Saturday, August 22, 2015

I reject the notion that there was ONE reason the M14 was superceded, but this makes interesting reading.

The United States Army Ordnance Department procurement system has always been its own (and the troops they are supposed to serve) worst enemy: Berlin Crisis, 1961: The Beginning of The End of The M14


Pericles said...

Meh - the US troops don't have the M1956 field gear either, that had also been in production for over four years as well. In the Eisenhower years, the Army was not a priority, as the military policy was massive retaliation with nukes, not to roll around in the mud like in Korea. The article was a focus on one detail to the exclusion of the larger view.

The first four years of M1 production was not spectacular either, especially the need to solve the 7th round stoppage problem, and certainly after September 1939, one should be able to predict that M1s were going to be needed in mass quantity. It looks like some 300,000 Garands were produced in the first four years, and the pre September 1939 production, (two years) was 14,623. Even at wartime production rates of over 100,000 per month, only infantry troops in rifle companies got Garands, everybody else got 1903s, or 03A3s. The Marines never got Garands to all of their infantrymen.

There has never been a standard Army infantry weapon that could be produced in sufficient numbers to meet the needs of a major war (one might say the 1816 used in the Mexican War was an exception, but the 1842 should have been the standard arm, but had not yet been issued).

If I went on about how this is more typical rather than exception, I would write a book.

Dutchman6 said...

Yeah, I noticed the World War II webbing also. There is also no mention of McNamara's psychology, "Move over old man, the whiz kids are here and we'll show you how to procure a rifle," which led to the M16.

Anonymous said...

When studied in a vacuum, Luger's P08 is one of the finest pistols ever introduced. But it was expensive to produce, doesn't like dirt, doesn't like to run dry, and it's very finicky about the ammo it's fed. It was withdrawn and replaced by the P38 which didn't have those faults at least to the same extent.

The M14 tried to be a little bit of something to everyone and didn't really do well at replacing some of the weapon systems that it was supposedly replacing. Those problems probably could have been worked out if the attention and money had been there and not squandered. If they had had some ham they could have had some ham and eggs if they had had some eggs. Just look at the way some but not all of the AR15/M16/M4 problems have been sorted out. Our problem was that there was no proven replacement waiting in the wings when the M14 was withdrawn.

Unknown said...

As SM Barry told me a long time ago. If it's between the M16 and the AK, give me an AK. If it's between the AK, and the FAL, give me an FAL, and if it's between the FAL and the M14, give me an M14.

Ed said...

Two things:
1. Cost per rifle to produce and annual maintenance cost
2. Weight of rifle and ammunition load per soldier

Anonymous said...

The undestroyed stock of M-14's have a purpose as the upgraded best-ever DM semi-auto rifle.

If only DCM had been allowed to make them into M1A's instead of "de-mil" receiver cutting/part kits that we got.