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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day, I was watching the news and I saw tape of a young solider using what I sure thought was an M-14 in Iraq.
It was a quick shot of it and it did have a scope on it.
Are they still in use for special purposes by the armed forces today?
 
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Yes. My unit has a few on hand for our snipers, though they don't really see much use. For a time, they were issued to Squad Designated Marksmen in some units, though they seem to have been pretty much supplanted by M16/M4 types with ACOGs or other magnifying optics. Snipers will eventually replace their M14/M21s with the XM110, the new 7.62mm semiauto sniper rifle.

Internet legends aside, the M14 is just an "okay" weapon. It is not as reliable as a lot of people imagine, it is hard to scope, and because the guns in the inventory are old, they tend to break more often than other guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Funny, I carried one for 4 years and never had much of a problem with reliability and I sure didn't have to clean it like we did the early M16s.
But I thought that was an M14 still in use. I have never seen one with a scope on it.
I even had use of the M14A1 for a time. Went through ammo too fast for my tastes, might as well have had the M60.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess it was all that rain in Viet Nam that kept the dust out.
A different time from what you have for sure.
 
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Mike -

You are a lot younger and more up-to-date than I am, but I found my issue M-14 to be a superb weapon.

And...scopes were not seen on them, in my time.

Doug
 
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The M14 I carried in Iraq worked just fine. I had no malfunctions or problems of any kind with it. The only things I replaced on it was the stock, scope and a three point sling. It was just as reliable as any of the M16s in the unit.
 
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cropper97E said:
The M14 I carried in Iraq worked just fine. I had no malfunctions or problems of any kind with it. The only things I replaced on it was the stock, scope and a three point sling. It was just as reliable as any of the M16s in the unit.
Maybe ours are just worn out. They are rather old. I agree that they are as reliable as an M16/M4, but I always see on the internet posts about how the M14 is so much more reliable than the M16 design. Not true, at least in the experiences of the guys in my unit here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And if you were old enough to had lived with the first issues that we were given you would not have said that.
The M-16s did have many problems in the beginning.
And they still don't have the long range of previous weapons.
 
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[/quote] I agree that they are as reliable as an M16/M4, but I always see on the internet posts about how the M14 is so much more reliable than the M16 design. Not true, at least in the experiences of the guys in my unit here.[/quote]

I don't think they're more reliable, but I've noticed that a lot of people think you don't need to clean an M14 as much as an M16 and vise versa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am not sure about the cleaning of subsequent M16s that were built after the first issues in the mid 1960s, but the early ones had to be cleaned regulary if you wanted them to work without jamming. Like I said before, they had to get better or we would have moved on to something else.
On the other hand, the M-14 had to be cleaned very infrequently in the same era and were not known for problems.
 
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I don't know how it is in Afgahnistan, but with the fine powder like sand in Iraq if you didn't clean any weapons system on a regular basis theres a good chance it was going to malfunction.
 

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The question was , and I quote:
"The other day, I was watching the news and I saw tape of a young solider using what I sure thought was an M-14 in Iraq.It was a quick shot of it and it did have a scope on it.
Are they still in use for special purposes by the armed forces today?"
Key wording "special purposes".
So the responce would be yes and here's an article to prove it.
A recent article in "American Rifleman"
 
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The long range potential of the M14 is pretty irrelevant in this kind of combat, as opposed to range shooting or WWI-style engagements. For example, a platoon of our guys just went on a long mission in the mountains here. They were in a total of fifteen engagements over the course of about a month. The closest was 30 meters, and the longest was 150. The M4 does fine at such ranges, and at the closer ranges is far superior to the M14 since it can be shot faster due to much less recoil and straight-line stock design, and has higher capacity and faster reloads. And this is in Afghanistan, where ranges are typically a bit longer than in Iraq.

As far as penetration, it's a double-edged sword here. Sometimes it is desirable, as when shooting a vehicle or guys hiding behind a mud wall. But when fighting in populated villages, too much penetration is a very bad thing. Accidentally whacking a guy's family members will send him right into the arms of the Taliban, and he will be the next suicide driver blowing up a HMMWV full of soldiers.

We issue the M14s solely to our snipers now, but they seldom use them. Mainly they stick with their M24s.

I know guys who served in Vietnam will always be distrustful of the M16 design, but it works fine now.
 

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keninaz said:
I am not sure about the cleaning of subsequent M16s that were built after the first issues in the mid 1960s, but the early ones had to be cleaned regulary if you wanted them to work without jamming. Like I said before, they had to get better or we would have moved on to something else.
On the other hand, the M-14 had to be cleaned very infrequently in the same era and were not known for problems.
When I taught marksmanship in 1972, I had to preface every rifle class with a statement about how McNamara's morons at the Pentagon had allowed the M-16 to be issued to troops without cleaning tools or supplies, and with instructions that they were "self cleaning". That issue was discovered and corrected within the first eighteen months of issue. M-16s have had chrome-lined barrels ever since late 1964 - early 1965. Around that time, it was also discovered that some of the powder used in the ammo was not well suited to the small diameter gas tube of the M-16 and caused obstruction.

Personally I love the M-14, but it had many problems in Viet Nam, not the least of which was bent barrels and gas cylinders. That, plus the troops could carry less than half the ammo with the M-14 in a "spray & pray" ground war.
 
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