M1A1 Highwood Stock reproduction Modification




“American skytroopers wait in foreground for orders to advance on Munster, Germany, while British tanks at left roll toward front line German stronghold. Attack is by Infantryman of 513th Regiment, 17th Airborne Division, fighting with 9th U.S. Army, and the British 6th Coldstream Guards armored Brigade. 2 Apr 1945”

Carbine, Caliber .30, M1A1

The iconic Paratrooper specific weapon of World War II was undoubtedly the M1A1 Carbine. The side folding stock was easier to jump with, allowing it be folded and worn in a belt mounted scabbard. Most if not all reproductions of this famous stock are the late/ post war ‘low wood’ style. This style refers to the cut down wood in front of the action, as well as a cut out for the select-fire M2 Carbine. Unfortunately most manufacturers continue to repeat this erroneous style of stock that is just not correct for WWII configurations. Even parachute operations in 1945 still show the highwood version being used. The U.S. Army started converting ‘highwood’ stocks into low wood, by cutting away the piece of wood in front of the action, as it was thought it was unnecessary and only contributed problems. Low wood stocks are by far the most commonly available, so I assume that is why they are the most copied. However one can only hope a manufacturer will eventually realize this and corner the market.

At some point there was an unknown Italian manufacturer that produced correct high wood M1A1 carbine stocks, however those are very rare in the current market.


image courtesy of forums.thecmp.org




Image showing the post war cut out, common on reproduction “WWII” M1A1 stocks  courtesy of http://www.uscarbinecal30.com


Typical reproduction M1A1 stock (Auto Ordnance) that is not typical of wartime stocks. This is nearly how mine looked in terms of bright natural wood finish



Original stock, courtesy of “Dirt Detective” on usmilitariaforum.com

The Modification

Recently I had a friend of mine rebuild my typical post war style M1A1 stock back into what would have been seen during the war. He is an expert craftsman in both clothing and carpentry, and decided to take on the task. He added the wooden lip, filled in the M-2 select fire cut out, and stained the stock so it matched the dark used walnut common of issued wooden stocks of the period. The result was fantastic and certainly usable version of the M1A1. I paired the reproduction stock up with an original upper handguard, so you can see the color is quite close.



Original handguard is the common 2-rivet type




Representing a member of the 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry in Holland, 1944




One comment

  1. Could we see some close ups of the modifications? Or maybe hear a bit more about it? It came out looking really good.


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