Correcting God's horrible mistakes with rifles


Glock Glockler
December 29, 2002, 10:47 AM
Well, the deisgn engineer Gods anyway:)

Over in the M14 v. Fal v. AR10 thread, I noticed what has been on my mind for some time: all these rifles could be better.

I have some limited experience with the G3 (a clone anyway) and I did find it to be completely reliable, but the trigger was horrible and the ergonomics were not friendly. I didn't have any desire to actually shoot the weapon, so that's not the tool for creating a synergistic rifle system (me and the rifle) so I sold it.

But would it be possible to eliminate the trigger problem by giving it a Glock style trigger safety (I hear the rough and heavy trigger pull was required by the Army so the rifle would withstand long drops). I don't like the G3 sights but that should be easy to fix, but what about the ergonomics, could one engineer AR level ergonomics onto this girl? With those issues addressed, this rifle would be tough to beat.

And what about the M1A, are there any design defiencies that we could fix? I hear the gas tube being under the barrel contributes to a higher bore axis and thus creates more recoil/muzzle flip, could the gas be vented SKS style over the barrel? Does the design lend itself to having a pistol grip?

So c'mon, let loose, how would we build these and other rifles better?

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December 29, 2002, 11:32 AM
Put some good sights on the FAL, fully adjustable for windage and elevation, and end the quest. Accurate enough, dead reliable, and the best ergonomics of all the 7.62 battle rifles. The sight system sucks though. I suppose an AR-10 addresses all of this as well, the ergonomics of the AR platform are super and so are the sights, but I am not sure what the reliablility of the AR-10 is like.

The HK91/G3 is not a very friendly package to me either, I really don't care for them.

The M14 with a tang safety and a bolt release down near the mag release would be awesome. Both the FAL and the M14 would be nicer if the mags did not need to pivot in. They also would benefit from a large mag release button/lever that when pushed/pulled let ALL mags drop free.

Put the FAL gas system on the AR-10 and it would cover all the bases for me too.

I would vote for a FAL with good sights, or an AR-10 with the FAL gas system.

December 29, 2002, 12:08 PM
Funny you should mention that. :)

First -- all designs of anything could be better. There's always "one more thing" you can do to improve a product. At some point though, you have to freeze the design and get into production, or else we'd all still be using Stick-And-Rock Mark I, Model 1.

Since I only know enough about the 14, I'll talk there....
I think reworking the M14 to incorporate fully modern ergonomics (pistol grip, mag release flipper/button like AR, etc) would require swapping out the trigger group for a new design. Hrmm... now that I think about it, that might not be a bad approach. Take a page from the AC556 and HK plans, and you might even be able to make "dealer sample" FA trigger groups for stock M1As.

When you talk about changing the gas system though, you're looking at such a major redesign that you're better off starting from scratch. Besides, the 14 still uses that big-ol oprod, so I think you'd get at least as much recoil from that much mass banging around on top of the rifle as you'd lose by lowering the effective bore axis.

Personally, I think much of the appeal of the M14/M1A design is in it's more traditional styling, so I'd be wary of changing it too much. Some nice trinkets for the 14 are on the way though. :)


Dave Markowitz
December 29, 2002, 12:17 PM
Anything can be improved.

IMO, the M-14 has excellent ergonomics -- I especially like the fact the the safety and mag release are fully ambidextrous. I would rather it had the lock bar rear sight, as found on WW2-vintage M-1s. I find it easier to turn the wheels on it than the later style site.

IMO the controls on the FAL are so-so, if one is left-handed. I had an L1A1 and found the mag release a bitch to operate with my left hand.

Making the safety lever on the G3/CETME ambidextrous and a bit longer would go a long way to improving the gun's human engineering.

December 29, 2002, 12:58 PM
I like them all for the individual features that are superior to others. Any attempt to make the UBERRIFLE would be doomed to failure IMHO. Kinda like the way G-d looks at His creation of man.:)

December 29, 2002, 02:30 PM
Army expects soldiers to fit the rifles, not the other way around.


Glock Glockler
December 30, 2002, 08:10 PM

We do eventually have to start making things, but that doesn't mean progress has to stop. Upgrades is what I'm talking about, and how we could do it.

As far as the M14 goes, many folks like yours truely do like the traditional aspect of it, but I do think there are those that are a wee bit more concerned with pure function. I hear we have a few M14s in Afganistan right now, though I think we'd be better off with many more there. I thinking of some Marine who's life is on the line, would certain little things being upgraded in the rifle help him even the smallest bit? If so what are they, along with improvements on other rifles?

BTW, what little trinkets are on the way?

December 31, 2002, 01:04 AM
I like the FAL's rock-in magazines. Little more cumbersome on the mag change, but it's rock-solid. I regularly use the magazine as a foregrip for snap shooting, to get my support hand closer to my body.

December 31, 2002, 01:33 AM
...else we'd all still be using Stick-And-Rock Mark I, Model 1. -- Kaylee Heh-heh...:cool:

Interesting subject, but "customizing" a given battle rifle is an extremely expensive thing to do...unless, of course, that your mod will be adopted in a rather large market, military or civilian or both.

One-offs, unfortunately, don't count for much...except for the personal satisfaction entailed in "improving" a design. Not that I don't appreciate tinkerers, God bless 'em.

December 31, 2002, 01:48 AM
AR15 with a left side charging handle.
A blowback gas system that is vented out of the chamber instead of straight down and into it. The gas should hit the bolt on the right or left side instead of on top.

Put a bolt in it EXACTLY like the FAL.
Magazines as sturdy as the FAL's also.

Bruce H
December 31, 2002, 07:35 AM
I have shot an m-14 quite a little bit. If you had a really bad trigger group the armors in the Corp would let you change if you could convince them you knew what you were talking about. The ability to adapt to something not perfect will do you much better that having everything exactly right. Everything has their own foiables, learn to work around and deal with them.

December 31, 2002, 09:29 AM
AR15 with a left side charging handle.

Such a beast already exists, don't it? I know I've seen one around somewhere.. the rest of the innards were Stoner, not FAL though, I'm pretty sure.

While certainly progress is a noble (and necessary) goal... I do wonder at what point it's appropriate to abandon the old platform and seek a new one.

For example -- going from the M16A1 to the A2 -- even the new A4s was perfectly understandable, and good evolutionary changes. Most of it was in human interface factors, and had little to do with changing the basic function of the weapon.

In contrast, as much as I like the result I'm not convinced the move from the M1 to the M14 was a good idea. In sticking to a dated action, the US painted itself into a corner technologically. We were then stuck with something that was much more of a hassle to manufacture than our opponent's long arms, with little benefit. Honestly, I rather suspect that had the US put the time, resources, and energy we used on the M14 into a new .308, it's entirely possible that the FAL and HK would be footnotes in history. :)

But back to the original question... I think in updating God's horrible mistakes" with rifles, updating ergonomics, sighting systems, flash supressors, and all makes perfect sense. Indeed, we're doing that by the boatload on the AR platform.. 'cause that's where the money is. :)

I think changing the guts of a weapon into something it wasn't meant to be though -- redesigning receiver actions and gas systems and the like -- is effort better spent on producing a new design.


December 31, 2002, 11:00 AM
As far as the M14 goes...

put in an adjustable Gas System, a front Night Sight, Synthetic Stock, a Vortex Flash Hider, a slightly fluted chamber as found on the HK G3 to further insure extraction reliability, and a caliber change to .260 Remington and you're ready to go.

December 31, 2002, 11:38 AM
The Army made pistol-grip stocks for the M14. Specifically, for the E2 variant.

Fred's M14 Stocks ( has some for sale, but they're pretty expensive. And I think they'd be illegal on postban, flash-suppressor-equipped M1As.

December 31, 2002, 12:25 PM

Speak of the devil...

4v50 Gary
December 31, 2002, 01:32 PM
One disadvantage of putting the gas piston above the bore is that the sigths will be higher and thus, the user's head. Simo Haya, the Finnish sniper who bagged over 500 Russians in their border dispute (Russo-Finnish War), preferred iron sights over glass since it kept his head lower.

December 31, 2002, 02:18 PM
Gary -- really?

No offense intended, but it seems like the 2" difference wouldn't mean much at several hundred yards? Could there be other reasons, like the technology of scopes at the time -- fogging and the like?


December 31, 2002, 02:34 PM
I don't know that removing the manual safety from an HK style weapon and replacing it with the Glock trigger tab thingy would be well received.

Also, I don't know how well a striker-fired weapon would fare with hard-primered military ammunition.

A nice two-stage military trigger is fine for most battlefield use. The only big changes I'd make to the G3 family would be to find somewhere else to put the charging handle. You righties might not realize this, either, but we lefties don't like charging handles on the left side of the receiver (though with my FAL's bolt hold open I only have to touch the charging handle once).

The thing to consider is there are very few "new" designs. If you're one of those silly people that think old = obsolete, well, I can't help much, other than to tell you the AR-15 line is a late 50's design. (Each and every single person I've met like that, that hates "old fashioned" weapons is an AR-15 fan.)

The G36 is "new" but the operating system of it is anything but.

December 31, 2002, 06:18 PM
Such a beast already exists, don't it?

So I hear but I have never seen one.

No offense intended, but it seems like the 2" difference wouldn't mean much at several hundred yards? Could there be other reasons, like the technology of scopes at the time -- fogging and the like?

Have you ever played Paintball, Kaylee?

I hate those darn hoppers because its impossible to raise the gun without being exposed.

Optics can be a severe drawback if the enemy knows your out there. If I flip on IR from my night vision scope it would pick up any glass object a couple hundred yards out. The flicker of sunlight,or a search light,can also give you away.

2inches??? If the iron sights are 2inches higher than the bore, measure the distance between your eyes and the top of your head and then add the two together. Your talking 5 or 6inches above the bore line. And don't forget to put your helmet another inch or two. Just don't put one of those goofy Prussian Helmets on.

I suppose you could use a few tricks by laying down and holding your head a certain way to avoid telling the enemy where your farhead is, but I've seen snakes pop there heads out of water over hundred yards away.

If your enemy is looking for you 2inches is all he needs to return fire.

Glock Glockler
December 31, 2002, 07:00 PM
If the gas tube is on the top as opposed to the bottom, wouldn't that lower the overall height which someone's head is at? If you put the tube on the bottom, the barrel is just that much higher off the ground.

I would think it'd be a wash.

January 1, 2003, 12:01 AM
Weapons are evolving continually. It's not static. What is new today is old tomorrow. And that is good!

There will always be improvements and/or additions to any system.

I hear the fireworks outside now-HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL AND TO ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

January 1, 2003, 01:03 PM
In terms of keeping a low profile while in a prone position...I would think that a more important consideration than whether or not the gas tube lies above or below the barrel is the size of the magazine.

A 20 round M14 magazine (or a 30 round M16 or AK47 magazine) causes the shooter to present a larger target profile..unless they are dug in behind something.

Of critical importance is the speed of target acquistion and sight alignment. This is where a rear peep sight with a wide front blade type sight excel. Especially when compared to a rear ladder type sight (ala the "AK47").

But in this day and age of good optics and electronics..I think a 1.5 or 2X power "holo" sight is better.

January 1, 2003, 08:11 PM
Aussie's called that a Leader T5 back in the 80's. Wish I had kept mine. Fun gun except for the tinfoil carry handle.

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