Posts Tagged ‘stock’

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here before but if not I’ll say it again:  I have a lot of hobbies.  I like to shoot guns, take pictures, draw, read, play video games, and cook.  I also like to sew.  I’ve only completed a few sewing projects but its fun and relaxing every time.  I definitely think sewing could be a survival skill and no man should feel too embarrassed to try to learn.

I decided to use my manly sewing skills to make a stock pouch for my SKS.  Here’s a look at the completed piece after I managed to get it secured in place:


It wasn’t easy that’s for sure.  It took a few hours and I had to start over from scratch more than once.  The measurements were the hardest part to get right since the stock of the rifle features curves and angles.  Even after I got it finished I struggled to get it to stay in place.  The weight of a 10 round stripper clip was too much for it at first and I had to adjust the button locations to make it tighter.

20140316_190631I’m happy with the end result.  It does what I needed it to do and looks pretty good (Ignoring the poor edge/seam work) at the same time.  As it stands though there is no “lid” to the pouch so holding the gun at the wrong angle will cause the contents of the pouch to spill out.  I might add one to it but most likely I’ll just use this pouch as a model for an improved version in the future.  Maybe I can use some thicker, softer material so I get a nice cheek rest as well.

Just because you can buy something pretty cheap doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make it yourself.  I had all the material for this already in the house but even if I had needed to buy everything it would’ve cost less than $5.  My only investment was my time.

What do you think?  How did I do?  Do you have any suggestions for improvements?  On a related note, have you made something similar for your weapons or survival gear?  Let me know in the comments!


I would like to thank everyone who took a second to vote in last weeks poll.  I’ve decided that I’m going to put up a new poll every week to help drive some interaction on the blog as well as give me ides for new posts, like I’m doing today.  This weeks poll can be seen to the left of my post.  It asks about your practice habits.  Take a second and vote if you will; you don’t need to be a subscriber or wordpress member to vote.

Last week’s poll asked the question:  “What’s your favorite type of rifle camo?”  There were 21 votes (as of when I pulled it) and the results are below:

  • Woodland – 5
  • Desert – 5
  • Snow – 5
  • Factory Color – 4
  • Digital – 1
  • No Camo/Wood Stock – 1


While there weren’t many votes compared to the views I received (over 3,700 views on the blog last week and only 21 votes) I still think it shows us something.  Camouflage really varies based on personal preference.  There are many different kinds and I really only mentioned the ones I thought were the most common, but more people voted for a pattern of some kind than none at all.

Personally, I’ve always preferred desert camo.  That’s why I purchased tan stocks from ATI for my Mini-14 and my SKS.  I just think it looks cool.  I’ve never lived in an area where it would be useful (woodland would serve me much better) but the only shooting I do is at the range and my backyard anyway.

Camouflage is used by a lot of people for hunting, that’s a given.  Having a rifle that blends in with the scenery around you helps keep you hidden.  But I think a lot of people choose camo like I do, just because they like it.  That’s why my AR15 is black and white.  Camo is as much about personalization as it is functionality.  Our firearms are an extension of our personalities.  We all like different firearms.  And we all like different camo.  We choose to express these differences with our firearms, much like we do with our cars.  We’re proud of them (most of the time), we want them to be seen.

What are your thoughts?  This is your chance to rant and rave about those of us who colorize our weapons as well.  Do you feel all camo should be functional?  Or are you the kind of person who hunts in the snow with a rifle painted tan and brown?  Feel free to link to photos of your guns as well.  Or email a copy to me and I can include them in the post. Oh and feel free to vote in the poll. Its still open and will keep adding up the total.

Stock Photo – Mine will not have the forend grip and is tan

I added a new page titled My Links to my blog earlier today.  I wanted to give my viewers access to the same great websites and blogs that I frequently visit.  In addition, I’ve updated my Wish List page to include a new gun, the AK47.

I’ve also received the last piece I need to install the ATI Strikeforce stock on my SKS.  I plan to finish that and take some pictures tonight.  I’ll try to give a basic review of the stock as well once I have it all assembled.

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I mentioned in a previous post, and over on the My Guns page, that my Ruger Mini-14 is wearing a stock made by ATI.  Its a Desert Tan side-folding stock that features removable rails on all sides of the handguard.  I also bought the extended 6″ aluminum rails for the top and bottom, but I don’t use the 2 on the sides at all.

You can find these stocks just about everywhere online including The Sportsman’s Guide, Natchez Shooting Supplies, and even over on ebay.  Two of my local gun shops even keep a few.  I shopped around for the best deal and found it was just as easy to go directly to ATI and order from them.  They were even offering free shipping at that time.

They are available in both Black and Desert Tan and you can buy them with all the extended rails, aluminum rails, folding stock, or fixed stock.  Offering so many different options was a great move on ATI’s part I believe; its one reason I chose them over other manufacturers like Tapco.

This stock impressed me straight out of the box.  For the price I didn’t think it would be made with this quality.  I thought I may need to do a little sanding or adjusting to get it to fit correctly but it fit perfect.  The entire stock is made from a type of heavy plastic, but the screws, nuts, and other hardware were indeed metal.  The rails that came with mine were plastic but I ordered the 6″ aluminum top and bottom rails to upgrade mine.  The instructions were simple to follow and I had it installed in under 30 minutes.

The Strikeforce stock was a good bit heavier than the Federal Ordinance stock that came on mine but without accessories attached it is still light enough to easily carry.  When it had the bipod, vertical grip, and red dot sight however, it was a behemoth to lug around and shooting it freehand quickly made you find some place to use that bipod.

Something I really like, and later implemented with my AR, is the adjustable buttstock.  Being able to slide the stock in or out is great when adjusting to different shooters.  I always preferred shooting it from about midway extended (I have short arms) whereas Aaron and Ryan seemed to prefer fully extended when they shot.  ATI steps it up and gives you an adjustable cheekrest for the buttstock as well.  I found that useful as well.


The way the stock folds sideways though is kinda strange and awkward to carry, but decent for storage.  The original Federal Ordinance stock folded under the rest of the gun (unless you had an extended mag installed) and was completely out of the way and nearly invisible when folded.  I’m not sure I would ever want to shoot it from the folded position but since I like options, I’m glad the Strikeforce stock gives you the ability to choose.

The only thing I really don’t like about the stock is that the upper part of the handguard is screwed onto the lower half.  This wouldn’t be and issue except that it requires a lot more effort as well as tools in order to disassemble the rifle.  In addition, with the upper rail being mounted only on the upper handguard, its possible (while not that likely) that the sight’s zero could change if any of the screws aren’t fully tightened or happen to loosen during a shooting session.

Its also worth mentioning that with the Strikeforce stock, its a bit more difficult to break open the trigger guard for disassembly.  The pistol grip blocks some of the access used to pry the guard open.  I don’t consider this a problem though because I’ve always had trouble breaking the trigger guard loose.  It just means it’ll take a little extra time and effort.

Overall I feel this is a fantastic product.  I’ve recommended the ATI Strikeforce stock more than a few times over the past year to a few other Mini owners.  Its a great value and allows complete customization of your Ruger Mini-14.  Definitely give ATI a look if you’re in the market for a new stock.

I don’t often talk about my Mini-14 but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it.  In fact its one of my favorite guns.  I was in love with it the moment my coworker brought it in to sell it in August of 2011.  I had never bought or owned a gun before but I knew I wanted that one.  I bought it that evening.

The reason I don’t talk about it often is because I haven’t been shooting it lately.  Its been much more economical to focus on my 22’s rather than blowing through boxes of .223 ammunition.  But I will be shooting it more.  Watching Aaron shoot it Wednesday made me remember why I loved shooting it so much.  I shot it a few times Wednesday but I definitely intend to devote an entire shoot to it on a future trip to the range.

My Mini-14 came with a Federal Ordinance “under-folding” stock when I bought it.  It was pretty cool looking and the wood made it feel like I was holding an AK or something.  Especially when I bought my 30 round magazine made by Tapco.

Unfortunately the Mini-14 wasn’t really designed to have tactical accessories and attaching a scope of any kind was going to be a pain.  So I decided to invest in an entirely new stock for it.  People laughed when they saw it but it looks even more amazing to me now.

The stock I purchased for my Mini was the ATI Strikeforce side-folding stock in desert tan.  With the new stock and add on rails I purchased, I was able to start adding some accessories.  Within months I had a red dot sight, a bipod, and a verticle grip.  Since then I’ve removed all of those and all but the sight currently call my AR15 home.

I learned a lot from my Mini-14 and I am truly happy that it was my first firearm.  Not only did I learn about the mechanics involved in the firing of a gun, but I also learned a great deal about barrels and ammunition.

Mini-14’s are not known to be that accurate.  They’re typically good at medium distances but groups tend to spread the more you shoot. The barrel on my early production Mini is a “pencil barrel”.  This thing is basically as thin as it could be in order to reduce its weight and make it easier to carry.  Unfortunately a thin barrel heats up and begins to warp very fast.  My barrel in particular likes to string bullets diagonally (up and to the left) when it gets hot.  The hotter it gets the farther the shots climb.  Newer Mini’s come with a thicker barrel to reduce this effect.  From what I’ve heard they are now significantly more accurate.

I don’t mind the reduced accuracy.  I can hit a man-sized target at 50 yards no problem.  While I wouldn’t want to take this thing hunting and try to kill a deer at 200 yards, it’s more than effective enough for me to shoot paper.  Besides, if I wanted a precision “tack driving” rifle, I would’ve bought someting that’s bolt action.  There’s just something really exciting and fun about shooting through a 30 round mag in under 15 seconds.

And when the zombies come, ill probably be using my AR anyway.  22lr rounds will work plenty good for head-shots.  🙂