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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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I have been pleasantly surprised recently to see some more positive press for the M14. It seems like some people are trying it out for themselves instead of listening to the carbon-copy "it's not good because it's different from an AR" articles, and finding that they actually like it. Here is the most recent example I saw.


At the end, he touts that the platform is battle proven and one of the few 7.62mm rifles that he would trust his life to. He also mentions that a new generation got introduced to it during the War On Terror. This is where there may be hope for the platform to continue. It may be slim hope, but the platform isn't dead yet. That said, I am planning to procure some parts and accessories before they get rare and expensive.
 
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