Saturday, November 22, 2008

M-14 not dead yet

New Lease on Life for the Beloved M-14

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated how critically important snipers are to a fight marked by urban canyons and high-mountain caves. Problem is, those highly-trained sharpshooters are in short supply, and the need for accurate, long-range fire has outpaced the services' ability to field one-shot killers.

So both the Army and Marine Corps began a program to seed infantry squads with so-called "designated marksmen" -- call them "snipers-lite."

The growing need to equip these new marksmen with accurized rifles prompted the Army to reconsider the role of the venerable M-14 rifle for the war on terror. Back in Desert Storm, armorers from the 10th Special Forces group took M-14s equipped with a match barrels and fitted a gas piston on them for optimal performance, re-designating it the M-25. They replaced the stock with a McMillan M1A fiberglass one, developed a scope mount and added a Bausch & Lomb 10x40mm fixed-power optic or a Leupold Mark 4.

The revamped M-14 provides the Army squad designated marksman with on-command direct fire support for his squad, a fire team or his platoon. The heavier-caliber sharpshooters provide cover when machine guns displace, counter-sniper fire in urban areas, and they help in overtaking valuable real estate.

Infrared targeting lasers such as the AN/PEQ-2 and PAQ-4C make the DM's job more like 24-hour shift work. Now that suppressors for the M-14-series of rifles are available, the night-vision capabilities coupled with sound mitigation makes the Soldier's ability to own the night even more secure.

Very nice. MOH winner SFC Randall Shughart of Delta used a custom M-14 in Somalia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amongst the crowd that I run with the M14/M1A is up toward the top of the lost of modern rifles. the AR types are scorned. As a matter of fact, most of the guys would rather carry a bolt Mosin-Nagant carbine than an AR. Until the save enough money for a Garand/M1A