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Posted: 10/6/2003 2:56:31 PM EDT
I was talking about how the Gov. is destroying all those m14's, today at work. My boss who is former US Marine, said that the M14's is a semi-auto rifle. I said that I thought that they were select fire. He was in the USMC in 1972. He said they went trough paris island with M14 and that it was semi only. Then after bootcamp they were issued the M16. Anyways we had a bet on the subject. Of course everyone at work thinks he is right, being former military, he must know. So am I right or is he. If I am, is there a way for me to prove it. A link to somewhere that says the M14 was full auto. Thanks guys.
Milhouse
Link Posted: 10/6/2003 3:05:01 PM EDT
I think that they were select fire, but were so uncontrollable that the selector was removed. I'll try to find a link.
Link Posted: 10/6/2003 3:07:17 PM EDT
They were originally select-fire rifles, but the selector was removed when they were deemed uncontrollable in full auto fire. The M14A1 (as it would have been known as) came with a pistol-grip stock, a bipod, a muzzle compensator, and with the full automatic selector. Generally, they didn't issue M14's with the selector to combat units. Some were undoubtedly issued or had the selector refitted, but on the whole, M14's weren't issued as full-auto rifles.
Link Posted: 10/6/2003 3:16:52 PM EDT
so the m14 was select fire in its original form?
Link Posted: 10/6/2003 3:38:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/6/2003 5:47:09 PM EDT
My Marine unit in 1976 still had full auto M-14s in their armory. C.O. wouldn't allow a general issue as we all had to have the same rifle for inspections.

We were allowed to check them out from time to time to play with. Lots of fun on full auto!

They're available to rent at Knob Creek.
Link Posted: 10/6/2003 6:42:23 PM EDT
The M14 was select fire. They got rid of it like others said due to it being uncontrollable in full auto fire. Also I heard due to a batch of poor quality receivers there were some receivers kabooming in full auto, this I read some place I do not know if it is credible information.
Link Posted: 10/7/2003 3:53:45 AM EDT
The M14 was designed with the ability to take a "selector lock". This was due to experience with M2 carbines in Korea, and early M14 troop trials. Full auto weapons were habitually left in full auto and carried that way, which limited the effective range of the M14 due to controllability issues.

ALL M14's are capable of select fire. Individual M14's will either have a selector in place, or a selector lock (which is a lock preventing full-auto selection) in place of the selector switch. To make ANY USGI M14 selectfire, all that was required was installation of the selector switch. ANY USGI M14 could also accept the selector lock, rendering them incapable of select fire.

ALL M14's are machineguns because of this. It would be the same as having a standard M16 with a semi-auto selector. It would only be capable of semi, but it's still legally a machinegun, because all you'd have to do is swap in a selector. (incidentally, the M16 has a selector lock also available that goes into the lower receiver and blocks the selector from turning to full auto, though it can be overidden if you try hard enough).

The M14NM, which was for national match use only, had the selector lock welded in place.

So you're both right. ALL M14's are capable of select fire, but most M14's had selector locks installed, preventing the selection of full auto.

Ross
Link Posted: 10/7/2003 7:52:15 AM EDT
Oddly, at least to me, the select fire option was mostly left intact on those M-14's that were used by snipers. If there is a 'why' for that decision, I sure don't know that answer.)
Link Posted: 10/7/2003 10:45:20 PM EDT
Answer me this question then please:

My department just recieved approximately 35 surplus M-14's from the California National Guard. Why are those guns that we recieved all with select fire capabilities???

I thought that early Marine corp units were the only ones to have the full auto capabilities during the Vietnam war. How the heck did the CA National Guard get their hands on these full auto M-14's?
Link Posted: 10/8/2003 5:36:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hk45USP:
Why are those guns that we recieved all with select fire capabilities???
Because they're in their original configuration?

I thought that early Marine corp units were the only ones to have the full auto capabilities during the Vietnam war.
I thought the Army had them as well?


How the heck did the CA National Guard get their hands on these full auto M-14's?
Just lucky, I guess.

Link Posted: 10/9/2003 3:57:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/9/2003 4:03:36 AM EDT by Ross]
As I pointed out in my above post, ALL M14's are capable of select fire. It just depends on whether you have a selector, or selector lock. Your's just happen to have selectors.

The Army was the lead proponent agency for the M14. The Army had far more M14's than the USMC ever did because of it's size. Even after the adoption of the M16A1, the M14 remained standard issue to USAEUR (Army units in Europe) to reamin standard with NATO (7.62mm NATO caliber). It was not until after Vietnam that the Army went to all M16A1s, including NATO.

The reason the Army had M16s earlier than the USMC in Vietnam was because the Army was ahead of the USMC in buying the M16A1.

Many times M14s transferred to police departments are run through a NG unit as part of a paperwork drill. As with anything govt, paperwork reins supreme, and no more so anywhere than the Army. The rifles you got were probably transferred to that guard unit from storage to more easily manage the transfers to civillian agencies. The rifles themselves were probably not the unit's actual rifles they use at drill, etc. Actually nearly NO piece of equipment will ever be transferred directly from a line unit to an agency outside the Dept of the Army. They get transferred through all sorts of people for various reasons before getting to the new end user.

Your M14s probably all came with selectors, because that's how they are transferred. Selector locks were issued to units and fitted at the unit. Any equipment transferred has to meet "standards of servicability" and one of those is probably having the selector in place. Also as the selector lock was unit property, when the original unit turned in the M14s, they had to replace the locks with selectors, and turn the selector locks in separate, otherwise someone would have had to buy the missing selector locks. The Army was also the lead proponent agency in inventing B.S., so things don't really go in a logical pattern. They go the "Army way".

Sniper rifles, or the DM weapons that we see in use today, normally have selectors fitted because of the need for firepower. Many of these guys operate alone and need the rock and roll setting in an emergency to break contact. The Army is not exactly handing these out to poorly trained guys. These are going to guys that know how to shoot, and when to use what setting. The advantage of a full-auto setting is tremendous if you know what you're doing. It's detrimental only if you don't. Many of these rifles were issued from storage, so they too will have selectors as that's the way they are stored. Since no current units would likely have selector locks (as they have mostly M4/M16), you probably won't see any fitted anytime soon.

Ross
Link Posted: 10/9/2003 12:31:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/9/2003 12:32:17 PM EDT by korsakov]
I was USMC ordnanceman from 1968 to 1977. Select fire was in the armory but nobody was allowed to use them due to all the reasons previously stated. The biggest problem was that many rounds coming out that fast...fun to play with at the plinking range but terrible bad when shooting at someone...I used M14 (semi) in boot camp and immediate got an M16 upon graduation.
Link Posted: 10/9/2003 2:15:04 PM EDT
Just spoke with my brother who was a Vietnam Marine and here's his weapons sequence.

1966 - boot camp and a smei-auto M-14
1966 - Advanced Infantry training with an M-1 !
1967-1969 - back to a semi-auto M-14
1969 - three weeks of familarization and firing of the M-16.
1969 - 1970 - Vietnam with the M-16.
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 9:09:25 AM EDT
check out this web site its got a very good summary:
world.guns.ru/assault/as15-e.htm
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 11:01:55 AM EDT
My experience was pretty much the same,

Oct 69-Dec 60, Basic Tng, used M14s for D&C, bayonet, FTXs, never fired them, used M16 for ranges only
Dec 70-Mar 70, AIT Combat Engineer, used M14s for everything, no full autos
April 70- Nov 71, RVN, M16, M79, 12ga Mod 37 Ithaca, back to M16. M14s were around, not unusual to see one. Snipers mostly and rear areas.

rk
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