All About Rifle Floor Plates

A hard look at rifle floor plates, repair and handling.

by Robert Campbell

It is funny that something as simple as a trap door can give you so much trouble. Talking about rifle floor plates, I have seen them dented, varnished shut by an owner that did not remove the stock during a refinish job – or botch up – and other manner of problems. The floor plate itself is not always a problem. The floor plate latch or lock is the part that gives us the most problem. Designed to give easy access to the rifle magazine for cleaning and spring replacement or to dump the cartridges if need be, many shooters do not know how to open the floor plate. Pry marks bear mute witness to this deficit in knowledge. They did not go through the military training the original user of the rifle did or, in the case of commercial actions, they did not study the owner’s manual.

There are a number of different types of floor plates and there is much crossover between military and commercial types. As an example, I am never surprised at comments made by folks in the shop when spotting a rifle with no floor plate. They automatically assume the rifle is a single shot. Sure, some bolt guns are single shots but some repeaters have blind magazines. I think the main reason for single shot rifles these days are for target shooters tired of misfeeds and nose down malfunctions, but that is a different story. So, we need to be able to educate both the consumer and ourselves.

Read more in our May 2012 issue. Back issues are available.

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