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A few good photos would help.

There were some oversized stocks made for the military. The common patterns are a sort of "medium oversize" that most folks now call the "Big Red" pattern, this term was coined by Fred's M14 stocks. There are also really heavy maximum oversize stocks that were made for match rifles.

On the left is a standard M14 stock, one that hasn't been sanded and still has fairly thick wood. Center is a medium oversize "Big Red" pattern, note how much more wood there is on the bottom to make the foreend stiffer. On the right is a USGI heavy match stock.



Left is a standard M14 stock. The middle two are "Big Red." Right is a GI heavy match stock. Note that on the standard M14 stock, the thickness of the wood right next to the stock liner is about equal to the thickness of the stock liner itself. On the Big Red medium heavy stocks, the wood next to the stock liner is about twice as thick as the stock liner. The full heavy match stocks are much thicker and don't use the steel stock liner.



The stock may have markings on the butt, under the buttplate. There may be a part number and a manufacturer marking, if there is that would give a positive ID.

Typical markings- 11010263 is the part number for the medium "Big Red" stock. Bottom stock is manufactured by Sykes for the military, middle is Winchester, top is USGI Springfield Armory. The full heavy match stocks were mostly made by Reinhart Fajen and will be marked under the butt with part number 9352638 and Fajen's CAGE code 77742.



Does the stock have a cutout for the selector switch under the right rear of the receiver? If so, it's probably a military stock. If it doesn't have the cutout, it's definitely a commercial stock from a company like Boyd's.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow gents...VERY informative. Thank you. Been haunting this sight for weeks and decided to join. Just getting back into rifle shooting game after 25 years (hope it is like riding a bike). Held a sniper slot for a couple years in the reserves back in the day (before going active duty) and we trained on M14s. So, seemed reasonable to purchase an M1A to get back into it. Put money down on a used 96-97 early loaded version (MA9802) with the SS NM barrel, and am collecting information to see what I have bought. (I know, maybe should have gained more information before purchasing, but was a steal for $1600 and came with a Harris bipod, couple extra 20-round M14 magazines, GI tactical sling, Springfield Arms 6-40 government model scope and mount, a polymer (mounted) and additional wooden stock and looks like it has been on a shelf for a long time.) Will be looking forward to many more conversations in the future.
 
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