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NSR
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Gents,

That may seem an odd question coming from a man who owns six M-14's in various configurations and plans two more.

I'll go on record as really liking the M-14, but is it love of the platform or it's longevity and continued use that intrigues me? The design is dated, but still remains relevant in today's combat environments. This is evidence by the adoption of the M-5 rifle recently in 6.5 x 51. Personally, I think the M-5 will prove to be problematic, but time will tell.

So, our M-14 has stood the tests of time and battle. The question remains, what is the future of the M-14? IMHO, the '14 has become a "niche" firearm that has been designed/changed to meet perceived needs of the military or it's users. It's adapted well to these changes, but there is only so much that can be done with our beloved war horse.

The fact remains that true M-14's are drying up in the military. I don't know how many remain, but it can't be many. Especially, after the Clintons destroyed so many of them. So, support, militarily, is drying up. Needed support will have to come from the aftermarket community now. Firms like LRB, Smith Enterprises, and Bula Forge turn out high quality parts that may keep the M-14 going in the long haul. We can only hope so.

I'd be interested in hearing your comments concerning the M-14

Your thoughts are solicited.

Wes
 

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I think the continued use of the M14 as a niche weapon will depend heavily on the success of the M5, both in our own implementation, and as 'foreign aid' packages. It would seem to fill the gap that the M4 cannot, though will it fill the gap that the M4 handles nicely? I heard it was 14 pounds loaded fully setup with optics and a full magazine... Does that sound familiar?

But if it works well, there's plenty of money to be made.
 

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Under Clinton - Democrats destroyed about 470,000 M14s - dumped in the oceans and torched. And another 350,000 just given away to other countries. At the same time - we still use these fine rifles across our branches of military. What can be dumber to lose so many rifles while they are still in use? Breaks your heart.

They say the M16 is the longest serving rifle. But I dont think so. The M14 -is the longest serving rifle still to many. Served longer than the M1903 w/c served all the way to Vietnam. The M14 will always be a fine rifle - she requires a little more TLC ..but when she is working...she is working! And she does not disappoint. This rifle will be here long after you and I are gone -

Only question is where to find all those extra parts in holding...the military and civilian...barrels, bolts, op rods...so on. As far as receivers, we can make them...or any other part for that matter.

Owning these rifles is a move in the right direction to preserve its legacy. The M14 will be here a long time.
 

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The M14 rifle is perfect for border security - you don't even have to give chase from 800 meters.
 

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The M14 is an excellent weapon that will continue to serve. The M5 is also a very good weapon and the 277 round is going full circle to 280 British that likely would have been a better selection way back when.

I also own SCAR 17s and they work but do not bring any satisfaction.

An APC308 on the other hand is a joy to shoot and less expensive than an M14 fully accurized. I may buy a second.
 

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It’s reliable, durable, shoots a versatile caliber, and is accurate. I plan on using it for the rest of my days. I’m sure the military and fire arms in general will advance technology, but as long as the name of the game is point at something you want to hit and then hit it it’ll serve my purposes.
 

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I think the staying power of the M14/M1A is present in the fact that how many other .308 wondergun platforms have been developed and marketed in the last 50 years. SCARs, TAVORs, AR-10s. They all have a place and I think there will always be a niche for the M14.
 

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The M14 has stood the test of time, but I think it is fading into obsolescence as a military weapon. The XM5 is going to help push that, assuming it is fully adopted.

I appreciate all the manufacturers that have contributed to keeping the M14 a going concern. IMO, the most important one, and they are often under-sung, is Black Feather. Modern military rifles live and die by their ability to integrate accessories. Optics, night vision, thermal vision, and suppressors are far greater force multipliers in modern combat than any particular rifle design. I think Black Feather has the best design to transform the M14 into a rifle that can integrate these accessories with relative ease. It provides a rigid, accurate bedding, but is not brutally heavy like the Sage. It also provides mounting points for all the toys and compatibility with common stocks and pistol grips. If the M14 is really going to have a future, we either need a lot more Black Feather stocks or competitors to come in with similar products. I don't think it is likely the M14 will remain in wide spread use, especially with our forces, but I believe a modern chassis is the best chance it has.

EDIT: I know Black Feather has a lot of fans here, but they don't get the attention that LRB, Bula, Smith Enterprises, and some others do.
 

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The way I see it is there is only one "threat" to the M14 and that is the SR-25. The SR has the slightest edge over the M14 in terms of accuracy but has more than twice the parts. The M14 is here to stay. Sure, USGI parts may become scarce but companies will step up to produce them. Take LRB for example. Theres literally 5 people in that entire company and they produce the finest M14 receiver in the world.
 

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The M14 has technically been obsolete with the US Army for 50 years (with the M21 sniper rifle version technically becoming obsolete in 1988). As of 2022 I think only the US Navy maintains a small number of M14s in their inventory, although the Coast Guard and perhaps the Air Force May have a very small number of SAGE chassis/EBR rifles still in active inventory. The Army’s M14s have reportedly been sold off via Foreign Military Sales program. It is pretty clear that the US military has largely moved away from and disposed of the remaining M14s. So some M14s will continue to solider-on in less-wealthy countries for some time to come (Iraq, Estonia, etc), but wealthier countries are of course using more modular and modern rifles.

The future was decided years ago with the modern H&K M110A1 SDMR rifle in 7.62 NATO to replace all the M14-based EBR-RIs, and now the SIG-made XM-5 rifle in 6.8x51mm to replace the legacy M4s for combat-focused US Army infantry units:
Air gun Line Trigger Machine gun Font

….Translation: The US military is not going back to a mid-20th century based M1/M14 rifle platform.

What bothers me about the prospective future of commercial M1As is that SAI is by far the largest manufacturer for the past five decades, but is now actively diversifying it’s firearm sales to more modern platforms (ie, no more match M1As), and the M1A doesn’t have as much focus at this point. McMillian appears to be discontinuing it’s M1A stocks, and Krieger is discontinuing it’s M14 pattern barrels as very few competitors use M1As at this point. Of course CMP m14 part kits dried up a decade or more ago, so M14 parts are stupid expensive now. So the market is shrinking for the M1A, and it will remain a niche rifle, just like it’s more popular predecessor, the M1 Garand, but M1As are more expensive than typical M1s, limiting its market share. Time marches on, but I still like those old 20th century wood and steel rifles….

On edit: The future of US military rifles are lightweight and highly modular rifles made with rust-resistant material and in various colors of Flat Dark Earth w/ integrated sound suppressors and other 21st century tactical enhancements.
Air gun Trigger Shotgun Line Gun barrel
 

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Yep. Totally obsolete. There's a ton of room for an M14 2.0 in terms of engineering if we want to keep the form factor. Manufacturability isn't that great with the M14 anyhow.
 

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Hmmm. The M1 Garand is still being used worldwide as can be seen in photos from battlefields. Is it state of the art? Are there better platforms? No and yes.
 

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obsolete,,, not quite IMHO.. When you can lay prone and hold the 9 and 10 ring at 1000 yrs with one that has not been matched... In the right hands it still deadly, and has its place.. Technology does move on..

Carry on !!
 

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As noted in previous threads, the M14 was in US military terms for the past five decades in a “post-deployment, non-procurable” status. So ‘obsolete’ in the technical sense that no new USGI-spec M14 receivers were available for purchase since 1964 - none. The program had been canceled in January 1963, ending any future procurement opportunities for replacements. So not obsolete regarding its performance, but obselete as no-longer procurable and thus not sustainable for military purposes.
So, our M-14 has stood the tests of time and battle. The question remains, what is the future of the M-14? IMHO, the '14 has become a "niche" firearm that has been designed/changed to meet perceived needs of the military or it's users. It's adapted well to these changes, but there is only so much that can be done with our beloved war horse.
Using a metaphor, a few years ago the US military was finally able to put the old M14 war horse “out to pasture” via contracts for new horses from H&K (circa 2018) and then SIG (circa 2022). The new horses have now taken over, and they are a very different breed than the ones made from 1959-1964. I still like the old steel and wood versions of course, but their role is more for civilian vintage military rifle matches at this point. Combat use of M14s is quite limited as of 2022, although a few are apparently being used by Ukrainian Territorial Forces (locality-based militias) and perhaps other military forces like Estonia, and Iraq, etc.

Today, here in the US more rounds are fired at a CMP or similar vintage service rifle matches with M1As than anything combat-related in an M14, and only by guys with nostalgic preferences for wood-stocked military arms, which includes myself:
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To me the M14 is as noble is the plow. She is not fancy..but she will plow. These newer aluminum 4th-cousins are nice - no doubt. They are eager to rid the M14 coz they last too long...lots of steel. The military is always looking to spend more money. Why would they keep something that never breaks?

And to train a proper rifleman today - they need to make sure he never gets a wrinkle on his BDUs..or break his manicure. He or she can move from one sex to another -paid for by the military. I am sure 3rd world enemies who still use punji sticks are laughing at us about now.

YOu also need a war to make use of all these new shiny things. There is not profits in peace time like an event of war.

I look at the M14 as the kid that is never asked to play in the game - for the very reason it will be a short game if he come on the field.
 
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