Tonight we are looking at the so called ‘fat boy’ stock on the P14 Enfield Rifle. The P14 series of rifles were produced in the USA in the First World War for the British and were produced by three manufacturers; Winchester, Remington and Eddystone (a subsidiary of Remington). We have previously looked at the rifle here, that example having the standard stock. Tonight we have an opportunity to compare the standard stock with the ‘fat boy’:As far as I can ascertain, the ‘fat boy’ was only used on Eddystone rifles, and then not all of them, both the rifles in the above photograph are Eddystone rifles, but the upper is the ‘fat boy’ and the lower is the standard model. The ‘fat boy’ differs in two ways, firstly the hand grooves in the fore stock have been deleted:Secondly, this whole area has been thickened:This is particularly apparent when compared with the standard model:I have not found a definitive reason for this variation, but one theory is that it strengthened the stock at a weak point that then allowed the rifle to be used for firing rifle grenades with less chance of cracking. Incidentally, the wood used in the stocks is apparently American Black Walnut.
Amongst collectors, the standard rifle is generally regarded as being the more ergonomical of the two patterns, but I cannot find any hard evidence of when the change occurred or why and it may just be a manufacturing variation, although the rifle grenade story is intriguing.