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Old 05-17-2005, 04:56 AM   #1
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Who made the original wooden stocks for Garands and M1 Carb?

Who made the original wooden stocks for Garands and M1 Carbines?
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:02 AM   #2
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There was some sub-contracting that went on. There have even been some known to be original IHC's with HRA stocks, so there was also some trading that went on between prime manufacturers. But mostly the prime manufacturers made their own stocks.
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:28 AM   #3
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JAS I am SOOoo happy to hear someone else say that.......As one who remembers those days, I THINK there was much more trading of parts between manufacturers than many of us remember...They were working on a quota system, and if one type part was missing to complete a quota of "so many rifles", "A" would call 'B', and say :
"can you send me so many clip latches, etc....I'll trade you so many springs". (makes sense doesn't it ? there were heavy fines for not making quotas)--(factual info also exists for the '03 production--parts and components traded/supplied by Rock Is., SA, and Remington), so why jnot ?

Semper Fi !!
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:15 AM   #4
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Some were made in house, and some by sub-contractors.

Semper Fi !!
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Old 05-18-2005, 06:34 AM   #5
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Parts swapping . . .

The answer to the original question of wood is, it depends. In WWII, SA and WRA were so adversarial that in my opinion, there is no way that they would swap a single stinking thing unless Ordnance ordered it (which they had to do from time to time, though we can only find a little to confirm this in writing). But WRA made their own wood and even if unmarked, we can tell WRA made wood from SA made wood for the WWII period.

Interestingly, there has always been a persistent rumor that WRA couldn't get their stocks made and that was the major holdup to making their first scheduled deliveries on time. The rumor is that they could not get their Onsrud copy lathe in time to make stocks and had to make the outside profiles by hand! After I got my first RS era stock I noticed some odd markings (very hard to photograph) that certainly appear to indicate a drawknife or spokeshave across the surface. I have kept looking for these markings and have seen them all the way thru the trapdoor WB stocks. I have taken it upon myself with the help of anyone who desires to take an interst to try to promote this theory, and either prove or dispove it. Here is a picture of what I am talking about - see what you guys think.


As to SA, well they made their own stocks thru WWII and the characteristics of those are quite well known as well. But as a word of caution, it is easy and very tempting to extrapolate carbine (and other) production onto Garand production, but it was not the case - there is evidence that SA was so averse to WRA making their design that they actually sabotaged WRA's efforts (this is pre-WWII, so it is not a crime . . . yet) by sending them the wrong spec's on some of the design (clips) so that the weapon would not work!!! Yup. It caused the entire "clip interchange program", and there are some very heated and surprisingly, openly venemous letters from the CEO of WRA - Pugsly - to Ordnance and SA about John Garand being a second rate designer and how his M1 rifle design was nowhere near ready for production yet. If you can step back from it all, you will see that this is actually proven (without all the drama) by the very fact that the design was never set in stone and was constantly revised thru the entire war, indeed, thru the entire production run into 1956!!! But things were so bad between them that WRA was actually investigated after the war and was made to pay back money to the government, in part because of their unwillingness to deal with the (inept, idiotic, self-serving????) buerocracy at SA and constantly change their production when SA (endlessly) updated their design.

But now when we get to Korean era production, all bets are off. WRA is out of the picture and we have only SA and 2 new makers. Parts were regularly traded amongst them and you can have either of the 'other makers' (HRA or IHC) having SA parts on them and still being 100% original. Stock production was sublet to one of the major makers of stock for carbines during WWII - Overton - and they were thrilled to make Garand stocks as they were about 3 times easier than the carbine wood!

But now oddly (or not), there are continuing stories about SA interfering with the production of these other makers, supposedly to ensure their position and to prove that they were still needed. IHC had unbeleiveable problems getting their production going and making their rifles work, and it took HRA to actually go to Indiana and check their production and testing of completed rifles. What they found is amazing and was exactly the same thing that they found in their production - as I understand it, one of the major problems was the fact that the spring tension on the test-firing machines was set completely wrong and was the actual cause of the rifles failing the function firing tests. Strange, but not overly so until you find that it was SA who set that tension and they did the same thing to BOTH of those 'other' makers, and it was only HRA's vast experience with making firearms that lead them to locate the suspicious problem . . . And then you begin to see that maybe WRA wasn't all that wrong about SA . . .

Even Overton found working with SA very difficult and there is one story of a panicked overnight road trip to SA from Michigan to find out why a whole shipment of stocks was out of spec. What they found when they got there was that the stocks they so lovingly had created at Overton, were being stored outside in the rain at SA . . . But not only that, the gages that were being used to measure these stocks were nothing more than the first temproary gage, as the gage shop had not completed the production gage for the wood yet . . . that meant that the gage being used had been created at the start of production nearly 20 years earlier!!!! Overton made them a new gage on their own, but were aghast that a facility could be run so poorly and ineptly (and then try to shift the blame them or anyone else . . .).

So did they trade stocks (or parts)? Not in WWII except for a very few instances that are still rather amorphous. But in Korea, there are a host of parts that are shared and there are a number of subcontractors for parts and stocks (Overton stocks, LMR barrels, etcetera . . .) and they can be found on original HRA's and IHC of several eras.

How's that?
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:36 AM   #6
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As for Stocks

Very interesting input there Bodyman,I couldn't agree more. I think MR73 is wondering who made the wood stocks for the various manufactures. I have a IHC M1 stock on sale on e-bay right now that I thought was made by Overton with the julian date in the barrel channel etc. I have been told by "the Garand experts" out there that it is more likely a Hillerich & Bradsby made stock. Upon investigating the H & B web site I see were they do mention making stocks for the war effort for the M1 carbines. And MR73 as far as who made M1 Carbine stocks I have no ideas other then that as there were 11 different manufactures of them your question would be better suited for the Carbine board in that respect. I think the for the most part the book hasn't been written defineing all the different subcontractors of the various parts/stocks
or will it be a best seller?
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:56 AM   #7
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On carbines and stuff . . .

The only thing I really study is the WWII Garand production (specifically the Winchester stuff) - it is an often made mistake to overlay the carbine practices upon the Garand production and that just doesn't hold up - not for WWII. Now when we get to Korea, I think Ordnance took the reins a little bit more and dictated that there be more parts sharing (more like the carbine production from WWII (and more) where excess production parts were I guess 'pooled' so that more rifles could be delivered).

Overton is the only subcontractor for Garand wood that I am aware of and that is Korean era stuff only. Prior to that it was SA and WRA only (and no sharing). Though not a post-WWII guy in any way, as far as I know Overton stocks can be found on any of the 3 Korean era makers in several eras of production and they are still 'originals'. As to what the HR and OR marks mean in front of what is generally considered to be a julian date in the barrel channel of many of these stocks, no idea really. There are several theories but there are also others much more adept in these areas than I.

And carbine stuff - you guys got me there . . ., completely. But there is a great book on Overton Carbine production that you guys may not have seen yet - a picture of the millionth Overton Carbine stock on the cover signed by all the employees - cool.
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Old 05-18-2005, 02:25 PM   #8
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Body man says " how's that ?"

I'd say EXCELLENT TREATISE. You have outdone yourself......The turf wars are legendary, even to the point of outright hostiliy, as noted by the most prolific of authors on the Garand, and I think Col. Brody devoted quite a few words to the subject...Thank God we had some leaders in Gov. at the time that WOULD issue the orders, and get things done.
And I think that SA found no small pleasure in their role as the engineers, revisors, and advisors...much to the displeasure of the people at Winchester. But , still, they were the 'king of the hill', and we have them to thank for what we collect today.

Semper Fi !!
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:20 PM   #9
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Hey Bodyman

Good to see you on this forum.
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:24 AM   #10
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Thanks guys . . .

Yes, the turf wars were so heated and became so personal that they lasted all the way to the grave for these people. I talked to a few fellas that got to interview Art Tuttle (John Garand's right hand man and very instrumental in helping put together the information in Billy Pyle's Gastrap Garand book - I do not think we would have ever figured it all out without him!), but when the subject of Winchester came up they said they were quite surprised to see him do everything but spit on his own living room floor . . .!!!!

Maybe SA had a few problems, but McNamarra was still a jag for closing it . . . that guy looked like he used Hoover's tactics to stay in power - the Kennedy clan wasn't clean by any stretch, but one must wonder what on earth he had on those in power to be given such free rein . . .

Anyway, nice to be here. It seems like a very reasonable and enjoyable crowd so far (and a very nice change). I spend about an hour going thu everyone's pictures of their rifles and enjoyed it thoroughly - what a hoot. At the end I thought; that was great, and we really are twisted to be enjoying this all this much . . . hee hee hee

Here's a pic just for grins - I just love the early stuff . . .

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Old 05-19-2005, 06:55 AM   #11
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Bodyman great post as always wonderful info

Good to see you here too

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Old 05-19-2005, 06:36 PM   #12
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Nice to see you here Jeff. It's a nice group here. Much less flaming than on other boards. We look forward to your vast storehouse of knowledge.
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