M-14 [Automatic Rifle]:

The M14 is nowadays considered to be one of the classic battle rifles. Concieved in the latter years of WWII to answer a call from airborne troops who wanted a weapon with lightness and select-fire capabilities of the M1 Carbine, but with the killing power of the M1 Garand Rifle, the M14 as it became known was beset by red tape and this constantly delayed its introducton. The rifle was finally taken into service in 1957, and it quickly became clear that the rifle did not actually meet the design specifications. The .308 NATO cartridge that had been designed for it was far too powerful to use for fully automatic fire, and the rifle was virtually uncontrollable in that mode. This was mainly the fault of the cartridge: It was supposed to be like the German "Kurz" round for their Sturmgewehr, but instead of truly designing a short cartridge of at best medium power, the US army paid mere lip service to the idea and took the .30-06 cartridge and made it .65 inch shorter, without lowering its power...

Although the M14 did not deliver its promises and was too heavy, it was very useful for use as a semi-automatic (sniper) rifle. Having been replaced by 1969 by the M16 as the standard military rifle, the M14 was still used for sniping and when longer range were essential. Even today the Navy Seals still use the rifle in certain combat missions, because they like the greater range that the M14 has over the M16.

Off course this is military history. The civilian versions of the rifle have become very popular indeed, and huge loads of these rifles are in use in the public life. One of the most popular carabines in America, the Ruger Mini-14 (listed separately), is essentially a smaller M-14 set up to fire the .223 Nato round, the kind of cartridge that the M-14 should have been designed around from the start.....

Many different versions of the M14 are available, some made in the US, some even made in China. With a moderate amount of work any of these weapons can produce great results indeed, and many marksmanship teams and police departments use the M-14 or its clones for very serious work indeed. A failure at its original goal, the M14 has nonetheless found a safe, solid and glorious place in Firearms history.

For more information about the troubled history of the M14, go here
The rifle is available with magazines that hold five, ten, twenty, or thirty rounds.

Weight: 8.7 lbs.(3.95 kg) (empty).
Caliber: 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester).
Barrel Length:22 inches (55.9 cm).
Overall Length:44.14 inches (112.1 cm).
Action:Gas Operated, Rotating Bolt.
Mode of Fire: Fully Automatic (Many have been converted Semi-Automatic Only / Civilian Versions are Semi-Automatic).
Range:1800 feet (539 meters).
Magazine:10, 20, or 30 rounds.
Cost: $1,200.
Made in: USA (Other Nations as well including China).
Special: Powerful and long range combat rifle although very hard to control on fully automatic. Many civilian semi-automatic versions exist at a variety of price range. The rifle is available with wood, laminate, fiberglass, and sythetic stocks.

[ M-14, Mini-14, Ruger, and Winchester are copyright of their respective owners. ]

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa ) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 1999, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.