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Was m14 used in World War 2?

Updated: 8/22/2023
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14y ago

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Yes, the M14 service rifle was standard issue to the US Army & US Marine Corps riflemen; and both the Army & Marines landed in South Vietnam armed with M14 rifles. The M16 Assault Rifle was "considered" to be a "jungle rifle" for use only in Vietnam during the mid 1960's (reference US Government wall posters at Fort Ord CA).

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15y ago
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15y ago

The M14 service rifle was very effective. The M14 simply became a pawn during a time of experimentation. The US Air Force had been experimenting with Armalite's AR-15, US Air Force General Curtis LeMay liked the new aluminum and plastic rifle and wanted the Air Force to accept it as a service rifle; which they did. Then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (one of the 1960's whiz kids...a nickname for the 1960's men that wanted to try NEW GADGETS) directed all US forces to adapt it; which they did. GI's & Marines all trained with the M14 rifle in boot camp (Basic Combat Infantryman Training), and US Army troops in Europe (Germany) still used the M14 rifle during the Vietnam War. In 1969, the US Army had posters at Fort Ord California, in which the M16 (Assault) Rifle was titled, "Jungle Rifle." The M14, was withdrawn from Vietnam in the late 60's (minus the US Army XM21 sniper rifle/an M14 rifle), and the M16 took over; but the M14 remained in US Army service until the end of the war. Aluminum was the "craze" (fad) of the 1960's: Aluminum US Navy Swift Boats (50 feet long); the US Army's new M551 Sheridan light tank (officially called the Armored Airborne Reconnaissance Assault Vehicle-all Alumninum, minus the 152mm steel cannon and turret); the US Army's brand new all aluminum M113 APC/ACAV (Armored Personnel Carrier/Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle); and of course the US Army's brand new all aluminum (minus the barrel) M16 infantrymen's rifle.

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14y ago

For the average GI in Vietnam, the M14 represented, a "real man's rifle." It was made the way traditional rifles had always been made...of WOOD and STEEL; in addition, the M14 fired a "real" bullet, a .30 caliber slug, traditionally, during those days, accepted as a big game bullet. Back in those days, bullets under .30 caliber, especially in the .22 range (.221, .222, .223, .224, .225, etc. ) were classified as "varmit cartridges" for small game.

The M16 was built of PLASTIC and ALUMINUM (with a steel barrel) and fired a varmit cartridge (NOT a big game bullet) and was specifically deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam.

During the teething phase of the "jungle rifle"; the M14 was more popular because the men knew the weapon (they were familiar with it). After the M16 had been around for awhile (like a few years...from 1962 thru 1969 in combat in Vietnam), the jungle rifle was more popular than the M14 because the men knew it could throw lead (fast rate of fire) in GREAT quantities. Consequently, even the US Army accepted the M16 as a standard infantry rifle by 1967/68, and began phasing in the M16 to replace the M14 world wide (service wide).

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Pardon me for cutting in, but this question is a good illustration of how politics have come to dominate the adoption of weaponry in the US Military establishment. The US Army had no choice but to accept the M16 because Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara forced it on them, and the USMC was also forced to trade in their M14s for M16s. The Armalite AR10 was also made of plastic and aluminum, but it fired the same man-sized bullet (.308 Winchester, aka 7.62mm NATO) as the M14, and the US Army had previously turned down the AR10 in favor of the more conventional M14. A couple of US allies adopted the AR10 for their armies, Japan and Nicaragua I think, but the US Army never did. Then US Air Force General Curtis LeMay noticed the AR15 which was also designed by Eugene Stoner, but firing the .223 Remington (developed from the .222 Hornet varmit round), and LeMay wanted them for the Air Force. Then McNamara got into it, and since Vietnam was referred to as 'McNamara's War' it was only fitting that all branches of the US armed forces adopt this new rifle, christened the M16, and its round which was subsequently accepted as the 5.56mm NATO. The consensus among Vietnam veterans I have talked with is that the M14 was a better rifle, although the lighter ammunition of the M16 made it more suitable for the type of war and the close ranges at which they were fighting. They had gripes with the M16, especially as to its delicate construction, but it was the wave of the future and there was nothing they could do about it. In terms of popularity, however, the M14 was probably the winner.

Just remembered: The Ruger Mini-14 is the opposite of the Armalite AR10. It is basically an M14 scaled down to fire M16 ammunition. Although never adopted by any army on planet earth, its rugged and reliable action and light ammunition made it a favorite with police, mercenaries, and militias. And it was what the A Team used on television, combining the best of both M14 and M16.

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14y ago

No it was devolped in the 50's or 60's. The M14 was established in 1957.

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14y ago

No... the M4 carbine didn't enter production until 1984. The sometimes problematic predecessor of the M4 - the XM177 - was used in Vietnam, however.

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