M-14 was one of the shortest lived
official military rifles in US inventory.
It was designed as an improvement
for the M-1 Garand, and though its
action was very similar, it utilized
a magazine feed to replace the clip-fed
Garand. It also changed the caliber
to 7.62 X 51, instead of .30-06 and
had a selector for full-auto fire.
This ability to fire full auto was
a feeble attempt to turn it into an
assault rifle. It was quickly found
that the average trooper was unable
to control the rifle in full auto
mode. A change to a smaller cartridge,
the 5.56, changed everything very
But the M-14 has seen a renewed life
in the sandbox. The need for a Designated
Marksman Weapon, capable of long-range
accuracy and power, breathed new life
into this old weapon system. It has,
once again, become a familiar piece
of battlefield equipment.