M14 Article: Part Three


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KellyTTE
March 24, 2008, 04:16 AM
http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-1.jpg

I'm convinced that owning an M14 is a love hate relationship. Its a bit like lusting after someone even though you know that person is totally nuts and will someday probably leave you crying in a beer with an empty bank account.

No wait, its not KIND of like that, its EXACTLY like that. But I digress.

I ran the M14 in its last configuration for about 5 months before deciding that the solution I currently had wasn't satisfactory. Because of the layout of an M14, having good comb height to use a scope meant that getting to the backup irons was almost impossible The McMillian stock didn't really help this situation at all, yes it was possible to adjust comb height, but it was a cumbersome slow task and not at all suited to a fluid/tactical situation. The first sign of this was the scope mount issue during last June's carbine match when I couldn't get low enough to switch to irons. So I needed a different approach and began looking for something to address some of these issues.

I started out with a couple of experiments to try and solidify the direction of the rifle. The original roles I was attempting to build for called for a M14 that was as capable in CQB environments as it was out to 600 meters.

Rather than try to make the accessories of the rifle try and do everything, I decided to allow minor changes from one role to the next. So I started with a recipe for the CQB version first. This meant optics, vertical foregrip, stock, and weapons light. Since a new recipe called for new optics I looked around trying to find a less conventional approach. After talking to Insight Technologies and reading some initial information I decided to give their Integrated Sight Module-Visible Laser (ISM-v) a try. I mounted up a CTR stock, ladder rail covers and MIAD grip from Magpul for finish out the furniture portion. And since I also needed a VFG and weapons light, I found an off the shelf solution from Streamlight in their new all aluminum VFG (with rail mount) and 6v, 135 lumen SuperTac light. So the "CQB" version of the rifle was setup with:

° FDE Troy MCS
° FDE Troy Industries Folding Battle Sights (Backup Iron Sights)
° Insight Technologies ISM-v red dot/laser weapon sight
° Magpul Industries CTR Stock, MIAD Grip and Rail Covers in FDE
° Streamlight SuperTac Flashlight & Streamlight VFG with railmount
° Checkmate Industries new 25rd M14 magazines

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-2.jpg

The first place to start was the stock. After a fair amount of research I settled on the Troy Industries Modular Chassis System (MCS) for several reasons. It takes the M14's action and mounts it in a aluminum chassis that approximates the AR15/M16 layout. By moving the action lower in the chassis, recoil is directed straight back instead of back and down like a 'normal' M14 stock. The MCS also uses a fair amount of AR15/M16 accessories such as stocks, pistol grips, backup iron sights and other items. Because of the interchangability of accessories, the M14 platform can be made friendlier to people venturing over from the AR15/M16 world. But I will say that there are good and less good things about this layout.

Troy Industries Modular Chassis System

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-0.jpg

Before we talk about the good and bad, let's look at what Troy Industries says about the M14 Modular Chassis System:

° Patent Pending Design
° Machined from billet T6 aluminum
° MIL-Std. hard coat anodized
° MIL-Std. M1913 rails located at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock
° All rails feature numbered cross slots
° Single plane, full-length top rail allows perfect co-witness of iron sights and optics
° Mounts all optical sights and scopes
° Optics & sights remain mounted and undisturbed while field stripped
° Stocks are available in Black & Flat Dark Earth
° Will fit USGI M-14's and commercial variants
° Field strips without tools
° Duplicates the ergonomics of the AR Type rifles and the M4 Carbine
° Accepts all M16/M4 pistol grips and stocks
° Only available with the selector cutout, but will install on all semi-auto rifles

This stock will fit a MK14 Mod0, USGI M14, SOCOM, Scout, Bush, Standard, Medium, Loaded, National Match, Super Match, or any configuration without a rear lug. The butt stock, buffer tube, pistol grip, rail mounted sights/optics, and accessories are not included and available for purchase separately.

The TROY M14 Modular Chassis System can be configured for every mission need to include Close Quarters Battle (CQB)
Carbine, Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) or a Semi-Auto Sniper System (SASS).

The MCS is easily mounted and took me about 45 minutes to put everything together. I had a really hard time getting the upper and lower sections separated the first time but after that initial issue, breaking the rifle down for cleaning and maintenence has been quick and easy. A caveat, the MCS is designed to tension bed the rifle within its chassis and because of this; some things that you'd see on an accurized M14 aren't needed. Primarily this related to having a national match gas cylinder, since welding the assembly creates a metal bead that interferes with the MCS's retention system. Not ALL national match gas cylinders have this problem (mine didn't) but the documentation didn't cover this aspect, so be careful when you put the chassis together since you could cause the weapon to not
function properly.

The quality of the MCS was apparent, all rails were properly numbered (top, bottom, left, right), M1913 rails were all in spec (according to the Snap-On MIC103 digital micrometer). The full top rail was a welcome relief from the cobbled together scope mounts that have plagued the M14 since its inception. The flat dark earth coating has held up well and it was obvious that the coating was carefully applied (no runs, drips, smears etc) and attention to detail was very good overall. The MCS comes bare. You get the upper and lower sections and a couple of allen wrenches to assemble it any nothing else. Once assembled, the system holds the receiver and action in a multipoint tension bed that's metal on metal. Nothing to bed, nothing to move. Kudo's to Troy.

Overall the weapon handles well, more balanced and quite frankly, very poised. I'm not sure in the big picture how much the new design reduces recoil, but it recoils "differently" now. Before after a day of shooting the M14 with the McMillian stock it was common, even with the Ace 1" pad, to have a sore or bruised shoulder at the end of the day. With the McMillian, you'll recall that I tried both the padded Ace stock and a bare M4 stock, this time I tried a Lewis Machine & Tool SOPMOD stock and a Magpul CTR, so again I had a padded and an unpadded stock. And even after several range trips I've yet to feel the pain that I did before. It still kicks, don't get me wrong, but its
different somehow. Chalk one up to Troy for doing their homework on this issue.

I ran many of my normal drills to try the combination out and found lots of good and some bad. None of it is insurmountable however. I'll start with the Troy MCS since its the largest overall difference. The change to the AR style layout of the MCS has some platform issues that take some getting used to. Because of the change to AR style layout, most of us that are schooled in the 'nose to the charging handle' style of AR15/M16 shooting will find that either the folded down rear sight or the "charging handle" area will gouge you in the cheek pretty good from recoil of the weapon. You can extend the stock back further but that changes your length of pull (LOP) and
accentuates the rifles tendency to feel "long", since it really doesn't need any help in that arena. I also had a slight fitment issue with the widebackstrap of the Magpul MIAD grip not 'aligning' with the backstrap of the MCS. I might have to fiddle with it and see if it can be solved.

But overall the weapon chassis was solid, stable and given that the weight didn't really change that much; yes I lost a heavy steel mount and a stock with a limited rail system, but the new system is a lot more metal, so it all evened out. Unlike the earlier mount/stock system I had no zero problems and all the normal activities that go along with this, shoothouses, range work, accessory swapping, field stripping, competition, etc, et al, didn't phase the MCS at all. It truly took everything I threw at it in stride, with nary a hitch.

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KellyTTE
March 24, 2008, 04:17 AM
Troy Industries Folding Battle Sights

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-3.jpg

The Troy Industry Folding Battle Sights (BUIS) are also an benchmark item that other BUIS systems are judged again. The Troy BUIS deploy quickly, locking in the up position and feature tamper resistant 1/2 MOA adjustments and a host of other features. Install was a breeze and while I was at it I installed a KNS Precision front sight post. The position the apertures is at the exact same height as the factory sights, with no levers or springs so deployment of the sight under stress is easy. To fold the sights down, simply press the release button located on the left side of the sight.

Of the two problems that I had; one is minor, the other is a fairly serious a problem (for me). The first is the annoyance, when you "unfold" the rear sight, it defaults to the larger, low light (commonly referred to as the CQB) aperture. I prefer the small .010 aperture. The second is that in order for the sight to have no protruding edges, the .010 aperture has a small bevel cut into the top of it. In bright light situations the top of the ghost ring "washes out". This to me is a problem, I verified the problem with several other Troy Industry Folding Battle Sight owners, and at this point I think everyone basically just thought it was them, not the sight. I'll follow up with
Troy and see what they say about this.

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-4.jpg

Insight Technologies Integrated Sighting Module (Visible Laser)

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-5.jpg

The ISM-v is a truly innovative red dot sight. just to look at the features is to breath out a 'wow'. It boasts:

° Co-aligned Aiming Laser and Red Dot
° Mounts to any MIL-STD-1913 Rail
° 1.7 MOA Dot size with negligible Parallax
° Variable Power Selections for Lighting Conditions
° 7 daytime brightness settings
° 5 nighttime brightness settings, compatible with night vision devices
° Operates on One 3-Volt Lithium Battery
° 1500 hours battery life for red dot
° 8 hours continues on red dot & laser use
° Less Than 10 oz.

The glass was clean and clear, the fine 1.7 moa dot is very forgiving to aging eyes and the ISM held its zero thru thick and thin with aplomb despite my best efforts to dislodge it or cause it to lose its zero. I have to admit, when I first saw it, I groaned. The ISM-v is made from the same polymer material as the Insight PEQ-2 which has a habit of getting itself knocked off of the top of many a rifle in the sandbox. However, after consulting with a source from within the Special Forces Community (thank you), I got an insight (no pun) into improvements that were made to the system to improve its durability. Battery life for the red dot itself is very good, maybe not 10,000hrs
yet, but 1500 is very admirable and I've left it on several times, run the laser a fair amount and I'm still on the original battery that Insight provided with no loss of performance. I really have no issues with the ISM-v in the big scheme of things. I wish it used a separate battery for the laser and that they had a rail mounted tape switch, but those are preferences and not dislikes.

I was able during competition to hit targets consistently (when I did my part) with the ISM-v out to 425 yards. For a 1x red dot, that's pretty impressive, considering that every other person competing was running a 3x or better scope against the that ISM-v. Insight has done their homework and it really shows in this piece of equipment.

KellyTTE
March 24, 2008, 04:18 AM
Magpul Industries CTR Stock, Magpuls, MIAD Grip and Rail Covers

Its hard to say more good about Magpuls products, time and time again, they stand up to everything I throw at them. I've had a grand total of 1 Magpul tear. In the dozens (hundreds?) that I have one failure. That's pretty damn admirable. I found that the CTR was a bit overwhelmed by the recoil of the M14. Admittedly it was designed for a much smaller weapon, so I really can't complain. I'm considering getting one of Magpul's rubber pads and seeing if that helps. Other than that, everything worked as stated, first time, every time. Can't ask for much more than that.

CTR Carbine Stock
The patent-pending Compact/Type Restricted (CTR) is a drop-in replacement for the standard M4 stock body. Designed for stability, the CTR utilizes a shielded operation lever and a friction locking system that secures the stock to the buffer tube for zero movement.

• Friction locking system that eliminates all stock movement
• Sloping cheek weld for improved user interface
• Ambidextrous sling mounts for QD, 1.25" loops, and lanyard hole
• Side mounting slots for cheek risers
• LOP Adjust= 3.3 inch
• Weight: .0785 pounds without rubber butt-pad or spacer butt-pad
• Collapsed Length: 7.2" without rubber butt-pad or spacer butt-pad
• Extended Length: 10.5" without rubber butt-pad or spacer butt-pad

MIAD - Misson ADaptable AR15/M16 Grip Basic Kit</b>

The Magpul Mission Adaptable Grip (MIAD) is a drop in replacement for the pistol grip on the M16/M4/Ar15 series of rifles. It features removable and replaceable front and rear panels for a custom fit over multiple hand sizes.Grip features improved ergonimics and positive rough texture on both sides and rear backstraps. Features a removable inner core that allows for storage (3 round plug included) Custom storage of batteries (waterproof) or bolt/firing pin is available with optional cores. The basic Kit includes 3 size backstraps (s,m,l), 2 frontstraps, 3 round core plug, installation hardware.

• Aggressive no-slip texture
• Small (B1), medium (B2), and large (B3) back-straps
• A1 and A2 style front-straps
• Three-round 5.56 NATO storage core
• Weight: .190-0.260 pounds

Ladder Rail Protectors

• Provides a very low profile grip
• Protects the operator from sharp rail edges
• Protects unmounted rail areas from damage
• Prevents damage to gear, such as rappelling ropes, that may be abraded or cut by uncovered rail sections
• The Santoprene covers provide a rubbery surface for improved weapon control
• Easily cut for custom fitting. Each protector covers 17 slots of rail

Magpuls

When installed on the base of a rifle or subgun magazine, the Magpul provides unsurpassed speed and controllability
during high stress, tactical magazine changes.

• Durable thermoplastic loop with recessed rough gripping surface
• Quick and easy installation and removal
• Patented design based upon the tried and true para-cord loops and duct-tape tabs currently in use with special
warfare units worldwide

Streamlight Super Tac Flashlight and Vertical Foregrip w/ Rail

To be honest, the first thing that went thru my mind when I saw the Super Tac light at SHOT was "Holy Cow, it looks
like a tacticool ice cream cone.". Then I saw its beam. Even under the bright Sodium lights inside the convention center, the Super Tac could throw. This is the Nolan Ryan of flashlights. Even across the building it's beam was less than 3 feet at 25 yards. Considering the competition, the Super Tac has a lot going for it. Most 9v lights top out around 125 lumens. With the Super Tac you get 135 lumens on tap from only 2 3v batteries. So not only does the light weight less, you get the advantage of a unbreakable LED to boot. The only real issue I had wasn't with the light, it was with the VFG. There are 2 small steel pins that align the two halves. These pins aren't locked into
place and are easily lost when changing or installing the VFG. A minor issue, but one that could sideline the installation of the grip.

Super Tac™ Flashlight

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-10.jpg
° Up to 30,000 peak beam candlepower
° C4 LED is 3X brighter than a Super high-flux LED
° 135 Lumens
° Runtime: up to 3.5 hours
° Machined Aluminum
° Length: 6.62 inches (16.81 cm)
° Weight: 7.1 oz (200 g)
° Extended Warranty
° Two 3 Volt CR123A Batteries (included)
° Holster Included

Streamlight Vertical Grip w/ Rail

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-11.jpg

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-12.jpg

° 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum
° CNC Machined
° Rail-Grabber
° Type II Class 3 Hard Black Anodized
° Mounts To Any Picatinny / Weaver Rail
° O-Ring Sealed Waterproof compartment
° Vertical & Horizontal Ribs For Secure Grip
° 2.5 Inch Picatinny Mounting Rail
° 5 Holes On Rail For Tie down
° Ultra Light Weight Only 6.5oz
° Lifetime Warranty

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143dmr.jpg

I also came up with a version that I tailored a bit more for the DMR role. By switching a few items, VFG, stock, adding a magnifier for the optic, I did the weapon equivalent of 'changing gears'. I took off the Streamlight VFG/Light combo and went back to the GripPod with its VFG/Bipod combination, switched from the Magpul CTR to the Lewis Machine and Tool SOPMOD stock and finally adding a LaRue Tactical "Po Boy" magnifier.

Lewis Machine & Tool SOPMOD Stock

I'm not going to recover the GripPod since I spoke at length about it last time. So that leaves two major items. First up the LMT SOPMOD; and unless you've been living under a tactical rock, the SOPMOD is probably one of the most popular aftermarket stocks out there with good reason. The stock has several key points:

° Improved cheek weld for better shooting position
° Watertight battery storage compartments.
° Padded buttplate reduces felt recoil and provides no-slip surface against web gear and body armor. (this is a HUGE deal with a M14)
° LMT is the sole provider of the SOPMOD Buttstock to the US Special Ops Command, US Army, US Navy, US Air Force,
US Marine Corps and other government agencies and bureaus

And now since its available in Flat Dark Earth, the options just keep on coming. I've had three SOPMOD stocks on my rifles over the years and never managed to break or cause one to fail. The cheekweld is super and the pad really helps manage the M14's recoil. Its heavier than a lot of other stocks, so there's a tradeoff, but for an application like a DMR M14, its almost a requirement.

Checkmate Industries M14 Magazines

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-14.jpg

Most people don't know this, but there's only <b>ONE</b> company that makes USGI spec M14 magazines and that company is Checkmate Industries. I haven't understood in the last several years, while the market has been flooded with 30+ dollar counterfeit M14 magazines from overseas why people didn't simply buy REAL M14 magazines for less than 25.00 each from Checkmate distributors. Oh well, all you can do is lead a horse to water as it were.

Checkmate, despite having a strong business in all kinds of magazines (they're the official M1A magazine supplier to Springfield Armory) Checkmate hasn't been content to rest on their past successes. They've recently introduced a new line of 25rd M14/M1A magazines and a 20rd stainless steel model. I've used these new magazines and they've done really well, no failures of any sort. The only gripe I have is that the stainless steel ones can be slick as all get out in your hands without a Magpul on them. They will slip right out of a nylon pouch if your retention system isn't 100% good to go. Conversely, they don't hang at all when pulling them out either.

If you're going to get magazines for your M14, get Checkmate Industry brand mags. They don't cost anymore and they'll save you a world of headaches.

LaRue Tactical "Poor Boy" Magnifier

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-15.jpg

The last item is the LaRue Tactical "Poor Boy" magnifier. This was designed for a variety of red dot sights such as the ISM-v, Aimpoint M2 and EOTech HWS to extend their capabilities without the 400.00+ price tag of the Aimpoint or EOTech magnifier. Based on the 2.5 power Hensoldt magnifiers that were surplus off of German military anti-tank systems. LaRue had them refurbished by scrubbing off the tank buster reticle and then having magnifier purged and reassembled. You get the pivot mount and magnifier for a bit more than 1/2 of what an Aimpoint/EOTech magnifier would cost to your door. And the system works great on an AR. But... not so well on the M14. Because of the age of the magnifier, optical technology was a lot more primitive back when these were designed. So the 1" eye relief,
while ok on a low recoil AR was simply too close to the eye on the hard recoil M14. If you're looking for a black eye, then this is your combo. Don't get me wrong, its a great combo, just not an ideal magnifier on heavy recoil rifle. So my search for the 'perfect' magnified optic continues.

Whew. Thanks for sticking thru a really long write up. The rifle is getting there, the MCS has really advanced the platform and if I can get a magnified optic for the DMR role, I'll be pretty happy, but that friends, is another review on another day!

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-16.jpg

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-17.jpg

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-18.jpg

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-19.jpg

http://www.ttellc.net/images/m143-20.jpg

Gaiudo
March 29, 2009, 02:07 AM
Thanks so much for the detailed review. I was just looking at the MCS. Can you offer any comparisons with the other after market systems out there, such as the Sage, Jae-100, etc?

HorseSoldier
March 29, 2009, 02:15 AM
The ISM-v is made from the same polymer material as the Insight PEQ-2 which has a habit of getting itself knocked off of the top of many a rifle in the sandbox. However, after consulting with a source from within the Special Forces Community (thank you), I got an insight (no pun) into improvements that were made to the system to improve its durability.

Some 3rd Group teams I worked with a while back were running those (the IR laser version, actually), but never saw them again more recently when working with guys from the same group. Don't know if they went away or it was just something that some ODAs or companies got funding for.

MTMilitiaman
March 29, 2009, 01:47 PM
Very detailed article. Thank you for taking the time to construct it. I just have to know where Part One and Part Two are. I ran a search and came up with nothing.

I am also interested in knowing if you have any experience with the Sage chassis system?

KellyTTE
April 2, 2009, 11:57 PM
Holy necropost Batman.

The first parts are at http://www.ttellc.net under 'evaluations'.

I don't have any field time with the JAE-100, but its purpose is more precision than tactical. As for the sage, I've played with them some, but I didn't personally like it much.

BruceB
April 3, 2009, 12:34 AM
In MY opinion, taking a fine and functional rifle like an M-14/M1A, and hanging all the crap, gadgets and bling all over it as illustrated in this thread, amounts to committing a crime of un-natural and obscene severity.

I have handled and fired some of these abortions, and they are ugly, malformed and (to me) almost-useless perversions of the original rifle.

Making the original rifle into something it was never intended to be requires enormous effort and cost, and the results don't justify either the thinking or the money. If I was ever so unfortunate as to come into ownership of such a rifle, I'd just thank my lucky stars that the conversion back to as-issued form is still possible.

Having said all the above, y'all carry right on with your projects. Just don't expect any sort of admiration or "gee-whiz" from this part of the forum. Different strokes, and all that....

Now ducking for cover.

madcratebuilder
April 3, 2009, 12:38 AM
Don't feel alone bruce, I'm kind of a wood and steel guy myself. It took me awhile to like a fiberglass stock.

Gaiudo
April 3, 2009, 02:15 AM
BruceB.... wow..... tell us how you REALLY feel!

Have you ever tried to mount a decent optic on an M14 style rifle? Its a RPITA. For those of us who love the trigger and sights of the rifle, but would like to have a modern optic on it, this seems like a pretty good choice. Enjoy a pistol grip? Good luck with the standard stock. Your characterization of "aborted, malformed, and almost useless perversions" to me just reeks of ignorance.

But, carry on....

BruceB
April 3, 2009, 11:29 AM
Gaiudo, pard;

Your reaction to what I posted is pretty much what I expected, but more polite than I might have anticipated. Thanks for that!

My objection to the craze for modification is this: most folks are trying to make the rifle into something it is not, and was never intended to be... it's an infantry rifle for regular soldiers. The M14, and everything about the M14, was made to serve the daily requirements of the fighting soldier.

Optics? I don't need or want an optical device on my M1A. It's just not on my radar. Nor do I need/want any of the other devices we see on this thread. The rifle, as-issued, suits me to a "T" with the single minor need for a larger aperture in the rear sight.

Ignorance....well, I may be ignorant compared to some, but I've owned and used M14s (REAL, US-issue M14s) and M1As for over thirty years, to a total of about seven individual M14/M1A rifles, and many thousands of rounds fired. One of my current rifles was bought new in 2005 and now has about 5,000 rounds down the tube. My regard for the system is very high indeed, and it's surely among my favorites. I have plenty of other rifles with optical sights, but as stated, I have ZERO desire for a scope/red-dot/OEG/laser or whatever on my M1A.

I do have strong PERSONAL objections to many of the mods being perpetrated on the rifle type, but I'm a certified ol' fart AND a former infantryman....we do tend to have rather firm ideas.

Also, it is of course an individual thing, and if the mods turn one's crank, by all means have at it. My opinion is just that, and we all know what's said about opinions.

Gaiudo
April 3, 2009, 11:44 AM
I think the reason you see the modification craze is that there is a dearth of decent .308 platforms. With the M14 model rifle, you get a platform that is boringly reliable, has a well known record of service, good sights, all the benefits that we like. Until recently, most of us have steered away from the AR-10 style rifle (though there have been improvements lately). If you care to have a good .308 platform that isn't an Ar-10, but you want to use optics, where would YOU go?

Until the Massoud/ACR gets proven, or the SCAR comes down (significantly) in price, we're using what we've got. A well-known platform with a proven record.

(By the way, I mistyped... I meant "arrogance", not "ignorance". My mistake!! ;-) I wouldn't want to insult your intelligence!)

H2O MAN
April 3, 2009, 11:53 AM
Most appreciate the M14 platform for what it is and some have chosen to invest in what the M14 platform can be.

It's easy for those that are inexperienced with just how good the modern M14 can be to sit back and criticize it.
It takes hard work, money and perseverance to modernize the M14 and make it all that it can be.
Good job KellyTTE and thanks for the write up.


I worked with Steve Troy on a prototype of the M14 MCS - LINK (http://www.athenswater.com/TROY_M14_MCS.htm).

I favor the TROY MCS for the SOCOM and the SAGE EBR for the 18.0" and 22.0" barreled actions.


I tried the AR-10 type rifle and sold it off in favor of another M14 :)








.

SlamFire1
April 3, 2009, 03:38 PM
Very interesting.

Your rifle looks like the weapons in the movie StarShip Troopers.

I was so happy to see the M14 action fighting evil on other planets. :D

Deer Hunter
April 3, 2009, 03:55 PM
Just out of curiousity...

What's the weight on that thing?

Gewehr98
April 3, 2009, 04:01 PM
Looks like you managed to build an AR-10/SR-25 out of an M14/M1A action, albeit considerably heavier.

Imititation is the sincerest form of flattery, in that respect. ;)

And yes, I'm a big M14 fan. I have been since I bought my first M1A in the early 1990s. I still keep and shoot my Krieger-barreled M14NM, albeit in a decidedly un-glamorous USGI fiberglass stock w/comb riser and ARMS #18 scope mount. It was my winning High Power rig for many years. Granted, it's not tacticool, but as a retired military guy I'm not clearing houses in a MOUT environment, and I'm also a strong believer in the K.I.S.S. principal. I'd have bought an AR-10 or SR-25 before rebuilding an M14/M1A to accomplish the same end results pictured above.

So no admiration from this neck of the woods either. It's your gun, and your right to modify it however you see fit. Some of us, however, aren't so easily swayed by lasers, phasers, and wind speed indicators hanging off of perfectly good rifles when the money so spent could probably go for training and ammo for practice. Curb feelers, as it were, unless you really are doing MOUT ops - in which case, I will readily defer.

H2O MAN
April 3, 2009, 04:23 PM
Gewehr98 Looks like you managed to build an AR-10/SR-25 out of an M14/M1A action, albeit considerably heavier.



If both rifles have matching but stocks and accessories the total weight is almost identical.
The SAGE EBR version can be lighter than all of them.
If only the reliability of the AR-10 and SR-25 could match the reliability of the modernized M14... now that would be an accomplishment.

Gaiudo
April 3, 2009, 04:41 PM
Some of us, however, aren't so easily swayed by lasers, phasers, and wind speed indicators hanging off of perfectly good rifles when the money so spent could probably go for training and ammo for practice.

What, you save money by buying a $3-4k SR-25, rather than an M1a and a MCS? I guess its the new math.... Now I'm not bashing on the SR-25, looks like a great platform to me. But what is wrong with transforming a very reliable platform that performs a desired task, vs. trying to run a notoriously unreliable platform for a lot more money?

HorseSoldier
April 3, 2009, 05:01 PM
What, you save money by buying a $3-4k SR-25, rather than an M1a and a MCS? I guess its the new math.... Now I'm not bashing on the SR-25, looks like a great platform to me.

The SR-25 is a mil-spec weapons system, the M1A is not.

You should be comparing an M1A to, say, a DPMS or Armalite AR-10 type -- and you lose badly on the M1A money wise then, and have to do a lot of finessing to get it to match the AR for accuracy and keep it matching it.

H2O MAN
April 3, 2009, 05:08 PM
KellyTTE, what is the weight of your rifle with just the battle sights, LMT SOPMOD but stock, rail covers and MIAD?

Thanks.

H2O MAN
April 3, 2009, 05:09 PM
What is the cost for just one SR-25 mil-spec weapons system?

Gewehr98
April 3, 2009, 05:10 PM
I haven't seen a $3-4K AR-10. SR-25, sure, but that's also the gun Uncle Sam has purchased for use because it works.

An AR-10 is what the civilian M1A above has been converted to, in a not-so-roundabout fashion.

HorseSoldier speaks true.

H2O MAN
April 3, 2009, 05:14 PM
You should be comparing an M1A to, say, a DPMS or Armalite AR-10 type -- and you lose badly on the M1A money
wise then, and have to do a lot of finessing to get it to match the AR for accuracy and keep it matching it.

The M14 is inherently more reliable than, say, a DPMS or Armalite AR-10 type.
M14 accuracy is acceptable out of the box and it can be improved for little cost.

Uncle Sam and the tax payer loses badly with the SR-25 money wise, the rifle should be as reliable as the modernized M14... it's not.

Jeff White
April 3, 2009, 05:56 PM
H2O MAN,
The only reason that any of these tacticool accessories exist for the M14 is that the M14 is available. Units deploying had the option of getting M14s from the supply system v. buying MK11s and now the M110 new. Simple economics. Many of the accessories were developed for police departments who received surplus M14s through the 1033 program and DODs LESO (Law Enforcement Support Office) Program. They were developed because the M14 as issued is not suitable for the uses the end users required.

The M14 is probably the most unsuccessful service rifle the Ordnance Department has ever produced. Production difficulties kept it from ever being fielded to the majority of the force. It was canceled because it was felt it was more economically feasible to await the development of the OICW then to continue to pour money into trying to produce it in sufficient quantity to meet our needs.

The design was fine in 1955 or so, but doctrine has changed since then. Just as the AR series has pretty much replaced it at Camp Perry, weapons that are designed to do what current doctrine requires of them are already replacing the M14s that were brought out of mothballs to stand in.

The M14 has the poorest ergonomics of any currently used rifle. The safety in the trigger guard is a 1930s idea that was carried over into the 50s, when we didn't use weapons the way we use them today. It's an ND waiting to happen.

It is unreliable when cut down to a length that is really usable in CQB. I have participated and conducted a lot of LE Rifle/Carbine training since I retired from the Army and I've seen plenty of these reworked M14s that wouldn't run. It takes someone who really knows what they are doing to make one run. Unfortunately not all of the manufacturers cutting these things down know the system well enough to make it work.

Uncle Sam and the tax payer loses badly with the SR-25 money wise, the rifle should be as reliable as the modernized M14... it's not.

Please tell us your personal experience with the SR25. I'm not going to bash anyone's modernized M14s on a public forum but I'll be happy to provide manufacturers, dates and places of the ones I have seen fail and the circumstances they failed under.

I'm afraid the M14 is going to be relegated to a footnote in the history of military small arms. The military and LE community has moved on.

H2O MAN
April 3, 2009, 06:10 PM
Jeff,

Instead of perpetuating the total hi-jacking of this thread, why doesn't someone start a new thread about the SR25 and it's civilian derivatives?

You could just relocate your post and trash the M14, I mean praise the SR25 until your heart is content :)

MTMilitiaman
April 3, 2009, 06:13 PM
They said the military and police communities had moved on in the 60s.

They said the M14 was dead--an archaic design representing a bygone era.

The fact that we are still having this conversation speaks volumes about the degree to which Stoner-philes have repeatedly underestimated the adaptability and resilience of the M14.

As for ergonomics, I'll take the M14 ergos over the AR ergos any day of the week.

People talk the ergos of the AR up but I never found them to be anything special. You can say what you want about the location of the M14s safety, but the location of the AR's charging handle is abysmal, whether it's 1930 or 2030 only an aircraft engineer could think that was a good idea. And at least the M14's safety is ambi.

lipadj46
April 3, 2009, 06:15 PM
Well every weapon system has its fanboys and it is not too hard to see which side of the fence some folks are on. There is lots of good factual info in these posts but there are also lots of opinion and propaganda too.

Personally I prefer the M14 ergonomics and a bigger round but that is just me.

H2O MAN
April 3, 2009, 06:17 PM
:evil:

MTMilitiaman

They said the military and police communities had moved on in the 60s.

They said the M14 was dead--an archaic design representing a bygone era.

The fact that we are still having this conversation speaks volumes about the degree to which
Stoner-philes have repeatedly underestimated the adaptability and resilience of the M14.

Well said!

TexasRifleman
April 3, 2009, 06:18 PM
The only reason that any of these tacticool accessories exist for the M14 is that the M14 is available.

First rule of a gunfight...... Bring a gun.

While the M14 and the modernization is nowhere near perfect, you have to admit that the manufacturers like Sage, Troy etc have done an excellent job of bringing an "old world" design into a useful modern weapon system.

Is it the best? No, probably not (as much as I do like them) but as you say, it's available.

These days that's a big plus for any weapon. It's there, at a reasonable cost, and does a more than serviceable job at the task.

That's better than most firearms I'd say.

Gaiudo
April 3, 2009, 07:36 PM
I have no idea how this thread became a M14vsSR15 thread. Its uncalled for.

KellyTTE, thanks for posting your information. Its a great thread on whats available for the M14 platform. Thanks for taking the time! I'm looking for an MCS now to try out and see how it does for adding optics to the platform.

Art Eatman
April 3, 2009, 08:31 PM
Anybody got anything constructive to say about modernized M14s? Anybody have experiences to comment about?

That's what's pertinent to the thread.

I dunno. Lotsa folks seem to really enjoy raining on other folks' parades. Must be kin to my ex-wife.

MTMilitiaman
April 3, 2009, 08:46 PM
I have a lot good to say about modernized M14s. While I can understand the sentiment towards the old fashioned M14, esp among those who were "over there" with them and are over here because of them, I feel the modernized M14 has a lot to offer in the way of improving all aspects of combat related performance including reliability and durability but most notably accuracy, esp over the long term, flexibility as related to attachment of optics and combat multipliers like IR lasers and lights, and controllability.

In fact, from my perspective, I don't see how any other modernized 7.62mm platform can touch it. I like the modernized M14 enough that if it's the last thing I do on this earth I'll own an SEI built Mk 14.

That said, I will admit my experience with most platforms is lacking, save for the gold Old Fashioned M1A in GI synthetic. I'm still not saving my pennies and dreaming of a stinkin AR-10, in any format, when I go to sleep at night.

H2O MAN
April 3, 2009, 10:34 PM
Art Eatman Anybody got anything constructive to say about modernized M14s?

They're Gr-r-reat! :D

Zak Smith
April 3, 2009, 10:47 PM
The M1A/M14 is the - or at least one of the - dominant rifles used in "He-man" / "Heavy-Metal" division, which requires a .30 caliber full-power rifle and iron sights (at most matches). We have several local fans of the M14 platform for this division. Here is one of best, shooting at the 2008 RM3G Nationals in Raton (he came in 4th in He-Man Iron).

http://demigodllc.com/photo/RM3GM-2008/smaller/D462_9593_img.jpg (http://demigodllc.com/photo/RM3GM-2008/?small=D462_9593_img.jpg)
............... Larger version of above photo. (http://demigodllc.com/photo/RM3GM-2008/?small=D462_9593_img.jpg)

I believe several local M14 shooters tried the Sage M14 stock and found it heavy and unwieldy. The M14, in stock form, is a very nice package, IMO.

H2O MAN
April 4, 2009, 12:00 AM
I started out with a Springfield Scout in 2001 and had it bedded in Walnut with a number of other National Match modifications.

The AWB expired and the SAGE EBR became available, I made a leap of faith and changed over to the EBR in 2004.

The original EBR was the M14ALCS and it was heavy. SAGE was rather quick to upgrade and lighten their product.
The nose of the stock was shortened, holes were drilled and cuts were made to lighten the original EBR.


Today, the new and improved M14ALCS/CV is the lightest SAGE EBR available. A new and lighter EBR is in the works...

My MK14 SEI with the chrome lined standard profile 18.0" M118LR barrel weighs 10.3 lbs.
This weight includes an Aimpoint T-1 and the whole thing weighs just one lb. more than the 9.3 lb. Scout pictured in Zak Smith's post.

http://www.athenswater.com/images/MK14-EBR-18.jpg

This one extra lb. gives me tension bedding of the receiver that never wears out.
A barrel that's semi free floated forward of the op rod guide block and I have the super reliable Micro T-1.
This MK14 will shoot 1 MOA with Portuguese surplus all day long, even with my sound suppressor installed.

I don't find the 18.0" barreled action in the M14ALCS/CV to be heavy or unwieldy.

The M14 in stock form is an excellent rifle, but the modernized M14 is vastly superior.



.

amprecon
April 5, 2009, 03:01 AM
The M1A rifle is a fine rifle to me and even as there are other alternatives out there I'm pleasantly satisfied with mine.
I wanted to make it more versatile so I installed the ARMS #18 mount, a 6X Nikon scope and a light.
Now everyone has different uses and plans for their rifles, but I use mine to hunt with, a scope allows me to get more out of the potential of the caliber and a light comes in handy in the dark when heading back to the truck or tracking blood-trails.

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