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A Little More History On The M14E2

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ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF RIFLE, 7.62MM, M14E2. (18 DECEMBER 1963)

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Scope

Current information is presented on the design characteristics of Rifle, 7.62mm, M14E2.

B. Engineering Development of Rifle, 7 .62mm, M14E2.

1. Rifle, 7.62mm, M14 and Rifle, 7.62mm, M15 were classified standard on 23 May 1957. The M15 Rifle was the heavy barrel model of the M14 Rifle intended to be used for automatic fire. Tests by the Army and the Marine Corps led to the adoption of the M14 Rifle ·with the M2 Bipod and to the obsolescence of the M15 Rifle on 17 December 1959.

2. The User [United States Army Infantry Board] was dissatisfied with the automatic fire accuracy of the M14 Rifle with the M2 Bipod and, in early 1962, the United States Army Infantry Board (USAIB), Fort Benning, Georgia, with the assistance of the Army Marksmanship Unit fabricated and tested a modified M14 Rifle which became known unofficially as the M14 (USAIB) Rifle.

3. The M14 (USAIB) Rifle demonstrated that the automatic fire accuracy requirements (i.e., 80 per cent of the shots must fall within a 40-inch diameter circle at a range of 200 meters when fired in 2- to 3-round bursts) could be met consistently with this configuration. More M14 (USAIB) Rifles were fabricated and tested extensively.

4. Headquarters, U. S. Army Weapons Command instructed [Springfield] Armory on 7 August 1963 to prepare a technical data package for manufacture of the M14 (USAIB) Rifle and to adhere to the original configuration to the greatest extent practicable. Since there were no drawings or design data for the M14 (USAIB) Rifle, the Armory analyzed the USAIB and prepared preliminary design data and sketches. These sketches and data provided the basis for the engineering of a comparable design which would meet not only the operational requirements but also the quantity production requirements. This technical data package was completed 1 October 1963.

5. On 2 October 1963, Headquarters, U.S. Army Weapons Command, instructed [Springfield] Armory to completely redesign the front handgrip so that it would fold to the rear, present a small silhouette in the closed position, and provide greater comfort when the weapon is carried at sling arms. The Armory was instructed that this handgrip should also be adjustable longitudinally to accommodate the gunner’s arm length. In addition, a butt swivel should be provided which would pivot to the left side of the stock to permit side slinging of the weapon. The Armory was also requested to fabricate four rifles for confirmation of design by testing.

6. The handgrip assembly, stock assembly, and sling were redesigned and product engineered and four rifles were fabricated and tested by the Armory. On 29 October 1963, the design was confirmed by higher authority, and four weapons were shipped to the test agencies on 4 November 1963.

7. The new weapon was designated Rifle, 7.62mm, M14E2 (photograph below)

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III. CONVERSION OF M14 RIFLE TO M14E2 RlFLE

A. The conversion of the standard M14 Rifle to the M14E2 configuration is accomplished in the following manner:

1. Break the M14 Rifle down into the three main groups, i.e., the barrel and receiver group, the firing mechanism, and the stock assembly.

2. Replace the M14 Stock Assembly, F7790702, with M14E2 Stock Assembly, F7791671.

3. Reassemble the three main groups.

4. Slide the muzzle stabilizer over the flash suppressor, swing the yoke over the bayonet lug, and tighten the screw with the combination tool. Slide the combination tool over the head of the screw and tighten the nut securely.

5. Modify the M2 bipod by removing the cotter pin from pivot pin in the head assembly. Hold the jaws in place with fingers, and remove the pivot pin, B7791104. Insert pivot pin, B7791669, into swivel, C7791670, so that the loop of the swivel projects forward of the head of the pivot pin. Insert the pivot pin into the bipod head and through the jaws, and reassemble the cotter pin to the pivot pin.

6. Assemble the modified bipod to the rifle gas cylinder and tighten with the rifle combination tool.

7. Attach the sling hook assemblies to the bipod swivel and to the handgrip pin, pass the trailing end of the sling through the butt swivel and back through the keeper assembly.

B. If the standard M14 Rifle is equipped with a selector lock, installation of the selector and the selector spring should be accomplished by the company armorer or ordnance personnel.

IV. ADJUSTMENT OF SLING FOR FIRING

Proper adjustment of .the portion of the sling between the handgrip and the bipod swivel is necessary to achieve maximum accuracy of automatic fire. The sling should be adjusted so that the portion between the handgrip and the bipod is taut when the handgrip is pulled rearward against the stop position. This should be accomplished without undue strain on the gunner. This adjustment will maintain proper tension in the sling section when the weapon is being fired and will minimize variations in the size of the shot group.

View attachment 497807
What an ugly creature this M14E2 turned out to be. A Frankenrifle!
 
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