabilization.

I need to go close my car to the hail now...

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Old March 20th, 2017, 12:24 PM   #13
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In practicing standard CQB drills with the Tavor and the T97.CA tricked out Chinese Bullpup, I was amazed at how natural the balance was when shooting. My times/scores were not competitive with my shooting of an AR 15 M4RGRY, but in perspective, I have tens of thousands of rounds out of the AR family, and only a few hundred rounds out of bull puppies. For me, muscle memory with an AR makes shooting them easy ... almost instinctive. I am sure that more practice with the BP platform would improve my shooting scores.

HOWEVER,
the BP platform requires learning a new and in some ways completely different manual of arms, which may be more awkward and slower. The AR platform is just about perfect for ergonomic optimization. In my limited time with the BP platform, I found that ergonomics may be much less "user friendly". EG: a mag change??

Just my opinions,
Based on my personal experience.
YPMMV
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Old March 20th, 2017, 04:20 PM   #14
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Thanks to Breathier and all others who labor to improve the M14 platform.

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