I would prefer the M14 also. For reliability, range and stopping power probably the best over all service rifle the military has had. Anything other than the M16, who wants to go to war with a toy. IMO
i watched a program on the history channel a few weeks ago about service rifles.the one thing that stuck in my head was a statistic.i don't even remember the exact figures but they alluded to requiring several thousand rounds fired to accomplish a single casualty during the Vietnam War.during Desert Storm the figure given was,like,20 times higher!
i think that the army should go back to the 03A3 & TEACH our young soldiers how to shoot.
i think that that amount of waste is ridiculous!if you can consider the cumulative effect of all those wasted rounds:from shortened equipment life to extra armory time to the sheer cost to manufature the rounds.aaaaagggrrrhh!:headbang:
i lump this together with the twenty year olds i work with who cannot add or make change without the aid of a machine.crutches/excuses for everything!can't add?use a calculator!can't shoot straight?use a belt fed machine gun!
sorry to get off topic a little but things like this just grinds me.
I am going to give you my .02 and hope I don't upset too many of you in the process.
I am an active duty veteran of my country's Armed Forces and have been for more than 10 years. Contrary to what many might think, the young soldiers that I work with everyday are some of the finest young American that you could ever hope to meet. They are motivated, hard working, all willing to suffer through some of the worst crap that the human mind can devise.
As I read the headlines this morning I see that 5 more of them have paid the ultimate price; giving a people that they will never know, the opportunity to live truly free. What excuse did they offer?? None. They simply made a decision to serve and did their best to meet the expectations that were set for them.
One of the greatest experiences of my life was having the opportunity to command some of the finest young men that this country can produce. The fact is that I wouldn't trade all of the taxpayer's dollars or a mountain of wasted ammo for a single one of their lives.
While the M14 was a fine rifle, it is simply a door stop on the modern battlefield. It is heavy, bulky, and too long for use in a mechanized environment. Even the M16 is proving to be less than optimal for the needs of modern urban combatants.
The design of modern rifles has evolved out of necessity along with the threat faced on the modern battlefield. Things that seem important to a hunter can be deadly for a soldier. Want to carry an M14? Try humping it around for weeks on end. Think that the rounds are larger and therefore more deadly? Try using it in a firefight in which you can now only carry 1/2 the number of rounds because of their size. Aimed fire? When the SHTF, all you care about is returning as much fire as you can and hope that it is enough to get your a$$ out of the kill box alive. The reason ammo expenditures are so high is that modern weapon have enormous rates of fire. It is a necessity on the battlefield. It takes a lot to sit in your comfortable living room and armchair quarterback the "lack of training" that must exist with those undisciplined marksmen wearing a uniform. Using an antique like the '03 in Iraq would serve no other purpose than filling a steady stream of metal caskets for a trip home.
You will have to pardon me if I come across as belligerent, but this issue hits a little close to home.
I humped a M14 around for weeks on end. Then they gave me a M16, it wasn't long before I wished I had the 14 back. As for the whole idea of laying down overwhelming fire. I thought it was dumb when it was developed and I think it is dumb now. Don't worry about what your shooting at just shoot. Never made sense to me. I am sure there are many fine young men in our armed forces. Our military has alway developed young men of character. It's a shame their over in Iraq die at the order of a draft dodging president.
Heck, I don't know, but if I had to grab just one of my rifles out of the vault and head to the hills, it would likely be my FN-FAL. I have never had one jam on me, it is quite accurate, and fits me like it is part of my body when I bring it to my shoulder. When I think of "Battle Rifle", this is the rifle that comes to my mind.
Oh, I read something interesting a while back. Something about the specs on military ammo. I read that by specs, military ammo is designed to not be accurate! In other words, the military WANTS a wide spread when fired from a fixed position gun. Maybe this only refers to machinegun ammo, but the article I read didn't specifically say that.
I will say that I bought a bunch of Hertenberger .308 ammo that won't group worth a crap in anything I fire it in. But Black Hills will lay one bullet hole on top of another all day long.
I am in the military also and I agree with a lot of differert things that are being said. The modern U.S. Army private is not taught how to shoot to kill. They are only trained to fire from two positions, prone supported and un supported. Training needs to be revamped to more pactical and "real world" scenarios. I think that they first need to be trained on a weapon like the m14 to get the "one shot one kill" idea in their mind. Then after that some weapon like the m16 should be introduced. And if this take one million rounds who cares. Spend the money on ammo and training not on SGLI (that in life insurance for you civilians) If I am correct most trainees of the Nam era trained one the m14 in basic. but this could have been due to the small number of 16's. (if i am wrong will a Vietnam vet correct me). Just a thought or two of mine.
I was in the USMC and we used the M14 up until right before I went to Vietnam 1971. I believe the Army switched sometime well before that. We where always last to get anything. The Army could have kept the 16. You could drop the M14 in a mud puddle, pick it up shake it out and it would fire. Get a little dust in the 16 and you better field strip it and clean it well.
Well, I think things were a LOT different years ago for the people coming into the military. Most kids back when I was growing up knowing how to handle a rifle. Many were already excellent shots before ever enlisting. Heck, when I was in high school it was not unusual for kids to plan on going hunting after school and having a rifle in their car or truck, or meeting their dad and heading on out once the bell rang.
Nowadays, I suspect most kids going into the military have never even handled a firearm of any sort, and may even have an aversion to them based on the anti-gun hype that has been thrown at them most of their lives. I mean they are basically being told guns are bad, which is why they aren't even allowed on the school premises. Even someone who is apparently neutral to the thought of guns would get a negative feeling about them just based on this fact. Which I don't believe is any accident in planning.
Might just be an entirely different world that the military trainers have to deal with these days.
Tim, thanks for the "spray and pray" comment. That is what I was trying to get at. This is what we need to get away from in the service rifle. These are things that needs to be left up to the the 60's and the saws. I'm glad a combat vet has spoke up. I have a friend that was in nam in 71. He was in the 101st, on LZ X-RAY, one of the last major battles of Vietnam. He received a Bronz Star with valor and a Purple Hart for his actions there. He passed away about a mounth ago. Sorry to change the subject, it just came to mind.
American small arms design appears to be in the, 'techno-toilet'. If you want to go into battle carrying a camera, bring a Nikon. If you want a phone, well, you've already got one in your pocket. A battle rifle shoud be simple, rugged, reliable, easily re:chargeable, and reasonably accurate.
Look at the Israelis' experience: Israel ought to know; and they no longer use the M-14 or the FAL in any of their military units. During the six day war, many Israeli units complained that their FAL's were too slow, too cumbersome, and incapable of putting out accurate, sustained-fire bursts during the heat of battle.
IMO, the best military small arms are, still, entirely within the purview of the Russian military. I've heard rumors about the new Russian AN-94 battle rifle - it's supposed to be awesome! I understand that the new AN-94 fires twice at every pull of the trigger, and there's only a minimal recoil impulse. If it's, also, something like .260 calibre with short-cased, high-shouldered brass, all I can say is, 'Wow'! I'd love to try it.
Most, if not all of the problems that came along with the introduction M16 have been ironed out in those 30 some years.
I was issued the M16 and qualified expert. I never did have to use it in battle but I felt comfortable with it. I always did think it was a bit light in the caliber side though.
When I joined, I was surprised at just how many fellow recruits had never shot a rifle.
I grew up shooting and hunting like Rich mentioned. No one thought twice to see two boys walking down the road carrying guns.
I don't think spray and pray tactics are being tought, I think that is just a circumstance of war. I wouldn't want to be limited to semi auto and small mag capacity just for the larger caliber.
i agree with pretty much everything posted here(who cares right?lol!)but my belief is that the issue is training.maybe its my yankee ancestors rising up in indignation but why waste?period.
as far as a pile of ammo the size of a mountain vs.one dead american soldier well jeez.thats a no brainer-no argument there.what might happen though if more soldiers were trained how to,correctly,use their weapons?****let us not,please, get into a pissing match about all the ways a soldier can die.i know very well that not everyone dies on the "battlefield".heck after the war started i was amazed at the amount of casualties that came from traffic accidents!
my point,before i gotfftopic: was that i really don't believe that an endless supply of ammo is necessarily the best answer.now those 20mm airbursting rounds.now thats a good idea.give the soldier the means to accurately engage multiple targets without depending on multiple,individual,rounds to do the job.that the XM8 looks to me like a plastic ford taurus's bumper that got a mite too close to a hot flat iron not withstanding.
Clint, what where the requirements for qualifying with the 16 when you where in? When I got mine they took us out to a field with some 55 gallon drums in it and if you could hit one at 50 yards you qualified. I assume the requirements changed some buy the time you where in.LOL
We still qualify on pop-up targets at ranges of 50-300 meters. Each qualification consists of 40 rounds fired, are you ready for this: *fired one round per target*. (Shocking I know) You must hit 36 of 40 to qualify as an expert.
The point that has been lost on many of you is that the data you are basing your argument on is flawed. You are discussing only the M16s and are failing to account for the endless other munitions that make up “rounds fired”. The lethality of modern weapons has absolutely eclipsed what existed even 20 years ago. A standard squad of 9 men has more firepower than a platoon in Vietnam. Individual fire teams (4 men) are equipped with light machine guns and 40mm grenade launchers. Hell, even a light scout recon team, mounted on Hummers, is now armed with .50cal M2s and 40mm Mk19 AGLs (plus a whole mess of M4s, and M240 7.62mm MGs. So it isn't about not being able to fire “controlled and aimed busts"; instead it results from having multiple weapon systems firing 600-700 rpm at the squad level. (FWIW, a platoon of four M1A2 tanks, a mere 16 men, has more firepower than a civil war division!)
The keys to winning on the modern asymmetric battlefield are information superiority and overwhelming force; that is both highly mobile and ruthlessly lethal. The days of traipsing through the woods, looking for the enemy, are long gone. The Army of the early 90s has already become obsolete. We have learned many lessons from operations in Grenada, Panama, Gulf I, Somalia, the Balkans and Afghan. DOD is applying solutions to the shortcomings in near real time. One of these lessons is that M16s are too long and too cumbersome to be effective in the confines of an urban battlefield.
For those that have served in the past, I appreciate your sacrifices. With that said, you must understand that the Army, Corps, Navy or Air Force that you were familiar with in no way resembles the armed forces of today. I can promise you that the future is in good hands, regardless of how poorly you think they shoot.
As far as I'm concerned, there is no finer force of patriots in the world. We are indeed in good hands and I'm sure the decisions about (what is this thread about?) which weapons to issue will be made with great care and they will be the best available!
Cav, please excuse us old timers if we wax nostalgic. The M14 & 16 are the only service weapons we have experience with. Now that I look back, I remember coming across an old Marine that said the M14 was crap, he much prefered the M1. One thing about training, it is a shame they don't let Drill instructors beat recruits anymore LOL.