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The Saga of the Mini-14 Archangel Precision Stock

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by benbradley, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    I recently purchased a Mini-14 Tactical (583-series) as well as an Archangel Precision stock (AAMINI). While waiting for the stock to arrive, I watched the installation instructions that Archangel Mfg produced showing a step-by-step method for installing your Mini. In that video, the instructor mentions that some variants of the Mini have a larger set of mag well arms on the trigger assembly that don't fit into their stock, but he doesn't mention specifically which Minis are affected. Well, mine is one of them.

    In the video, the instructor says that you can fix this problem by grinding down the metal arms down so that they fit in the stock. I took a different approach and s.l.o.w.l.y Dremeled out the stock so that the trigger assembly would fit. It took about two hours as I was being very, very cautious, but I finally felt like I had a good, snug fit, though I was dreading the thought of field stripping the rifle as there was a fair bit of tapping and squeezing to get it set.

    The installation instructions tell you to take the factory lower heat shield and install it into the AAMINI stock, but you're told that you'll have to bend out the edges of the shield to get them to grip the inner ribs of the stock so that it holds in place. This doesn't work. The inner ribs are smooth and offer no stable surface for anchoring the heat shield. The result is that the shield tips forward and will rub against the slide assembly every time it cycles. It's not a huge deal, but it's metal-on-metal contact that isn't part of the rifle's design.

    After accepting that the slide assembly would rub against the heat shield and 2 hours of shaving stock material, I was finally ready to slap on the hand guard and call it done. Except that the rivet that is supposed to hold the clip that keeps the hand guard attached to the barrel wasn't riveted. The dang thing was still just a peg.
    aamini-clip-rivet.jpg

    This is where I threw my hands up. I was prepared for the trigger guard to not fit, and I can accept that the heat shield rubs, but this was too much. This manufacturing defect means that hand guard simply doesn't stay attached.

    For now, I've put the rifle back in the factory stock and I've contacted Archangel Support to see what they can do about it. I still really want the stock to work and I like how it feels when I adjust it to fit my frame (being 6'4" means I like a long LOP), but this initial engagement has worn down my patience and tolerance with Archangel.

    I'll be sure to update this thread as the story develops. Hopefully I'll be able to post pics of the completed project.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  2. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    Update 1 - A rep from Archangel/Promag responded and I can exchange the defective kit for a new one. A new kit, however, means that I'll have to shave out the trigger assembly fitting again and the heat shield would still be loose, so I'm asking if I can just exchange the hand guard instead of the whole thing.

    They also offered to put me in touch with the designer of the stock to ask my questions directly. I took them up on the offer and am waiting to see how/when we can chat.
     
    ZA_Survivalist likes this.
  3. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    At least they are trying, I can respect that. Sorry you got a bum product. Have any pictures of the whole rifle sitting in the stock?
     
  4. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    /agree

    No pics in the AAMINI stock as yet. I had the whole thing installed and ready to go right up until the Archangel hand guard kept popping off. In frustration, I uninstalled the rifle from the AAMINI stock and put it back in the factory stock.

    Once I get the exchange resolved, I'll be sure to post pics of the completed project.
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  5. B5Ben

    B5Ben Boise Well-Known Member

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    I had to do an exchange of my Archangel stock for my M14. It was due to color reasons though, not fitment issues. I ordered an OD green, and got something that resembled a coyote brown, which they don't offer o_O. They were amicable doing the exchange and said they didn't know how it made it out of QC. I really like the archangel on my M14 much better than a standard stock. Ergonomics are great and didn't cost $1k for a JP or some other high end stock. Good luck with your mini-14 project and they should resolve it.
     
  6. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    Update 2 - Got a return order number from Promag. They want the whole thing back in spite of the modifications that I've made. They won't send the new one until I send back the old one so it will likely be a couple weeks until that chain of events takes place.
     
  7. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I would peen over the head of the rivet and put it to work. Using a punch and a hammer you should be able to mushroom over the top of the pin and get it to hold snug. If that is the only hang up I would give it a shot. At this point maybe you could even ask the Promag folks what they think about trying it with the caveat you will send it back if you cant get it to hold
     
    Velzey likes this.
  8. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    FYI I'm not sure where you purchased your stock from. But one nice thing when purchasing from Brownells. There is no contacting the mfg, or any waiting for anything. I call Brownells up and say hey this stock you sold me is manufactured wrong! They check their stock and see if there is a problem with the rest..they ship me out new parts (or part) ASAP and send me a return shipping label for the bad part.

    100% guarantee on everything they sell! And they will make it right!
     
  9. 4Rescue

    4Rescue SW Hipster/Yuppy-Land New Member

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    Isn't that the way of the world right there... I'm frustrated for ya just thinking about it aye. Bummer about the Stock, I have several Mini's and have thought about putting an AA stock on one but have thus far just built AR's instead and left my Mini's in more "classic" stocks (I kinda love how people won't look twice at the Mini but the AR's get jaws on the floor... they're like Bull Terriers and Rottweilers respectably both can tear faces off and it's all down to the owner/operator).

    Hope all goes well for ya mate, I hate when you get a new "toy" and want to play whit it but things don't line up... As I said, I've been there before as well (as I think we all have) and I fel for your frustration.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  10. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    Hey IronMonster,

    Though I'm sure it's a simple process, I've never done it before and I don't have the right tools for the job. Any attempt I would make would just as likely ruin the finish as mushroom the peg.

    Hey Velzey,

    I purchased mine from GrabAGun.com along with a bunch of other accessories. It probably would have been a good idea to go to them first to see what they could do to correct it.

    Hey Dave,

    Yeah, I had been doing research for months and the order shipment was delayed. When things *just work* it's amazing, I wish it happened more often.
     
  11. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    Update 3 - Got the stock shipped off. Had fun at the FedEx shop explaining that it wasn't actually a firearm, but instead it was a stock that a firearm is set into. Had to explain it to two of the folks there that it wasn't actually a controlled item and they wouldn't get arrested for shipping it.
     
  12. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    sadly that does not surprise me.
     
    erudne likes this.
  13. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    Update 4 - The original stock has been received, but I haven't heard if the replacement has been shipped back yet. In the meantime, I took the Mini-14 to Northwest Custom Firearms to get a trigger job done. I'm hoping that the stock and the trigger both come back at about the same time so I can complete the build.
     
    salmonriverjohn likes this.
  14. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    Update 5 - The replacement AAMINI stock has arrived! The rifle is still at the gunsmith getting a trigger job done, but once it comes back, I plan to shave out the trigger well so that the assembly will fit.

    Notice how the rivet is actually riveted on this one. Also, the side-walls of the inner hand guard are smooth. I guess that's the intended design, but I don't see how it's supposed to hold the heat-shield down. I'm guessing that I'll have to shave a lip into the ribs as well to ensure that the operating rod doesn't rub against the shield.

    IMG_20160411_152044.jpg IMG_20160411_151553.jpg IMG_20160411_151525.jpg
     
  15. NWCustomFirearms

    NWCustomFirearms Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    Hey Ben, it's almost done, you'll be able to pick it up this week!
     
    GOG, IronMonster and benbradley like this.
  16. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    Update 6 - Jon finished the trigger work yesterday, it's now a nice, smooth, crisp 3lb 13oz. Previously, there was a bit of grinding of the sear on the hammer that I could feel through the trigger on take-up, and the pull came in at about 6lbs. Now the take-up is smooth and comes to a nice stop that lets you know that with only a little more pressure, you're about to go bang.
    IMG_20160412_154852.jpg

    With all the components complete, all that was left was to dremel out the trigger well on the AAMINI and put it together.
    IMG_20160412_154754.jpg
    This shows how the Mini-14 trigger assembly doesn't quite fit inside the trigger well of the AAMINI. I had to dremel out the inside walls to get it to set correctly. I only shaved the side walls to make room horizontally. The surfaces that create vertical distance were untouched.

    IMG_20160412_155432.jpg
    Here is a view of the inside of the walls that I had to shave down. It's important to make sure that you also shave the lower section (closer to my ring) and not just the larger section in the middle of the picture. When you're done, the arms of the trigger assembly should rest on the horizontal surface of the stock.

    IMG_20160412_205111.jpg
    Here you can see that the heat-shield just rests in the hand guard. I had hoped that I could shave a lip into the ribs, but when I had the shield in, I saw that the upper edge of the shield was level with the ribs and that the taller rib didn't come in contact with the shield. On the factory stock, there is a small protrusion that the bottom of the heat shield clips on to (you can sort of see the heat-shield clip on the bottom of this pic), but the AAMINI doesn't have that bump.

    For reference, here is the rifle as from the factory:
    IMG_20160324_200156.jpg
    And when all is said and done, here's the finished product:
    IMG_20160412_222442.jpg

    I only took the one (grainy) picture as I finished the build late in the evening after the kids were in bed and I wanted to oogle and enjoy the rifle. I'll put up some cleaner photos as I'm able to.
     
  17. B5Ben

    B5Ben Boise Well-Known Member

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    Looks good. Glad to see it all worked out in the end.
     
  18. benbradley

    benbradley Vancouver, WA Member

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    IMG_20160413_165529.jpg

    IMG_20160413_165128.jpg

    IMG_20160413_165252.jpg
    Here you can see the shaved side walls and how the trigger assembly fits now.