Question concerning the M14

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Staff Sergeant
Sep 19, 2005
Phoenix, AZ
I have seen various uses in past movies and games, but my question is this: Is the M14 still in service with any branch of the US Military, and which ones (and if at all possible, why?)? I bring this up because I vaugely recall hearing about the weapon seeing continued use with SOCOM....
I have a navy pilot buddy at NAS Whiting that was a former submariner enlisted. He has only qual'd on the M-14, but I think his last qual was probably about 5 years ago...
The SOCOM M-14 has taken the M-14 world by storm.... Due to the Wars in Iraq Afghanistan we have seen the M-14's resurface with a facelift to bring them up to today's demands for superior battle rifles....

The M-14 mod's are quite extensive, the most noticeable is the shorter barrel "Navy sight" as used by Seals in Special Operations Command (SOCOM)....

They have shortened the barrel to 18 1/2 inch legal length to keep the rifle Non Restricted..... They take the standard GI rifle put a new synthetic stock, thread the barrel for a suppressor , and add some pitcanny rails for NV Devices or Optics...

As for SEAL fondness of the .308 I would say that more specifically the SEALs have a fondness for the M-14 which is unique... In fact unless recently changed the SEALs are the only active duty combat unit to actually deploy with the M-14, not to be confused with the m-21 and other designated marksman rifles currently seeing active duty use with various units..... Over the decades SEALs have found that the combination of increased lethality and increased range of the 7.62 combined with the reliability and accuracy of the M-14 is still a relavent combination... Modifying M-14s that already exist in NAVSPECWAR inventories along with the fact that SEALs have traditionally found favor with the robust design of the M-14 pretty much explains the desire to use it as a platform for modification for more specialized mission requirements, ie entry guns, carbine's for urban ops, whatever.... Also shorter rifles shooting bigger bullets are popular elsewhere....

The USASF have developed and tested the 6.8mm as a replacement for the 5.56mm due to shortcomings.... Among the barrel lengths tested was one approx 16" in length and another 12" barrel.
Just a modernized version with a picatinny rail adaptor for mounting optics. And many militaries in the world still use the carbine. And it remains a weapon in many local police armories too. Even in the US.
The desert wars have shown the complete indaequacy of the M-16 and its various models when the terrain is flat and not wooded.

In those cases, a round with good range and ballistics is needed. Few are the equal of the 308 NATO round for known, predictable ballistics.

I'm pretty sure the soldiers WISH they all had FN-FALs or M-14s, whichever the individual soldier prefers, but the "powers that be" insist on small-caliber rifles in deserts. Who can say why?

A 50-caliber sniper rifle can tickle your fancy at 1000 yards and more. The 308 NATO can do the same out to 800 yards or slightly more.

The 5.56mm cartridge is pretty well done at 300 yards, despite being "officially" ranged at 450 m. Heck, at 450 m, if you hit someone, you might just piss them off instead of generating a kill.

Just MY opinion. I could be wrong, but I KNOW how hard a 308 NATO round hits comapred with the 5.56 mm cartridge.

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