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Replica of a US Navy M14 Sniper Security Rifle (SSR). This project began in the summer of 2017, when I found the proper tan McMillan M3A stock online with the military M14 selector cut-out, and was finally completed in late 2020 after three plus years of time and effort. I owe a big thank you to CrazyNoto for assisting with the stock work, and to Forceman for assisting with the re-finish work; barrel install, and related build processes, including collaboration with Accuracy Speaks for the bedding job. I also owe thanks to Navy/Crane employees and veterans who assisted in various aspects of this tribute build. My apologizes for the verbosity in this post, but in an effort to contribute to the 'body of knowledge' on this forum regarding M14 rifles, here's what was learned on this journey...

Quick history of the Navy-built M14 Sniper Security Rifle (SSR): In 1996 the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) at Crane, IN, updated their late 1980s/early 1990s era M14 Physical Security Sniper Rifles (PSSR) or informally called the ‘M14 port security rifle’, with an improved version, designated the M14 Sniper Security Rifle (SSR) (NSN: 1005-LL-L99-5690). The SSR utilized a solid gray McMillan M3A stock with an adjustable cheek piece for improved ergonomics over the earlier M1A stock, and a unique Navy-designed scope mount system that was ‘crush-fit’ between the barrel and receiver, resulting in a very solid scope mount. Optics were updated to the Leupold Mark 4, 10x scope with M1 turrets. Based on the Navy’s funding for the earlier PSSR rifles, it would appear that approximately 300 SSR rifles were likely built at Crane in the 1990s, but I have not been able to find a definitive number.

In August 2006 Crane ordered approximately 200 new tan-color M3A stocks from McMillan Fiberglass Stocks. I suspect my NOS tan stock was part of that order for the Navy/Crane, but it was not delivered to the Navy presumably due to a small blemish/bubble in the gel coat that I subsequently repaired. (After the repair the stock and original SSR handguard were professionally painted at a local body shop to match, and CrazyNoto carefully milled my stock to accommodate the rear lugged receiver that I used on this project).

Service Chronology: From 1996 to roughly 2000 the SSRs were the standard 7.62 NATO semi-automatic sniper rifle used by Navy SEALs/Naval Special Warfare (NSW) personnel. Beginning in 2000, they were replaced by 300 of the new Knights Armament SR-25 rifles, which were adopted as the MK 11 Mod 0 (suppressed semi-automatic sniper rifle). The M14-based SSR's were then subsequently utilized by the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) as a Designated Marksman rifles until around 2011. Here's how a Navy briefing document described the accuracy testing requirements and aspects of the SSR's expected tactical role (presumably M118LR ammo was used for testing):

“The original M14 SSR accuracy testing generally consisted of proving the system was able to get 5 consecutive shots inside a 4.5 by 4.5 inch square area at 300 yards. This roughly translates to the 1.5 MOA Extreme Spread which is currently verified for each MK 14 MOD 2. This allows for the NECC Expeditionary DM (Designated Marksman) to engage vehicle engine targets at 800 meters, and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) units can regularly hit unexploded 40mm grenades at a 150 meter stand-off."

Here's an early SSR w/ the solid gray McMillan M3A stock (picture is probably circa 1996):
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Stock and barrel changes during production at Crane: The original SSR rifles from the mid-1990s used solid ‘battleship’ gray McMillan M3A stocks and had rear-lugged receivers that were likely re-used from the earlier PSSR rifles, whereas the later SSRs from the 200Xs used a tan-colored McMillian stock, with rear lugged receivers used initially, and towards end of production Crane switched to non-lugged M14 receivers. The original SSR rifles made in 1996 used heavy profile, 4-groove, 1:10 twist Barnett/Douglas barrels, whereas the late production SSRs with tan stocks from the 200Xs utilized heavy profile Douglas barrel blanks, as provided by Springfield Armory, Inc. Note: These heavy profile barrels are the same carbon steel, 6-groove, 1:10 twist barrels that SAI uses on their current M1A ‘Supermatch’ rifles.

As seen here, some of the Navy SSR barrels sourced from SAI were stamped with a “CC” for Crane Contract. One can also see where the shank was machined forward about 0.190" to accommodate the unique front scope collar/mount.
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Late model SSRs in the Persian Gulf circa May 2008:
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Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) Designated Marksman training class picture, circa 2011. (Possibly one of the last years the SSRs were used before being re-configured/replaced with the SAGE-chassis based Mk 14 Mod 2 rifles). Apparently OD green duct tape and moleskin attached to the cheek piece was common on these SSRs.
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Last stop for the Navy’s precision M14 rifles: Around 2011 the SSR’s were returned to Crane, where between 50 and 100 of the non-lugged M14 barreled actions were removed from the McMillan stocks, and the actions were re-configured for a SAGE chassis with the Magpul PRS II buttstock. The scopes were upgraded to Nightforce 3.5-15x56mm units, and each rifle was also issued with an AN/PVS-27 night vision unit. Bipods were updated to an Atlas BT-10. They were re-designated as the Mk 14 Mod 2 EBR-EDMV (Expeditionary Designated Marksman Variant, NSN 1005-LL-L99-8736). I understand some of the Mk14 Mod 2s are still being used for an NECC-based EDM training course. (Below pic is from 'The U.S. M14 Rifle: The Last Steel Warrior' (2018) by Frank Iannamico, page 245.)

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My rifle is not a perfect replica of an SSR – the receiver I used has a welded-on rear lug with a torque screw, but it doesn’t appear that Crane used torque screws on the SSR builds. (Torque screws via pillar bedding is somewhat labor intensive on an M14, and they were only used on the earlier PSSR rifles from the late 1980s/early 1990s). In addition, the final/late production SSRs that Crane made circa 2006 with the tan McMillan stocks used non-lugged M14 receivers. Secondly, the Leupold Mk4, 10x scope used on my tribute build is aesthetically correct, but it has a TMR reticle instead of a Mil-Dot reticle. (The Tenebraex LRD/ARD units seen on my rifle were likely not issued with the SSR, but are correct military parts). Lastly, I used a customized trigger group that was reverse engineered from the SAI ‘M25 adjustable match trigger,’ so it’s no longer a standard USGI M14 trigger group, as it allows some level of adjustment capability. Other than those mostly subtle aspects, this replica is about as aesthetically correct as I could make it.

Threaded rear lug with torque screw as used on this replica SSR. I should also note that Forceman assisted in milling approx. 2 to 3mm off the right side of the op rod rail - so the receiver's profile is closer to USGI frame rail width. This modification allows the faux M14 selector switch and connector arm to properly fit up against the receiver and flush with the side of the stock. This picture was taken before that modification, but the arrow and red line approximates what was removed to obtain a more USGI-like rail profile. I really appreciate his assistance with these small details:
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Completed project (left side) with issued SSR accessories. Also shown is some 2006-dated M118LR ammo. Weight of the rifle as seen here w/ bipod, sling, scope anti-reflection units, and an empty magazine, is 16 lbs 0 ozs:
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Left side of unique SSR scope mounting system that utilizes a 'crush-fit' mounting system b/t the barrel shank and the face of the receiver. (Fyi: CrazyNoto still has a few reproduction SSR scope mounts for sale for anyone interested, and he can also do the proper barrel machining as well.) Scope is a Leupold Mk 4, fixed 10x w/ M1 turrets. Also shown is a Tenebraex ARD unit and Laser reflector unit sometimes seen on military sniper or DMR rifles utilizing Leupold scopes.
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As a final detail, I purchased a NOS Kalispel aluminum transport case that came out of a gov’t auction. (Packing material in the original shipping box was dated June 2006, so I presume that is when the aluminum case was manufactured). The small circular blue sticker is the Crane NSW logo. The three M14 magazines in brown paper packaging are gov't contract Check-Mate magazines.
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Right side optics with SSR accessories. (A PDF file of the original SSR Operator's Manual was provided by another forum member, so I re-printed it to correct size for this project.)
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Barrel markings include "CC" (not seen) and the initials "JA" from the original Navy M14 gunsmith:
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Rear lug with torque screw. Nice bedding job was done by Accuracy Speaks in AZ.
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Original Navy SSR gas cylinder unitized via the welding methodology at 12 and 6 o'clock:
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First test target with newly completed SSR replica: 10-shot group ~ 1.35" to 1.4" MOA.
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Here's a picture from Sept 2021 at a vintage precision rifle match where I'm using the replica SSR at 300 yards.

Summing up, this tribute build represents a somewhat uncommon variant of an M14 that was used initially as a semi-automatic sniper rifle by Navy SEALs/Naval Special Warfare (NSW) personnel from roughly 1996-2000, and were subsequently utilized by the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) as their Designated Marksman rifles until around 2011.

Again, I'm grateful for the assistance of Forceman and CrazyNoto regarding this project. This tribute project was a journey and took over three years to complete, along with gathering the various accessories. I’m glad it’s finally finished and look forward to using it at the range in the years ahead.

Here are the parts used on this project (starting at front)
  • USGI flash hider reamed to NM specs
  • USGI M14 front sight (standard width sight)
  • USGI unitized/NM style gas cylinder (welded methodology, Navy SSR take-off part)
  • Harris 9-13” Ultralight bipod
  • SAI heavy profile barrel; 1:10 twist, 6-groove, carbon steel, stamped “CC” for Crane contract. The Navy/Crane builder’s initials, “JA” is also stamped on this take-off barrel. Note: The barrel’s shoulder has been machined back ~ 0.190” to accommodate the unique SSR front scope bracket.
  • Rear handguard is an SSR take-off part that was slightly shortened for the front scope collar, and subsequently re-painted to match the tan stock.
  • USGI gas piston (slightly polished)
  • NM spring guide (unmarked two-piece vintage part)
  • Original SSR scope mount (a few reproductions of this mount are now available as well)
  • Leupold Mk 4 Tactical steel rings (medium height, 30mm)
  • Leupold Mk 4 Tactical scope, fixed 10x, M1 turrets, TMR reticle (correct except for the reticle)
  • Springfield Armory Inc. receiver (68k) with the op rod frame rail milled to a slightly narrower width to accommodate the faux m14 connector rod. (Also has a welded-on rear-lug with torque screw set-up).
  • TRW bolt w/ USGI internals
  • HRA op-rod (re-parkerized)
  • SAI trigger housing with M25 ‘White Feather’ modifications to allow an adjustable pull weight
  • McMillan M3A stock molded in tan color with military M14 selector cut-out. The action was professionally bedded in MarineTex.
  • USGI M14 selector lock and related parts (non-functional of course, but aesthetically correct)
  • USGI 1907 pattern leather sling with January 2007 MRT date

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