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Need a source for some Mags that I would bet my life on...

2281 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  TEA
Got a call from a friend serving as a sniper team leader in Afghanistan last night. In talking with him, he told me that he and his troops were issued "rack" grade M14s when they got there and got to get rid of their M16's and M4's.

He and his buddies are replacing some Marines that are rotating out of the area and he told me that he got to spend quite a bit of time with them and learned a lot from them before they left. He told me that they are issued match ammo and he can put a group of 5 into a quarter-sized hole at 100 yards, using iron sights. Pretty great shooting for a non-bedded, "rack grade" - IMHO.

The main problems with the M14's are that all of the M14's are set in walnut stocks that are cracking and they have lousy mags.

Got a question for all you old Nam vets out there who packed a '14 in the boonies - what did you guys use to keep your stocks in good shape in the field? I was thinking about sending him some BLO and PTO, but is there anything else that might be better?

I offered to send him some synthetic stocks and hand guards but was told that he wasn't sure he could use a synthetic stock even if I sent him some of mine - so that isn't an option right now. He said he'd check with his officers to see if they could use them. If so, no problemo.

Next Question - most critical - don't know how they are humping their mags, but he told me the ones they have are not USGI issue and when they pop an fresh mag out of their gear, quite often they find all the rounds laying in the bottom of the carrier - loose because the mags have defective feed lips that allow the rounds to come out???? Never heard of this before but that's exactly what he said.

I'm sending him some USGI mags of mine, but I'd like to be able to send a few more later. The darned things are sooo spendy that I'd like to know if anyone out there has a source for good, reliable aftermarket mags that you would use if the SHTF.

Yeah, I already know that USGI are the best. If there are some good aftermarkets out there, I'd sure appreciate knowing about them. If not, well, we can talk about mags in another post.

I'm putting together a care package for him so I'd appreciate a quick reply. I'd like to get the package off Monday, if possible.

Please don't misunderstand this post - I'm not asking for anything other than some info from my compadres here on the Firing Line.

Thanks in advance.

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I've heard alot of good things about the german mags that ammoman is selling for 15 bucks a piece. I'm sure others will pipe in here-----that and shop around there are guys selling mags for 30 bucks a piece every once in a while---thats not a bad price. As for stock treatment---i just use BLO---try and give the stocks a quick coat of it each time i clean the rifle. I was worried that it would build up after a while-----but in this summer heat it doesnt take long to dry out ---so I would say that would be what the doctor ordered over there ---plus its cheap enough. Probablly the only thing that will kill that idea is its long cure time and attracting dust.

Thanks for the quick come back, 800mzero. :mrgreen:

I appreciate ya - I thought about the cure time, but I think I'll send some along anyway.

From what my friend said, they are operating mostly away from the base in a round-the-clock patrol schedule that may keep them out for days at a time. BLO may be just the thing for cleaning up the wood when they are back in camp for a couple of days off before heading out again.

For "bet your life" there is no option but USGI. Buy some nice ones from Cole's Distributing & stay safe. ;)
If they're not being issued USGI mags, then whoever is running the supply system needs a serious kick in the posterior. Time for the DoD to ramp up production of spare parts and mags.

As for the stocks, I would think that they should be able to procure BLO or something similar locally. Tell them to go by a furniniture maker's shop and see if they can purchase whatever oil he uses for finishing the furniture. Heck, they might even be able to pay the guy to re-finish their stocks for them.
Quag - you're just what the doctor ordered. Just ordered some USGI mags from Cole's. Thanks a million for the info. I appreciate ya. :mrgreen:

TEA - I'm with you on the supply system problem but this is a National Guard unit that was activated and sent over. They didn't even get their M14s until they were already there.

When they first arrived in-country with their plastic guns, they got the wrong ammo so their CO had to have the correct ammo shipped in ASAP. This is just like so many things that have happened since this whole thing began (and just like it was in the 'Nam 35 years ago), it takes a while for supply to catch up.

I'm not willing to risk a friend's life because of a supply problem he can't do anything about. In addition to being a sniper, he's also a Virginia State Trooper and if he tells me he's having problems - he's having problems. That's good enough for me.

Thanks for the advice about the stock problem. I asked about local supply and whether they had BLO available on base. He told me that he didn't think supply had anything available because they all brought over their "Matty-Mattel" rifles with plastic stocks. Thought I'd send him a few cans anyway.

He's got enough problems humping a 110 lb ruck up and down mountains so steep that his sniper teams have to crawl up them on their hands and knees and hang on for dear life so they don't get blown off the mountain by the winds.

They are way out in the sticks with not much local support, according to the newspaper articles about where their main base is and he's detached from that and is zooming around in the rocks and weeds.

Thanks for all the help, guys. Mission accomplished. :mrgreen:

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Just re-read your post. I had thought you said "Iraq" and not "Afghanistan," so my bad in thinking he might have access to a furniture maker. In addition to BLO, you might want to think about sending him some marine spar polyeurethene. Normally, I'd recommend somone stick with either BLO, PTO or Tung Oil Finish on a wood stock if the want to keep it looking "authentic" (i.e. GI circa early '60s); but for a hard use stock, and to avoid changes in zero caused by changes in humidity (common with changes in altitude as well as changes in the weather), nothing beats a tough synthetic finish. If the stocks are really dry, they might want to soak them in BLO for a while to recondition the wood, wipe off the excess, allow to dry, then seal them with a few (four or more) coats of polyeurethane for a tough protective finish.
TEA - You Da Man. :mrgreen:

Hadn't thought about the spar polyurenthane - I'll send some of that along, too.

I appreciate ya.

duckbuck: You might want to look into sending him a USGI synthetic stock along with the mags. I think if I were out running around in the boonies I'd prefer synthetic over wood any day of the week. It's more durable & a bit lighter I believe.
In 1972 in Nam I was issued a M14 I given a small block of beeswax & told to rub it on the inside of the stock about once a month. Though I did little shooting I never had stock swelling problems.
One of my M1As has a wood stock stock & I still do that as regular mantenance.
If you want some to send over just pm me.
Hi Quag - that was the first suggestion I made to him - get rid of the wood and let me send him some of my synthetics but he wasn't sure his CO would let him use one. :mrgreen: He told me he'll check with the higher-ups and get back to me ASAP. If he can use them, I've got some here that I can send over. I know I'd like to have a synthetic if I was in his boots.

HH - Thanks for the beeswax tip. :mrgreen: Again, hadn't thought of that. I'm getting a red spot on my forehead from slapping it so much. Good stuff. Fortunately, I've got about 20lbs of beeswax I inherited at work from a surplus stockpile. I use the stuff to stick bullets on the collets for my ballistics microscope. I'll throw a few sticks in the box if my boss doesn't mind.

Thanks again, guys.

I agree with sending one synthetic stock & once their CO sees it'll work fine for them will probably allow them.
Just wanted to say that I really appreciate all the help, guys. :D :D :D

All the good advice and offers for help are almost overwhelming. I never intended that anyone take on the responsibility of helping out someone they don't even know but I guess I didn't count on what a fantastic crew we've got here on the Firing Line.

I've got his basic requests and needs taken care of now and I'll send him some more later - he's gonna be over there humping a ruck for another 11 months or so.

I never intended that you guys should offer any of your own expensive mags and things like that. I can handle the $$$ stuff without imposing on anyone else, but I sure did need all the good advice. If you can think of anything else, in the way of maintenance tips, I'll pass them along.

Now, I gotta go pack some stuff.

I really proud to be associated with such a fine group of folks. =D>

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You want to send real USGI without losing an arm and/or a leg? Then scope out:


U.S.G.I. M-14/ M1A Magazines that are in new Condition
20rd magazine body $16.95
Springs $2.00
Floorplates $1.50

Don't know where you can get followers real fast, sorry. SARCO?

Dave S
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one more small item to send along..... a scotchbrite pad....one of the green ones...... this would be for dulling the finish on any synthetic type finish that is put on the stocks .....
Good call, Hawk. I forgot to mention that. A shiny stock draws the wrong type of attention in the field.
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