I entered the US Army in 1969.
At the time the M-14 was still in the inventory and I trained with it at Ft. Campbell and qualified with it during Infantry AIT at Fort Polk.
I didn't see an M-16 until I got to VN, to the Americal Division, and that was in the hands of a Navy guy.
I carried an M-14 for most of my tour and when I left the Americal to go down south, I "willed" it to a friend, who I found out later, willed it to a friend, who, unfortunately, was KIA and the weapon was damaged beyond repair.
It was a heavy bastard, but it out-shot everthing else any one had, except for the pig.
And since the pig and my 14 used the same ammo, we stayed close to one another.
The only other weapon that could reach out and touch Charlie the same way my 14 could, was in the hands of the snipers and they wouldn't part with one of them for nothing.
I am convinced that the only reason my 14 and my old slabside .45 never jammed was because the tolerances were so much. 'Cause God knows I never had the chance to clean either one of them in the manner and with the frequency the book recommends.
In between cleanings, I just poured the CLP on and hoped for the best.
Must of worked, 'cause here I am.