The M-14 was one of the shortest lived official military rifles in US inventory. It was designed as an improvement for the M-1 Garand, and though its action was very similar, it utilized a magazine feed to replace the clip-fed Garand. It also changed the caliber to 7.62 X 51, instead of .30-06 and had a selector for full-auto fire.

This ability to fire full auto was a feeble attempt to turn it into an assault rifle. It was quickly found that the average trooper was unable to control the rifle in full auto mode. A change to a smaller cartridge, the 5.56, changed everything very soon.

But the M-14 has seen a renewed life in the sandbox. The need for a Designated Marksman Weapon, capable of long-range accuracy and power, breathed new life into this old weapon system. It has, once again, become a familiar piece of battlefield equipment.

I have a civilian copy of this weapon, a Springfield M1A.

It is a fine piece of equipment.

Mine has the original wood stock.


It also has a National Match barrel, as seen by this barrel stamping.

... and a National Match trigger.

It was made for competition and has the finest trigger I've ever seen on a military rifle.


The rifle also has an excellent flash suppressor and a true competition front sight.


Along with the excellent rear sights, a well-trained marksman can easily dial in his "come-ups" and put rounds on target very quickly.


The most common magazine holds 20 rounds of 7.62 X 51 ammunition and can be reloaded while in the rifle with stripper clips, if desired.

Many feel that the 7.62 X 51 round is a more authoritative round at long ranges, compared to the 5.56 NATO.


These rifles are very accurate and just seem to fall into place when put to the shoulder.

A very natural pointing rifle.

The left hand can be used on the forestock, or, in a competition, used to support the rifle on the bottom of the magazine.


When properly utilized, a rifle strap, or sling, can be a great aid to accurate firing.

Here I am using a strap from the sitting position.

When you get all strapped in and settled down, you just feel "locked" into firing position.


Here's a group fired from 50 yards with Australian military ball ammo.


Handloads can improve those groups.


Recoil is not too bad with this heavy rifle and follow-up shots are easy.

Here's Tman running the rifle.


This is a true battle rifle and a fine piece of equipment. If you haven't shot one, don't miss a chance to give one a try. You will fall in love with it.