The ProMag Archangel M1A stock is a new arrival here in Canada and a great alternative to a regular synthetic stock or the substandard wood that typically comes with Norinco M305′s (Norinco’s copy of the M1A). Although it looks a bit like a JAE stock, it’s quite different. The JAE-100 Generation 3 stock comes with a full length aluminum skeleton that ensures an extremely solid mount for the M1A. The ProMag Archangel M1A stock is just a synthetic stock, but it comes with a lot of the features that you’d find on a tactical stock like the JAE, such as a picatinny rail on the underside of the forend, quick disconnect sling mounts, adjustable cheek rest, adjustable length of pull, and a comfortable pistol grip. At around $300, the price is also a lot more tolerable and seems a better fit for the $399 M305.
The Archangel M1A stock is a synthetic stock made mostly of a single type of plastic. It’s a lot nicer of a plastic than that used in the Marlin 795 or Kel-Tek SUB2000 that I reviewed, but it could always use some Hogue style overmoulded rubber in key grip areas. While it’s advertised as “drop in” most user reports I’ve read have involved a bit of work with a file to get a proper fit to their Springfield M1A’s. Putting it on an M305 also involves cutting a bit of a ledge into the inside right hand side of the action. Check out this post for more info on fitting the M305 to the Archangel stock. Not the end of the world. The rest of the stock very closely matches the cost. You are not getting a JAE for a third of the price, but you are getting a stock comparable to some of the other synthetic options for the M1A.
One of the key attributes that a tactical stock should improve is to aid shooting form and make the rifle easier to use. The grip on the Pro mag Archangel M1A tactical stock is a high angle pistol grip with a nice palm swell. I’m a big fan of pistol gripped stocks, including the one on my TC Encore Pro Hunter, and the pistol grip on the Archangel is pretty close. This also means that it’s going to be difficult for Californians to buy or use this stock. Whereas the JAE looks like it was designed to have as “pistol-ish” a grip as possible while still being legal in CA, the Promag stock does not cater to the poor Californians who’d like to improve their M1A’s. On other aspects of the stock, the cheek rest adjusts up and down via the thumbwheel below it. This is especially handy on the M1A, where a variety of scope mounts and optics options result in a myriad of sighting heights. The scope mount used on this particular rifle is a local Canadian scope mount called the CASM and it results in a pretty high mount for the scope, even with ultra low rings. The cheek rest on the Archangel M1A stock rose to the occasion easily. The length of pull is adjustable in a similar manner, offering an identical hold no matter if you’re wearing a bulky winter jacket, or a summer t-shirt. The click detents on both the LOP and cheekrest height were a bit stiff, but they seemed to hold up just fine. You’ve got a few options for slings on this rifle. The standard sling swivel studs are offered at front and back, but setting up a sling that way might result in a tall mag or pointy bits of the rifle jabbing into your back. A better option is to use either the left or right side quick detach points to attach a sling. They’ll keep the rifle side at your back, and that bulky pointy magazine pointed away. For bipods, you’ll be stuck with the picatinny rail as the front sling swivel stud is at too forward an angle to attach that style of bipod. The picatinny rail bipods are usually better anyways. If you don’t need a bipod, vertical front grip, or any other tacti-cool accessory on the rail, you can slide the rail cover on for a more comfortable front grip.
When looking at a stock in this price range, you have to compare it to its peers. In that case, for tactical style m14 stocks, your only real choices are plain black synthetic USGI stocks or M14a2 stocks with pistol grips. They’re a lot cheaper, usually $100 or so, but don’t offer nearly the comfort, extensibility, and general “tacti-cool” look that the Archangel stock does. There’s really nothing like it at this price range and that’s great. The more companies we have pushing the features/price bar further and further, the better choices we’ll all have as consumers. In Canada, these stocks are available from Jerry at Mystic Precision. He’s selling them out as fast as he’s getting them, so give him a ring or send an email first.
Added usability and a more configurable stock for your M14S or M305
The Promag Archangel M1A stock is a good alternative to the standard synthetic stocks for the M14. You’ll need to add an adjustable cheekrest of some sort if you use a scope, and the LOP adjustment makes it easier to set a comfortable hold on the rifle.