Dragon DRG76013 Springfield M14 Automatic Rifle with Telescope - Simulated Wood Stock and Barrel (1:3 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The M14 rifle, formally the United States Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle firing 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition. Although largely superseded in military use in the late 1960s by the M16 rifle, it remains in limited front line service with the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and remains in use as a ceremonial weapon. The M14 also provides the basis for the M21 and M25 sniper rifles. It was the last so-called "battle rifle" (a term applied to weapons firing full-power rifle ammunition) issued in quantity to U.S. troops.
The M14 was developed from a long line of experimental weapons based upon the M1 Garand. Although the Garand was among the most advanced infantry rifles of the 1940s, it was not a perfect weapon. Modifications were beginning to be made to the basic M1 rifle's design since the twilight of the Second World War. Changes included adding fully automatic firing capability and replacing the 8-round "en bloc" clips with a detachable box magazine holding 20 rounds. Winchester, Remington, and Springfield Armory's own John Garand offered different conversion designs. Garand's design, the T20, was the most popular, and T20 prototypes served as the basis for a number of Springfield test rifles from 1945 through the early 1950s.
The M14 was developed as a means of taking the place of four different weapons systems - the M1 Garand, the M1 Carbine, the M3 "Grease Gun" and the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). It was thought that in this manner the M14 could simplify the logistical requirements of the troops if it took the place of four weapons. It proved to be an impossible task to replace all four, and the weapon was even deemed "completely inferior" to the World War II M1 Garand in a September 1962 report by the comptroller of the Department of Defense. The cartridge was too powerful for the submachine gun role and the weapon was simply too light to serve as a light machine gun replacement for the BAR. (The M60 machine gun better served this specific task.)
Length: 14-1/2 inches
Historical Account: "Limited Standard" - The M14 remained the primary infantry weapon in Vietnam until it was replaced by the M16 in 1966-1969. Further procurement of the M14 was abruptly halted in late 1963 due to the above mentioned Department of Defense report which had also stated that the AR-15 (soon to be M16) was superior to the M14 (DOD did not cancel FY 1963 orders not yet delivered). After the report, a series of tests and reports by the United States Department of the Army followed that resulted in the decision to cancel the M14. The M16 was then ordered as a replacement for the M14 by direction of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1964, over the objection of those Army officers who had backed the M14 (other factions within the Army research and development community had opposed the M14 and the 7.62x51 mm round from the start). Though production of the M14 was officially discontinued, some disgruntled troops still managed to hang on to them while deriding the M16 as a frail and underpowered "Mattel toy" or "poodle shooter". In January 1968 the U.S. Army designated the M16 as the "Standard A" rifle, and the M14 became a "Limited Standard" weapon. The M14 rifle remained the standard rifle for US Army Basic Training until 1970.