William J. Ricca Surplus Sales
Government Surplus 1971-2018
US Small Arms Storage Racks
Floor Mounted Racks
Floor Mounted Arms Racks consisted of either steel, or steel and wood. These racks were usually located within the sleeping area of the old wooden barracks; sometimes in the center aisle, sometimes in a corner. I remember our M14's in Basic Training at Fort Dix in January of 1964 being locked in one of these massively heavy arms racks.
After being assigned to the 82d in July 1964 all our M14's were locked in an arms room in wall mounted racks. There must be many variations of wall mounted racks today due to the adoption of many different M16 type rifles throughout the services.
This subject brings up "Rack Numbers". A rack number was a number painted/taped, or engraved (never should have happened, was never allowed) on a stock. The number indicated the slot in an arms rack assigned for storage of that particular rifle. There often was a list of which rifle serial numbers went into which slots. It made things a lot simpler to return all rifles to their allocated slots. An open slot meant a missing rifle.
Notice most M14 stocks on the market have no rack number. Sure some do, but the percentage is quite low. Within the Army weapons cards made rack numbering on rifles obsolete. By the late 1950's/early 1960's the system got easier and better.
Those serving will remember they had a "Weapons Card". The card was a small Department of the Army form carried in the wallet. The card had provisions for Name and Rank, Unit, Type of Rifle, and Serial Number of rifle assigned to the soldier.
The system was simple. You had to give your weapons card to the unit armorer in order to remove your rifle from the arms room. The unit armorer then placed your weapons card in your slot within the rack until you returned your rifle. Most units also placed a rack number on the card for ease of transfer and return.
The rule was you had to have either the weapons card or rifle in your possession at all times. If a rifle was missing and the unit armorer had your weapons card, it meant only one thing. You lost it and would pay Uncle Sam to purchase another. If, as rarely happened, the rifle was missing from the arms room and you had your weapons card in your possession, the investigation would start on the arms room security and procedures to find the stolen weapon. This system was Army wide and probably was different in the other services. Now when you see a rack number on an M14 stock there is a good chance the rifle was from one of the other services.
Below are racks used with garrison from the 1920's through the 1960's. ENJOY!!!
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M1
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M1A1
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M2
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M3A1
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M4
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M7
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M1920
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M1920 as Modified
was much heavier than other TO&E units.
Rack, Storage Small Arms, M1920 as Modified
Wall Mounted Racks
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M11
Rack, Small Arms Storage, M11 with Adapters