I was issued an M-14 my entire time in the Army, 1968-71.
The link has two photos from Viet Nam.
The M14 rifle: What you didn't know about its history
By: Carol Schuster, Vietnam Magazine
In April 1958, the government-owned Springfield Armory in Massachusetts initiated production of the M14 rifle. The product of nearly 15 years of research and development, the new weapon could switch between semi-automatic and fully automatic modes to increase firepower. But production started slowly, and early operational experience identified problems.
The primary complaints were fragile receivers, malformed bolts, poor accuracy and instability during automatic fire. All of those problems but the last were fixed by better quality control, and the stability issue was addressed by limiting 90 percent of the rifles to semi-automatic mode. There were efforts to manufacture an M14 version that would serve as a rifle squad’s automatic weapon, including the specially designed M14A1, but they either failed or proved disappointing.
The M14’s gas-operating firing system was based on that of the M1. Also like the M1, the M14 stored a cleaning kit in the butt-trap. The rifle had a front blade sight and peep sight, the latter adjustable for windage and range in 100-meter increments out to 1,000 meters. The M14 could be used with an M2 bayonet and M76 rifle grenade launcher attachment. An M2 bipod could be installed on the ones with the automatic-fire mode.
The M14 was the standard infantry rifle for all Army and Marine units that deployed to Vietnam in 1965, but Defense Secretary Robert McNamara ended procurement in 1964, selecting the M16 as a replacement. By 1970, only a handful of M14s remained in Vietnam.
Flawed and designed for a war with the Soviet Union in Europe that never came, the M14 with its large 7.62 mm round was America’s last full-power, or “battle rifle,” before the age of “assault rifles,” such as the American M16 and Soviet AK-47. The M14 served as the standard infantry rifle for only seven years.
However, variants with improved accuracy entered service in the 1990s, and the rifle’s long-range striking power has made it the weapon of choice for many units in Afghanistan, where combat engagement ranges often exceed 300 meters and require rounds that can penetrate building walls—jobs not as well performed by the shorter-range, smaller-round (5.56 mm) M16 family.
The bottom line: the M14 rifle
Rounds: 7.62-by-51 mm ball, armor-piercing and tracer
Magazine: 20 rounds
Weight: 10.7 pounds loaded; 12 pounds with bipod
Overall length: 44.3 inches Barrel length: 22 inches
Maximum rate of fire: 750 rounds per minute
Effective rate (in combat): 60 rpm automatic; 40 rpm semi-automatic
Muzzle velocity: 850 meters (2,801 feet) per second
Maximum effective range: 460 meters (500 yards)
Thank you for posting; I trained with the M-14 only to be switched to the M-16 a couple of months after shipping out. Some 49 years later I still miss it.
Your right to swing your fist stops just short of the other person's nose...
An interesting side note, and I don't mean to disparage the M14, is that what is now the FN-FAL was the M14s competitor in Army test trials in the form of the T48. Although rejected in favor of the M14, it went on to be adopted by over 90 countries. Was retired from Dutch army use only three years ago and still used in Brazil.
Both are beautiful examples of slightly different approaches to a goal, and it's a shame the M14 didn't serve longer and in a greater capacity other than a current DMR.
Dei. Familia. Patria. Victoria.
Don't back up, don't back down.
When I was in the Navy we had M-14s on the boat. It seems that when subs were working around polar ice the polar bears would at times be a problem and the 5.56 was more of a nuisance to the bears rather than an effective deterrent. The M14 still had a role when I was in in the late 80s.
I've seen undated photos of sailors using M14s w/adapters to send rope or cable lines to/from supply ships.
|Fighting the good fight|
Still in use. M14 with Mk 87 line throwing kit.
Hear, hear! Though I prefer the mighty FAL; all hail the right arm of the free world!
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