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Old 10-05-2016, 07:42 PM
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Default What's your experience with the M-14

In 1968, as a result of the draft, I found myself in Basic Training @ Ft. Jackson, S.C. It is there that I first encountered the M-14. It's been a long time since but here's what I remember of that training & experience.
The rifle was heavy, especially since we had to force march with it with full backpacks and steel helmets (this was in the S.C. summer). There was no rubber butt plate...just a steel one that let your shoulder know it, after a day at the range. We fired it from various positions: including the prone, seated, standing and the squat. I remember that at the prone position the man-sized targets were far away...I think 300 yards. You could barely see it but you did eventually hit it. No scopes.
The most difficult position by far was the squatting one. I don't remember the distance but I do remember it was difficult to maintain a steady hold.

I've had a dozen or so rifles since then but can say if I were limited to 1 rifle I would choose the M14, perhaps because of my familiarity with it and what I learned it can do.

Of all the things I encountered during Basic, grenade throwing & shooting the M-14 were the most fun.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:03 PM
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I used a match conditioned M-14 in the Far Eastern Division matches. Later on Sea Duty, we had the M-14 in the USMC armory for ceremonial duties, and used the Navy ones on occasionally during security alerts. Plus we trained the Navy in it's use and Fam Fire.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:33 PM
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I used mine on guard duty on bunker line. 67-68 But going any place or in back seat of bird dog. I had a M-1 carbine 2nd tour 71-72 I had a M-16 but still had a Carbine for flying .
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:35 PM
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Basic at Ft. Knox April 1966. Heavy to hump but hit hard and was very accurate. First big rifle I ever shot,big step up from the .22 single shot I learned on. Have an M1A and still one of my favorites. The military had to bring some back for longer range use in Afghanistan I believe. Had M16's after basic,good rifles but don't have the punch of a 7.62 for sure.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:35 PM
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M-14 was my rifle for 3 years. Great battle rifle, and capable of superb accuracy. Never thought of it as "heavy", because the closest comparison I had then was to an M1. Doubt if I could carry one around now for very long, but 50 years ago it was a piece of cake.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:33 PM
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M-14 qualification on KD range:
100 yards - standing off-hand
200 yards - kneeling or squatting
300 yards - sitting
500 yards - prone
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:00 PM
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In 1968, we trained and qualified in basic with the M14. Two weeks prior to graduation, a "lucky" few were selected for a day of special training with the M16. At that point, they knew where they were headed after training.....Viet Nam baby, Viet Nam.

Basic was the last time I touched an M14. After 6 months of basic, AIT, and jump school, I returned to my NG unit. They had transitioned to M16s. So I was trained on a rifle I would never use, and issued a rifle I was never trained on. I did get to shoot an M1 at the range with my NG unit before I went to basic tho.

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Old 10-05-2016, 11:01 PM
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The M14 was my service rifle, starting at Ft Jackson in Jun, Jul, Aug 1964. I qualified expert with a very worn rifle on a rainy day where we couldn't see any silhouette targets beyond 250 meters. I found a got a very comfortable, consistent spot weld with the iron sights, and when I was later issued a new rifle, it was easy hitting silhouettes with it. After basic, I hit 87 out of 90 targets on a pop-up silhouette course with one to three targets at a time popping up randomly anywhere from 50 to 350 meters. Anywhere within 250 meters, getting a hit was a piece of cake. The silhouettes at 350 were quite a bit more difficult, because with a neck hold, the broad standard front sight covered the silhouette.

I found the recoil and noise not bad at all, an advantage of its 22" barrel and the 9.5 lb empty weight. The rifle gave me confidence that if I could see it, I could hit it. I loved it, and if 308 ammo weren't so expensive, and the rifle now seeming big and too heavy for my arthritic bones, I'd have an M1A with iron sights to blast away every trip to the range.
I also had a chance to qualify with an M1 Garand, M1 carbine and M-16, and in those days, I preferred the M-14 of the four rifles based on range shooting. If i had to hump a ruck and engage in close combat, I think I'd have chosen the M1 carbine at that time. I'd heard about the early M-16 powder jamming problems, but never experienced it.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:40 AM
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Marine Boot camp in '71. Qualified high Sharpshooter, (didn't get the coveted Expert badge, darnit). Standing 200 meters slow fire (10 rnds, I believe), then standing to sitting 2 mags, 5 rnds each in 1 minute. Then 300 sitting, 10 rnds slow fire. Then standing to prone 5 and 5 in 1 minute. Than back to the 500 for 10 rnds, prone.
Those Primary Marksmanship Instructors taught this young country boy how to shoot.
We were taught a cheek weld that had your cheek bone touching the knuckle on your thumb. Got pretty sore.
Then my second qual was at Ewa Beach Range on Oahu. I was stationed at Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor. Again, high sharp-shooter.
Next year we learned all about the M-16. Shot Expert every year after that.
I have 2 M1as, now. LOL.
Great rifle.

Last edited by Dennis; 10-06-2016 at 01:41 AM. Reason: missed word
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:57 AM
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Did basic at Knox with M16, in first couple basic cycles to train
with it. Went to Bliss for AIT, Auto Weapon MOS. we did all our
shooting up at White Sands. We were trained on M14 as well as
other small arms there. Two things I remember for M14 stories:
We had a instructor put a 14 on his forehead and nose and fire
it. I think it gave him some discomfort, but it was his little trick
to show the recoil wasn't that bad. To me it wasn't bad, but I
started deer hunting at 12, with a old Rem 8, .35cal. Well we
we're getting stuck with pulling guard duty at White Sands on
weekends. One married guy that lived off post bought a 788 Rem
308. So he could get all the free ammo he needed. He snuck it
out on guard duty to play with. He was complaining about the
recoil, when one idiot with us said he was a candy... He would
shoot it off his head and nose. It almost knocked him out, mashed his nose across his face. The other tidbit was shooting
the 14 at the 400yd pop ups. At White Sands it was a little windy
enough that with a 16 you had to hold off the target to hit, with
14 you just held on edge to wind and squeezed off for a hit. When I got to RVn I didn't see many 14s, every one was issued
16s by 1970. There were still a lot of M1&M2 carbines and M3s
floating around at this time.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:13 AM
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I trained with the M-14 in USMC boot camp, and shot it on the rifle range in 1968.
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:19 AM
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Training on the M-14 in the Navy was my first real rifle experience (mostly a revolver shooter before that). I found it very easy to shoot accurately at slow-to-moderate rates of fire. At a competition with U.K. forces, the speed with which the better teams could shoot their scoped SA80's completely blew us out of the water on the faster events (out to 300 metres, as well!). I assume the current U.S. M-4s would be similar. Still, it was a good rifle in its time, and may hang on as a Designated Marksman platform for awhile.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:23 AM
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What fun to do IDR! The M-14 was the first rifle I ever saw with a plastic, or was it fiberglass, stock so at first it seemed a light weight. On field stripping it always seemed some unlucky guy would let that heavy recoil spring go flying.
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:31 PM
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Went trough Basic at Leonard Wood in the Summer of 69 with the 14. Then on to MP school at Ft Gordon and still the 14. I don't remember that we fired the 14 much, if at all there. When 20 of us got out orders for RVN we spent a few hours on the range firing the 16 on full auto. Now that was fun. I saw a few 14's while in RVN. I wish I had one now.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:06 PM
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I trained with M14 at Ft. Knox may-June 1965. A buddy enlisted in 1964 for Army OCS and trained M14, went to artillery school and then Nam. When he arrived cadre gave him an M16 and one full mag to empty and he was ready for the bush.

I ended up at a small fort in USA where we qualled with M1 Carbines. I had never seen one and thought they were toy guns. We shot prone at little teeny targets. I think we all made expert.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max View Post
Went trough Basic at Leonard Wood in the Summer of 69 with the 14.
Max, we definitely crossed paths - I was at Fort Leonard Wood from the July 4th weekend through the end of August, 1969.

As for the M-14.....

It's easier to quote - I'll use Max's words and add some of my own:

In 1969, as a result of joining the USAR, I found myself in Basic Training @ Ft. Leonard Wood,
MO. It is there that I first encountered the M-14. It's been a long time since but here's what I
remember of that training & experience.

The rifle was heavy, especially since we had to force march with it with full backpacks and
steel helmets (this was in the Missouri in the summer).

On the other hand, I really only recall the weight on long marches - otherwise, I so loved that weapon its weight didn't bother me


There was no rubber butt plate...just a steel one that let your shoulder know it, after a day at
the range. We fired it from various positions: including the prone, seated, standing and the
squat. I remember that at the prone position the man-sized targets were far away...I think 300
yards.

I recall having no problem hitting 300 and 350 yard targets once I got the hang of the M-14.

I cannot recall a squatting position.


I've had a dozen or so rifles since then but can say if I were limited to 1 rifle I would choose the
M14, perhaps because of my familiarity with it and what I learned it can do.

I agree - my first personal rifle was a Remington 788 in .308 and I still have that one. It's my go to hunting rifle. But after many years I did acquire a Springfield M1A. It's still wonderful and since full auto was dumb with an M-14 the M1A is just my idea of the perfect rifle.

Of all the things I encountered during Basic, grenade throwing & shooting the M-14 were the most fun.

Grenades didn't do much for me but I LOVED shooting the M-14.

One more thing - I loved the rifle drills and got really good with the M14 - I couldn't spin it in the air like the professionals do but I sure could run it from one side to the other and back again in rapid, fluid form!

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Old 10-06-2016, 08:01 PM
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I entered the service on 17 July. You were a hardened vet by then.
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:19 PM
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As a Marine midshipman in a Navy/Marine ROTC unit, I drilled with an '03A3. Our rifles had the front sights removed and the ends of the firing pins had been ground off. When we had field exercises, we borrowed M-14s from the Army ROTC.

About 10 years ago I bought a Springfield Amory SOCOM.
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:20 PM
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I carried a semi auto only version of the M-14 with the MT Hwy Patrol as a Patrol Rifle for a dozen yrs or more. I ALWAYS liked the idea of that guy sitting in the trunk, should I ever truly need some LR fire power.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:49 PM
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In 69 I trained with the M14 in boot camp. We were suppose to train on the m16, but after 80 guys locked and loaded the auto's for a 3 shot burst, range officer spotted some deer hunters directly down range. The call out helicopters to find them, but never did, so we went back to the barracks. First and last time I ever touched a M16.

That M14 was a nose buster.

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Old 10-06-2016, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REM 3200 View Post
M-14 qualification on KD range:
100 yards - standing off-hand
200 yards - kneeling or squatting
300 yards - sitting
500 yards - prone

I COMPLETED MY BASIC TRAINING @ FT. DIX, NJ--"THE HOME OF THE ULTIMATE WEAPON--THE INFANTRYMAN", IN THE WINTER OF 1964-1965......

I TRAINED AND QUALIFIED WITH THE M-14. I LEARNED TO SHOOT IN ALL 4 POSITIONS @ 300 YARDS, BUT I NEVER FIRED THE WEAPON @ 500 YARDS. PERHAPS IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE BRUTAL WINTER CONDITIONS THAT YEAR, WHICH REQUIRED US TRAINEES TO SHOVEL OUT THE FIRING POSITIONS ON THE RANGE, BEFORE WE COULD COMMENCE, EACH DAY. THE TARGETS AT 500YARDS MAY HAVE BEEN OBSCURED BY SNOW. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE TERM "KD RANGE" REFERS TO....

I FIRED THE M-14, A BIT, IN VIETNAM. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FIRE IT ON FULL AUTO. I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT ON FULL AUTO, IT WAS JUST AN AMMO BURNER. IT QUICKLY CLIMBED OFF TARGET, AND WAS REALLY UNCONTROLLABLE IN THAT MODE OF FIRE........

MY ISSUED WEAPON IN VIETNAM, WAS THE M-16A1, WHICH I LIKED MUCH BETTER......
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:51 PM
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Qualified expert at the Ft. Bragg course by one hit. Loved that rifle. Enjoyed shooting the 300 yard pop ups with it. Had them in Nam' for a short time, but then they took them and gave us the junk.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:38 AM
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" I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE TERM "KD RANGE" REFERS TO...."

Known distance range.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:49 AM
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We had them on both of the ships I was stationed on and they were still in use in 1986 when I got out. We qualified with them and they were issued as part of our ship's security force.
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
" I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE TERM "KD RANGE" REFERS TO...."

Known distance range.
THANKS FOR THE EXPLANATION, Muely Gil. I HAVE NEVER HEARD THAT TERM BEFORE.......
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
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I entered the service on 17 July. You were a hardened vet by then.
HAHAHA!!!! Oh, yessireebob, I was hardened all right!!!! Had all the cadence memorized, anyway......

Quote:
We had them on both of the ships I was stationed on and they were still in use in 1986 when I got out. We qualified with them and they were issued as part of our ship's security force.
My last ship duty was in 2003. Ship's security still used M-14s at the time. I bet they still do. Shore security might be engaged in CQB but, as a rule, ship's security is shooting from the deck - they need longer range accuracy and - think USS Cole - they might have to sink something. 5.56 NATO versus 7.62 NATO is an easy decision for these purposes. Ship's Captain selecting .30 caliber every time would never surprise me.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:26 PM
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We had the M-1 when I joined the Army in 60. We were issued the M-14 in Germany right after the "Wall" went up in Aug 61 as I recall. It felt a lot lighter than the M-1 but really is only a # lighter. Luckily, I got to be a jeep driver for a Captain and got issued the M-1 carbine instead. I did enjoy shooting the M14 though. Still got my Expert badge from it.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:41 PM
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I have never served in the armed forces... but I had an opportunity to fire one full auto once... was at a machine gun shoot and the local sheriff brought the troops squad weapon... I love M1A NM and had brought plenty of ammo... so he allowed me to shoot it with my mags and ammo... it was wonderful... not the beast everyone made it out to be... I found it controllable with 3-4 shot bursts... ripping a full mag does take some effort to keep it on the burm... but not impossible... but I am 6'-1"+ and 250... so it has a lot to push against... liked it more than the FN Fal... that is a brute...
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:44 PM
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Backlighting, I volunteered for the draft in 1968 and went to Ft. Lewis Washington for Basic. Prior to Basic, I don't think I'd ever even seen an M-14 up close. I trained with the M-14, qualified Expert with it. At the time I thought that if I could have just one rifle to protect my life, it would be the M-14. Later qualified Expert with the M-16 too, but it was easier for me to get long range hits with the M-14. The Army, wisely, never allowed me to shoot the M-14 on full-auto. I'd heard the M-14 was difficult too control in full-auto fire. Later got to shoot a friend's papered M1A full-auto. Thought I would be able to control it pretty well in full auto. I was wrong! After repeated tries, by about round #5 the muzzle was well on it's way up the large hill that was our backstop
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:30 PM
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USMC Boot Camp Parris Island 1970 qualified with the M-14, Sharpshooter. It was the first center fire rifle and the best semi-automatic rifle I ever fired.

A few months later I was issued a M-14 when assigned to a rifle company guarding the fence line in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. All of the M-16's were being put to good use in Vietnam; besides, the open terrain of Gitmo was suitable for the M-14.

Bought a Ruger Mini-30 in 1999 because it resembled a M-14, and I still hunt with it today.
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:09 PM
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Thank all of you who served our country! It is impressive to read the posts of so many who served and used the M14.

I never had the honor or privilege of serving in the armed forces but, I did shoot the M14 and M1A in high power competition for twenty years. The M14's were issued to our state association and were all match rifles with the selector switch removed and replaced by a nonfunctional knob. I was issued one when I made the state team.

My M1A was match conditioned with a heavy barrel and the oversized stock. The fit and feel of the standard issue stock was "handier" but, the ability of the oversized stock to absorb recoil and provide a rock solid cheek weld was a big plus.

With "white box" match the rifles were capable of 1 to 1.5 MOA groups at 200 yards. Hand loads, using 168gr. match bullets, would produce smaller groups. Clean scores are possible at 200, 300 and 600 yards with the right loads and bullet weights. The 175gr. match bullets and other VLD bullets can further enhance performance.

Magazines can be a problem to obtain due to cost but, they are available and Pmags, I think, are available. The M14 platform has changed for the military and they are primarily scoped for designated squad marksman. The "new" platforms are reliable and extremely accurate.

You have to "learn" how to shoot the M1A but, the effort is worth the reward. Unless I was going to shoot competition, I would probably opt for the scout model. Even with the shorter barrel, don't discount the long range potential with the right load and optic.

Lock and load!
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:16 AM
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The fundamental purpose of full-auto fire is to increase the probability of hits on moving targets or at extended ranges.

The standard M14 service rifle proved to be unsuitable for full-auto use. Standard barrels overheated very quickly causing the rifle to become unusable. Recoil of the 7.62X51 made control very difficult in full-auto mode, even when used with the standard detachable bipod.

Every standard M14 I used in the Army had the selector switch removed, allowing only semi-auto mode. Focus of all training was controlled and accurate firing, as well as conserving ammunition in combat (7.62X51 ammo is HEAVY and the magazines are bulky, so each soldier can carry only so much; typically 5 magazines of 20 rounds each).

Basic training (also at Ft. Jackson, SC) in 1968. My rifle was manufactured by TRW (satellite company in California), very heavily worn from countless cycles of trainees constantly disassembling, reassembling, humping, and rifle training. When held in one hand and shaken it sounded like a steel bucket full of nickels. But on the rifle range it performed perfectly every time. Qualification course was 82 pop-up silhouette targets at ranges from 75 to 360 meters, timed exposure of the targets depended on range (most in the 5 to 10 seconds range, with a target presented and not engaged counting as a miss), with 84 rounds allowed. My rifle produced a perfect score, providing me with the Expert Marksman badge, a 3-day pass, and the post rifle trophy for our Day Room display (along with huge bragging rights for my Drill Sergeant).

Later, during infantry AIT, we trained on the M14E2, specifically designed for use as an automatic rifle. Heavier barrel, full pistol grip stock, built-in steel bipod, modified flash suppressor (about 15 lbs IIRC). Always used from supported positions (foxhole, breastwork, prone). Emphasis was on controlled 3-round bursts, requiring concentration on the trigger. Training targets included multiple man-size silhouettes, old vehicles, various suspended moving targets, all primarily at extended ranges (300 to 500 meters). Qualified with the M14E2, then never saw another one in actual issue or use; all of the infantry units I served in or observed had the M60 light machineguns by that time so the M14E2 was pretty much superfluous.

Got to Vietnam in 1969. By that time much of the turmoil of the early M16's had been experienced and the M16A1 was pretty much standardized. There were still a few M14's on hand, usually reserved for senior NCO's who had grown up with M1's and had a lot of experience with the M14's. I was eventually able to trade for one from a ARVN source known to our Vietnamese interpreter, and when I left I had no difficulty finding a new home for that rifle.

For shooting (especially at longer ranges) or for static defense I would choose the M14 any day. For patrol or fluid combat situations my nod goes to the M16A1.

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Old 10-08-2016, 08:47 AM
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My experience with the M14 is limited, but I always thought it was a sweet shooting rifle in relation to its caliber and weight. I never had to "hump" with one, as I attended basic in 1981 with the M16A1. The M16/M4 is the system I'm most comfortable with. Those of you who started with the M14 echo the same sentiments of just about every vet I've ever talked to in respect to the era they served and the rifles they trained with. A friend of mine, who also went through basic in the late 60s had similar regard for the M14, and finally fell into a sweet deal on an M1A National Match.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:40 AM
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Basic training, Ft. Knox, Spring 1969. Qualified expert with my M-14. If I could see the target, I could hit it. I've got a soft spot for the 14, always will. That said, I'm glad I didn't have to hump it in-country. Fast forward to now. I'd love to have a Springfield M1A. Sadly, it's above my pay grade. I just have to muddle thru with my M1 Garand.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:08 AM
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My experience with a M14. Got to hold one for a couple minuets when I was at boot camp at Great Lakes in the 60s.

With that said the M14 and the BAR are on my bucket list of "got to shoot". Living in the peoples republic of NY that aint going to happen here. When we travel out of state I have shot a bunch of Full Auto guns.

I really want to try a BAR, but would not be disappointing to get my hands on a M14 in its place.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:45 AM
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I was not in the Armed Forces. Did shoot an M1A in NRA Highpower
Rifle Matches for a few years. Started out with a bolt rifle, moved to an M1, experimented with an M1 Carbine, and an AR as well. Did best with the M1A. Found it easy to make accurate reloads for it too.

At a MG shoot in Minnesota I got to shoot an M14. Since I'd shot a fair
amount of full auto by then (some at the Second Chance Bowling Pin
Shoot), I found it fairly easy to control off the bipod, as long as I shot 3-4
shot bursts. One of my favorite full autos to shoot although I only got
one chance to do so.
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:09 PM
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My Uncle Charlie was in the U.S. Army from 1964-1967 and his service rifle was the M14 and he had great admiration for that rifle.
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:32 PM
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US Marine Corps Recruit Depot, summer 1963. My M14 rusted on one end while I oiled the other end. Shot Marksman due to the weird shooting positions they demanded. Once out in the real world at Camp Lejeune, NC, I qualified Expert, scoring almost perfectly at 500 yards, as I was allowed to shoot in more comfortable positions. When a lieutenant range officer did complain about my prone position, my corporal range coach told him, "When you can shoot half as good as he can, you can tell him how to shoot. Until then, get the (deleted) off my range!" ...whereupon said lieutenant quickly and silently departed. I never saw or heard anything like that ever again during my enlistment. As much as I liked the M14, as a 2533 Radiotelegraph Operator, my TOE weapon was a 1911 that was much lighter to hump on our every Monday morning, full pack, force march that Colonel Gately imposed on everyone in Headquarters Battalion, Second Marine Division, as a highly effective deterrent to weekend alcohol consumption. He was a genius; his highly rapid force marches were tough on all of us but were killers to hungover Marines. I believe Colonel Gately could even straighten out Obamacare singlehandedly.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:45 AM
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I never served in the military, my sincere thanks to those who did.

Anybody know where the line, "Some of the best days of my life were spent with an M-14 in my hands..." came from?

I always wanted an M-14-type rifle, but the only quality civilian option at the time was the S.A., Inc. M-1A, which was usually too pricey for a young handgunner. (Why are handgunners usually poor while shotgunners seem to be so rich?)

The Utah Highway Patrol got about 200 surplus M-14's from the Army/law enforcement assistance program. I shot the one issued to a good friend and was greatly impressed. Handling an M-14 instills one with the feeling that, yes, by gosh, THIS is a real RIFLE!

I wanted a .308 battle rifle badly and, still poor, built a couple of FALs from newly made semiauto receivers and parts kits from disassembled selective fire FALs and L1A1's. Great rifles, I love them dearly, but the M-14 has far, far better sights and those sights are all attached to one, non-moving assembly while the FAL design has one sight each on two different assemblies just hinged together.

Eventually I bought an S.A., Inc. M-1A Super Match in a McMillain stock with the heavy barrel and the other goodies. Too heavy for me for a field shooter, and I traded it off. I now have an M-14 clone built by a well-known Camp Perry military rifle builder marked SMITH, LTD. Looks like all NOS USGI parts from TRW, I think. Again, holding it gives me that "Now, THIS is a RIFLE!" feeling.

I am about to thin my herd down and will probably just keep a couple of FALs, and put the Smith, LTD on the market.

If laws permitted it everywhere, a man could go through life with an M-14 as his only centerfire rifle and do just fine.
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:12 AM
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The M-14 is my favorite rifle to shoot in the field. While it may not be as mechanically accurate as some of my other rifles, it just seems easier to "hit" with. I've shot high-power matches and hunted with mine, killing elk, deer, coyotes and even a wolf.
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:33 AM
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I too met the M-14 in 1967, basic training at Ft. Jackson SC. I was issued an M-14 for most of my tour in South Vietnam which followed beginning October of 1967.

I was very confident with that rifle but as others have said, the gun was useless in full auto unless shooting holes in the air counted for something.

Frankly, I'd like to own the civilian version of the rifle but it is an expensive toy and the nearest hundred-yard range is a 90-minute drive for me.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:07 AM
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I just remembered something (At least I think I did) about why the Military switched to the M-14. As I recall, we were told it was because they wanted to have the same round as the other NATO forces, the 7.62mm. Remember the Cold War was hitting it's peak then and everybody thought we were going to have trouble with Russia. Then of course Vietnam came up and changed everything.
Another memory as I type this. I was stationed in Germany from 60 - 63 and sometime around the Fall of 62, there was a paper on the barracks bulletin board saying "Re-up and get a $2000 dollar bonus and learn to fly a helicopter" it went on to say that flying the chopper was just to transport "advisors" in Vietnam. I don't think anybody took them up on the offer. Little did we know what was about to happen.

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Old 10-09-2016, 12:35 PM
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When I was in High School, ROTC was a required course for all boys. Two years was mandatory with the third year optional. I had made the rifle team and thus took the third year.
The first two years our drill rifles were the M1 Garand. The third year we switched to M-14s. Although we never got to shoot them, we did develop a great love and respect for these fine weapons.
In 1972 I graduated high school and joined the Army. In basic at Ft. Leonard Wood I was issued a M-16A1. I disliked it from the first time I laid my hands on one. I do admit that they were very accurate and easy to shoot. But that was only when you could get the damned thing to work.
Over the next three years I was issued several different M-16A1s and none of them was ever truly reliable. I both experienced and witnessed far to many malfunctions to ever trust those things.
As a driver of a tracked vehicle I was supposed to have a 1911. However, we didn't have enough to go around. One of my best days in the service was the day the armorer took away my M-16 and issued me an old M-3A1 Grease Gun. Now that was a weapon I could trust.

Fast forward to 1999. The Y2K scare was in full bloom and it occurred to me that I didn't own a semi-auto centerfire rifle of any kind and this might be a good time to get one. I went to a gun show. I remember standing in front of a table with an AR-15 in my hands and money in my pocket. But I just couldn't do it. My distrust for the platform ran too deep.
A little while later I came across a guy walking around with a Federal Ordnance M-14A for sale. I bought it and never looked back.
Since then I've added a Springfield Scout/Squad and a Soccom 16 to the safe. These are rifles you can believe in.
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post

My last ship duty was in 2003. Ship's security still used M-14s at the time. I bet they still do. Shore security might be engaged in CQB but, as a rule, ship's security is shooting from the deck - they need longer range accuracy and - think USS Cole - they might have to sink something. 5.56 NATO versus 7.62 NATO is an easy decision for these purposes. Ship's Captain selecting .30 caliber every time would never surprise me.
I wouldn't be surprised. We were also still using the M60 and the M79 back then. Those have probably been replaced since I got out though without an
M16 of some type to mount an M203 the M79 might still be serving onboard ship.

When I was on shore duty we used the M14 for funeral details to render salutes so they weren't just relegated to shipborne armories.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:22 PM
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Default Basic Training at Ft. Polk,LA in August with the M-14

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Originally Posted by Backlighting View Post
In 1968, as a result of the draft, I found myself in Basic Training @ Ft. Jackson, S.C. It is there that I first encountered the M-14. It's been a long time since but here's what I remember of that training & experience.
The rifle was heavy, especially since we had to force march with it with full backpacks and steel helmets (this was in the S.C. summer). There was no rubber butt plate...just a steel one that let your shoulder know it, after a day at the range. We fired it from various positions: including the prone, seated, standing and the squat. I remember that at the prone position the man-sized targets were far away...I think 300 yards. You could barely see it but you did eventually hit it. No scopes.
The most difficult position by far was the squatting one. I don't remember the distance but I do remember it was difficult to maintain a steady hold.

I've had a dozen or so rifles since then but can say if I were limited to 1 rifle I would choose the M14, perhaps because of my familiarity with it and what I learned it can do.

Of all the things I encountered during Basic, grenade throwing & shooting the M-14 were the most fun.
Backlighting, I can relate! Basic training, Fort Polk, LA, August and September, 1969. Carrying the M-14 in Central Louisiana 7 miles each way, full pack and kit, and steel helmet. Our DIs loved to double time 100, quick time 100 both ways.

The 9 pound weight helped absorb recoil, but I do remember the pounding we would take from that metal butt plate. The aperture front sight was surprisingly effective out to 300 meters. If I remember correctly, it was a course of fire from 50 to 300 meters, from standing, kneeling, and prone, slow-fire and rapid-fire.

I qualified expert on the M-14 at Ft. Polk in late August or early Sept. and also qualified expert o. The M-16 at Fort Rucker, AL in the Spring of 1969 during advanced helicopter training. The M-14 was the best, most reliable, and most fun weapon I trained with untiltraining at Fort Polk on UH1C gunships. The mini-gun and 2.75 inch rockets were awesome, but nothing beat the 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. It had a hand held, articulated aiming system used by the pilot in the left seat. The 40 mm grenades were visible in flight, and the control srstem made it easy to "walk" the rounds on target by the 3rd or 4th rounds , even while the aircraft commander was flying the aircraft down the range at 120 knots. On the range, we were able to put rounds through the windshield or side window during full speed runs, usually by the 5th or six rounds. The nose turret mounted grenade launcher "chunked" rounds at 150 rounds per minute.

And then I made the brilliant decision to fly unarmed medivac for my combat tour in Vietnam.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:25 PM
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I'm new to the m14, I picked up a Chinese norinco m14s clone. It appears that it was never shot, I purchased every 308 headspace gauge offered even the 308 NATO set. So I could check it and stay on top of it. I heard the headspace problems can occur with any m14 no matter who made it.
Now upon my inspection I noticed the trigger assembly is numbered. That's a usgi trigger assembly I been told. The Chinese had some usgi surplus parts. Now it had a loose op rod guide block. I removed the pin and using loctite 620 for cylinderical parts I loctite the op rod guide block inplace. I read that's all we do. I went up one size in the dowel pin and reamed the hole and drove the pin in. I staked it like the orginal. I spared no swings of the hammer. The loctite didn't budg while driving the pin in. The headspace is on the lower 308 NATO setting, installed the nm op rod spring guide with the wolf op rod spring. I went to add the metric larger mag release lever and found out it's in inch size(pin/bore).

No I need to test fire it and sight her in.
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:13 PM
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My experience with the M14 followed my experience with the M1, which I trained on in boot camp at Paris Island, SC. When in Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Lejune NC after PI was issued a M14. Had an M14 during my first two tours in Nam. Third tour was in Reconnso had a M3 and 1911.

To the OP: if you think long long marches in SC in the summer were bad you would have been shocked Nam where it is hot in the winter and damn near unbearable in the summer. How about raining ever day for a couple months not going in a long range patrol with 75 ponds of gear on your back and another 15 pounds in a rifle bayonet, water, etc.

But all that was bearable. It was the damn leaches that sucked onto you in the swamps, rice paddies, and other water. I'd take SC any day any time of year.

Oh forgot. The M14 was a good rifle. Reliable, high powered, easy to stop and clean. It just worked unlike the early M16s. Onlynpeoblem was the retainer tabsmon the magazines. If they get bent feed problems ensured. That was true of the M16 as well. Yes u might have seen war movies where GIs tap their magazines against there helmets. That was assure the tabs were properly positioned.

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Old 07-15-2017, 10:41 PM
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Fort Benning to Fort Lewis to the adventure paradise of VN....loved that rifle...66-67.

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Old 07-15-2017, 11:13 PM
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I started out on the M-14 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California in 1968 . I think it was one of the finest battle rifles ever designed. With a 20 round magazine of powerful 7.62 Nato, it was a weapon of mass destruction. It was heavy compared to the much lighter M-16,however you only needed to shoot things once to put them down. I shot expert with the rifle and it will always have a special place in my memories.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:08 PM
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The m14 is heavy now that I'm older. The Russian saiga in 308 is much lighter and accurate. Plus it's $289 price tag was hard to beat. I never seen a gun spit out rounds like an Russian ak.

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