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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy guys,
Just wanted to post up on something that may be helpful to others in regard to the NOS M14E2 H. Sacks & Sons stocks and their orange color. I can't think of any application where ORANGE would be a suitable color for a USGI M14 combat stock. Can you? Could the orange colored coating/stain be a preservative??? Anyway, I removed the orange preservative/coating/stain/whatever-it-was with a can of Berryman carb cleaner & applied (2) coats of Real Milk 100% pure tung oil mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits. The birch does not act like it wants to take another coat so this is it. I don't want to fully assemble the stock until after it dries for a few days but here is what is looks it looks like without the orange stuff. I did trial fit the kit from Treeline; it fits VERY well but I did add a small washer under each of the recoil pad screws. An E2 stock with the Treeline kit makes for a great pistol grip shooter stock: much lighter weight than original E2 stocks with a much stronger front handgrip. And yes, I did test-install the front rail with the USGI E2 metal front grip stock liner using the (2) longer screws in the Treeline kit. Will work out final sling & Harris bipod attachment after final assembly of the basic E2 stock with the Treeline kit. I very much enjoy original M14E2 stocks but also use what works best for hunting/shooting in the field. HTH

 
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Howdy guys,
Just wanted to post up on something that may be helpful to others in regard to the NOS M14E2 H. Sacks & Sons stocks and their orange color. I can't think of any application where ORANGE would be a suitable color for a USGI M14 combat stock. Can you? Could the orange colored coating/stain be a preservative??? Anyway, I removed the orange preservative/coating/stain/whatever-it-was with a can of Berryman carb cleaner & applied (2) coats of Real Milk 100% pure tung oil mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits. The stock does not act like it wants to take another coat so this is it. I don't want to fully assemble the stock until after it dries for a few days but here is what is looks it looks like without the orange stuff. I did trial fit the kit from Treeline; it fits very well but I did add a small washer under each of the recoil pad screws. An E2 stock with the Treeline kit makes for a great pistol grip shooter stock: much lighter weight than original E2 stocks with a much stronger front grip. And yes, I did test-install the front rail with the USGI metal E2 front grip liner using the (2) longer screws in the Treeline kit. Will work out final sling & Harris bipod attachment after final assembly of the basic E2 stock with the Treeline kit. I very much enjoy original M14E2 stocks but also use what works best for hunting/shooting in the field. HTH

Maybe it was agent orange because mine are both like your picture, which by the way is a beautiful piece of lumber.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I should have taken a before and after, but unfortunately I did not. This will help understand how deep the ORANGE color was: Randy nor I saw any stripes on that birch Sacks stock before I removed a good bit of the ORANGE stuff with the carb cleaner. The spent carb cleaner that collected in the catch pan looked just like the old Mercurochrome/Merthiolate from back in the day which was iodine based (almost RED in color).

Here is a CAL (Canadian Arsenals Limited) birch E2 stock for comparison; it is much darker. Never saw an orange colored CAL birch E2 stock but I have never run across one in NOS condition.

EDIT: Just ran across an NOS CAL birch E2 stock & it is indeed stained orange from the iodine just like these NOS Sacks birch E2 stocks.



 
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Iodine was the "dye" from the factory. So a NOS birch E2 Sacks and sons stock is orange. A simple coat of BLO or RLO or tung oil will darken it right up.
tnw50cal,
What would have been the reason for the dye in the first place other than birch not being able to take a stain very well?
 

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I should have taken a before and after, but unfortunately I did not. This will help understand how deep the ORANGE color was: Randy nor I saw any stripes on that birch Sacks stock.=QUOTE]

Maybe uniformity was the only reason for the dye even if orange was the out come.

 

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A hypothesis, could the iodine have been used primarily as a preservative against insects since the stocks were packaged for long term storage?
 

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Iodine has been used as a wood stain, I found nothing that would indicate its use as an insect repellent.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
A hypothesis, could the iodine have been used primarily as a preservative against insects since the stocks were packaged for long term storage?
Different,
I may have found something: Iodine is a fungicide so it would act as an MRT (Mildew Resistant Treatment) on these unfinished H. Sacks & Sons M14E2 wooden stocks preventing mold/mildew/fungus growth. This would be of value for long term storage especially in an uncontrolled/damp environment. Given the packaging for these Sacks E2 stocks is dated 06/69, I would think we have a solid case for iodine use as a preservative on these stocks manufactured for service in Vietnam.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Here is the H. Sacks & Sons M14E2 stock after final assembly with a mirror image CAL M14E2 stock with original hardware. Flash makes the Sacks stock appear lighter than it actually is but I would not want it any lighter. I drilled and tapped all (6) holes on the rail to match the (6) attachment points on the stock. Decided to push the rail back on the stock (1) hole to get the KAC grip as far to the rear as it could be mounted. And I did use the E2 liner to maximize rail strength/minimize stress on the stock. I don't normally use a bipod in the field unless shooting off the tool box or hood of my 4WD but put a Harris bipod on the rail so others could see the setup. HTH.

 

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Here the H. Sacks & Sons M14E2 stock after final assembly with a mirror image CAL M14E2 stock with original hardware. Flash makes the Sacks stock appear lighter than it actually is but I would not want it any lighter. I drilled and tapped all (6) holes on the rail to match the (6) attachment points on the stock. Decided to push the rail back on the stock (1) hole to get the KAC grip as far to the rear as it could be mounted. And I did use the metal E2 front grip stock liner to maximize rail strength/minimize stress on the stock. I don't normally use a bipod in the field unless shooting off the tool box or hood of my 4WD but put a Harris bipod on the rail so others could see the setup. HTH.

I want one, looks great and should function flawlessly!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Here is a better shot showing close to actual color. The NOS Sack E2 stock had no compression areas under the trigger group/receiver. So the first assembly took a little effort but it did go together without any fitting. I did lube the trigger group/receiver attachment points with grease to ease initial assembly. The wood under the receiver/trigger group compressed slightly making for a very tight fit. Time to get ready to go after some pigs over the 4th.




Edit: Additional Info: Will these Sacks E2 stocks work without using the E2 liner? Sure, but the installation will not be nearly as strong. The early walnut M14E2 stocks did not originally have an E2 liner. And with the rigors of training/combat combined with automatic fire, the (2) machine screws attaching the front grip would sometimes pull completely thru the early walnut E2 stock (below). Using the E2 liner is cheap insurance IMO. Spacing on the M14E2 stock front grip attachment is 1" per hole with (6) holes total VS 3/4" spacing for the standard M14 stock front sling attachment holes IIRC. I also used a solid fiberglass handguard because it is simply much more durable than the early vented handguard. FWIW.

Early S.A. marked walnut M14E2 stock: Unserviceable due to (2) machine screws pulling completely thru forend NOT reinforced with E2 liner:


Further details:

This shows original USGI E2 liner attachment on CAL E2 Stock:



This shows E2 liner/Treeline Rail attachment on the Sacks E2 Stock which makes for a VERY durable E2 stock forend:




The Harris QD bipod needs quite a large surface to mount against (below); at least 3/4"-1" on both sides for proper bearing/support with 1.5" or better either side of the QD swivel at or below the surface of the bipod attachment flange. In order to get proper bearing on both sides of the QD swivel for the Harris QD bipod, I moved Treeline's QD attachment back on the rail as shown. No worries: both the QD attachment machine screw and the (4) tapped attachment points on the rail are threaded the same at 10-32. As stated above, I drilled and tapped all (6) attachment points on the rail to match the E2 liner. Just Loctite the QD swivel in the new position during final assembly. And use a QD sling swivel on the front of your sling; it will attach to the QD on the Harris bipod or the one on front of your rifle when not using the bipod.



 
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Finally getting around to documenting the early S.A. marked walnut USGI M14E2 stock that had the later M14A1 backing plate upgrade retrofitted for much improved stock forend strength/durability. The cut area remains unfinished so this was definitely an ADD-ON upgrade done after initial stock production. There are no rebuild markings on this S.A. walnut stock so have no idea when this early stock was upgraded. The M14A1 backing plate will not fit flush on the original M14E2 walnut stock unless the stock is modified to accept it (below). All the walnut USGI M14E2 stocks I have seen have countersunk handgrip attachment holes in the barrel channel cut for pan head 10-32 machine screws which were not designed to be compatible with the future M14A1 backing plate upgrade. All the later birch USGI M14A1 stocks have countersunk handgrip attachment holes in the barrel channel cut to be used with the M14A1 backing plate attached with 10-32 flat head machine screws.

USGI M14E2/M14A1 Stock Forend Variations: The bottom of the countersunk handgrip attachment holes in the barrel channel are flat on the earlier S.A. walnut M14E2 stocks & tapered on the later CAL/H. Sacks & Sons birch M14A1 stocks.

EDIT with Corrected Parts Nomenclature:



USGI Handgrip Assembly/M14A1 backing Plate Reinstalled:

EDIT with Corrected Parts Nomenclature:



EDIT: Somebody manufactured a 14" rail specifically for the M14E2/M14A1 but it is apparently out of production. I was told this one was made by Magpul (unconfirmed). With this 14" rail, you can pick whichever bipod system you want: Grip Pod, Harris, etc. And this rail was designed with clearance for mounting the USGI M2 Bipod in the standard position. As seen below, there is a lot of "acreage" on this 14" rail offering many options.

(3) M14E2/M14A1 bipod options shown for reference:

 

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In late 1963 and 1964, the M14E2 stock assembly was built with two rivet burrs (part number 7790474) and no backing plate. The M14A1 stock assembly was drawn up in April 1966. The M14A1 stock subassembly was dimensioned to accept the newly (April 1966) designed backing plate (part number 11686522). To be accurate, the metal liner (backing plate) is a design feature of the M14A1 rifle. It was retrofitted to rifles with M14E2 stocks as Leid aptly discusses.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hey Different,
I appreciate the part numbers, correct nomenclature on the backing plate, & the M14E2 VS M14A1 dates. Keep it coming! With the original attachment of the handgrip on the S.A. walnut M14E2 stock, I am still amazed that it lasted any time at all in training much less combat. The (2) machine screws/burrs/washers provided precious little surface area to distribute load from the handgrip assembly.

Thanks again,
Carey

Corrected Parts Nomenclature:



EDIT: I have not seen COUNTY MACH. documented as a manufacturer of the 7792062 M14E2/M14A1 butt plate bracket assembly. This one was on the S.A. walnut stock with retrofitted 11686522 backing plate.

 

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Just out of curiosity, have any of you refinishing gurus discovered a method to completely remove the orange color finish (or whatever it is) so you have a clean piece of wood that can be stained (or dyed) a walnut color? I've never been a fan of birch stocks even though the wood is superior to walnut, and I'd like to know an effective way to get to a clean piece of wood to start over with the finish.
 

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Just out of curiosity, have any of you refinishing gurus discovered a method to completely remove the orange color finish (or whatever it is) so you have a clean piece of wood that can be stained (or dyed) a walnut color? I've never been a fan of birch stocks even though the wood is superior to walnut, and I'd like to know an effective way to get to a clean piece of wood to start over with the finish.

I used citristrip on a NOS M14E2 stock. The citristrip removed all of the iodine, I ended up with a clean piece of birch. I stained the stock with Chestnut Ridge Military Stock Stain. The red in the stain complements the birch, it came out very nice.

I sold that stock on the PX here last year, the new owner was very happy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Just out of curiosity, have any of you refinishing gurus discovered a method to completely remove the orange color finish (or whatever it is) so you have a clean piece of wood that can be stained (or dyed) a walnut color? I've never been a fan of birch stocks even though the wood is superior to walnut, and I'd like to know an effective way to get to a clean piece of wood to start over with the finish.
GV,
The Berryman B-12 spray carb cleaner I used took the orange off the surface & out of the grain of the Sacks M14A1 stock immediately. And it dried in minutes with the stock placed in front of the fan. The B-12 dried without raising the grain on this NOS Sacks stock. That is one reservation I had with using water on it. You should be ready to use whatever type walnut stain you decide on in just a few minutes after using the B-12. It is a VERY potent carb cleaner so wear nitrile gloves and don't get it on any painted surfaces you don't want to strip. Most auto parts stores carry B-12 spray cans.

As mentioned above, Citristrip works great. It does not have any strong, noxious odor like the striping chemicals of old and cleans up with water. Here is my deal: Long ago, I was taught that "Water is the enemy of wood". So I just don't use water on wood unless necessary. But Citristrip is an excellent choice; I have used it. Home Depot carries it here.

Brownells has a short write-up on the stains/dyes they carry: http://www.brownells.com/aspx/learn/learndetail.aspx?lid=11070

Good luck with it & post pics when you are done.
 
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