Words and pics: Arthur Dent
One of the good things about cloning rifles is that there is nearly always a way to improve things. In 2017 when I did the initial build of the XM177 PTW I wrote:
The next impossible to get part was the stock and the receiver extension tube (buffer). The XM had a two position receiver extension tube with an aluminium-bodied stock, coated with vinyl-acetate.
Impossible is, like many things in life, a question of how often you try and how fast you give up. Well, I did not give up. I tried many ways to get my hands on an aluminium version, but all of them ended with the dreaded word ITAR.
But then, at the end of 2019, I came across a picture on a Facebook post. There it was: the holy grail of the XM177 … the aluminium stock.
My XM’s buffer tube was already changed to a two position model with my build update in 2018, so there was nothing more to do there. After some correspondence with the seller, I ordered the stock from Taiwan.
Because I was unsure how the vinyl-acetate version would look, I decided on an un-coated one. Only two weeks later (with customs getting their share) I had it in my hands.
Perhaps the next improvement will be the vinyl coating, but at the moment I like it as it is.
Another thing I’ve always looked out for, is a carry handle scope. You can buy the original Colt version here in Germany from time to time, but those things cost the equivalent of a firstborn child. You can spend up to 700€ for the real deal.
So I looked for clones. Most of the available ones look crap or feature the wrong focal length: I wanted the 320 instead of the 420 version. Again I was lucky when a user in a local forum answered my WTB thread.
Now in early 2020, the XM177E1 PTW looks like this: