How to Replace a Factory Rifle Stock

“How difficult is it to replace a factory rifle stock?” 

We get that question a lot. We hear it at the gun range. We hear it on the phone. We’ve even heard it at hunting camp. 

There are no stupid questions, and if you’ve never torn apart a bolt action rifle, this is a natural thing to ask. Before we dive into how to replace your factory rifle stock, let’s talk briefly about why someone would want to do that. 

Factory rifle stocks are generally (not always) made of either plastic (polymer) or wood. Plastic is light, sure, but it’s not rigid enough to provide shot-to-shot consistency. 

Wood is more rigid than plastic, but it’s also heavier. The worst thing about wood is that it tends to swell and shrink in response to temperature and humidity changes. If the gun gets wet, wood harbors that moisture, which can lead to rust development on the barrel and receiver components it’s in contact with. 

Beyond that, factory rifle stocks rarely feature the ergonomics that shooters really want from their rifles. Some factory stocks make contact with the barrel, too. This does not lend itself to optimal accuracy. 

So, if you’ve decided that you want to replace your factory rifle stock with a custom aftermarket stock, swapping them out is a breeze. There’s no need to remove the scope. Here’s how you do it, step by step. The process is identical whether you’ve purchased a fiberglass or carbon fiber AG Composites stock. 


1) Ensure that the gun is completely unloaded. 


2) Remove the bolt from the receiver. 


3) Remove the front and rear action screws. Notice that one a Remington 700, the longer of the two action screws goes behind the trigger, and the shorter screw goes on the muzzle side. 



4) If the rifle has a hinged floorplate (BDL) or no floorplate at all (ADL), remove the magazine spring and follower and set it aside for later use. If you plan to use bottom metal with a detachable box magazine (DBM), you will not need the factory spring and follower. AG Composites sells both BDL and DBM bottom metal with an M5 footprint. These products can be found on this page AG Bottom Metals 


5) Remove the barreled action from the factory stock.



6) Place the barreled action into your new AG Composites stock. If you line up the recoil lug with the stock’s recoil lug inlet, the action will fall right into the new stock. 



7) Ensure that the action is properly seated in the inlet of the stock by checking if the tang of the action is resting against stock and that the barrel is straight in the receiver. If not, adjust the placement of the action. 


8) Install the action screws, with the longer of the two screws in the rear hole of the bottom metal. If you purchased AG Composites bottom metal, new action screws will be provided. 


9) Torque both action screws to 65 inch-pounds. 


10) If your new bottom metal is BDL, open the hinged floorplate and install the factory spring and follower. 


Once the floorplate is closed and the bolt is placed back in the action, you have successfully completed installation of your new rifle stock. Pretty simple! Order your rifle stock today! 


6 Easy Steps to the Best Stock on the Market