Got the stock back and put back on the action. Was just a bit tight on the action, but flexed the ears just a bit and she went in.
I think I will still keep my eye out for a replacement if I can find one at a decent price in good condition.
Really appreciate your repair Yellowhand, should be functional for a long while.
I agree with you that the design is weak- flawed. Apparently it's a known issue on these.