Success Story

NSWC Crane and Sage International Enhance a Proven Tool of Battle

NSWC paratrooper

Through technology transfer initiatives at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), experts from the Warfare Center and Sage International, Ltd., signed an exclusive licensing agreement to commercialize upgraded features and technologies used on the M-14 battle rifle.

Because of a request from Naval Special Warfare, Sea, Air, and Land (NSW SEALs) for a more compact configuration of the M-14 rifle to better support arctic warfare missions, NSWC Crane engineer David Armstrong developed basic design features and concept sketches for a shorter barrel and a telescoping stock. Armstrong configured several prototype stocks, including one that integrated a Sage shotgun butt-stock, which was selected for further refinement.

The project later expanded to include all Naval Special Warfare commands, not just SEAL requests. Design modifications included incorporating multiple rails for attaching accessories, which would improve the overall accuracy and versatility of the system.

Armstrong worked with Sage International to design and produce a chassis stock system.

The replacement chassis stock system replaces the rifle’s standard stocks, made of fiberglass or plastic, with aluminum. The incorporation of the aluminum creates a more rigid, durable and maintainable system. The metal-to-metal contact of the receiver to the chassis provides improved accuracy without the need for added bedding operations. The design also incorporates four forward rails that allow for easier mounting of sighting devices and accessories, such as day/night optics, lasers, lights, bipods and grips.

In addition to the improved accuracy, ergonomics and mounting capabilities, a key benefit to the warfighter is the ability to operate the system from vehicles and fight in close quarter settings because of the shorter barrel and telescoping stock.

“These improvements not only provide the military with an enhanced battle rifle that is easy to carry and adjust in combat, but can be applied to other firearms and users,” said Armstrong.

The stock system is currently used by Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel. To date, more than 8,000 have been produced for military use.

Sage International now holds an exclusive license for commercial sales and markets the system to law enforcement personnel and civilians.

The license has produced more than $55,700 in royalties, and approximately 5,000 systems have been sold commercially. The system also is available for the M1 Garand, the Mini-14, and M1A type commercial versions of the M-14 rifle.

“This partnership is the perfect example of what we strive to do through our technology transfer program at Crane,” said John Dement, NSWC Crane Technology Transfer Program manager. “We not only provide the warfighter with the best technologies available, but also stimulate growth for our partners through commercial sales.”