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Opinion on the M14

9297 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  westpointranger
I haven't had a good debate for a couple of days, so I thought I'd stir one up. In S.E. Asia, I carried a variety of weapons, but my rifle of choice was the M14. When the mission didn't require sterile or specialty weapons, and when I wasn't on point (I ALWAYS carried an Ithaca 37 on point), the M14 was what I carried. I found the greater knockdown,, penetration, etc. offered by the 7.62 vs the 5.56 way more than compensated for the greater weight of weapon and ammo. While the M16 was easier to control on "rock and roll", I was able to lay down an intimidating base of fire with short burst from the M14. On semi-auto and for long shots, the M14 totally dominated the M16 for effectiveness. Has anyone else out there had experience with the M14 vs other weapons and whats your take on it?

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While I have no experience with either, I have to say this; I've always seen people who whine about the weight of 7.62mm ammo as pussies. Yes it weighs more, get over it. I'd choose the M14 over the M16 any day.
Yes that M16 is a pansie gun anyways, especially as a combat rifle. M14- good capacity (20 rounds), far better range, much more power, usually more accurate at farther ranges, doesn't foul up when you take it outside. We had it right with that one. Why the M16, again? Personally, I also think the Garand was a real nice combat rifle, although a tad low in capacity compared to a skinny communist with thirty rounds of 7.62x39 ammo in his AK. But if one of those eight rounds hit him, there would be no need for anything even resembling a second shot, as is almost requisite with the M16, which if you have not already surmised I think is a complete and total waste of time and a piece of s**t.

well i dont have an M14, i have shot an M1A before if taht counts heh
dont own an M-16 but 2 AR-15s
i would choose the M-16 cause its similar to what i have more experience with
as for a 'better' weapon i would say that 77gr SMK or open tip match in a 1:7 twist M-16 barrel would be plenty hard hitting at close ranges and at longer ranges not sure how the 7.62mm compares but if im not mistaken 7.62mm military ball ammo wont fragment, US Military M193 ammo fragments about 5" into flesh and will stop someone just as good at 100y or less the average distance of an engaguement
you can get off shots quicker on semi-auto fire than a more heavily recoiling M-14 but not by that much as the .308 is by no means a punishing round
but then you get to reliability which teh M-16 isnt going to let you down if you take care of it but still the M14 is the king of reliability i cant deny that
but for medium or longer ranges id rather have a 7.62mm M-14
either one wll do the job its more a personal preference than a clear cut this weapon is better
just wondering whats your thoughts on the new 6.8mm???
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This brings up a much larger issue for me...

How long with the US Armed forces continue to issue the 5.56 round used in the M16 & M4? I know the XM8 is being developed in this caliber but I cannot tell you how many people I haved talked to in combat would take a .308 or 7.62x39 round over the current POS load in use today.

My personal opinion is that any 30 cal load should be the standard infantry load for the US - even if this means using the stadard rifles operating with the 7.62x39 load. The XM8 should also include a 7.62x39 version as well and let the people who have to live and die with these loads to choose which one is best.
The 5.56mm round is made not because of stopping power, or superior distance ballistics. It's made to A) Wound opposed to kill (Takes two to move an injured soldier, takes 0 to deal with a corpse), B) Provide accurate fire OUT TO 600 meters, and C) Reduce the load of the Average soldier's equipment. As a General infantry round, it'll do the trick. While there are some people who are capable of coping with the Heavy load, it still doesn't change the fact that a 7.62mm round is unnecessary. The choice of experts is clearly the 7.62mm round, but the choice of effectiveness is the 5.56mm round, believe it or not.
A wounded enemy can often still shoot at you!! A dead one can't. The rationale supporting the 5.56 is quite honestly lost on me. I understand that it takes two men to carry one wounded, but this assumes that the enemy is going to tend their wounded during the heat of battle, and this does not always happen. As Patton said, "You don't win a war by dying for your country. You win it by making the OTHER poor, dumb SOB die for his!" I tend to agree with this attitude! So far as being able to carry more ammo, you better be able to carry more with the 5.56 because you're going to NEED more to do the same job. The fragmenting properties of the 5.56 are not always an asset either. I have had more than one occasion to praise the ability of the 7.62 to penetrate an obstacle to hit an enemy and end a threat. The 5.56 is incapable of this. I have also had the 7.62 penetrate one enemy and hit another. Two for one!!! To say that the 7.62 is the choice of experts, but the 5.56 is the choice of effectiveness is to say that the experts choose to be ineffective. I think I'd rethink that one. The 5.56 was the brainchild of REMFs that didn't have to live or die by their decision. I was fortunate enough not to have to play by the same rules as the line grunts and could carry the M14, but I am not sure I would still be here today if I had been forced to carry the M16. We would have done a HELL of a lot better equiping our line troops with AK47s instead of the M16 (or better yet, let them keep their M14s)! At least they won't jam at the slightest sign of dirt. The 7.62x39 is actually a pretty effective round too. Too bad McNamara didn't have Clinton's affinity for dealing with communist nations.

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One step further...

I don't think the arguement is to either stay with the M16 or go back to the M14. I own and operate both weapons and I would not choose the M16 for field combat and I would not choose the M14 for CQB. The Army and other branched have made it clear that the XM8 will likely be the next standard issue weapon replacing the M16. My only issue is the caliber being used.

Honestly, if they can produce the XM8 IN 7.62x39, then I think we would have a more effective weapon for the field and for CQB. I just wish somebody at the Pentagon would pull their heads out of their asses and make this change now before it is too late.

BTW, the argument about being able to carry more rounds with .223 is a joke. If it takes me two bullets to do the job of one, then of course I will need to carry more. I for one do not want a terrorist to be "wounded" so they can pull the pin on a grenade - one shot, one kill.
heh what about the new 6.8mm it looks like it would be an increace in lethality over the 5.56mm and 7.62*39mm and i hear its more accurate than the 5.56mm at longer ranges
also gives a bit better barrier penetration than the 5.56*45mm
there is a special upper receiver that can fit on the M-16
hear that some soldiers are using this in Afghanistan and Iraq
how would an XM8 be in that caliber?
I feel that, yes, the .223 rem is inadiquate as a military cartrige, and our forces would be better suited with a larger calibre such as 6.5TCU. Unfortunately, however, I feel that the .223rem will be a fact of life for our armed forces, XM8 or not. Politics and treaties have decided the fate for our standard calibre, not practcality, and all the arguing in every forum in the world isnt going to change that. [sigh] My $.02 is that, while the XM8 might be reliable, it looks like a toy. Take the plastic off, there are a lot of immature soldiers out there who need to realize it is a weapon, not a toy. Also, I feel that optics should be detachble on a rail.
I fear that GOCOLONEL is right. Politics will insure that the 5.56 is around for a long time to come. I also agree that the M14 was not perfect for CQB. It was, however, a lot better than many give it credit for and certainly better than the M16 IMHO. I'm fairly good-sized (6ft./195lbs. then and now) and I'm sure that this played a role in my ability to handle the M14 as well as the additional combat load, but I was not alone in my choice. We were allowed a fair amount of latitude in our weapon choices and the M14 was held in high esteem by many that I served with and the available examples were highly coveted (as were captured AKs, Ithaca 37s and even a lever-action .444). I'm not suggesting we return to the M14 as standard issue, although I think we could do worse. I just wanted to see how others felt it compared to other weapons they have used. I find it interesting that so many of you agree with me that the M16 and 5.56 are a poorly suited combination for REAL combat. A switch to a weapon chambered for the 7.62x39 would really be the most sensible compromise of all. Too bad no-one's listening.

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The XM8 optics are detachable on a rail. HK never misses a trick :)
I wonder what a selective-fire version of Springfield's new SOCOM-16 would perform like. I haven't been thrilled with the cast receivers on the late-model M1As, but this weapon with the forged receiver from the M14 would be very close to my ideal for an all-around combat rifle.

You're forgetting the redoubtable FN-FAL and it's variants (my personal favorite rifle of all time, bar none). The reliability, mag capacity, reliability, accuracy, reliability, ruggedness and reliability are at least that of the AK-47, and truth be told, it's as effective on semi auto as a Kalashnikov on full auto (damned thing about hitting what you're shooting at). In a carbine format, with a sufficient muzzle break, the weapon is sufficiently light, the recoil is totally controllable (on semi-auto), and the weapon will survive the wrath of God himself, even in the hands of marines (like the former Rhodesians, the Royal marines back in the Falklands, and about 72 other nations around the world).

The 5.56x45 round is truly frightening in CLOSE quarters battle and is, there a better choice, where any commonly available 7.62 round WILL kill innocents (if any are to be had in the particular combat zone) that it hits. Outside of that, it is a politically motivated excuse to get my friends still serving killed, for which the U.S. government is totally responsible. It's a disgrace.

Oh, and getting back on topic, the Springfield's M-21 is the next rifle I'm getting, for the COMBINATION of deadly accuracy, mag cap and reliability.
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I hadn't forgotten about the FN-FAL, I just haven't used it in combat. I do, however, have a fair amount of experience with it at the range and I think it is an outstanding weapon. The men that I have spoken with that have used it in combat have almost fanatical praise of its qualities. If I had to go into combat again today and was handed an FN-FAL to get the job done, I have utter confidence that the weapon would be up to the task. My choice of the M-14 is admittedly biased by sentiment, but I still consider it the finest all-around combat weapon I have ever carried. This having been said, I will concede that the FN-FAL is very probably the M-14's equal in every way. Good choice!!

On the AK-47, yes there is that small issue about not being able to hit what you aim at. This "quality" most probably has some bearing on my still being here today. It is still an excellent weapon for the "spray and pray" style of combat shooting (if there's lead in the air, there's hope). Since this was the method employed by the majority of our troops back in Vietnam, I will stand by my statement that our guys would have been better served by the harder hitting, more reliable AK than by the M-16 (average rounds fired per enemy killed in Vietnam: line grunts = 50,000 to 1, snipers = 1.3 to 1. Who says marksmanship doesn't count!)

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In my opinion, both sides of the argument are correct to a certain extent.

The .308 is really overkill for an assault rifle round. While the killing capacity is excelent, you still have to account for controllability and overall size and weight of the round. In addition to this, tests from WWI, WWII, and Korea showed that most combat kills were at ranges under 300 yds. While it is a good round for spec ops units, we have to look at this from an infantry standpoint.

On the other hand, the 5.56 NATO is ENTIRELY to small. Combat reports from Afghanistan have showed that after a few hundred yards, the killing capacity of the .223 is reduced to that of a .22 Mag (the range varies between the M16A2 and M4), which is totally unacceptable for a standard infantry round.

The 7.62x39 round is an adaquate CQB and urban combat round, but it falls short in respect of accuracy and overall performance.

I belive the answer is in the Barrett M468. The new 6.8 Rem. SPC cartridge has opened up a new horizen for the M16 and the M468 is under serious testing by various Spec Ops units. If the current trend is followed, and the M468 starts to see combat with SOCOMM, then it won't be long before it strts getting into the hands of grunts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, there are those who are unofficially pressing for the XM8 to be chambered for 6.8 SPC.
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