I don't have any dog in the fight when it comes to the weapon itself. I own more than a few weapons of various types and calibers. I have my favorites for different reasons.
During my time, everyone seemed to think we'd be using caseless platforms by 2000. So much for that. Is the M4 suited to the more open environment in Afghanistan? The answer appears to be a resounding no.
However, the many changes over the years have made the AR platform extremely versatile, adaptable, and effective in the proper environment. Chris Kyle even preferred it in certain situations. I have no doubts the M14 would have undergone more than a couple changes had it remained in service as the standard. In fact, one of its decendants, the SOCOM16, is on my wishlist when the budget allows.
Anyhow, while it may not necessarily reflect in my posts, I always enjoy discussion and usually have something related to it spark an interest. For instance, based upon some of the discourse, I researched the M14. I was not previously aware it was competing for the government contract in the 1950s with what would eventually become the FN FAL. So at least I learned something new.
posted on 02/21/2014 2:29:02 PM PST
My responses have also reflected some of my memories of the introduction of the M-16 for us - it was horrible. We had many of those things fail during the most critical moments anyone can have. Scores of our young men were killed while trying to fix their broken down rifles, helpless. It's a memory I will always carry with me. I avoided it by getting my old M-14 back from our battery armory and keeping it all tuned, clean and ready. I was able to keep it fed by breaking down M-60 belts and I carried 7 loaded magazines plus two full bandoliers. I kept one magazine filled with the tracers from the machinegun belts with the intention of using that stream of tracers (my M-14 was a selective fire version) to mark targets for air strikes. That turned out to be a bad idea: I grabbed that magazine during an intense firefight and my well-concealed position suddenly became too obvious instantly and I was lucky to survive the attention it brought. I had the very last M-14 in my battalion, possibly the whole division. My company commander insisted that I get an M-16 but I told him "I'm artillery and we haven't gotten M-16s yet". He would gruffly tell me to get one as soon as we had them. When I went to my parent battery to get my mail, they would tell me that my M-16 was in the armory but I'd tell them "don't need it - the grunts want me to keep my M-14". I worked that scam until I was hit and my lieutenant said "Rick, I'm sorry you're hurt, but can I have your M-14?".
I didn't keep it because I liked antiques - I kept it because it always worked!
posted on 02/21/2014 7:32:42 PM PST
(A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson