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Headspace 10-08-2018 11:26 PM

M14 Fiberglass Stock in Vietnam
Putting all difference's aside between the M14 / M16. Did the fiberglass stock make any difference in the performance / durability of the M14 in Vietnam? was it to little to late and when did fiberglass stocks become standard in production of new rifles coming off the assembly line.
Wondering if it would have made a difference in the jungle environment instead of walnut or birch stocks from the get go in the early days of the war?? Often wondered about this.....

nf1e 10-09-2018 04:58 AM

I had an M14 in Viet Nam right up until they were taken away and replaced with an M16. Never saw a fiberglass stock until many years after I joined the ranks of civilian life.
No troubles at all with the M14 in a wood stock, but then the Marine Corps taught us how to take care of them.

ZvenoMan 10-09-2018 07:13 AM

Wood stocks have been in use for centuries. I have some pushing 200 years old that are quite usable, and they are from military firearms stored poorly (Nepal cache firearms). As Nf1e says, taking care of them is a skill usually taught, and far from difficult. Dry it off, keep it clean. Add oil (or wax) when needed, when you can. If not today, next week is OK. Not any more difficult than maintaining what's in the wood stock.

The fiberglass stocks were created as an alternative, not an improvement. They were probably less expensive to make. Durability; well neither had any problems, Vietnam or anywhere else.
Have you ever heard reports of problems with wood or fiberglass stocks? Systemically, no. Is one typically more accurate than the other (using M14 service rifle criteria)? I have not heard of any significant differences.
Some prefer one over the other for various reasons, but better? It would depend on the criteria.


7,62x51mm 10-09-2018 07:29 AM

I know two friends that both took basic training at Ft Leonard Wood, Mo in Feb 1964, there were TRW M14's (not many) with the early fiberglass stocks being used. It is not known if these stocks were issued or replacements

nf1e 10-09-2018 07:30 AM

Maybe someone wanted to get them used to plastic in their hands. Humor.

jdwboy 10-09-2018 08:19 AM

I too had M14s in the "Nam, NEVER saw a fiberglass stock.

Hawk 10-09-2018 08:35 PM

Never saw a synthetic stock until many years after leaving active duty. From what I understand, they were never on issued M14s, but used as replacement stocks.

Headspace 10-09-2018 09:19 PM

Thanks for all the interesting reply's guys. I thought for sure the fiberglass stocks made it to Vietnam by the end of hostility's or after the M16 took over on the front line duty's

gmerkt 10-27-2018 01:42 AM

I trained in the Army with the M14 and had one until mid-1970, saw hundreds of them, never saw one with a fiberglass stock. I'm not saying they weren't used, but based on my observations, must not have been too common. Forts Ord, Huachuca and Lost in the Woods. By the time I got to RVN, we had the M16 so can't say for there.

309Carbine 10-27-2018 05:00 AM

I remember seeing at least one at Ord during basic. Took AIT there as well and don't recall one then. One of those things that just sticks in your mind as a curiosity I suppose. It was not in my platoon, but we had at least one in the company. This was spring of 67. I don't know why I noticed it then, but the picture has stuck in my mind all these years. I also recall one wooden stock being broken-off at the pistol-grip from a horizontal butt stroke at bayonet training. Weak stock or strong kid...don't know which.

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