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Springfield M14 Automatic Rifle (1959)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 6/30/2013

The M-14 rifle grew out of the World War Two-era M1 Garand.

The M14, for all intents and purposes, was basically a then-modernized version of the highly successful standard American Army and Marine infantry rifle of World War 2 known universally as the "M1 Garand". The M1 Garand proved her worth in the conflict as the world's first self-loading, semi-automatic service rifle and went on to be produced in millions of examples, ultimately seeing combat in Korea and the upcoming Vietnam wars. The M14, however, featured refinements throughout and utilized a detachable 20-shot magazine in place of the 8-shot "clip" as found on the original Garand. The M14, known formally as the "Rifle M14", was capable of both full- and semi-automatic modes of fire though often fired in the semi-automatic mode as the weapon was deemed to light to fire in the traditional full-automatic. Having this dual-mode capability, the M-14 became just the second American-designed rifle to have this functionality behind the World War 1-era Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR).

Development of the M14 system stemmed from the need for national armies in the post-war world to adapt a common ammunition that could be used between allied nations. While most European powers leaned towards the Fabrique Nationale series of light rifles, the United States set to develop an indigenous breed of rifle capable of firing the now-universally accepted 7.62x51mm NATO standard round. The result was the fixed-stock M14 rifle.

The system saw extensive use by American forces in the Vietnam War, with over 1 million units produced through 1963. Though often seen with the fixed wooden stock, the M14 also was issued a folding stock variant and a specialized sniper alternative - known as the M21 - was also produced. Additionally, a limited production run yielded yet another variant in the M14A1, a light squad support machine gun derivative of the rifle. Taiwan license-produced its own version of the M14 rifle as the "Model 57" in the late 1960's and through the 1980's, having purchased the production equipment from the United States directly.

The M14 has endured over decades and remains a favorite sporting gun for shooters and collectors alike. Some can still be found in military service.

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Specifications for the
Springfield M14
Automatic Rifle

Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Springfield Armory (among others) - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1959

Overall Length: 1181 mm (46.50 in)
Barrel Length: 559.00 mm (22.01 in)
Weight (Empty): 11.46 lb (5.20 kg)

Caliber*: 7.62x51mm NATO
Action: Gas Operated, Rotating Bolt; Selective Fire
Feed: 20-round detachable box magazine
Muzzle Velocity: 2,800 ft/sec (853 m/sec)
Rate-of-Fire: 725 rounds per minute
Range: 1,509 ft (460 m; 503 yds)
Sights: Aperture Rear; Barleycorn Front

* Listed caliber(s) for firearms may be model dependent if more than one model type/chambering was produced. Always consult official manufacturer's information or a licensed dealer.

M14 - Base Semi-Automatic Rifle based on the World War 2-era M1 Garand service rifle.

M14A1 - Light Squad Support Machine Gun; limited quantities produced.

M14Se - Modernized American Designation

M14DMR - Designated Marksman Rifle

M14 Tactical - 22-inch barrel; differing muzzle brake; issued to US Coast Guard units.

M39EMR - Enhanced Marksman Rifle

M21 - Specialized Sniper Model based on the M14 system.

M25 SWS (Sniper Weapon System) - Specialized Sniper Model based on the M14 system.

Tapsuspuss M14-TP - Estonian designation; utilized as Marksman's Rifle; modified by E-Arsenal.

M89SR - Israeli designation sniper rifle.

Argentina; Estonia; Haiti; Israel; Lithuania; South Korea; Taiwan; United States