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  #1  
Old 12-22-2007
milpas milpas is offline
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Default M14 vs FAL in the US tests

First of all, the concept of one rifle replacing the M1, the Bar and machine guns was really a flawed plan in the first place. The 762x51 is not very well suited for automatic fire from a rifle. The first M14s (and the ones I trained with) were produced semi-auto only.

How did they perform in the tests:
The M14 performed well in all tests. The action of the M14 had been tested in extreme use during WWII and the Korea War: in the African desert sand, the mud of Europe and the freezing hills of Korea.

The FAL performed badly in the arctic tests and was sent back to be modified. The modified rifles were tested in a "Combat Test Course" at Fort Benning and they again failed and went for more modification. Only then were both rifles listed as satisfactory.

The M14 strips in seconds and always works. Clearly superior to the FAL.

The stock of the FAL is handy with the pistol grip, but somewhere I have kicking around a military M14 stock with a pistol grip.

Accuracy: Mine are both unmodified, made with military parts. The M14 is clearly more accurate. I haven't been to Camp Perry, but I don't hear of competition winners using the FAL.

The FAL is cheaper to produce. The M14 was 1 pound lighter (the FAL weighed more than the M1). Also, I think the fact that the M14 was more familiar had some, maybe a lot, to do with its selection.


Personally, outside of the army tests, it seems to me that a soldier should have affection for his rifle, and to my mind the winner is the M14.

The FAL has been peddled widely and is popular. To my knowledge, the only M14s used outside of the US are those donated by the US to various countries.
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2007
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by milpas
First of all, the concept of one rifle replacing the M1, the Bar and machine guns was really a flawed plan in the first place. The 762x51 is not very well suited for automatic fire from a rifle. The first M14s (and the ones I trained with) were produced semi-auto only.

Humm... NO. You have trained with semi-automatic M14s that were RE-CONVERTED TO SEMI-AUTOMATIC OPERATION FROM SELECT-FIRE after combat usage shown how uncontrollable the M-14 was in full-auto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milpas
How did they perform in the tests:
The M14 performed well in all tests. The action of the M14 had been tested in extreme use during WWII and the Korea War: in the African desert sand, the mud of Europe and the freezing hills of Korea.

The FAL performed badly in the arctic tests and was sent back to be modified. The modified rifles were tested in a "Combat Test Course" at Fort Benning and they again failed and went for more modification. Only then were both rifles listed as satisfactory.

The M14 strips in seconds and always works. Clearly superior to the FAL.

The stock of the FAL is handy with the pistol grip, but somewhere I have kicking around a military M14 stock with a pistol grip.

Accuracy: Mine are both unmodified, made with military parts. The M14 is clearly more accurate. I haven't been to Camp Perry, but I don't hear of competition winners using the FAL.

The FAL is cheaper to produce. The M14 was 1 pound lighter (the FAL weighed more than the M1). Also, I think the fact that the M14 was more familiar had some, maybe a lot, to do with its selection.

Personally, outside of the army tests, it seems to me that a soldier should have affection for his rifle, and to my mind the winner is the M14.

Humm... NO. See HERE:
"The T48 competed against the T44 rifle. The T44 was a heavily modified version of the earlier M1 Garand. Testing proved the T48 and the T44 comparable in performance, with no clear winner. However, the supposed ease of production of the T44 upon machinery already in place for the M1 Garand and the similarity in the manual of arms for the T44 and M1 ultimately swayed the decision in the direction of the T44, which was adopted as the M14 rifle."

Quote:
Originally Posted by milpas
The FAL has been peddled widely and is popular. To my knowledge, the only M14s used outside of the US are those donated by the US to various countries.

Taiwan manufactured its own M14s too.
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Old 12-22-2007
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Default Re: M14 vs FAL in the US tests

Ok, look-- I stayed outta the other thread "The 14's" and for good reason-- but this? OK, you seriously need to go learn to jerk off if you really need a quick moment of self gratification.
Those M-14's you played with, as PT's already stated, are late recreations.
The first M-14's produced for military use were absolute failures-- from the mouth of Macnamara and those who had to carry them. The bug was that it wasn't a reliable full-auto, the switch-fire capability was worse.
The wood stocks warped or split.
The actions themselves problematic in comparison to the trigger group.

Vaunting your own preferred wheel-chair commando tool of choice over others is lame at best. Your strawman theories and curmudgeons have already long been discussed and settled by far better men, far better soldiers. Calling the Browning's dismisal anything other than a good step forward, yeesh. It was a heavy ass SOB, and about as compact as a Bren.

Newer M-14 and mini-14 are a far cry from the earlier generations. About like a Model T to a modern sedan.
Oi, forget it-- trying to reason with someone like this is about like talking to a brick wall.
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Old 12-22-2007
milpas milpas is offline
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Default Re: M14 vs FAL in the US tests

"NO. You have trained with semi-automatic M14s that were RE-CONVERTED TO SEMI-AUTOMATIC OPERATION FROM SELECT-FIRE after combat usage shown how uncontrollable the M-14 was in full-auto."

Maybe some confusion re my use of M14 & T44. The T44 was selected at the trials but according to Gen Hatcher's Notebook the first M14s produced were semi-auto only. The ones I trained with did not have the cutout, filled or otherwise, on the stock where the select lever would be, so I would tend to believe Hatcher. He also lists the full auto version as being the "Automatic Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M15".

Maybe its unjustified, but I always tend to take Wiki with a grain of salt because you don't know who wrote the information. I find a lot of conflicting information on the web.

According to Gen Hatcher, both rifles (after modifications to the T48) were "found suitable" for adoption. He also mentions the one pound weight consideration (first) plus "better suited to US mass production", and also "training methods" (whatever they were--maybe the manual of arms). I have read the same information elsewhere, but I cannot remember where right now.

I would tend to trust Gen Hatcher until I saw a better source. I'll have to try and find the sources listed in Wiki

I didn't know that Taiwan made M14s. I haven't seen them listed anywhere.
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Old 12-22-2007
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by milpas
Maybe some confusion re my use of M14 & T44. The T44 was selected at the trials but according to Gen Hatcher's Notebook the first M14s produced were semi-auto only. The ones I trained with did not have the cutout, filled or otherwise, on the stock where the select lever would be, so I would tend to believe Hatcher. He also lists the full auto version as being the "Automatic Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M15".

Are you absolutely SURE? There's no such thing as the "M15", such as there was no such thing as an M-14 made in semi-automatic mode only for military issue. M-21s, yes; M-14s, no. But the M-21 and the M-14 are two completely different things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milpas
According to Gen Hatcher, both rifles (after modifications to the T48) were "found suitable" for adoption. He also mentions the one pound weight consideration (first) plus "better suited to US mass production", and also "training methods" (whatever they were--maybe the manual of arms). I have read the same information elsewhere, but I cannot remember where right now.

The mentioned "Training Methods" meant that the soldiers used to the Garand would have got themselves used to the M-14 more quickly. Even because the U.S. Military found out so quickly about the absolute un-controllability of the M-14 in full auto (unless you have it ground-based with a bipod) that they trained the soldiers to keep their rifles on semi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milpas
I didn't know that Taiwan made M14s. I haven't seen them listed anywhere.

Called the T-57 in Taiwanese service. Production line bought out from the U.S. government in 1968, the machineries issued came from Springfield Armory and H&R. Manufactured by the 205th Taiwanese Army Armory (called the "Combined Service Forces"). Here are the datas from "Jane's":

Designation: T57 (Assault Rifle Type 57)

Common Name: M14

Calibre: 7.6251mm

Origin: Springfield Arsenal, Springfield, USA; Hsing-Ho Arsenal, Kaohsuing (licensed).

Use: Armed forces: general service (1968-). 1,205,000+ acquired, including 30,450 in 1995 for $1,680,840; more than 1 million made in Taiwan.


And, as Armorer pointed out, the M-14 you've thinkered with is completely different from what an U.S. soldier or Marine in the late 1950s could have handled. All M-14s still in U.S. arsenals have been completely rebuilt once or even twice up to now, maybe by the expert armorers of the USMC Quantico base. It's a whole different matter.

The FAL would have been better in service for lots of reasons. That extra pound in weight actually helped controllability in full-automatic fire. The more modern design (with pistol grip and side-folding stock) made it easier to handle, easier to fire instinctively ("from the hip"). The fact that it was adopted by dozens of Countries and sought after by many others is no case.

Oh, Armorer, what did you meant when you talked (well... wrote) about a replacement of the Browning? You meant the Machinegun or the Pistol? Because, you know, I repeat, if I was the one to decide, the U.S. Armed Forces would have entirely switched from the M1911-A1 to the Browning High-Power in a snap of fingers after the war.
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2007
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Default Re: M14 vs FAL in the US tests

Pt-- Milpas stated, "the concept of one rifle replacing the M1, the Bar and machine guns was really a flawed plan in the first place."
As if there was a question.

As to JMB-- remember, he wasn't particularly pleased with the MIlitary's decision to move with the 1911 over the Hi-Power, noteably the gripsafety. Not to go off topics, not that this topic was valid to begin with, but you you'd be interested in hearing the 1911 forum arguments about what JMB woulda done with a modern glock-- odds are split between a S&W M&P or "springfield" XD.
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Last edited by Armorer : 12-22-2007 at 07:24 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2007
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Arrow It's not a matter of what JMB would have done...

...it's a matter of operational practicity. The M1911-A1 holds more stopping power than the Browning HP, that's out of question... but that superior stopping power had already proven itself excessive more than once. Already in World War 2, the military usage of pistols happened at so close ranges that the extreme stopping power of the .45-ACP and .455-Mk2z (Webley & Scott), although obviously loved by the soldiers, proved largely to be overkill. Countries like Italy and Germany fought WW-2 largely armed with small-caliber pistols (.32-Acp, .380-Acp), and the Soviet Union, past WW2, switched to the hard-hitting 7'62x25 Tokarev to a smaller caliber, the puny 9x18. Back at the time, the Browning HP was, and would have remained for long time, the top of military pistols. Common military caliber (9x19mm, or 9 Luger) high magazine capacity (13 rounds, very high for the time) and not much difference in operation from the M1911-A1 (single-stack with side-mounted safety). If the lack of grip safety bothered the Americans, they could have as well modified the safety lever realizing something like the safety system marketed by Peters Stahl of Germany for the 1911-A1 pistols: the side-mounted safety lever, if operated (switched up, then down again) becomes a decocker, allowing the operator to carry the pistol in "Condition Two" (round chambered, safety off, hammer down), which is one of the safest carry procedures for any external hammer semi-auto. Doing it with a manual decocker is faster and safer than doing it manually (and whoever has tried to decock a 1911-A1 knows what I'm talking about... we're speaking about lowering manually a hammer over a loaded chamber here, only experts should challenge themselves in it, the accidental discharge is one step ahead if the thing isn't done correctly!).
In this configuration, the Browning High-Power would have been the perfect sidearm for U.S. service as it has been to many other countries allied to the U.S. and for many Police forces and civilian shooters around the globe. Maybe today you might be sticking with it rather than looking for a second replacement in 20 years (well... maybe you'd have got the BDA or the BDM, but whatever...).
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2007
milpas milpas is offline
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Default Re: M14 vs FAL in the US tests

Hatcher's book was written in 47 with new editions in 57 & 62.

On page 496 of the 62 edition he refers to the adoption of "the T44 in a light barrel version, standardized as the Rifle Caliber 7.62 mm, M14, and in a heavy barrel version, the Automatic Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M15."

Perhaps the M15 designation was an earlier one that was dropped, but I doubt that Hatcher would not have just made it up.
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Old 12-23-2007
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Default "U.S. Rifle, 7'62mm, M-15"

This is an old designation for the earlier model of heavy-barreled M-14. See it in this picture:



The M-15 is the model above.

The M-15 never entered service. The very little M-15s in existence today are kept in museums. Read what Wikipedia says:

The M15 was developed as a replacement for the Browning Automatic Rifle for use as a squad automatic weapon. It took the basic M14 rifle, added a heavier barrel and stock, a hinged buttplate, a selector switch for fully-automatic fire, and an attached bipod. It fired the standard 7.62 mm NATO (.308 Winchester) round, the same as the M14 and the M60 machine gun.

However, firing tests showed that the M14, when equipped with the selector switch, hinged buttplate and bipod, performed as well as the M15. As a result, the M15 was dropped and the M14 (modified) became the squad automatic weapon. Accuracy and control problems with this variant led to the addition of a pistol-grip stock, a folding metal foregrip and a muzzle stabilizer. The final design was designated as the M14A1.

Today, the "M-15" designation is used as a marketing name for certain civilian variants of the M16 rifle, particularly the ones manufactured by ArmaLite.


And here's what the M14-A1 looked like:



It wasn't much more successful than the other M-14 variants other than the M-21, by the way. If you consider that the M-14 lasted in service as the main issue rifle for less than a decade, we can doubtlessly say that the M-14 has been the biggest mistake in U.S. Military small arms history (at least RECENT history).
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2007
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Arrow Re: M14 vs FAL in the US tests



U.S. RIFLE M15 (T44E5) 7.62MM
Manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield, Ma. - Standard M15 rifle. Select switch. This specimen test fired 3034 rounds. Complete with 20-round detachable box magazine. Weapon declared obsolete on 17 December 1959. Stock shows wear near buttplate.
"A heavy barreled version of the M14 (T44E4) was developed as the T44E5. It was tested as a replacement for the M1918A2 BAR and was adopted as the M15. The differences between the T44E4 and T44E5 were that the latter had a heavy chrome lined barrel, bipod, and a hinged butt plate which resulted in an increased weight of 13.6 lbs.
The ventilated handguard, hinged butt plate, chrome lined barrel (although standard weight), and quick detachable bipod (Bipod, Rifle, M2) developed in testing of the M15 in 1958 were tried as standard T44E4. The military found this combination so effective that a separate weapon system was deemed necessary and plans to produce the M15 ceased in 1959.
However, this was not the end of the story. The military reversed its decision when subsequent full automatic fire testing of the standard M14 equipped with the M2 bipod, proved uncontrollable and inaccurate. The attempted solution was a new stock equipped with a pistol grip and a muzzle stablizer slipped over the flash suppressor, in addition to the M2 bipod. Testing of the M14E2 was conducted between 1963 and 1967.
The M14E2 was adopted as the M14A1 in 1967. As production of M14 rifles had ceased, and Springfield Armory was on the verge of closing, a contract was awarded to Canadian Arsenals, Limited for production of birch stocks for the M14A1. Once again a reversal of decision; further evaluation of the M14A1 determined that the M60 machine gun was more suitable for fully automatic fire support and the M14A1 was canceled."
Duff, Scott A. & John M. Miller. THE M14 OWNER'S GUIDE.

"By the late 1950s, the standard squad automatic weapon, the M1918A1 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was forty years old. Developed in the closing stages of World War I, the BAR in its three major configurations had served well and faithfully through World War II, the Korean War and a host of smaller conflicts. But at 19.4 pounds and chambered for the now obsolete .30-06 cartridge, the BAR was too heavy and cumbersome for the modern battlefield.
Engineers at the Ordnance Department decided to see if the M14 could be developed into a squad automatic rifle. Doing so would same millions in the development costs of a new weapon and simplify logistics requirements. A weapon development project designated T44E5 was begun. Because a squad automatic weapon would fire many times more than an infantry rifle, a reinforced heavy weight, chrome-lined barrel was developed. A detachable bipod was also designed to allow the weapon to be fired from the prone position. Subsequent testing showed the need for a hinged buttplate similar to that already developed for the M1918A1. It was hoped that the hinged buttplate would make the weapon more comfortable in full automatic fire.
Unfortunately, further testing showed that even with the bipod and hinged buttplate, the M15 was inaccurate because of excessive muzzle climb and recoil. The M15 program was canceled late in 1959."
Poyer, Joe. THE M14-TYPE RIFLE.


U.S. RIFLE M15 (T44E5) 7.62MM
Manufactured by Mathewson Tool Co
, New Haven, Ct. - Standard M15 rifle. Select switch. Hinged buttplate. Complete with bipod. Complete with 20-round detachable box magazine. Nicks in stock on left side. Weapon declared obsolete on 17 December 1959.
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