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The M14 Rifle

The M14 Rifle

By Numrich Gun Parts Corporation, Posted in Military, Rifle
January 01, 2021

 The M14 rifle was developed in the 1950’s as a follow on to the M1 Garand.  The new features of the M14 rifle were the addition of full automatic firing capability, piston operated gas system, the use of a detachable 20 round magazine and utilization of the 7.62 NATO cartridge.  Development of the M14 rifle started at the end of  World War 2 and concluded with the M14 being designated as the US Infantry service rifle in 1957.  M14 rifles were produced at Springfield Armory, Winchester, Harrington and Richardson, and Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge Inc. (TRW).

The M14 Rifle was developed to take the place of four different weapons systems – the M1 Rifle, the M1 Carbine,  the M3 Submachine gun “Greasegun” and the 1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) . It was hoped by doing this that it would simplify the logistical needs of the troops with a standardized ammunition and replacement parts supplies.  By 1962 it was apparent that the M14 rifle had failed to replace the four weapons. It was considered inferior to the M1 Rifle, too powerful to replace the M1 Carbine or the M3 Submachine gun, and too light to replace the BAR, further production of the M14 was stopped in late 1963 and the M16 was ordered as a replacement for the M14 by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1964.  Over 1,375,000 M14 rifles were produced from 1959 to 1964.

The M14 rifle continued to see service in sniper and match rifle configurations.   Several private firms produced the semi-auto versions of the m14 starting in the 1970’s.  These firms included Springfield Armory, Armscorp USA, Federal Ordnance, Norinco, Polytech Industries, Smith Enterprises and others.  Even though the M14 had one of the shortest lifespans as a US Infantry service rifle, the semi-auto versions of this rifle are still popular today with match competition and sporting applications.