Old age, will do that !!!I was exhibiting an E2 at a local gun show this last weekend. Of all the Vietnam veterans who looked at it, only one told me he actually carried an E2 during the Vietnam war. Most of the others had never seen one before, or maybe they just forgot.
Little niggle.. (The quick change barrel capability in the field was a key benefit of the M60, and a 200-rd belt fed system, was simply a much better general purpose machine gun, even if it was a heavy "Pig").
I am afraid that is not a tool room example of an M14E2 stock . . .
Now that you have apparently put both feet in you mouth again Ren, I would suggest you knock off blathering about something of which you have no knowledge whatsoever about.Yes Ted, I have two relatives both officers who did a tour in Vietnam and neither had seen an M14 E2. When I showed them my E2 they thought the stock was aftermarket!
And yet we have one person on this forum who was in Vietnam and has seen and shot all the variations….if you can believe that! Not me…no.
First hand knowledge my arse!
I had an uncle on my mothers side who was awarded the bronze star, but I can’t ask him, he’s dead.
MORE THAN A HOBBY, A PASSION,
Fwiw, last night I reviewed some of R. Blake Stevens excellent book on the M14, and figured out the chronology of the original M2 bipod. As you noted the design was likely finalized in late (Oct?) 1959, and was ordered for mass production in November 1959, and presumably manufactured during 1960 or so (here’s the overall chronology in Stevens book):“There are a few reports, mostly from USAIB, that refer to an "M14 Modified for the BAR Role", or M14 (Modified), almost immediately followed by: "hereafter referred to as the Test Rifle . . ." or something similar. So, it would appear that the working designation for an M14 with some form of bipod (not necessarily and M2) being used and a replacement for the M15 was known as a "Modified M14" or an "M14 (Modified)".
"SERVICE TEST OF RIFLE, 7.62MM, M14 MODIFIED FOR THE BAR ROLE," 12 May 1959, (Corporate author - USAIB). Abstract- In the summer of 1958 someone floated the idea that the M14 with a bipod could do the job of the M15 so why have the M15. This report investigates two types of bipod (Type I and II, both bayonet lug mounted), three types of plastic handguard, and a new aluminum butt plate with a hinged shoulder rest, as well as the general suitability of the M14 to fill the BAR role. The answer is 'yes', but a better bipod is needed.Lysander I have one more question, what are the dates of these reports? (Month and year). I assume 1960 or 1961, but was curious when the so-called M14 Modified was specifically tested and ultimately rejected. (I don’t have access to such reports and it’s not in my reference books, hence the question):
Thanks, that's good information re the ‘M14 (M)’ - and it shows that it took quite a while before the flipper buttplates were introduced, reportedly late 1960. I think the slotted handguards appeared by the spring or summer of 1960. (I've read that the steel strike of 1959 might have postponed deliveries of steel material needed for certain M14 parts, including the flipper buttplate).This passage, written in October of 1959, indicates that by October 1959, the slotted plastic handguards and the shoulder rest buttplate were in production, or at least were install on the six weapons tested.
Speaking of cleaning/maintenance equipment circa 1959, and the much later M14E2/M14A1 program, here's a random pic showing the two kits for those respective eras:c. A need for maintenance equipment for the test rifle was determined during the evaluation and service test of the T4AE4 rifle (ref 2 and 3, Annex D). The test maintenance equipment was fabricated by Springfield Armory to satisfy this need.
"(a) Modification of the trigger group to permit the use of existing stocks of M1 rifle hammers and safeties. "3. (U) DESCRIPTION OF MATERIAL.
a. Test Items.
(1) The Production Model Rifle, 7.62mm, M14, hereinafter referred to as the test rifle, is similar in weight, design, and appearance to the T44E4 rifle reported in references 2 and 3, Annex D, but incorporates minor modifications designed to eliminate previously reported deficiencies and to facilitate production. The most noticeable changes are as follows:
(a) Modification of the trigger group to permit the use of existing stocks of M1 rifle hammers and safeties.
(b) Calibration of the elevation knob in meters instead of yards,
(c) Provision for attaching a telescopic sight on the left side of the receiver.
(d) Modification to the floor plate of the magazine (Annex C-l).
(2) The Bayonet-Knife, T12, hereinafter referred to as the test bayonet, is essentially the same bayonet as the present standard M5E1 bayonet-knife modified to fit the M14 rifle (Annex C-2).
(3) The Bayonet-Knife Scabbard, M8A1, hereinafter referred to as the test scabbard is the present standard bayonet-knife scabbard for the M5E1 bayonet-knife (Annex C-2).
(4) The maintenance equipment for the Rifle, 7.62mm, M14, hereinafter referred to as the test maintenance equipment, consists of the following items: combination tool, chamber cleaning brash, oil case, grease container, cleaning rod case with spacer, four-section cleaning rod, cleaning patch holder, and cleaning brush. This is prototype maintenance equipment developed by Springfield Armory for use with the test rifle (Annex C-3).
b. Control Items. None. Results obtained in this project were compared with results obtained in references 2 and 3, Annex D.
4. (U) BACKGROUND.
a. Evaluation and service tests of a number of different type rifles including the Rifles, 7.62mm, T44E4, and T44E5 were conducted by this Board in 1956 (ref 2 and 3, Annex D). These tests revealed that in general the T44 rifle system was more suitable for Army use than the other types tested. In May 1957 the T44E4 and T44E5 rifles were adopted by DA as the standard, rifle and automatic rifle respectively. The T44 was standardized as the M14 and the T44E5 was standardized as the M15 rifle. The test rifle is the production model M14 rifle modified to correct previously reported deficiencies. In 1959 this Board determined that the M14 rifle with a hinged butt plate, slotted handguard, and detachable bipod was suitable as an automatic rifle and recommended that it replace the M15 rifle (ref 6, Annex D).
b. The test bayonet was first fabricated for the T44E4 rifle but received only limited testing with that rifle. The same type bayonet was furnished this Board for test with the production model M14 Rifle.
c. A need for maintenance equipment for the test rifle was determined during the evaluation and service test of the T4AE4 rifle (ref 2 and 3, Annex D). The test maintenance equipment was fabricated by Springfield Armory to satisfy this need.
d. The test weapon is within the Tripartite Standardization program and is entered on Category List T-7-105-l.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
This passage, written in October of 1959, indicates that by October 1959, the slotted plastic handguards and the shoulder rest buttplate were in production, or at least were install on the six weapons tested.
Other things to note in this report:
"Elimination of the bolt disassembly capability in the test maintenance equipment [is desired]."
" One flash suppressor was broken . . . at the brazed joint. (Springfield Armory Technical Representative stated that this method of fabrication of flash suppressor will not be use in future production . . . )."
"Elevation knob does not have distinctive mark for 250 meter battel sight."
An actual asbestos glove! We used a doubled over GI T shirt for barrel changes in my peacetime service. Gun crews usually wore the black glove shell too. I think all the Asbestos gloves went home for who knows what. Try doing a barrel change without the gun on the tripod while laying down!Video from January 1966, Ho Bo woods, several M14A1s in use (by both left-handed and right handed US Army soldiers). I would consider the 1965-66 era as 'early Vietnam war' era, more or less. (Note: an M60 barrel change is shown at 2:30 into the video, it had become 'burned out')
One of the rare pics/videos of the M14A1 muzzle stabilizer used in Vietnam:
View attachment 497840
I have read reports about them being used some in 1967 as well. However, my guess is the M60 general purpose machine gun was seen as superior to the M14A1, despite weighing much more. (The quick change barrel capability in the field was a key benefit of the M60, and a 200-rd belt fed system, was simply a much better general purpose machine gun, even if it was a heavy "Pig"). Barrel changes mainly required an insulated glove:
View attachment 497838
As for recollection of Vietnam vets, it should also be noted that the height of the Vietnam war from a US troop level was 1968-1969, and perhaps by 1968 many M14A1s had been replaced by the M60s w/ infantry units? If that assumption is true, that may explain why so few Vietnam vets recall seeing them. (SA made only 8350 M14A1s in 1964, so it's not a huge number to begin with, compared with other infantry rifles). Not sure how that compares with M60 production levels in the 1960s.
Lastly, the M14A1 was formally declared obsolete in November 1970, so it had a very short service life...it just doesn't do well as a squad automatic rifle with only 20 rd mags. In a fire fight I suspect 200 rds in a belt fed machine gun is a better system. Tons of pictures from the Vietnam era show troops with M60s walking through the rice paddies and elsewhere in that war.
Vietnam War as a squad automatic weapon with many United States units. Every soldier in the rifle squad would carry an additional 200 linked rounds of ammunition for the M60, a spare barrel, or both."
Quite a few migrated to be training weapons at US Army Ranger school. Most in the Mountain phase but some in the Florida phase as well. Carried them with blank adaptors in the summer of 74.I was exhibiting an E2 at a local gun show this last weekend. Of all the Vietnam veterans who looked at it, only one told me he actually carried an E2 during the Vietnam war. Most of the others had never seen one before, or maybe they just forgot.
What an ugly creature this M14E2 turned out to be. A Frankenrifle!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