This is a discussion on USGI NM Stocks within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I'm trying to find out what different types of NM stocks there were throughout the 60s and what led to their developement. I know basics ...
I'm trying to find out what different types of NM stocks there were throughout the 60s and what led to their developement. I know basics from reading Different's book, but I am still unsure of their exact construction and I know i couldn't identify one. Any help would be appreciated... dates of manufacture, pictures, links to other threads/sites, etc. Were they just standard stocks? Were they epoxy impregnated? Did they have the stock liner? Thanks for your help.
The first GI NM stocks were simply selected from stocks that had certain traits such as streight grain, beefier wood, and deeper forarms. Walnut was prefered, but birch was an acceptable alternative.
In the 70's, NM stocks were manufactured special and pressure treated to eliminate moisture and add strength. This prevented warping in humid conditions.
In the 1980's special oversized stocks were manufactured. These met the maximum allowable size limits under NRA and DCM competition rules. They were made from both walnut and birch (a few were thought to be cherry wood), but birch is the most common type found. They were not pressure treated and do not accept the common stock liner found on the other types. Stock liners were included in M14 stocks to add strength due to the rather thin sidewalls. Oversized stocks do not require them.
NM stocks were usually finished with clear gloss finishes that sealed the wood well. BLO was not acceptable.
I'm trying to find out what different types of NM stocks there were throughout the 60s and what led to their developement. I know basics from reading Different's book, but I am still unsure of their exact construction and I know i couldn't identify one. Any help would be appreciated... dates of manufacture, pictures, links to other threads/sites, etc.
Dustin, what version of M14 Rifle History and Development are you reading? The "canon" is constantly evolving. I can send you a recent update by e-mail if you like. I also have the M14 Rifle Library DVD which adds stuff like the USGI drawings on the M14. Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
That definitely makes sense. Would the early stocks have the DAS and P stamps? Did they have the welded and/or screwed to the stock front sling swivels? Were there any stocks epoxy impregnated and when did they do so? Was there such a thing as fiberglass wrapped stocks?
Both the wood and fiberglass stocks had riveted front sling swivel brackets but there's a minor difference between the rivets for the two types of stocks. The XM21 rifles built by the AMTU had expoxy impregnated walnut stocks. The pictures from the web site appear to be oversized walnut stocks.
From the July 21, 2007 version of the Third Edition of M14 Rifle History and Development:
"USGI M14 Stock Designs
The stock serves five basic functions for the M14 rifle: 1) reduces felt recoil to the operator 2) protects and holds the operating components 3) provides a comfortable gripping surface for the operator 4) allows attachment of a carry sling for hands free transport and 5) in some designs acts as a storage compartment for a cleaning kit.
The following list is a compilation of known USGI M14 stock variations and the month and year of the original drawings. Different part numbers were assigned to the stocks, stock subassemblies and stock assemblies. Typically, a stock subassembly consisted of the bare stock, the ferrule, the front sling swivel assembly and for wood stocks, the liner and two liner screws. The butt plate assembly and fasteners and rear sling swivel were added to the subassembly to form the stock assembly. The 1984 design M14 NM rifle stock lacks a stock liner and liner screws. The purpose of the ferrule was to protect the relatively thin front end of the stock.
1) September or October 1954 - T44E4: 7267084 - wood stock assembly (7267083 - bare stock)
2) September 1959 - M14: 7790702 - wood stock assembly (7790810 - stock subassembly)
3) December 1961 - M14 NM: 7791175 - wood stock assembly (7791280 - stock subassembly, 7791174 - bare stock)
4A) June 1964 - M14 NM: 11010281 wood stock assembly with routing and bedding (11010282 - stock subassembly, 7791174 - bare stock)
4B) June 1964 - M14: 11010264 - wood stock assembly (11010262 - stock subassembly, 11010263 - bare stock)
5) December 1965 - M14: 11686428 - reinforced fiberglass stock assembly (5910348 - stock subassembly with upper butt screw, nut and retainer, 11686427 - stock subassembly, 11686426 - bare stock)
6) May 1984 - M14 NM: 9392337 - wood stock assembly with routing and bedding (9381706 - stock subassembly, 9362638 - bare stock)"
"Wood blanks supplied for military small arms were inspected and sampled to meet minimum requirements for general condition, grain slope, moisture content, end coating, and contractually specified dimensions. Wood blanks were inspected to be free of splits, honeycombing, brashness, checks, shakes and excessive warping and shrinkage. Defects such as sapwood, mineral streaks, burly grain and a limited amount of sound pin knots and pinworm holes were allowed. The grain slope for M1 and M14 rifle stock wood blanks could not vary more than 1 " from the horizontal for any 12 " in length in the critical area. The critical area for M1 and M14 rifle wood stock blanks was defined as the forward 26.5 " + or - 1" of the blank. Average moisture content for kiln-dried blanks was limited to 6 to 8 percent. Air-dried wood blanks could not have more than 25 percent average moisture content. Green wood blanks had no limits for moisture content. Both ends of every wood blank supplied were required to be coated to control split ends. If the number of unsatisfactory blanks examined exceeded the allowable number for a given lot size, the entire lot was rejected. Regardless, any unsatisfactory condition specimen was not accepted. Kiln-dried wood blanks were sampled for case hardening. No more than two of the fifty-four specimens of each kiln charge were allowed to fail the case hardening test. If so, the entire kiln charge lot was rejected.
USGI Wood Stock Production - Springfield Armory, Harrington & Richardson, and Winchester made wood stocks for their USGI M14 rifles. Frank Overton was the owner of S. C. Overton & Co. (South Haven, MI). This company was the largest employer in South Haven, MI when it went out of business in 1990. From World War II until 1990, S. C. Overton & Co. produced M1 Carbine, M1 Garand and M14 stocks and M1 Garand hand guards. It was the exclusive supplier to TRW for walnut and birch M14 stocks. Early S. C. Overton & Co. M14 stocks were made from black walnut but most were made from birch harvested from a single forest in Maine near the Canadian border. The black walnut wood came from the U. S. government stockpile. The wood was shipped at government expense to S. C. Overton and formed on government owned stock making machinery operated by S. C. Overton & Co. employees. The automatically operated multi-station machines performed all woodworking operations except the finish sanding. Overton birch M14 stocks tend to be stained a very dark brown. The production rate for these machines was 400 stocks per hour. The M14 stock making machinery was converted around 1971 or 1972 to produce M1 Garand stocks for a new government contract. S. C. Overton & Co. was still producing M1 Garand stocks and inventoried contract over run M14 stocks when it closed down in 1990. S. C. Overton & Co. had also manufactured match grade M14 stocks for Karl Maunz. Sykes Manufacturing made replacement M14 stocks for Springfield Armory.
The basic process of making a wood gun stock is divided into four parts. A rectangular piece of wood is first shaped to create the rough exterior outline of the stock. Next, the interior geometry of the stock is formed with inletting tools. Finish work creates the final dimensions of the stock. Lastly, the stock is sanded to remove splinters and rough texture. The first M14 stocks were made of black walnut. Beginning in 1961, yellow birch was the standard wood with black walnut as the alternate.
Some wood USGI M14 stocks have a raised shelf at the base of the firing mechanism inletting. Ferrules, the piece of metal at the very front end of the stock, on wood USGI stocks are either dimpled (round punch mark on the sides) or crimped (half-moon indentation on both sides). Standard size wood stocks were made from 1959 to 1963, possibly later depending on the drawing number. In contrast with the high degree of automation in all other production processes for the M14 rifle, the USGI wood stock makers all hand sanded every stock one at a time with a rotary sander. This was done to smooth the stock and ensure that all surfaces were true and all corners sharp. Due to naturally occurring differences in density of wood, the yellow birch and black walnut M14 stocks weighed between 34 and 38 ounces.
USGI M14 wood stocks were made with steel liners fitted around the magazine well. This feature was incorporated into the T44 and T44E1 rifle designs in 1953 to prevent the stock from splitting when launching grenades. Military Standard MIL-STD-1270A(WC) is the procedure for repairing M14 and M14E2 wood stocks.
USGI Wood Stock Markings – USGI manufacturers' markings were often stamped in the butt end of the M14 wood stocks as follows: H for Harrington & Richardson, O for S. C. Overton & Co., S A for Springfield Armory, S under a half-diamond for Sykes Manufacturing and W-W for Winchester. Some wood M14 stocks have a number stamped into the wood under the butt plate, e.g., 1 or 3. It may be necessary to remove the butt plate to see the manufacturer stamping. Mathewson Tool Company and Springfield Armory made T44E4 stocks but not all are stamped with the manufacturer marking. At least some of the Springfield Armory T44E4 stocks were marked S A under the butt plate and had the DOD cartouche. The 1966 Springfield Armory inspection procedure required the M14 NM stock to be identified with the last four digits of the receiver serial number.
Wood stocks were marked with a ½ " high DOD cartouche, also referred to as a Defense acceptance stamp, on the left side near the receiver and a proof mark on the underside of the grip if they passed final ordnance inspection and proof firing, respectively. A DOD cartouche inside a circle on the left side of the butt stock near the rear sling swivel has been observed on a small number of USGI wood stocks. A smaller DOD cartouche is often stamped in the firing mechanism inletting area of Winchester M14 stocks. The proof firing stamping is a 5/16 " high letter P inside a ½ " diameter circle that is stamped on the stock on the forward side of the grip. There appear to be two types of letter P proof marks, one with a serif font P and the other with a sans serif or Arial-style P. The proof firing marking appeared on U. S. military rifles from 1873 until the end of M14 production in the 1960s.
Before final assembly, each wood stock was dipped in tung oil. The walnut stocks were dipped twice but the birch stocks only once. It was found during the first half of 1962 that two coats of oil left excessive oil and residue on the birch stocks due to that wood’s different grain characteristics and slower absorption of oil as compared to walnut. Consequently, the procedure was changed to one coat of oil for birch stocks. Commercial producers of the USGI M14 rifle sprayed a stain on the birch stocks prior to the dipping in oil. This produced a color very close to that of black walnut. After several days of draining and drying, sample stocks were tested for resistance to smoke and water before the rest of the lot was approved for oil treatment and final assembly. The last M14 rifles assembled with wood stocks left the manufacturers in July 1963. Birch stocks are stronger and harder than walnut stocks. Walnut is about 10 % lighter than birch.
A few cherry stocks were made as well. Some beech M14 stocks with the selector cutout were available in the civilian market in 1973. Reportedly, the beech stocks were manufactured by Reinhart Fajen, Inc. but this has not been confirmed. Springfield Armory was not the source of the beech M14 stocks. The Armory only used walnut and birch for making M14 stocks. Wood M14 stocks will not become too hot to handle if left in direct sunlight but the preservative, tung oil or linseed oil, will be drawn out. The walnut M14 stock will burn after 1 minute 20 seconds of exposure to an open flame.
The 1984 design National Match stock (part number 9352638) can be made with the following materials: 1) black walnut 2) English walnut 3) yellow birch 4) sweet birch 5) laminated layers of black walnut 6) laminated layers of English walnut 7) laminated layers of yellow birch 8) laminated layers of sweet birch 9) sycamore 10) pecan 11) black locust 12) maple 13) red birch or 14) heat-moulded plastic. The plastic moulded stock must weigh a minimum of 2.5 pounds and have color Forest Green number 34079 per FED-STD-595.
Replacement Stocks - Most replacement USGI wood stocks will not have the proof P and DOD cartouche markings. Replacement stocks from Springfield Armory, however, were stamped with the DOD cartouche. Some of the Springfield Armory National Match M14 walnut stocks were bedded to a gage rifle. Springfield Armory National Match M14 walnut stocks were given the DOD cartouche and proof P markings. Springfield Armory shipped both bedded and non-bedded National Match M14 walnut stocks.
Winchester National Match "big red" birch M14 stocks have the drawing number 11010263 stamped into the wood under the butt plate. A number of these were also stamped with the DOD cartouche and proof P markings. Some Sykes Manufacturing wood stocks were stamped with the drawing number 7791174 on the butt end. These were replacement National Match stocks. Replacement USGI M14 wood and synthetic stocks were packaged without the hardware with the exception of the ferrule and sometimes the liner and screws for the wooden models. A square shaped piece of plastic was installed in the hinge area and two pieces of thin wood, one on either side inside the packaging, were used to protect the stock during transport and storage. The butt hinge protectors are gold or white in color and have the drawing number 7791050 centered on the top surface.
Around 1982, oversized stocks were allowed for competition at Camp Perry. Quickly, oversized walnut, birch and laminated wood M14 stocks became popular among military and civilian shooters. Solid wood USGI stocks are sought after for the appearance and historical authenticity. However, solid wood tends to swell or contract with changes in ambient temperature and humidity. At some point no later than the mid-1950s, someone came up with the idea of gluing layers of wood together to create a rough form that could be worked into a finished rifle stock. In fact, Yale University performed destructive testing in 1954 on wood laminate gun stock blanks. This composition of wood and glue is very strong and resistant to impact. Laminated wood stocks are slightly heavier than solid wood stocks but they are more resistant to temperature and humidity fluctuations. They can be bedded just like solid wood stocks."
"USGI M14 Synthetic Stocks
The purpose for development of a synthetic material stock for the M14 rifle was two-fold: 1) to avoid a single supply source or single type of material for the stock 2) to avoid the varying quantity and quality of walnut wood. In 1961, the U. S. Army Infantry Board expected that synthetic material stocks would last twice as long as those made from walnut wood and that pricing for the synthetic stock would compete with walnut stocks.
Experimental and production versions of the synthetic stock were fiberglass reinforced polyester plastic shell halves glued together with polyurethane foam filling in between. Experimentation with synthetic material stocks began in the late 1950s for the M14 project as at least two T44E4 rifles were fitted with black color man-made material gunstocks. James S. Lunn and others patented a reinforced fiberglass M1 Garand rifle stock in 1959. Lunn Laminates (NY) made a number of M1 reinforced fiberglass stocks. Synthetic material stocks for the M1 and M14 rifles were evaluated by the U. S. Army Infantry Board during the first half of 1960. Due to similarity with the Lunn design M1 stocks, the firm may have been involved in the 1960 development for the M14 reinforced fiberglass stock but this has not been confirmed.
General Tire & Rubber Company joined Springfield Armory in 1960 in conducting research to develop a synthetic stock for the M14 rifle. Development of this lighter, stronger stock made of fiberglass reinforced polyester plastic for the M14 proceeded in stages from 1960 until late 1965. The drawing for the final version M14 fiberglass stock is dated December 1965. Beginning in 1962, fiberglass stocks were installed on M14 rifles at the factory but it was not by Springfield Armory. The following year, Springfield Armory produced a single batch of 10,000 M14 rifles in October 1963 with synthetic material stocks.
The early synthetic material stocks had no checkering and the hole for the upper butt plate screw had a wood insert to which the wood stock upper butt plate screw was anchored. These early issue synthetic stocks were milk chocolate brown in color. At least some of these early stocks were marked on the inside of the magazine well as follows: right side top line - DM-1775-GB-2, right side bottom line - DT, left side top line - DT and left side bottom line - DM-1775-GB-1. Later-manufacture fiberglass stocks were assembled with an upper butt plate screw with a finer thread. The later upper butt plate screw is anchored to a steel nut held inside a metal bracket inside the stock. 1961 pre-production synthetic stocks were found satisfactory for mounting the M15 grenade launcher sight.
Stock ferrules on synthetic USGI stocks are either crimped or dimpled but the dimpled ferrules are not common. Military Specification MIL-S-45921A and drawing F11686427 require the ferrule to be cemented and crimped to the stock to prevent movement. Thus, it appears that dimpled ferrules are earlier production stocks."
"USGI M14 synthetic stocks have the letters DT as well as other alphanumeric characters in the magazine well area (see Hand Guards). A small gap between the middle portion of the receiver and the stock is normal for USGI wood and synthetic M14 stocks, but is more noticeable on many fiberglass stocks. The USGI synthetic M14 stock itself weighs 34 to 36 ounces. A USGI M14 synthetic stock with all the correct metal hardware weighs in at about 46 ounces. The USGI M14 synthetic stock will become too hot to hold if left outdoors for as little an hour in the direct sun. If the synthetic stock is brought into the shade for two minutes or more, it will cool sufficiently to be comfortable to handle. The USGI M14 synthetic stock will burn after 2 minutes 10 seconds of exposure to an open flame. Both wood and synthetic M14 stocks are strong enough to break the operator’s fall to a prone shooting position from a run. Each type of stock will withstand fifty vertical butt strokes against a test dummy but will suffer damage in less than fifty horizontal butt strokes against the same butt stroke dummy. The damage is likely to occur in the firing hand grip area of the stock. USGI M14 synthetic stocks have always been allowed for competition at Camp Perry.
USGI synthetic M14 stocks were made as late as 1968. The U. S. Army awarded a contract to General Tire & Rubber Company in 1968 for 500,000 synthetic M14 stocks to be used as replacement stocks. At about $2,187,000.00, the February 1968 contract was the single largest known dollar amount awarded for production of a M14 rifle part between 1965 and 2006. Reportedly, a product improvement program had been written up at the General Thomas J Rodman Laboratory at Rock Island Arsenal in the early 1970s. In 1972, the Army reorganized the arsenal system. As part of the reorganization, the Rodman Laboratory staff was reduced from 125 employees to a skeleton crew of twenty-one. The M14 stock improvement program never went any further."