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M14 Rifle

  • FSN
  • 1005-589-1271
Development of the M14 Rifle began in 1944 when Army Ground Forces identified the need for a weapon of the M1 Garand's size and weight that was capable of both automatic and semi-automatic fire. After years of research and testing by the Springfield Armory, the resulting rifle fired the NATO 7.62mm cartridge and was fed by a 20-round magazine, which was a considerable improvement on the 8-round clip of the 0.30 caliber M1. It was also equipped with a chrome-lined barrel and chamber to resist corrosion, a prong type flash suppressor, and could accommodate the M6 bayonet. Adopted by the U.S. military in 1957, the M14 replaced not only the M1 Garand, but also the M2 Carbine and M3A1 submachine gun, simplifying both training and logistical procedures.1

Though generally regarded as reliable and accurate, the M14 did suffer from excessive recoil when fired in automatic mode. Consequently, the majority of rifles were issued with a selector shaft lock that ensured that only semi-automatic fire could be employed.2

The M14 was the primary U.S. infantry weapon in Vietnam until it was replaced by the shorter and lighter M16 rifle from 1966. However, the M14 was still being used by some Army and Marine Corps units as late as 1968.

General Data
  • Weight (with sling and loaded 20rd magazine)
  • 10.1 lb
  • Length (including flash suppressor)
  • 44.3 in
  • Barrel
  • 22 in
  • Rifling
  • 1 turn in 12 inches
  • Ammunition Caliber
  • 7.62mm
  • Muzzle velocity
  • 2,800 fps
  • Cyclic rate of fire
  • 700 / 750 rpm
  • Maximum Effective Range
  • 460 meters

Notes:
1. M14 Rifle Cost Analysis Report (U.S. Army Material Command October 1968)
2. M14 Rifle History and Development by Lee Emerson (13 Jan 2006)

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