M14 Rifle

The M14 is a gas-operated, automatic assault rifle, chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. Introduced in 1959, it became the US Army and Marine Corps’ standard infantry weapon, which replaced the M1 Garand. It was first used in battle in 1962 in Vietnam. Although it was replaced by the M16 rifle in 1970, the M14 is still in service with US Special Forces and Navy Seals in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The reason for this is that it has a much longer effective range and greater stopping power than the rifle that replaced it. Thus, as a battle rifle, it is superior to the M16. The two objectives in developing the M14 in the 1950s were to provide a rifle with superior fire power to the WWII M1, and one which would use the NATO’s nations 7.62mm ammunition, which is shorter and lighter than the .30-M1 rifle cartridge. As an automatic weapon, it also replaced the M3 submachine gun, the M1 carbine, and the BAR rifle, greatly reducing logistical problems. Springfield Armory, Winchester, TRW, and Harrington & Richardson have produced more than 1.5 million M14 rifles, with the civilian version being designated the M1A, which lacks the fully automatic mode.

The M14 was designed for both semi-automatic and full automatic fire, with the fire selector switch located on the right side of the rifle, above the trigger. The operating rod handle is also found on the right hand side of weapon. The safety lever is situated on the forward part of the trigger guard. In semi-automatic fire, each squeeze of the trigger shoots only one round. In full automatic mode, the weapon fires continuously as long as the trigger is being pressed back. The rifle’s receiver is fed from a 20-round, detachable box magazine, which can be easily and quickly replaced. Another feature of the M14 is the barrel flash suppressor, which acts as muzzle break, minimizing recoil. Dust and extreme cold weather resistant, it is a very reliable rifle, which, perhaps, should not have been replaced so soon, espercially by an inferior weapon that often got jammed in the jungle of Vietnam.


Type: infantry assault rifle

Caliber: 7.62mm

Weight: 4.1 kg

Barrel length: 55.9 cm

Muzzle velocity: 850 m/s

Effective range: 600 m


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Thor is Carlos Benito Camacho, the manager and writer of this blog.