M14 Experimental Stocks and Their History ©

If you monitor the conversations of M14 enthusiasts it seems the stock and hand guard often monopolize the conversation.   Today the market has many companies offering custom designs, colors, and camouflage.  I have had no interest in the commercial end of the M14 but here is an accumulation of GI Fiberglass and other stocks from the past.  In the future I will include the various fiberglass hand guards.

competivedesign front

This is one of the early competing designs for the standard combat fiberglass stock.  The stock was manufactured under the direction of Springfield Armory in the early 1960's.  Notice the shape of the stock is like the bow of a ship.


The stock was never adopted, probably because of the lack of strength where the front sling swivel would be installed.  This particular stock remained at the Armory without the sling swivel being installed indicating the installation of the metal was done at Springfield.

This is the first stock standardized for use by US troops is shown above.  High temperatures of automatic fire led to the burning and charring of wooden stocks and hand guards. This stock was of poor design.  Unlike the later fiberglass stocks we see today, these stocks are great collectibles, but lousy for shooting. The lack of checkering at the forearm and at the small of the stock caused the stock to be very slippery. The stock also had a thinner profile at the forearm area.  Add the build up of sweat and oil and it was a difficult chore to keep it stable. This stock has sentimental appeal to all those who had the M14 during the very early days. In 1964 at Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (Infantry) at Fort Dix all M14's fiberglass stocks I saw were these early stocks.  Mine was what I called Milk Chocolate Brown, just like a Hershey Bar.  This stock is the same color.

Since being in business I remember having a box of 10 late fiberglass stocks which was contracted in 1967.  I also have the ordnance drawing for the late style stock and the original drawing date is Dec 1965, which means production usually is considerably later.

Over the years Springfield Armory experimented with a variety of colors of fiberglass.  I have the above stock in Black, Olive Drab, but unfortunately I sold off the White (Artic Use).  None of the stocks appear to be painted.

                         Close up of another design flaw in early stocks

Another problem with these early stocks was the poor design of the top butt screw. Evidently the fiberglass was molded around a piece of wood, which allowed just a few turns of the wood screw to anchor.  The later design stock is inleted for the machine screw, nut, and retainer, a much better system. I also have an early design M14 stock that has been modified for the later upper butt screw system, which makes me think that it was a required modification at some point in time.

The above Gray stock is probably one of the competing designs for the last issue fiberglass version that we are all familiar with.  This one however has a different checkering pattern at the small (grip) and the forend areas. 

This stock is a skeletonized light weight version.  It has a Garand buttplate welded to two fixed squared tubes.  The screws holding the tube supports are the same screws used on the side swivels of one of the M14 Folding Stocks. The workmanship is of the high quality one would expect at Springfield Armory. Unlike its appearance, it is not a telescoping stock.  I don't know what Springfield Armory had in mind when this was produced.  A fellow from Frankfort Arsenal remembered this or a similar stock at the facility for use with the 7.62mm Light Recoil Ammunition.  Hopefully one day I can confirm this information.

The above M14A1 (M14E2) stock is one of my favorites.  It is Springfield Armory early production, probably around late 1963 or early 1964.  The entire stock is straight grain walnut.  This was the stock that was used in the testing and led to the standardization of the M14A1.

Close Up of Defense Acceptance Stamp (DAS)

I had heard that SA had put the DAS on all stocks produced during the 1960's.  I think the presence of the DAS here proves it.  I have seen two other walnut M14A1 stocks and both had the DAS. Naturally they were not sanded.

M1 Rifle (Garand) Complete Fiberglass Stock, Handguard, and Unique Lower  Band

Sorry to do this to the M14 guys, but no M14 Fiberglass story should be told unless you add a little bit of related history.  The above set is for the M1 Rifle (Garand).  This truly is a magnificent piece of Springfield Armory history.  I am not sure of the time period but I am sure it predates the M14 fiberglass period of development. 

The hand guard is a combination Front and Rear with a heavy black Rubber type coating.  Collectors can note the milled groove band on the rear.

Strange but very Unique Lower Band

More to come on the Various M14 Fiberglass Handguards.