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