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THE M14 BATTLE RIFLE...SAD DEMISE?


ka bar
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I recently watched a documentary on the M14 battle rifle...

 

Why did it have such a short service life?...

 

In my opinion it was a MONSTER of a weapon...

 

Very, very powerful, high velocity yet seemed compact and easy to maintain...

 

It almost had a M1 carbine look to it...

 

So it was used during the KW and early stages of VN right?

 

It also had fully automatic capacity...right?

 

Was it unpopular with service personnel?

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Ka Bar,

A good book to read which addresses your question is The Gun by CJ Chivers. Written about the AK series it discusses Soviet vs US rifles to include the US military's move away from the M-14 to the M-16. Its a good read. It had to do with weight, goverment contracting, US response to the AK - 47, etc. Pick up a copy. You won't regret it.

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Ka Bar,

A good book to read which addresses your question is The Gun by CJ Chivers. Written about the AK series it discusses Soviet vs US rifles to include the US military's move away from the M-14 to the M-16. Its a good read. It had to do with weight, goverment contracting, US response to the AK - 47, etc. Pick up a copy. You won't regret it.

G'day Jeff...

 

Thanks mate, will check out the book depository online...

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Big part was the failure to live up to DOD Expectations. Remember it was supposed to replace the carbine, M3 submachinegun, rifle, and BAR,

 

It was unsuitable for all but the rifle role.

 

As an Auto Rifle it was abysmal, Scores on the Qual ranges went down dramatically even with Expert BAR Teams firing it. Its cyclic rate was way too high, and even with the Stabilizer added over the Flash Suppressor it climbed and bucked due to its weight, Cyclic rate.

 

It was too long for SMG and Carbine work (a folding stock was developed but never issued past some troop trials)

 

There were also many accuracy problems initially among the Commercial builders (Save TRW)

 

and Finally McNamara had it in for Springfield Armory and Army Ordnance

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Big part was the failure to live up to DOD Expectations. Remember it was supposed to replace the carbine, M3 submachinegun, rifle, and BAR,

 

It was unsuitable for all but the rifle role.

 

As an Auto Rifle it was abysmal, Scores on the Qual ranges went down dramatically even with Expert BAR Teams firing it. Its cyclic rate was way too high, and even with the Stabilizer added over the Flash Suppressor it climbed and bucked due to its weight, Cyclic rate.

 

It was too long for SMG and Carbine work (a folding stock was developed but never issued past some troop trials)

 

There were also many accuracy problems initially among the Commercial builders (Save TRW)

 

and Finally McNamara had it in for Springfield Armory and Army Ordnance

Oh, I see...thanks.

 

It just seemed so darn powerful

 

Hey, what is a Qual range doggie?

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My Dad LOVED his M-14 and was very proud that was his Battle Rifle in Viet Nam.

 

He never used it in full auto, only bursts.

 

My Dad said he used to aim for the feet and the powerful burst walked right up the VC.

 

Leonardo

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It was a fine rifle and shot excellent, and the one I carried in 67 was a old war horse, but if you hit them, they went down. Most of us did not like the early M-16's when first issued, not as accurate and kind of a wimpy round to our thinking. Liked the 16's lighter weight, and auto get'em mode, I weighted about 160 then and in full auto the 14 punished me. I've got an MIA now and get it to the range every chance I get, guess a flash back to my youth....

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So it was used during the KW and early stages of VN right?

 

It also had fully automatic capacity...right?

 

The M14 entered production in 1959, so no, it was not used in the Korean War. It was replaced in Vietnam for most Army combat arms units by the M16A1 during 1966-1967, but some combat support units used it a bit longer. The M14 remained the standard service rifle for the rest of the Army until 1970. The M21 Sniper Rifle remained in use through the late 1980's or early 1990's.

 

The M14 was a select fire weapon, but at least in the Army the selector switches were removed because the weapon was too inaccurate in fully automatic fire.

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yes it's a great rifle IMO but not modern enough/modular design to carry it further into today.

 

-Brian

 

Plenty of M14's are still around and have been in use for a long time. Besides the M21 Sniper version, there is also the M25 version adopted by SOF in the late 80's. The Navy has used M14's as standard shipboard weapons since the 60's and they may still use them. The USMC adopted an M14 DMR in the 1990's. A large number of M14's were used in both OEF-Afghanistan and OIF by the Army. There is a SOPMOD kit for the M14 too. In addition, the great success of the M14 in OEF/OIF led to the newly built Mk 14 EBR, which is currently in use by all services.

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I have seen the M14 System used as a sniper rifle by various units in todays world as well.I believe some SEALS as well as other operators carry one from time to time or prefer to.

 

One of our local young vets was given the job as unit sniper while he was in Iraq with the 133rd infantry/34th Div(IA NG).He used both a version of the M14 and had a bolt action based on the Remington 700 action with a heavy barrel,fiberglass stock,scope and the bells and whistles.As I recall his bolt action was chambered for the .308 round as well.His dad runs a local bar here and has photos of him.Upon returning home his dad had a rifle built to spec to copy his bolt rifle he used in Iraq.His dad told that there was also a bounty out on him or his unit in general(probably common over there).They even had a large armored vehicle they would do road convoys in.They had painted a motto on it but were told by the powers in charge to take it off so not to be targeted.

 

May have been just when he was there but he didnt have the access to anything in the now popular 338 family or larger.

 

Sometime maybe I will get the chance to talk to him to see who was the builder of the rifle he carried in Iraq.Not sure if it was someone at unit or brigade level Armorers.

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I carried one in Diyala Province for two months in '06 and I loved it. Just a great weapon. Would have stuck with it had a CWO not seen me with it and confiscated it to trade to another FOB for three FN303s of all things...

Still bitter.

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I was on an Army Marksmanship Team (MTU #1) in the 1970s and we used glass bedded heavy barrel national match M14s accurately up to 1,000 yds - with iron sights.

 

Here's a newer version by Springfield. They have a few variations. Still a good, solid, accurate weapon.

 

 

post-9621-0-04000700-1412884134.png

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I was on an Army Marksmanship Team (MTU #1) in the 1970s and we used glass bedded heavy barrel national match M14s accurately up to 1,000 yds - with iron sights.

 

Here's a newer version by Springfield. They have a few variations. Still a good, solid, accurate weapon.

 

 

Thats cool.Thanks for posting

 

My old brother in law was on the Govenors Ten here.He also had a bedded ex-M14 for team use.

 

Fired it many times.They were swapped out in the mid 80s with M16 varients but they went back to the M14.He is also listed as a Army Distinquished Marksman.

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For the last 4 years I've worked side by side, 40 hours a week with a 1st MAR DIV Vietnam veteran. Although he eventually served as a radio operator in Nam and only carried a Colt 1911, he qualified with the M14 in boot camp and sings nothing but praises about the M14. He loves the bottom - fed automatic M14.

 

And for the last 4 years I've been trying to convince him the Garand is a better rifle. He hasn't budged, go figure!

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The insight and responses to my very uneducated question is very much appreciated...

 

I remember seeing footage of a soldier firing one off in automatic mode and he was nearly on his back after a burst..

 

He was quite a solid bloke as well...

 

Thanks again USMF...

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I'm a huge fan of the M-14 also. Never had a love for the M-16, other than it was pretty easy to carry around. For accuracy I'd put the M-14, and M-1 on equal footing. Both are deadly. Also Sniper qualified on the M-21 System. That was the most accurate weapon I ever used, with , or w/o scope. Yup! I adore the M-14. Was very glad to see them used in Afghanistan, knew they'd make a comeback there, and Iraq. SKIP

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Salvage Sailor

As B229 wrote,

 

The M-14 was and is the standard rifle in USN shipboard armories around the globe. When the other services passed on the M-14 (for good operational reasons) the USN took up the slack as they needed an accurate powerful rifle for their needs at sea.

 

Photo: Just me and my M-14

 

US Navy 1979.jpg

sharkwatch.jpg

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