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M14 vs M16. What Is the Better Overal Combat Rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Red Wind, Sep 12, 2015.

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M14 vs M16. What Is the Better Overall Combat Rifle?

Poll closed Oct 12, 2015.
  1. M14

    25.5%
  2. M16

    66.7%
  3. Undecided

    7.8%
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  1. Ash

    Ash Member

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    "Well, the B-29's service life also had a lot to do with the emerging jet engine technology."

    That's my point. The M14 was displaced by a change in technology and had nothing to do with being "a complete failure." McNamara liked the M16. He also shut down Springfield Armory. It's the nature of the beast.
     
  2. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    As I said in post 38, there is only ONE reason the M14 was used in the GWOT, it was available in depot storage when we needed a longer range rifle NOW, not in a few years after we developed one. As soon as the M110 was developed and adopted the M14 was on it's way back to the depot and as soon as the M110 is fully fielded there will be no more M14s in service. If it was such a success in the DMR role, why are we replacing it again?

    The M14 was ill conceived and really didn't give us anything more then we had with the M1 except for a 20 round detachable magazine. It is too light to be controllable in full auto fire and the E2 kit didn't fix it.

    We could have kept the M1, saved millions of dollars and ended up right where we are today.

    Nothing from the M14 was carried over to the next generation of small arms. An evolutionary dead end. A total failure.
     
  3. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I was thinking the same thing with regards to changing materials technology in using aircraft aluminum, and plastic instead of steel and wood.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  4. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Member

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    This has never ever before been debated.
     
  5. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    They never really fully fixed the problem of easy engine overheating on the B-29. It was an inherent problem with the cowl design IIRC.

    The AR-10 was resurrected as several different 7.62x51 platforms such as the SR-25 and is used by the military today. I don't think you can rightfully say the AR-10 was a complete failure.
     
  6. No4Mk1*

    No4Mk1* Member

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    The AR-15 is a better rifle for our military, but as I have no supporting artillery, air support, etc., it's nice to have the M1A in addition to the more general purpose AR-15.
     
  7. Ash

    Ash Member

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    The SR-25 of today is very, very different from the AR-10. Modern versions are evolutions of the M16, not the AR-10. While it begot the M16, it is an example of a complete failure. The M14 was certainly replaced in short order by the M16, but it was not a complete failure. Which would be better today? The M16, given the role of the combat infantryman. But the M14 can in no way be considered a complete failure. Had doctrines remained the same, the M14 could easily have received the kind of tinkering and product upgrades that the M16 received.
     
  8. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Ash, besides the 20 round magazine, what did the M14 give us that we didn't already have with the M1?
     
  9. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    AR10's of a 22" barrel length are heavier than the M14. Stoner managed to make use of lightweight materials everywhere he could and still produced a heavier rifle than the Garand design.
     
  10. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    What is your source for the weight differences between the AR10 and M14?
     
  11. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    Reality
     
  12. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    O.K., I will ask more politely. Could you please provide a published source for where you found the differences in weight between the AR10 and M14?
     
  13. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    M14 9.1 lbs empty with cleaning kit (google)
    Armalite AR10TAC20 20" barrel no kit 9.7 lbs published.
    You will not find a current production current or military AR10 style 22" rifle lighter than the m14.
     
  14. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

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    Armalite AR 10 Weight 3.29–4.05 kg (7.25–8.9 lb) Wikipedia.
    No magazine, no cleaning kit 1.2" shorter barrel. You can see no real weight savings at all.
    It is worth noting that this rifle was never adopted by any first world military.
     
  15. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    Thank you dvdcrr. While the weight figures from your sources do not match the weight for similarly configured rifles as listed in Jane's Infantry Weapons and Small Arms of the World; JIW and SAW indicate that the M14 is about 7 ounces lighter.
     
  16. M1key

    M1key Member

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    Combat would imply ability to move rapidly with rifle, ammo, and gear.

    M14? No thanks.

    M16A1? Better.

    M
     
  17. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    I am just wondering - how is the AR10 heavier than the M14? Like Pilot said, the AR is aluminum and plastic whereas the M14 is wood and steel, and the DI system should also be a little lighter than a piston action. Where is the extra weight coming from?
     
  18. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Improved self regulating gas system that could accommodate a wider variety of combat loads and didn't affect barrel harmonics as much as the M1 Gas System.

    Improved, stronger shorter throw operating rod that could take the stresses associated with full automatic fire.

    Stronger, better designed stock assembly using less material that also reduced the tendency for the stock assemblies to catch fire under sustained combat fire conditions.

    Shorter bolt throw leading to a faster cyclic lock time.

    Need I go on?
     
  19. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Member

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    I have no combat experience. But I read a great book by a SF soldier from the Vietnam War ("There are Tigers in that Valley" [??]) I recall reading about how the author took an M1 carbine as his long arm out on a long patrol into hostile teritory. This, I recall, was early in the war and before the M16 was widely issued. But it struck me how this fit, tough young SF guy choose the carbine over a heavier long arm like the M14. Weight, I imagine was a primary concern. And from his description, the round from that carbine was way more effective than we give it credit for.
     
  20. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    And this improved combat capability? Really?

    The M14 is too light to be controllable in full automatic fire so an improved, stronger, shorter throw operating rod is a moot point.

    The M14 was one of the Ordnance Department' biggest fiascos. Millions of dollars wasted.
     
  21. goon

    goon Member

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    The AR-10 variants of today are probably sporting heavy barrels meant to give better sustained accuracy and handle heat better than the Garand with a stock barrel. I'm betting that they put the weight where it can do some good for the role those rifles are intended for.
     
  22. Ash

    Ash Member

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    Jeff, a sudden change in direction, not the failings of the M14, are why the money was spent to little long-term effect. Had it been a complete failure of the M14, and not a change to an intermediate round, the US would have issued another design like the FAL.

    However, troops were issued - and a great many preferred - the M14. Had McNamara not changed the direction of the weapons issued, the M14 would easily and effectively served into the 1980's - easily until the 1st Gulf War. Doctrines changed. The most significant one being the desire for individual soldiers to carry select-fire weapons. That doctrine itself has led to debates on the value of full-auto which is why the 3-round burst option came into favor.

    How long did teething problems occur with the AR?

    McNamara is why the money was wasted. Did the troops end up, after teething problems that got troops killed, with a superb battlefield weapon in the M16 and its derivatives? Yes, they did. I've not argued at all against the merits of the M16.

    Considering how short the South Dakota class battleships were in service they must have been abject failures, too, right? No, they were superb platforms that even to this day the Brits considered superior to the following New Jerseys (even considering the 4 knot advantage and longer main gun caliber the final battleships had) given their shorter length and better armor layout. But the world had changed and large battleships were expensive to run when a bunch of frigates could work almost as well considering the kings of the sea were now aircraft carriers. Yet the South Dakotas were mothballed when they were but 5 years old (the New Jersey's were largely the same age when they got mothballed as well).
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  23. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I would have preferred the M14, though I never shot or carried one. I earned my Distinguished Rifleman's Badge with an M1a, which is a slightly different rifle from the M14.

    Things I like about my M1a: the open top design allows you to quickly see and clear a malfunction. Which was rare, can't think of a cartridge misfeed or failure to eject. Competitive shooters using the AR15 learn to carry a needle nosed multitool so they can get a jammed round out of the port. I have had jams with AR15, and this jam occurred when I was running the line for the 200 yard rapid fire sitting stage. I was able to take pictures while the competitor was still in position. This sort of jam is common with the AR15 type mechanism. I think we had to drop the magazine, separate the halves, pull the bolt out, then fish out the round. With an open top design all you would have had to do is pull the bolt back, tilt the rifle for the round to fall out, and let the bolt go forward and feed the next round.

    DSCF3453MagazineJam1_zpsaaf769c5.jpg

    DSCF3453MagazineJamenlarged_zps20c891ff.jpg

    DSCF3455Magazineroundjam_zps11e864ea.jpg

    I have had blown primers in the AR, so have others. Shoot enough hot loads in your AR, primers will fall down and jam up the mechanism. When crap gets down into the lower, gets trapped between the hammer and sear, the gun is down. It takes punches to knock out the trigger mechanism. The M14 had one of the best, if not the best, trigger mechanism ever designed for a semi automatic rifle. All you did had to do to clear junk was pull the trigger guard loop, pull the trigger mechanism out, and clear anything with your finger or just blow it out. I never had, nor have I seen, a M14 trigger mechanism jam due to junk.

    At Camp Perry I talked to the Marine Corp Armorer's. The M14 was a more maintenance heavy platform than the AR15. There is no doubt why, the 308 produces about 14 foot pounds of energy, the 223 about 2 foot pounds. The locking mechanisms are about the same weight so you would expect the mechanism handling seven times more bolt thrust and energy would break first. Now the various variants of the M16 weigh as much as an M14, so the weight advantage is gone.

    When I talk to Gulf War Veterans, these guys are having to clean their M4/M16's at least three times a day. In Vietnam, one Company Commander I knew required his troops to clean their M16's at each rest stop. About every hour! The M14/M1 Garand mechanism I don't recall anyone ever talking about having to clean it. I remember one Korean War Vet, he out and said that no matter how dirty his Garand got, it fired and functioned perfectly.

    I have shot with and pulled targets with a number of combat veterans. The Vietnam Vets, one absolutely preferred his M14. Another, while he carried a M14 E2, he preferred the M16 because the combat load was 400 rounds. The M14 combat load was 200 rounds. Current Veterans have never carried or shot anything different from the M4/M16 and are loyal to this platform. Soldiers are incredibly resistant to change, always were, always will be.

    A Vietnam vet friend, his son deployed to Iraq as a Battalion Scout Sniper. Son preferred the M14 because for shots over 100 yards, the M16 "just did not keep them down".
     
  24. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I have not ever heard anyone who used an M14 in combat complain about its capability other than the early issue rifles walnut stock and leather slings would rot away pretty quickly in the jungle environment of South East Asia.

    As far as full auto fire, the Fal and G3 were also too light to be used effectively as fully automatic rifles, the UK went so far as to use limiter selectors to prevent their L1A1 from being used as a full auto rifle.

    The M14, like the FAL, had specialized full auto capable heavy rifles made up. None were too successful.
    H&K skipped all the fluff and went right into a machinegun version of the G3 with the H&K G21 but it never really caught on either.

    That shorter moot point operating rod.
    I'm not aware of even the cast steel rods from commercial M1A rifles failing under normal load.
    The bolt roller added early on in development virtually eliminated the lug wear and battering that was common on M1 Garand operating rods that were subject to extreme sustained fire.
    There was a big batch of H&R M14 operating rods that were not properly heat treated which were prone to failure due to the weld failing at the junction of the tube and the rod body and maintenance alerts were issued in regard to them.
    If you found one installed on a rifle, you replaced it. End of story.

    The amount of R&D money spent on the development of the M14 is a mere drop in the proverbial bucket compared to the billions of dollars wasted on failed military goodies.

    The M14 was a good rifle.
    So were the G3 and the FAL.
    None were perfect and better options have since come along.
     
  25. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    The original AR10 barrel was a composite of steel core surrounded by aluminum. This made the AR10 significantly lighter than the T-44 (M14 prototype). In Army testing the AR10's barrel burst when a bullet exited halfway down the barrel. IIRC, and I am looking for confirmation, this happened after 5,000 rounds. The fault was thought to be not because of the composite style barrel but because of the stainless steel 416 alloy’s lack of durability over a wide temperature range, susceptibility to cracking due to high sulphur content, and the barrel heat treatment could have been better. Armalite replaced the barrel with a conventional steel barrel. Before the barrel change the AR10 was 6.85 pounds compared to the T-44 (M14 prototype) at 8.45 pounds. I suspect Armalite used an even heavier profile barrel than the M14 to ensure it would not fail or have accuracy problems during extend firing. BTW, one of the complaints about the M14 when adopted was accuracy problems due to the barrel design.
     
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