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The M14 Rifle - Vietnam Experiences, Accounts, Comments

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ruggz1515, Jul 24, 2015.

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  1. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    standard load out was two pouches with 2 each. I carried two of those plus had a couple musette bags with mags in them I carried 20 loaded mags as you never had enough in a fire fight and I did not want to fool around with loose rounds . As I said I was transported pretty much always in a loach in the rear seat by myself but with equipment and courier bag. I left the two musette bags with I think 8 mags in each in the loach (Bell 500 Jet Ranger) back seat storage ready to pile out with me if necessary.
    Today I got a dozen good 30 rounders and more than 20 20 rounders for castle defense. I carry the mags in those old movie theater film cases . One for each caliber = 5.56, 7.62x39 and aFAL and M14 . :)

    056.gif ]
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  2. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Very neat!

    I'd imagine carrying twenty M14 magazines was heavy!
     
  3. Ruggz1515

    Ruggz1515 Member

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    That's such a neat rifle... You own the night with that 14! How hard is it to remove that scope if you needed that rifle in the daytime?
     
  4. Ruggz1515

    Ruggz1515 Member

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    Did many of you go back to the 14??
     
  5. NAM67

    NAM67 Member

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    In 1967 I was a radio operator with the artillery in the Central Highlands. I was issued an M-14 which I carried for the full year. My remembrances include making sure an 11B did not steal it because they didn't trust their M-16.
     
  6. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    My job had me flying much more than walking. The most important issue was reliability. But, the 7.62 had a heavier bullet, and was obviously a larger caliber.

    To put it into perspective, my favorite rifle round is the 45-70. I don't mind recoil, never really notice it.

    I never did quantitatively measure the penetration of the 7.62 vs the 5.56, so I could be wrong. And hitting "harder" is a subjective measurement. Again, I could be wrong.

    All I really know is that the M14 didn't choke when it was needed.
     
  7. crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Member

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    Was it an OH-6 (Hughes/MD 500) or an OH-58 (Bell Jet Ranger)? I've never heard the OH-58 referred to as a loach by Vietnam vets, just the OH-6.
     
  8. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    crazysccrmd: An OH-6 was a loch, and a OH-58 was a Bell Jet Ranger. I flew them both and have several hours in each one. IMHO the OH-6 was a much better bird in Viet Nam than the OH-58. And I know for sure that if You were going to have to crash one of them. You darn sure wanted to have Your Butt setting in A OH-6 rather than OH-58.
    ken
     
  9. crazysccrmd

    crazysccrmd Member

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    I know the difference, flown the 206 and the 58A/C, just was curious about what Gordon usually flew in since he called it a Bell 500. Haven't had the opportunity to fly an OH-6/MD 500 but everything I've read about them agrees with your atatements. What I posted may not have been clear, sorry.
     
  10. 84B20

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    I would think it would be quite difficult to establish a good cheek weld with that set up. :D
     
  11. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    ruggz1515: An M-14 was kind of hard to come by. I really cant`remember having more than 2 or 3 in my Platoon, at any one time. The REMF`s in the rear, thought it was there soul fuction in life, to keep us from having any M-14`s or 60MM Mortars`. I never really understood that way of thinking, but it seemed to just drive them crazy if they even thought we had one. For the most part I used my M-14 at night because of the Starlight Scope. If we had a clear night, and avantage point you could make Uncle Chuck pay a high price for bothering us. We had what remained of an Old Railroad Bridge, that crossed a river in our area that they could still climb across on . And they did so quite often at night. Some times there could be 4 or 5 on the bridge at one time and if you could shoot their leader the rest just might freeze in place.And then you could really hurt them. I didn`t carry a M-14 on Patrols very much, they sounded different and that could get you shot by your own guys. As far as having someone steal your M-14, if it had a Starlight Scope on it and you layed it down around other Units. Your Rifle was gone, they were prized by just about every body. And we did the same thing.
    ken
     
  12. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    The Starlight comes off quick with the turn of thumbscrews, I have a neat soft padded nylon case for mine, as I dimly remember in Nam it came in an aluminum Haliburton type box. I don't know the difference in copters, I assumed it was a Bell 500 from my civilian experience . I stared at a 1400 round 7.62 ammo drum :) when I flew .
     
  13. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    You don't really use a cheek weld when you shoot the starlight; you keep your head upright as you press your eye into the cup to open it. You can see under that mount and use good dheek weld marksman techniques. I used a starlight in nam when I was at firebases on the perimeter but never "had" one of my own, until the middle 90s when I bought an Irsrelian surplus one that Moro Optics reconconditioned with upgrades. They work quite well but really shine :D if you mount a bit of rail inder the bipod and put one of the now returning Surefire IR lights ! I can see like day out to 200 yards with that set up. ;)
     
  14. 84B20

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    I really know nothing about starlight scopes. I would like one but they are too expensive and my need is extremely limited. Maybe in an end of the world scenario I would get one but I think I'll wait until the signs are more evident. :D One other thought, I assume the rubber eye piece is soft enough to prevent recoil from injuring you eye.
     
  15. kBob

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    What sort of battery does that an PVS-2 use? How long does the battery last?

    The originals used some weird propriatory battery that seemed to go dead right as you needed them.

    If folks think check weld on the M-14/starlight was weird you should have seen the wonky side mount from the carrying handle on the M-16 A1. Around some Pershing sites in Europe with the Starlight we put the mount on one rifle but carried the scope in a bag much like the M-60 spare barrel bag. It came out for use as a viewing device and if needed got slid onto the mounts rail. If folks are wondering zeroing is done with knobs on the mount that is to say external adjustments.

    When the AN/PVS 4 came along you could no longer used the iron sights on the M-16A1 as the mount was part of the scope which fit in the carrying handle. Made it harder to zero with out actually shooting.

    There was an experimental scope for the M-14 that was much like ith ANPVS-14 of today in looks, but not performance called the Hyper- Mini Scope which never got issued to my knowledge but was tested in the early 1970s.

    -kBob
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I favored the M14, and as I said, carried the sniper version my second tour. I've often said that an M14 and enough ammo to accomplish the mission weighs less than an M16 and enough ammo to accomplish the same mission. In other words, the 5.56 rounds are lighter, but it takes more of them to do the job.
     
  17. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I also was in Basic in Fort Lewis fall of 1967. We trained with the M-14 but did have a class or two on the M-16. The M-14 I was issued was extremely accurate. On the training and zeroing range I put 9 out of 10 shots in the same small hole, only one shot not in it but just touching. A good shooter had little problems hitting 600 meter pop-ups. In 1969 before I went to 'Nam I qualified with the M-16 and felt it too was very accurate and easy to hit targets at the max range of 400 meters. I had no problems with either rifle but I only used the M-16 in actual combat.
     
  18. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    The Viet-Nam experience is much dependent on your tour of duty dates, Corps area, branch of service, military occupation service and your rank.

    A combat load was comprised of more than your basic weapon and ammunition.

    That said the M60 MG hundred round battle packs were distributed among unit members, 60mm mortar rounds, and etcetera representing other essentials required.
     
  19. Nom de Forum

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    IMO that is gross exaggeration of M14 and 7.62 capability. In 1984-85 I had the privilege of an acquaintanceship with Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart. I have often wondered if they had M16s with twice as much ammunition would they have lived long enough to have escaped or been rescued.
     
  20. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    20 M14 mags? That's actually the most I've ever heard of being carried. M14 rifles actually shipped with a total of 5 magazines in the package during my time of service ('66-'69). The most I ever carried was 13, on a 3-day patrol, looking for trouble. A large person (6-3, 210 pounds) I also got to carry a belt for the 60, and a pair of Claymores. The ruck was heavy, the rifle, not so much. Mine was a TRW M14.

    We found that the 7.62 round was more effective against heavy foliage than the 5.56, and tended to make an enemy hit pay closer attention than the 5.56 as well. Not EVERY hit was lethal in combat. The 7.62 seemed to impart more damage. Of course, the M16 had lost it's 1:13 rifling by 1967, also removing much of the tendency to yaw at a shallower depth.

    The M14 rifles of the '67 '69 period were more reliable, and less trouble-prone than their contemporaries in the M16.

    Today, or even 10 years later, the M16 was a different animal. However, when they were originally issued, they were badly flawed.

    Oh, and I think that the idea of Stoner developing the AR rifle with "disposable magazines" is another bit of apologists myth. I have never seen any literature that indicates that as an official position by the military, Stoner, or Armalite. In the late 60's, there WAS a pilot program to issue disposable mags for the M14. It proved impractical, and was quickly dropped.

    Had the M14 remained an issue weapon, they had developed a synthetic stock for it. It lowered the weight by a couple of pounds. Oddly, you rarely saw them in the area of Viernam I was in.

    What I find amusing is that the "modern war-fighter" using an M4 with optical sight, rails, white light, IT illumination, forward grip, and 3x magnifier, carries a weight greater than the old M14 with a wooden stock. Yet, it's the M14 that's "too heavy".
     
  21. Nom de Forum

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    In July of 1966 the Army was interested in developing disposible M16 magazines. According to "The Black Rifle" by Stevens and Ezell Colt's refused to provide the Army drawings for the Army to develop the disposable magazines due to concerns about the terms of Colt's agreement with Fairchild requiring royalty payments, and wide variances in magazine/reciever dimensions being "a source of considerable embarrassment to Colt' management.
     
  22. Corpral_Agarn

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    I read every post. Thank you all for putting in your input. It was very enjoyable for me to read all of this.
    A close friend of the family volunteered for for the LRRP in Vietnam and he carried the 16 because of weight but he had a solid respect and appreciation for the M14.

    Wow. That is quite the honor in my book.
    I wondered the same, after I read the account and studied it in a little better detail. I think though, that they would have been overrun before the convoy or additional choppers could arrive even if their loadout was different.
    If I recall, they had little birds making gun runs to support Shughart and Gordon but they were still overrun. I hope their story is never forgotten, though I fear that we focus on the wrong stories in this great country of ours and the truly important ones are forgotten (or never heard) by most.
     
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The 60mm mortar was obsolete, and all our stocks were ear-marked for the ARVN.

    That being said, when I was Headquarters Company Commander, 1/5 ID, we got our hands on a couple of Chinese copies and kept them. The Brigade Artillery Commander wanted them -- claiming indirect fire was his job. How we kept them is a good story -- I challenged him to a shoot-off, my crew first and then his crew. We won hands down.

    Afterwards he said, "I know you cheated. Tell me how you did it."

    I gave him an innocent smile and said, "Those are Chinese sights. 6,000 mils to the circle." (US Artillery uses 6400 mils to the circle.)

    In 1970, at the Infantry Officers Advanced Course at Benning, all the whiz-kid combat developers briefed us. One of my classmates got pretty hot -- "My first tour was in '64 and we asked for 60mm mortars and couldn't get them."

    So the whiz-kid did a song and dance saying how they took that request seriously and were developing a new 60mm -- "With the range and power of the 81mm." But he couldn't say when it would be fielded.

    It was finally fielded around 1977, after the war was over.
     
  24. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    VERN: Did the new version of the 60mm mortar really have the range and powder of the 81mm mortar. And who was lucky enough to get to use them and did they really work.
    ken
     
  25. SSN Vet

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    Not a Nam experience by any measure.... but an M-14 anecdote none the less....

    Seems that the Navy is late to the party and the M-16 was not implemented into the small arms lockers of fast attack submarines until the Los Angeles class boats (SSN-688 and up) hit the fleet.

    All the Sturgeon class boats (SSN-637 to 687) had four M-14s in the small arms locker. But these were not issued for the normal repel boarders drill (shooting a 7.62 round in a submarine could cause a lot of damage). Rather they were issued for two special watch bills.

    Polar bear watch When the boat surfaces through the ice at the pole, the fur balls like to come out and play, while the crew is doing human dog sled duty to place the "scientific equipment"

    Shark watch ... During swim calls in the Caribbean. But knowing that our watch standers only fired for proficiency twice a year, I was inclined to think my chances were better off with a shark, than having the shark watch fire in my general direction :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
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