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FWIW, the weight of a standard M14 is less than an M1 Garand, and the weight of a match tuned M14 is comparable to a match tuned M16. Put optics on any of the above and you're facing the same increase in weight. The main reason for adopting the M14 as a DMR are the piss poor terminal ballistics of the 5.56 past 300yds and marginal terminal ballistics past 200yds compared to the 7.62, and the reliability problems with AR based .308s. Lighter weight ammo doesn't do much good if you have to use 2x to 3x as much to do the job. Hence the development of the 6.8mm SPC as a compromise between the two rounds.

The main problem with the M14 as a widely deployed DMR is, as LTC Liwanag stated, that their is a dirth of spare parts, knowledge and experience amongst the Army's armorers. The guys I've talked to from the SDM program at Ft Hood would love to have every SDM equiped with an accurized M14, but there just aren't enough to go around, so they train with whatever they have available be it M16, M4 or M14.

The M14 DMR may just be a stop gap measure, but for now they don't have anything better and its unclear whehter the light at the end of the tunnel is just an oncoming train or not. In the meantime, I think they should start training their armorers better to accurize and maintain the M14s that they have, and start putting bids out for contracts on spare parts. JMVHO
 
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Chuck S said:
300 meters is well beyond normal combat ranges (and has been forever). Consequently the need for a rifle to shoot at this range is quite specialized. The M14 can fill this niche quite well and is doing so at present. But it's still not the rifle needed for general infantry operations.
-- Chuck
That is why its being used as a designated marksman rifle by the squad designated marksman. The mission of the SDM is to engage targets from 300 to 800yds, outside the normal range of the squad's riflemen.
 

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Morpheus32 said:
Fargo,

As noted by myself and other, the M14 fills a niche very nicely and is doing quite well at it. No one is arguing that but not everyone needs to have an M14 to be effective. In a platoon, they have SAWs, 240Bs, M4, and now M14s. They all work to bring balance and give the platoon leader a bunch of tools to do their job. There is no perfect rifle or optimum rifle. Each rifle has it owns pros and cons. The future is urban and night warfare. The M4 is quite good in that role. The M14 is doing a darn good job covering of longer range engagements. As noted before this shows the adaptablity of the modern soldier, but not everyone needs an M14.

By the way, no offense was intended. I just laugh at the expression of light infantry. That is carrying 100 lbs of light weight kit while walking alot. :D Noting light about it.... I laughed when I read your post. Cheers

Jeff
I think some of the previous posts weren't trying to argue so much that everyone needs an M14, but against the argument that was presented in the ARF.com thread that was initially sited that the M14 is only a stop gap meausure for the DMR role, and that a new uber 5.56 accurized M16 is the real future of the DMR. Whether the Army goes with an AR platform or sticks with the M14, I think that a DMR needs more punch at ranges past 300yds than the 5.56 can deliver. To draw upon your tools in a toolbox analogy, adopting a 5.56 DMR is like trying to use a 7oz finishing hammer on a 16 penny nail. Sure, it'll do the job if you bang the nail enough times, but a 16oz framing hammer will pound it in with only a couple of blows.

Of course, a few of the posts have pointed out the problem of fielding a 7.62 AR rifle - reliability and cost.

Your comment on a 115lbs of lightweight gear made me chuckle. Does that kind of work like this, "Hmmm, this only weighs 8ozs, so it won't add that much weight to everyone's load. And this only weighs 12ozs. . ." etc, etc, until you end up with 115lbs of gear?
 

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Just a side note to add. Saw a friend from the 1st Cav at the TSRA HP Championship @ LT Dillon yesterday. He'd just got back from Iraq and had been issued an M14 to use as a DMR just before they deployed last year. It was a rack grade M14 with no accurizing. I asked what kind of scope and mount he used, and he said he used just irons, and that they worked just fine for him. He's a really good shot, though (how good? he won the Expert division at yesterday's match in really challenging conditions that had even most of the High Masters struggling to break 700), and was already very familiar with shooting the M14, which is why his CO issued it to him. I'll see if I can get his e-mail address and send him an invite to this forum. He'd probably be able to add a lot more info to this thread.
 
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