Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 04-24-2009, 16:44   #1
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Another Take on a Forearm Swivel Stud for Hogue Stocks

I recently had occassion to use a "T" nut for another project and it occurred to me that it would make an ideal backstop for a swivel stud in the forearm of the Hogue stocks. These were available at my local Ace Harware in a number of sizes in both stainless and regular steel.

Later I went by the gunshop and picked up a nice stainless swivel and also decided to add a stainless washer to avoid squashing the Hogue rubber. Total parts were about $5, only because of the swivel:



Everything is stainless and threaded 10-32 for a good strength mount.

If you choose to put the stud in a conventional spot (i.e. 3-4", or so, back from the gas block) all you need to do is drill a single 0.25" hole between two of the structural ribs of the stock forearm. Some suggest drilling from the outside in to avoid delaminating the rubber. I've not had lots of success trying to start a drill well in rubber, so I clamped the forearm down tight on a block of wood and drilled from inside out.

I also wanted my stud as far forward as possible so I'd have most of the forearm to grab for offhand shooting and as much of the forearm to lay on the crummy bench rests at my range. Since the inner ribs get lower toward the gas block I had to inlet the head of the "T" nut for clearance. It was a 2 minute job with a dremel and 1/2" sanding disk just inletting about 1/16". However, I did have the dremel running a little too fast and it slightly melted the plastic liner. No biggie, but if you choose to do this grind at the slowest speed:



The "T" nut drops right into this recess and the big head provides plenty of support:



I'm not sure if it's clear in the picture, but simply moving back one "rib" from the gas block would have allowed me to skip the inletting business entirely and just drilled a simple hole. The "T" nut head is that thin.

The "T" nut is set up to use a spanner wrench with pins (those extra small holes in the flange). However, both here and in my other project I found that it could easily be held by hand while you tighten the other part (I suspect that's because of the large surface area on the flange).

When I screwed the swivel into the "T" nut tightly I noticed that it was compressing the exterior rubber and causing a ring bulge around the swivel. I just added a stainless washer to spread the compressive load out a bit over the rubber surface. It's not absolutely necessay if you want a factory look, but I was a bit more comfortable with the load distribution and don't think it looks half bad:



I then locked everything in place with a little blue loctite and went back in with a little drum sander on the dremel to grind down the small bit of thread extension that protruded past the nut.

In side view it looks fairly standard and the stainless matches up pretty well with the gas block, etc.

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Old 04-24-2009, 18:59   #2
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That Looks Good. Thanks for the step by step pictures. The one Question I have is that I have the Steel liner in the stock, does that come out? I have to look.
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:50   #3
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yes it comes out
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:19   #4
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Thanks for the tip! I will be adding one to my 6.8 mini.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:03   #5
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Originally Posted by Zeppe807 View Post
That Looks Good. Thanks for the step by step pictures. The one Question I have is that I have the Steel liner in the stock, does that come out? I have to look.
Yes the steel liner lifts out and has to come out first so that the "T" nut can go in under it. The inside pictures of the stock (to show the inletting and drop-in of the "T" nut) are with that liner already removed.

The liner is the primary reason that I had to inlet the "T" nut head a bit in the position that I chose to put it. When you lift the liner out(you may need to pull the very back of the liner off a small tab on the stock first) you'll see that the stock has a series of stiffening ribs upon which the liner sits. As you progress toward the front of the forearm those ribs get progressively shorter until, at the very front, are almost non-existent. While the "T" nut head is very low profile, it's still not low enough to allow the liner sit back onto those ribs evenly without inletting at that very front position.

As I noted, if you move the stud position back some -- even as little as into the next space between ribs -- you can probably avoid the inletting. The bottom of the ribs are then tall enough that the liner will drop back on with plenty of clearance over the low profile "T" nut head.

While I'm posting, I'll make another observation. If you want a "real" factory look and more solid mounting you can also inlet the stud, itself, in the rubber. That is, cut or drill a hole the exact diameter of the stud base in the rubber only. Without the washer, the stud will then sit down into the rubber and clamp just to the plastic inner "skeleton" of the stock, giving a "low profile" look. This may require a small bit of dremel grinding on the threaded end of the "T" nut to shorten it enough for clamping to the plastic, in addition to a bit more grinding of the excess stud length inside after assembly. Personally, I didn't bother with that since it's plenty solid "as is" and I don't find the washer to be a big cosmetic issue -- YMMV.

Last edited by Bill_in_TX; 04-25-2009 at 09:12.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:14   #6
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great idea I just used a reglar stainless 10-32 nut and after I lock tighted it and cleaned the area with thinner I packed jb weld around the nut to give it a little more face area on the inside of my stock, yours looks way better. Why didn't you make this post about a week ago
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:48   #7
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Bill, one thing to keep in mind, that I learned, is they WILL rotate, unless you make the flange nut have some sort of square edge that sits against the plastic ribs of the stock.

Nice work! Very nice.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:32   #8
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+1

Originally Posted by handirifle View Post
Bill, one thing to keep in mind, that I learned, is they WILL rotate, unless you make the flange nut have some sort of square edge that sits against the plastic ribs of the stock.

Nice work! Very nice.
+1 Handi. Bill, it looks great! I couldn't find a suitable "T" nut for mine, that's why a I had to used the Harris. Enjoy!
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Old 04-26-2009, 14:45   #9
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Originally Posted by handirifle View Post
Bill, one thing to keep in mind, that I learned, is they WILL rotate, unless you make the flange nut have some sort of square edge that sits against the plastic ribs of the stock.

Nice work! Very nice.
handi,
My comment on rotation was meant more as an installation one. I had no trouble at all keeping the "T" nut from rotating with my finger while I screwed down the swivel stud.

I think that the compression of the Hogue rubber compound will act like a lock washer and keep things from rotating during use now that everything is loctited together. However, I'll report back on that after I've used it some -- if it becomes and issue.

For those concerned about the "T" nut rotating, the hardware store where I bought these had a second kind in the same box. That second one looked like it was designed more for locking down in wood. It looked like it had probably started life the same as the one pictured. However, a couple additional steps put two small radial cuts in the flange (180 degrees opposed) and then bent the edge down beside those cuts to form "teeth". As you tighten down the stud the "teeth" would dig into the stock keeping the "T" nut from moving at all. I didn't think it would be needed, but use will tell.
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Old 04-26-2009, 23:33   #10
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Originally Posted by Bill_in_TX View Post
handi,
My comment on rotation was meant more as an installation one. I had no trouble at all keeping the "T" nut from rotating with my finger while I screwed down the swivel stud.

I think that the compression of the Hogue rubber compound will act like a lock washer and keep things from rotating during use now that everything is loctited together. However, I'll report back on that after I've used it some -- if it becomes and issue.

For those concerned about the "T" nut rotating, the hardware store where I bought these had a second kind in the same box. That second one looked like it was designed more for locking down in wood. It looked like it had probably started life the same as the one pictured. However, a couple additional steps put two small radial cuts in the flange (180 degrees opposed) and then bent the edge down beside those cuts to form "teeth". As you tighten down the stud the "teeth" would dig into the stock keeping the "T" nut from moving at all. I didn't think it would be needed, but use will tell.

Mine wasn't talking about installing, but in use. When you put the bipod on it, it WILL swivel. May not be a bad thing though.
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Old 04-27-2009, 00:06   #11
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Bill,

The "T" nut you referred to is indeed used for wood. What you might try, if you find your assembly moving around objectionable, is find a couple of really small nails. Cut them down to a length of 1/8th inch, sharpen the tip to a spear shape, and heat them up. Then press them through the existing holes of your "T" nut into the stock. Then smother the lot with a good dose of JB Weld.

(I know you know this, but just in case.) Remember to rough up the top of the nut and surrounding stock bed floor with 40 to 80 grit sand paper, clean it up with a little lacquer thinner or acetone, then apply the JB Weld.

Just a thought.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:18   #12
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Mickey,

After I posted the reply I realized that it's possible to do something like you suggest. Since I have tons of hardware around (the bane of being a homeowner) I thought that if it does rotate I'll probably just screw a couple very small wood screws into the holes meant for the spanner wrench and grind their heads down with the dremel. The idea of the heated nails is also a good option (I've got plenty of those too ).

handi is probably right about the swivel rotating under the load of bipod, which I hadn't really considered. I did this as a traditional sling swivel because I wasn't happy with the one on the gas block. I use Quake polymer swivels on my sling and had drilled and ground the gas block swivel hole to fit. However, because that hole is set up from the bottom of the gas block the swivel was actually bending around the gas block. I'm not sure how much bending load those swivels can take (they're really designed for a direct tension load with a shear load on the screw) so I thought I'd get a more direct path. When I saw how easy it was I decided to share it here.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:24   #13
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Screw v Nail

Bill,

I thought about screws too, but trying to find one that's close to the hole diameter vs. length is a royal PIA. That's why I choose a hot nail and JB Weld or some other good epoxy. It's much easier to "customize". I "tried" to drill and thread the existing sling hole in the gas block. I'll spare you the details, but it was a costly failure. (As in the number of expensive tap's that broke no matter what trick I tried.) I'll now have to come up with "Plan B". Which will probably involve TIG welding.

My goal was to be able to add an "extended" sling stud at a right angle to the gas block. Why you ask? I wanted to have the weapon lay flat against my back. That way the magazine wouldn't dig a hole in my shoulder blade.

The Quake polymer swivels don't seem to tolerate torque loading either. (Seems they wanna come apart like a cheap suit.) But just think! Now you can spend more money and get a "kewel" Harris bi-pod, too! Yippie!

Anyway, that's my story and I'm stick'n to it.......
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Old 04-27-2009, 15:36   #14
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Originally Posted by Mickey3Gun View Post
Bill,

... I "tried" to drill and thread the existing sling hole in the gas block. I'll spare you the details, but it was a costly failure. (As in the number of expensive tap's that broke no matter what trick I tried.) I'll now have to come up with "Plan B". Which will probably involve TIG welding.

My goal was to be able to add an "extended" sling stud at a right angle to the gas block. Why you ask? I wanted to have the weapon lay flat against my back. That way the magazine wouldn't dig a hole in my shoulder blade.

...
Mickey,
I can't help you with the tapping because I'm miserable with those. I even managed to break a small one (5-56) trying to thread a hole in the aluminum rib of my SxS shotgun .

However, I'll offer a thought on a side sling stud. If you can still get a clean hole (on the recommendation of someone here, I tried a cobalt bit from Lowes and it worked like a charm) there are some studs with an extended shaft. You could add a spacer to cover part of that shaft, run the rest through the gas block hole and finish with one of those round-headed (ball-head?) nuts. I don't think it would look too bad at all.

I think I saw some studs with long, threaded shafts in the assortment that my gunshop guy had (probably the 'smith assortment from Brownells). Otherwise, the ones that come to mind are those that are commonly used for the barrel-magazine clamp for tactical shotguns. I believe that it can be had as a separate part.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-27-2009, 16:03   #15
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Originally Posted by Bill_in_TX View Post
.... there are some studs with an extended shaft. You could add a spacer to cover part of that shaft, run the rest through the gas block hole and finish with one of those round-headed (ball-head?) nuts. I don't think it would look too bad at all.
Bill, thanks! That was my sorta kinda, preliminary, Plan B idea, too. See great minds think alike (I still might attempt to tap the hole again.......) I was even thinking about drilling a small perpendicular hole through the stud pin and gas block, and pinning the two together. News at 11.......

I'll post the final solution as soon as I get around to playing with it some more.
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