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Very strange wood M40 stock!

2125 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Rob Ski
I just purchased this at an auction for a whopping $40 and it's by far the strangest M40 stock I've ever seen! It's a real M40 stock and has all the correct characteristics, but I have no idea who did the modifications. It's actually pretty stable holding it while standing, but the vertical foregrip is too far forward and would have better ergonomics if it were moved back an inch or two.

I opened up the recoil lug inlet bedding just enough to drop in Culver's M40 barreled action:




Here's a closeup of the vertical foregrip:




Closeup of the butt modification:




The butt now has a Pachmayr White Line recoil pad, instead of an aluminum 40x buttplate. The and of the stock was sanded and reshaped, so the original stamps underneath the 40x buttplate are gone:




The holes on the left side of the foregrip and buttstock are sling swivel screw holes. Here's a rear sling swivel off an M40 stock in each of these holes:




There's also something written on the left side of the stock, it says "Mortuus Via Longus." I assume it's in Latin and means something like "death by long [distance]." I guess it's a fitting statement for a sniper rifle:



I have a bunch of original M40 stocks to compare this weird stock to, but only one of them has this same gray bedding. Remington didn't use any bedding material when they built the M40's (their "hand bedding" was just making the stock with tighter dimensions so the receiver fits better) and the 2112 armorers typically used Bisonite as the bedding compound on the M40's during the 1960/70's. I don't know what material this gray bedding is and I don't know why the 2112's didn't use Bisonite like the majority of the bedded M40's.

I've seen a few other original M40 stocks with this same bedding, so it's probably original to the stock when it was in USMC inventory. If this is the case, then the foregrip and stock modifications were also done at the RTE shop, since the stock would have to be rebedded for a new civilian barreled action (if the mods were done outside the Corps). I don't know why someone would go through all the trouble modifying the stock and then not fit it to their barreled action.

My barreled action sort of fits the stock after I slightly opened up the recoil lug inlet, but it's still not a perfect fit in the original bedding. When I received the stock I looked closely at the bedding and it was clean, no one had touched the bedding until I decided to do so. All of this information points to the stock possibly being modified by 2112's.




Modified M40 on the left, regular M40 on the right:




So, that's my new stock and that's all the information I have, hopefully someone here knows something about it! I think this could be an RTE modified M40 stock, there's a few indicators that it's possible and the 2112's were known to have modified a ton of M40 parts after the Vietnam War. They experimented with everything in order to create a better sniper rifle (that's how they ended up with the M40A1), so it wouldn't surprise me at all if this was one of their creations. However, this RTE connection is pretty much impossible to prove without a firsthand account from a 2112 or sniper who made/saw/used this stock. It could also be some drunken creation by a civilian who got their hands on a cheap surplus stock. I have no idea, I just think it's interesting.

What do you guys think about this strange stock?
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That’s a unique stock for sure. Pure speculation on my part, but given the front handle is so far forward, and that protrusion is a terrible idea for any sniper rifle subjected to USMC “stalking” exercises as the handle would snag on all kinds of vegetation, I think it was a personal “art project” or perhaps a “hobby lobby” project that an RTE guy did after the stock was removed from an M40.

When the M40s were updated to the McMillan fiberglass stocks in the late 1970s, the old wood stocks went into the proverbial dumpster, but some RTE guys salvaged a few, as some obviously survived to the present day. My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that was stock was one of those discarded stocks that became someone’s pet art project in the late 1970s or shortly thereafter. Possibly something a MOS 2112 did for himself, or perhaps made as a favor to another Marine as part of the old “hobby lobby” process for a civilian firearm project. That’s my pet theory at least.
 

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That’s a unique stock for sure. Pure speculation on my part, but given the front handle is so far forward, and that protrusion is a terrible idea for any sniper rifle subjected to USMC “stalking” exercises as the handle would snag on all kinds of vegetation, I think it was a personal “art project” or perhaps a “hobby lobby” project that an RTE guy did after the stock was removed from an M40.

When the M40s were updated to the McMillan fiberglass stocks in the late 1970s, the old wood stocks went into a dumpster, but some RTE guys salvaged a few, as some obviously survived to the present day. My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that was stock was one such stock that became someone’s pet project in the late 1970s or shortly thereafter. Possibly something a MOS 2112 did for himself, or made as a favor to another Marine as part of the old “hobby lobby” process for a civilian firearm project. That’s my pet theory at least.
Sounds logical to me, that could very well be what happened! Maybe the only "real" and useful modification was the buttstock height to test during the A1 upgrade program. Then afterwards some 2112 just added the front grip as a joke, since it's not something you'd ever need on a sniper rifle.
 

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The stock foregrip no matter who did the handiwork took some time to do it. If the stock was out of country I would think that it was used in a non sniper role. Like in a transport role, guntruckers were very ingenuitive in some of their tools for protection and hunting on and off post.

I had a friend that was a driver in Viet Nam and would tell me about what they did for passing time. It was not only maintenance on trucks but they modified trucks or weapons for them. And having unauthorized tools, weapons was kind of sport to him.
 

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That’s a unique stock for sure. Pure speculation on my part, but given the front handle is so far forward, and that protrusion is a terrible idea for any sniper rifle subjected to USMC “stalking” exercises as the handle would snag on all kinds of vegetation, I think it was a personal “art project” or perhaps a “hobby lobby” project that an RTE guy did after the stock was removed from an M40.

When the M40s were updated to the McMillan fiberglass stocks in the late 1970s, the old wood stocks went into the proverbial dumpster, but some RTE guys salvaged a few, as some obviously survived to the present day. My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that was stock was one of those discarded stocks that became someone’s pet art project in the late 1970s or shortly thereafter. Possibly something a MOS 2112 did for himself, or perhaps made as a favor to another Marine as part of the old “hobby lobby” process for a civilian firearm project. That’s my pet theory at least.
Sorry for digging out this older thread, extremely "funny variant" of the stock. But yeah, there is no way you will put forward grip on the sniper rifle...so someone had a "field day" with the original M40 stock and I tend to agree with what @Random Guy said, stock was modified outside the USMC...still, I think $40 was a steal for it!
 
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