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CZ455 Varmint into AICS airsoft stock

 
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:49 AM
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CZ455 Varmint into AICS airsoft stock

A few projects posted on a few sites concerning putting a rimfire rifle into an AICS stock had really grabbed my attention, and when I finally decided on getting a CZ 455 Varmint I figured it would make the perfect conversion.
So I scanned the airsoft suppliers websites everyday and did some research finding that the Well G96 folding stock has the most features replicated from the oringinated AICS, further reviewd here: AICS Airsoft Stock for rimfire conversion review

In theory, the weight and the aluminum bedding block should provide a solid platform to mount the action, which should also increase accuracy / consistancy.

The installation wasn't hard at all, It was mostly time consuming - trim a little, fit a little, assemble, disasemble, reassemble, repeat. It's really not harder than installing a doorknob, just take a little patience and time.

Remove the rear stock section from the hinge. Unscrew the 2 set screws (you'll need metric hex wrenches) and tap out the hinge pin. Be careful not to loose the pin or the metal sleeve that it goes in.

Remove the skins from the front stock section. Start by removing the screws and the latching knob that locks the folded butt stock in place. CAREFULLY seperate the skin from the aluminum block. lightly pry with a flat screwdriver the skins around the trigger guard and grip. There are several pins throughout, be careful not to crack the plastic or deform the plastic while prying apart.


I originally took all of the stock apart and "shimmed" all of the interlocking parts with a quick wrap of electrical tape to make sure all the parts mated solidly. There was a little play here and there, the tape stopped that "slop" and cured a few rattles. I put the subframes back together - use clear nail polish or Loc tite on them and be careful not to strip out the screws and treads.

WHAT I CONSIDER THE MOST IMPORTANT - position the action in the aluminum block, taking into consideration the trigger position in the trigger guard. All of your other modifications will be based off that. As the action will be going in and out of the block numerous times, put a piece of duct tape at the top front end of the block to protect the bottom of the barrel from being scratched or marked up during fitting, or just wrap the barrel itself to protect it.

Also when positioning and fitting the action to the block, take your time when screwing in the action screws. Do not take a chance of stripping outthe action treads just to get it done quickly...if it doesn't line up the first or second time that you try it, don't force it.

Mark any place you have to trim, with the 455, I had to remove the crossmember shown below, then further trim out to allow clearance of the trigger sear. Those areas marked with scratched lines beow.




I then beveled the edges with a file the best that I could to match the rest of the beveled edge on the block.


Use the mounting blocks that was used to mount the airsoft action to mount your rimfire action. Below you can see that I chamfered the block in order to use the original mounting bolts of the CZ.

Note the extra hole on the side. It was used to allow the skin mounting screw pass through to the other side. So to help stiffen up the aluminum block and have less movement of the mounting blocks, I drilled holes in the sides of the aluminum block and put in tension pins to hold the action blocks in place.



Also note above the pillars I was to use. They are called rivnuts, they have treads inside that must be drilled out. You can find these in many hardware stores, or simply use a spacer also found in the nut and bolt section.
You will have to trim these to length. Once you have a feel for how high your action will sit above the bedding block, you can cut to length. Also try to V notch them so they center themselves on the rounded action.

***CONTINUED***
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:50 AM
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Re: CZ455 Varmint into AICS airsoft stock

The front pillar needs the most attention, as it is a tight fit between the action screw and the magazine well and screw, you'll have to flatten one side of the pillar.


Here are the mounting blocks slid back into the frame with duct tape on either side to make sure the pins do not fall out, and a close up of the front pillar and mounting bolt. Note on the top picture the small sanded indention all the way to the left on the block. Originally, I though it would be a great way to help keep the action from moving side to side. Turns out when I put the skins back on, the bolt did not clear the stock. The action sat too low in the block. MAKE SURE OF YOUR BOLT CLEARACE BEFORE YOU GO FURTHER!



So now I decided I had to raise up the action. I like the idea of a V cut in the pillar, then though a V shaped washer that the action can rest on will work too. So the below are actually 2 ways of mounting the action - by pillar only and by washer. As the action sat higher, I needed longer action bolts. I found 6MM pan head bolts that will do until I can get nicer ones elswhere. To measure how long they will have to be, cover the beginning of the bolt with baby powder and turn into the action. When bottomed out, you'll know how long you need them to be by looking at the amount of baby powder is missing, plus it's another good way of seeing how long your pillars should be.

A view of the V bent washer.


An exploded view of the pillar and washer versions:


Mount the action, note any other trimming you may need to make.


***CONTINUED***
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:51 AM
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Re: CZ455 Varmint into AICS airsoft stock

A side by side view of the pillar and the washer intalls. I later had to file one side of the round edges so that the skin can wrap around the action better without interference from the washer.


A close up of the rear notched pillar. Note that it is just above a non-bent washer. The action is actually riding on the pillar, not the washer so it remained flat.


Check the barrel clearance, and make sure that it is even. If tilted too much, you wil have to trim down either the front or back pillar. There is almost a 1/4" of even clearance shown here.


With the action tightened down, and all internal clearances checked, reassemble the skins. You may have to further open the holes on the bottom through the trigger guard for access to the rear action mounting screw. Sand paper wrapped around a 3/8 ratchet wrench extention gave me a very round and more open hole. With the skins attached, check again for bolt clearance.


With the skins still attached, check for fit again around the action. It is also a good time to mark the stock to allow a notch to be made for your bolt handle to close.

Once marked, remove the skins again, use a file, then sandpaper to make the notch. I liked to bevel the bottom edge for a more pleasant presentation. Once proper clearance on the plastic is achieved check that the bolt does not rest on the aluminum block and closes fully. I had to go back and make a notch in the block.


***CONTINUED***
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:52 AM
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Re: CZ455 Varmint into AICS airsoft stock

Another pictue of it coming together.


A bottom view shows the CZ magwell inside the AICS magwell. Note the change in the action screws, and how the front screw is easily reached through the mag well. As you can see how recessed the mag well is, the use of a 10 round mag is suggested. The added length allows you to reach it well. Before reassembly of the skins, remember to put the magazine caliber change spacer back in, along with the pin. I also added some duct tape to the pin's holes so that the pin does not fall out. it appears there is just a little more side to side open area than the wooden stock inlet.


A bottom view with the skins on, and CZ magazine in. If you wish, the AICS airsoft mag can be "gutted" of the air resevoir leaving the dummy mag to be notched and trimmed to fit in to the mag well, basically shrouding the regular CZ magazine. I found it tough to get my finger in there to release the CZ magazine with the airsoft magazine in place, so I will remove it when shooting (neat for looks as your setting up at the range).



A bottom view of the mag well with the "dummy" magazine inserted. Also a view of the barrel channel alignment. Lines up pretty good!


***CONTINUED***
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:53 AM
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Re: CZ455 Varmint into AICS airsoft stock

Now that things are getting buttoned up, check for little things around the action that may need more trimming.


Check the action height again so it doesn't look odd.


When satisfied, press the skins back together minding the pins along the way, insert and tighten the screws that attach the skins together. Don't forget about the folding stock latch knob. Actually put a small lock washer around the threaded post to keep it from loosening.

I did notice some movement or "slop" when it came to the hinge, so I noticed the sleeve that the pin goes into was slightly larger than the hinge base. I trimmed it down to be flush (which made it wobble more), then added a round "inner star type" lock washer to shim the hinge. To make sure it was thin enough, I flattened it with a hammer and tapped it in far enough so that the pin can go through it, keeping the washer in place. The stock is now rock solid, not one hint of movement or slop in it!

Once together, check for proper functioning of the bolt, trigger, safety. Make sure the magazine ejects, and that here are no other functional problems.





***CONTINUED***
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:54 AM
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Re: CZ455 Varmint into AICS airsoft stock

All in all, I was very satisfied with the build, it exceeded my expectation of how easy it was (though time consuming) to install, and the aparant quality of the stock. The use of measuring tools...forget it. It is one of those things that sort of has to be eyeballed. But a little thought and some planning can turn your plain Jane rimfire rifle into the Cinderella of the range.

For well under the price of a Tacticool stock, the AICS has an aluminum bedding block, length of pull adjustment, 4 way adjustable cheek piece, a target styled grip angle with a very contoured and comfortable thumbhole, built in rear monopod, and more. It can be further bedded with bedding material, and the stock also has a groove in the bottom of the forestock for positioning bipods or handstops in various locations.





It just seemed that either the stock was meant for this rifle, or this rifle was made for the stock. Certain angles and lines just seemed to match up with each other, producing a very symbiotic look between the action and stock.
It's not just for looks either. The before (factory wood stock) and after (AICS stock) after a few days at the range proved that although there was no real clear evidence that accuracy was improved, there was no real clear evidence that accuracy was hurt either. The rifle actually shot as well as it did beforehand, .30" to .75" at 50 yards (.5" average), .75" to 1.5" at 100 yards (just a litlle under 1.25" average), and between 6.5" and 9.25" (7.6" average) using Wolf MT, CCI Standard Velocity, and Federal Bulk pack HV.

That's using both the washer only and the pillar & washer install, i think I'm staying with the washer install.

To wrap up the install, I'll take it apart again, install a trigger kit, then paint all the aluminum & steel parts so they all match for a clean look.

It's also a rather comfortable stock to shoot from the bench or prone, and the built in features are handy, although the rear retractable monopod seemed to get more in the way when using a rear bag. The monopod by itself is a little "squishy" and I wouldn't really depend on it, but something is better than nothing if your in a hurry.

All in all, no regrets on going with the AICS conversion
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