Berlin Crisis, 1961: The Beginning of The End of The M14
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Thread: Berlin Crisis, 1961: The Beginning of The End of The M14

  1. #1
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    Berlin Crisis, 1961: The Beginning of The End of The M14

    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...KWbHBKtT68ua34

    In 1957, the T44E4 rifle was formally adopted by the United States Armed Forces as the United States Rifle, 7.62mm, M14, but this only marked the beginning of the rifle’s troubles. After numerous delays and production crises – including the rejection in December of 1960 of 1,784 of H&R receivers (about ten percent of the receivers that had been made up to that time) that could not withstand the pressure of firing due to a steel mix-up – Robert McNamara made a famous speech on the rifle program in June of 1961, stating: “I think it is a disgrace the way the project was handled. I don’t mean particularly by the Army, but I mean by the nation. This is a relatively simple job, building a rifle, compared to building a satellite or a lunar lander or a missile system.” At that time, there existed a grand total of only 133,386 M14 rifles, despite the type having been adopted four years prior.

    It was in this same month, in a climate of adversity towards the laborious US rifle program that the Berlin Crisis broke out. Occurring on the forefront of the fight against Communism, the crisis and eventual construction of the Berlin Wall put on public display a significant amount of military material and equipment. Among these, journalists would notice US soldiers carrying the old M1 Garand rifles, which further blackened the eye of the M14 as a weapon unsuitable for production, much less nuclear-era warfare:

    However, it wasn’t just US troops who stood off with World War II era weapons. Many of the East German border guards and troops carried antiquated WWII-era submachine guns and rifles, or early post-war carbines, as the menacing select-fire AK assault rifle had not yet shown up in quantity:

    The Berlin Crisis of 1961 and the initial absence of the M14 rifle would herald the end of the M14 program. Two years later, Robert McNamara would enact the immediate cessation of M14 rifle production, the temporary procurement of the M16 rifle, and the SPIW program, which was to take three years. Despite McNamara’s opinion that the M16 was an off-the-shelf and temporary solution to the US rifle procurement problem, it proved to be neither. The troubles experienced by the M16 rifles and their users in Vietnam, which were caused by poor ammunition specifications, tainted powder, a lack of chrome-lining of the barrel to resist tropical conditions, and the lack of weapon-specific training and cleaning kits, have since come to overshadow those problems that dogged the M14 rifle program. Paradoxically, the M16 family of weapons proved to be far from a temporary fixture of US Army procurement, and new M4A1 Carbines – the M16’s short-barreled, modular descendant – continue to be procured for the US Armed Forces.
    ROBERT @ OKC USA




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    I was in Germany in that time period, as I recall we got the M14s in 1962. We had no notice or training on these rifles. one day we had M1s and carbines in the arms room the next we had M14s. They were so much like the M1s that it was not a problem and right after they were issued we were all at the range to qualify with them
    legelegel likes this.
    I'm Mr Bad Example, take a look at me.

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    The Winchester Model 1907 in .351 caliber was available 50 years before the M14 & was far superior. They could have been used instead of bolt actions in WWI & WWII. The M1 Garand was available in 1934 & a much better rifle to it's predecessors & anything since including the M16 & M1 Carbine... why does it take our gov't forever to supply decent rifles to our troops? It seems the handguns are, for the most part, good (for their time): Colt Walker, Colt SAA, S&W Schofield, 1917, 1911, M9, Sig 320, (the wimpy .38 Colt was a total failure)... but the rifles aren't anything to be proud of. My BIL was an Airborne Ranger in Viet Nam & hated everything Colt since his M16 failed when he needed it most.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment & buy one" Jesus - Luke 22:36

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    I doubt that I will ever buy an AR15. I have an M1 Garand, M14A1 and a Ruger Mini 14. Why would need a plastic rifle that would remind of the Viet Nam War every time I saw? I don't need a rifle to haunt me anymore on Viet Nam War.
    ROBERT @ OKC USA




    He who questions much learns much. - Frances Bacon
    There was a time when men were kind and their words were inviting. - Les Miserables
    Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. - Thomas Jefferson
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
    80% of success is showing up. - Woody Allen

    SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM.
    NON REVERTAR INULTUS.
    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

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    It is most fortunate that development of the M-1 Garand proceeded during the lull in fighting that occurred between WWI and the follow on conflict of WWII. The little bit of money spent paid dividends through WWII, Korea and into Vietnam. Overall it was the right rifle in the right place. The M-14 was a product improvement of the M-1 Garand ... produced when the need was not for a long ranged battle rifle but a lighter weight carbine firing a intermediate cartridge. Less than ideal development with the M-14 carried over to the M-16. Happily the M-16/4 has now served longer than any other arm in US history. The bad experiences of the initial deployment in Vietnam mirror the same problems with the problem when the Navy used a 6mm rifle and when the services first used 03 Springfield's w/ cupro-nickle jacket bullets. Google tin can ammunition, etc. Nowadays the services are fooling around with a 6.8 caliber for more power, etc. all to be fired from a M-16/4 sized rifle. HK is in line for the money. Strangely like when the US Army selected a Krag-Jorgensen in .30-40 Krag ... when the Mauser 1896 and the 7mm Mauser round already was developed and giving excellent service ... all developed and produced by Mauser whose patents the Springfield Armory followed so closely that it was obliged by court verdict to pay damages and royalties to Mauser. Sincerely. bruce.
    legelegel likes this.


 

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