Help Identify WWII M1 Carbine Stock

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Blog entry by dbarn posted 12-03-2011 10:49 PM 2501 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey guys, new to the forum. Would greatly appreciate your assistance identifying the wood type on this original 1944 Rock-Ola carbine. It has been suggested that is may be walnut, wild cherry cut across the grain, or padauk.

It does not look like any other walnut stocked military firearm in my collection. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

11 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2438 days

#1 posted 12-04-2011 01:10 AM

Does not look like Walnut or Padauk, I’m thinking it may be Mahogany?

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View jumbojack's profile


1666 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 12-04-2011 01:42 AM

Looks like Mahogany to me.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View dbarn's profile


11 posts in 1787 days

#3 posted 12-04-2011 03:02 AM

Appreciate your comments. If Mahogany, would it have this orange/red color and open grain? Could the wood have been dyed? The area at the rear of the stock, the slingwell, appears to have no dye; leading me to believe this is the natural finish.

View derosa's profile


1568 posts in 2256 days

#4 posted 12-04-2011 03:37 AM

The stock should probably be made from walnut. Factory finish was a coat of tung oil followed by coats of blo, several coats of blo later it can have this reddish tint that does look a lot like my m1 carbine. These guns were frequently sent in for reconditioning and the stock may have been done several times adding to the color.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View dbarn's profile


11 posts in 1787 days

#5 posted 12-04-2011 03:48 AM

Ordinarily I would agree, however this particular carbine is a vet bring back and the grain of the wood and color do not match any of my other walnut stocked military weapons. It is known that during WWII what was thought to be a perceived walnut shortage that some M1 carbine producers used alternate wood. Walnut, birch, and wild cherry have been documented as being placed on original as manufactured carbines. Rock-Ola excelled in woodworking having made jukebox and radio cabinets. They also produced original carbine stocks for other manufacturers. Perhaps this wood was left over from their original stock and used during the perceived shortage.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2506 posts in 2858 days

#6 posted 12-04-2011 06:15 AM

Looks like a fairly high figured mahogany.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View dbarn's profile


11 posts in 1787 days

#7 posted 12-04-2011 04:07 PM

It appears that Mahogany is winning out. I have had at least two folks strongly believe it to be padauk with no one suggesting wild cherry. I completely defer to your knowledge and am very appreciative. I also believe that birch and walnut can be ruled out. May I ask the characteristics of this wood that would make it Mahogany?

View crippledcarpenter's profile


22 posts in 1867 days

#8 posted 12-04-2011 06:53 PM

I think your stock may be mad out of Cuban mahogany. it was very highly figured wood and plentiful back in the day. there wer so many subcontractors making parts and weapons for the war effort, it could have been made out of just about anything. They may have used mahogany for the pacific theater, due to its ablility to stand up to very humid conditions.

-- haste makes firewood.

View dbarn's profile


11 posts in 1787 days

#9 posted 12-04-2011 10:10 PM

One area of concern regarding mahogany identification, from what I’m reading it has a closed or tight grain. This particular wood has a very open grain which is more of a characteristic of padauk. It has color hues of both types however. The wood definitely has a 60+ year old surface patina which has darkened the stock except for the slingwell which shows areas of orange/pink color. Additionally where the wood has been scuffed beneath the surface is an orange color.

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2113 days

#10 posted 12-04-2011 10:28 PM

I thought it looked like paduak when I first saw it. Where the canvas belt enters the stock, that powdery red-orange unpolished area looks just like paduak to me. How heavy is it? I would imagine that much paduak to be very heavy. I’ve never seen anything like it before in an M1. Mine’s walnut.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View dbarn's profile


11 posts in 1787 days

#11 posted 12-04-2011 11:08 PM

I can’t tell that it’s much more heavy than my other carbines, but will test next time it’s disassembled. What I can tell you is that the stock appears to be more stiff. By this I mean that the barrel sticks up abnormally high during reassembly when placed back into the recoil plate and the barrel band is difficult to slide back into place, even with all screws loosened.

Additionally I am reading that the edges of padauk are brittle. Look at the recoil plate area and you’ll see one side chipped off. It also evident that area immediately behind the recoil plate at the rear of the receiver is relieved more than walnut examples.

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