View Full Version : Springfield M1A Owners-------------------> Synthetic or Wood?

October 4, 2010, 07:33 PM
I'm curious if owners of the M1A have any preference between the original wood stock, and the composite stock offered as an option by Springfield Armory. Yes, of course, the wood stock LOOKS better, but wouldn't the synthetic be more accurate (since it doesn't warp in moisture or heat)? And wouldn't the synthetic be lighter as well? What say you owners???

October 4, 2010, 07:46 PM
I have the composite stock on mine and it works well.

I really like the wood. I am VERY tempted to change.

Good wood on an M1A is just beautiful beyond words. . .


October 4, 2010, 07:50 PM


October 4, 2010, 07:50 PM
I prefer wood. I don’t know about the composite stocks offered by Springfield, I have a laminated stock on a Garand and it is heavier than a birch or walnut stock. McMillian fiberglass stocks were common, though very expensive, and these were a little heavier than the beefy stock on my Super Match.

I do not believe that the stock material is as important for M1a accuracy as is the skill of the gunsmith. The USMC team always used wood stocks on their match rifles and they were good shots. Actually won a few matches. :D My GI stocked rifle is very sensitive to sling tension, but it may be due to the lightweight GI barrel on the thing.




Tucker 1371
October 4, 2010, 07:50 PM
I have a synthetic Scout and I really wouldn't want anything heavier to hunt with. If it's just a range gun I think wood would be fine, and I agree, the wood stocked M1A's are much more aesthetically pleasing.

October 4, 2010, 08:10 PM
I have the synthetic scout and I love it! Felt a lot lighter to me and I really like the looks of it, it may not be wood but it still looks nice! Either way I think it balances better and I wouldn't change it! cant go wrong either way though!

David the Gnome
October 4, 2010, 08:12 PM
My NM has the wood stock but I plan on replacing it with some type of synthetic stock in the future. I love the looks of wood but I hate trying to take care of a wood stock. I find that the guns I have with plastic stocks get a lot more use than the ones with wood stocks, probably because I don't have to worry about them if I toss them in the trunk and bang around in the woods for a while.

October 4, 2010, 08:13 PM
I also prefer wood, but I don't have a problem with the USGI synthetic stocks either.

October 4, 2010, 08:20 PM


October 4, 2010, 08:38 PM
Nice SOCOM16^
I don't own an M1A- yet. But I prefer wood on almost every gun.

October 4, 2010, 08:50 PM
Wood on bottom and on TOP.



October 4, 2010, 09:00 PM
I have Synthetic. But its my one tacti-cool with all the fixings, so it would have looked odd with wood. BTW its a Socom II.

If i were to get another, or werent to have a scary black rifle, i would have gone wood with iron sights as a throwback classic.

Flatbush Harry
October 4, 2010, 10:16 PM
I have a 1979 vintage supermatch (all USGI parts ex. receiver, bbl and op. rod) with Douglas bbl in wood stock, and a 2007 vintage SOCOM 16 (usual non USGI shyte). Both shoot to =<1 MOA so I have no opinion on plastic v. wood. I did see a standard today in plastic that I thought about trading a couple of Win '94s for.

Harry, mil rifle kinda guy

PS-This would be my 3rd M1A and 8th mil rifle...so I guess you could say I'm not completely objective.


October 4, 2010, 11:46 PM
Astheticly, I think the M1A is one of the most handsome rifles in the entire world. And wood definitely looks better on the M1A. But synthetic can take more abuse, is unaffected by the elements. You can probably remove a synthetic stock a million times and not put internal wear on it like wood, which negatively affects accuracy.

I have a super match from the mid 90s with the oversized wood glass bedded stock. When I first got it my gun smith tried to remove the stock and he cracked it slightly right behind the receiver. It's like a hair line crack and it shoots < 1 MOA like that with Federal Gold Medal 168 gr ammo. So, it has never had the stock removed. I have taken off the trigger group. But even that you want to do as little as possible to prevent putting wear on the glass bedding. And it's so reliable too. I have roughly 800 rds through it and I don't remember ever having a jam. What a great gun.

October 5, 2010, 09:30 AM
Interesting responses. I would've thought more people would knock the synthetic stock, but it sounds like many are fond of its resiliency.

One last thing: does anyone notice a difference in the amount of HEAT that either stock transmits to the user after firing many many rounds?

October 5, 2010, 09:53 AM
One last thing: does anyone notice a difference in the amount of HEAT that either stock transmits to the user after firing many many rounds?

I don't shoot plastic stocks on M1A/M14s but I've shoot a heck of a lot Infantry Trophy Matches (Rattle Battle) and back to back rapid fire strings.

They get hot, but the way the M14/M1A is built, there is a separation with the barrel and the stock/hand guard. Then seem to dissipate the heat better then the M1. I've shot a lot of rapid fire with the M1 and the stock gets pretty hot, not so the M1A or M14s.

Again, like I said, I don't shoot plastic so I can't tell you about them.

October 5, 2010, 02:30 PM
I vote for wood.
I have found that some fiberglass stocks good looking but a little to fat.


October 5, 2010, 04:42 PM
I think it really depends on what you want to DO with your rifle.

A dedicated match rifle, I would get a heavy synthetic McMillon stock.

A wall hanger, fun range gun, you have to get the wood to drool over.

For a combat gun, get the sage stock setup. I looked at the collapsible stock version. :drool:

My M1A is old. It is pre-sage. It came with a synthetic stock. I bought a replacement stock from (the appleseed guy). I used the wood for a while then swapped back to the synthetic and modified it to be better for combat.

October 5, 2010, 07:34 PM
This conversation is exactly why I'm shocked that no one has yet produced a realistic looking synthetic "wood" stock for the M1A.

October 7, 2010, 08:23 AM
Got a couple of really nice USGI walnut stocks, one unused, the other almost unused, from Fred's. The synthetic has a lot to recommend it...but the walnut, especially the "thin" USGI walnut, is just inescapably appealing. :D

October 7, 2010, 08:24 AM
Wood on bottom and on TOP.

Where'd you get the walnut handguard? IIRC the services found they didn't perform as well (reminds me of Ruger's change with the Mini-14), but it sure is attractive!

October 7, 2010, 08:33 AM
Walnut/Birch wood looks & feels great... USGI synthetic is better for all-weather, general purpose use.

I prefer the SAGE EBR though :)

October 7, 2010, 10:28 AM
I've got what FALacy has except mine's in the black composite (SOCOM 16). To me the synthetic feels better but it certainly does not look better! It's a bit slimmer in the pistol grip area and balances very nicely.

The synthetic has the ability to deal with bumps and knocks and bad weather--the only other advantage.

I am basically a wood stock and blued steel type but in the SOCOM 16 I've developed an acute hankering for it. The piece is totally business and reliability.

October 8, 2010, 08:45 AM
I keep one rifle in wood and one in fiberglass. The glass stock is a better all weather stock. Slightly lighter than wood. If it's going to see heavy duty service I would add some reinforcement under the barrel. I glassed in two carbon fiber tubes on my GI stock, made it rock solid, before than I could twist it by hand.


October 8, 2010, 09:56 AM
O.K., mine is an M1 Garand but if I were getting an M1A it'd wear wood as well.

October 8, 2010, 08:55 PM
I have a surplus fiberglass stock that came on M1A and a birch stock that I traded for a couple years ago. The birch stock in on the rlfle now. I noticed no change in accuracy when I switched to wood.

October 9, 2010, 08:37 AM
Aesthetically I like wood stocks. can't beat the look of a niceely grained tree.

For actual use I prefer synthetic. Can be a bit lighter. but mostly I don't feel guilty if I put a scratch on plastic:p