View Full Version : Vietnam-era light birch wood
A long time ago, Gun Parts Corp had gotten hold of some light-colored birch stock sets used as replacements in the 60s. I had gotten one and I had always liked it because of the light color. I sold the rifle (a Korean reimport) to a friend years ago but recently found myself hoping to find another such stock set. I offered to trade him some walnut for the birch, but while he's not exactly opposed to it, the chances of me getting my hands on that wood are about zero.
Any chance that there's a source of wood like that today? I've determined (with the help of some here) that my rifle isn't 100% as delivered, as it has a National Match barrel on it, and I got it less-wood from the CMP anyways, so I'm not exactly attached to the JLG walnut I have on it today, anyways, and would actually prefer the lighter color. Something different without being unreasonable, ya know?
Any advice where to find decent (not oversized!) wood like that would be welcome... thanks.
Johnny in Texas
What was the color was it the light orange color is so I have a couple of the stocks in exell. condition.
It's been a long time, but I wouldn't say orange. Very blonde, almost like the maple I've seen. I wouldn't have even believed these were GI if I hadn't seen pictures of ARVN soldiers with M1s with these very light birch pieces on their rifles.
The orange color you see on all the USGI birch stocks is a stain. Why they chose that color is a good question. The color will sand off and with a nice set of birch handguards you will have a nice looking "blondie" M1. I have one that has dark parkerized metal and I really like the different look for a change. Everyone should have one "blondie"
Genuine USGI birch stocks + handguards that were made as replacements for the M1 rifle were free from the Army at Camp Perry in '83-'84 but they're harder to find now. DAS stamped with serif P circled. It was proud, dense, heavy wood, good for glass bedding. The orange color could have been made by tincture of iodine as a stain sealed in with coats of tung oil. To my eye it's strawberry blonde.
I have a stock that is USGI and totally blond, not orange, and birch. I don't think however I have matching handguards. It is very cool looking but was always sad I could not find handguards to match.
Mine, too, was totally blonde. I think the stain(s) were applied later. At least it was in my case. Dupage has had birch handguards on occasion, hit or miss.
My Birch stock stamped with a boxed "R" came on a CMP gun a few years ago. I got both birch handguards from DuPage.
Hold onto your walnut stock, despite claims to the contrary by a big seller of M14 stocks, walnut is stronger than birch in several ways. Walnut was used by SA Armory from the time it opened to when it closed, close to two hundred years. Only when walnut became unavailable was birch used as a replacement stock. The M1 Garand from what I know never came out of any maker with a birch stock. Ever see a custom bolt action rifle with a birch stock? or a Winchester Model 70 sold with one?.
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