The M14 rifle, a selective-fire battle rifle, became standard issue rifle for the US military in 1959, before being replaced by the M16 in 1968. Selective-fire means that the weapon can be adjusted for operation in semi-automatic, burst, or fully automatic firing modes. Semi-automatic firing means that the weapon discharges once with a trigger pull, before the casing is automatically extracted and ejected, a new cartridge is chambered, and the weapon is once again read to fire. In semi-automatic mode, one pull of the trigger equals one shot. Burst mode means that one pull of the trigger releases several shots. Fully automatic mode means that holding down the trigger will release shots indefinitely, until the feeding mechanism is emptied. These modes are chosen by means of a selector switch. Selective-fire promotes a more efficient use of ammunition, as the weapon can be better tailored to the needs of the individual user.
Developed to replace several weapons, the M14 improved upon the M1 Garand, M1903 Springfield, M1917 Enfield, and other sundry weapons. The weapon served well during its brief tour in Vietnam. Though its length and weight made it somewhat unwieldy in thick brush, its cartridges penetrated cover well. Unfortunately, the traditional wood stock of the weapon had a tendency to swell and expand in the jungle humidity, which affected accuracy. Further, because of the power of the weapon’s cartridge, it was deemed almost uncontrollable in fully automatic mode, resulting in many units being permanently set into semi-automatic mode.
The M14 was the primary rifle used in the Vietnam conflict until 1967, when it was replaced by the M16 under direction of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. The M14 remained in use as the standard rifle for US Army Basic Training. In a modified form, the Army continued to use the M14 as a sniper rifle until 1988. Later, in the mid-1990s, the Marine Corps chose a modified M14 for use by Designated Marksmen. Here, the M14 was intended for use by security units, such as special reaction teams (the military equivalent of SWAT), and Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Teams (FAST companies), platoons capable of deploying to immediately improve security at various government locations. The M14 re-entered combat in the early 2000s, when designated marksmen and snipers began to use them in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Per a 2009 US Army study that claimed half of the engagements in Afghanistan occurred from beyond three-hundred yards, a range at which America’s NATO service rifles are ineffective, thousands of M14s were re-issued.
The M14 is also used as a drill and parade rifle by the US Military Academy, the US Navy Academy, the US Air Force Academy, and elsewhere. The First Battalion of the Third US Infantry regiment in the Military District of Washington (which includes the Capital as part of its territory) is the sole remaining US Army combat field unit where the M14 is issued as the standard rifle. The M14 has remained in service longer than any other US rifle, while holding distinction as shortest-serving standard rifle in the US Army.
At Sarco Inc., we have M14 parts kits that you can use to build your own M14 rifle. From barrels to bolts to pins to rollers, Sarco has everything you need for an M14. Since our humble beginning on the gun show circuit, we’ve committed ourselves to being the best dealer in surplus war material in the country. Our M14 parts kits are one of the jewels of our collection. Located at 50 Hilton St, in Easton, PA, our 7,000 square foot showroom stocks over 2,000 firearms—products ranging from original militaria to new commercial tactical accessories. We provide retail and wholesale products on both the domestic and international levels. Contact us today at (610) 250-3960 to get started with your Sarco Inc. experience.