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WHY NO M-14's ?

TheWifeIsOutTheWifeIsOut Member Posts: 24 ✭✭
edited November 2002 in Ask the Experts
I trained with the last series of platoons (1065) at MCRD San Diego (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) to train with the M14. The next group to get their heads shaved got M-15's. Why don't you ever see any M-14's for sale?

Edited by - TheWifeIsOut on 11/30/2002 02:11:02


  • JDFRICKJDFRICK Member Posts: 104 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    That's A good question.I got out in "73 and used the m-14.After bootcamp they went to the m-16.What was the caliber of the m-14?
    I liked the m-14 better even though it was 11lbs.compared to 9lbs.on the 16.Also,that 16 would double feed, and jam.I understand they got that corrected later.I often wondered how many were lost because of that problem?1 is too many;SEMPER FI.

  • JDFRICKJDFRICK Member Posts: 104 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Just out of curosity when were you in?My troop was 1022 also out of
    San Diego.

  • hawaiipighunterhawaiipighunter Member Posts: 438 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    i read on this board earlier that the m-14s were still in the armories for a reserve. at our armory we still have a number of them, i wasnt told how many, but that they still are there.

    id love to see the m-14 come out of the armories thru a CMP type program. i love the 308 caliber.

    i had the oppurtunity to shoot the springfield m1as a few years back and just loved them. i just wasnt up to the 1199.00 price tag.

    the navy still uses the m14 on the subs and on the civilian ships (msc and mearsc)

  • PrebanpartsPrebanparts Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    While I have a personal affection for the '14 you wont see it on the civvie market as it is select fire and even if the lug that holds the parts that make it a full auto were cut off, the Govt position is "once a machine Gun always a machine gun" will prevent them from being sold. The USA will either give them to our allies or destroy them..
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 24,511 ******
    edited November -1
    Back in the early 1960's a small number (less than 1,000) M14 National Match Rifles were released through the old DCM for sale to qualified civilian competitors. These rifles were modified by having their selectors welded into the semiauto position and having most of the non essential FA parts removed. It was right about the same time as the old Browning "G" series FALS were being sold and that is when the ATTU (as the ATF was then known) began the "once a MG always a MG" ruling. These MN M14 rifles are machineguns, but were grandfathered like the "G" series FAL.

    In order to release any M14 Rifles for sale the CMP would have to disassemble them into parts kits and rebuild them onto new semiauto receivers. The bayonet lugs would have to be removed to make them comply with 1994 assault weapons ban. There was a plan some years ago to grant M14's an exemption from the BATF ruling on machineguns to m14 Rifles and simply modify the weapon so that FA would not be possible. The BATF was willing to take a look at the program but wanted the Sec. Of the Treasury- their boss, to give them the okay. The Sec. wanted some type of enabling legislation from Congress, since the CMP was by then a civilian program. This entire idea simply died. I doubt you'll see any M14's released for sale any time soon.

    Mark T. Christian
  • JDFRICKJDFRICK Member Posts: 104 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Mark,thank's for the info. on the m-14.Sounds like you eplained the typical senareo of gov't.And corporate life "PASS THE BUCK, AND COVER THY OWN *".

  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,793 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The M14 is chambered for the 7.62 mm NATO round, which is essentially the same as the .308 Winchester.

    Another reason they will never be released, even with a more enlightened administration, is that most of them were destroyed 10-20 years ago. There are only 200,000-300,000 remaining in inventory, and this is considered only adequate to meet the future needs of the military. There are a number of military units that still use the M14.

    So, for those of you who want one, now is the best time to buy a clone; that's as close as you will ever get to owning an M14. The supply of USGI parts has dried up, and Springfield Inc has had to make many of their own parts.

  • TOMBECKTOMBECK Member Posts: 64 ✭✭
    edited November -1
  • Laredo LeftyLaredo Lefty Member Posts: 13,452 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey guys, I keep hearing "once a machinegun, always a machinegun".
    How about the Browning 1919A4, and M-60E3's that were once machine guns, but have been modified to shoot semi-auto only. They are belt fed just like the originals, and are for sale from several dealers.
  • mballaimballai Member Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Forget about this ever making sense. It's a gun with a military connotation and that's all the reason some dimwit government person needs to keep it out of your hands.

    Three Precious Metals: Gold, silver and lead
  • Der GebirgsjagerDer Gebirgsjager Member Posts: 1,685 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    How's about that! I was in one of the first U.S. Army outfits to get the M-14. 1963, I believe. Fine weapon. The rest has been said, above.
  • cpermdcpermd Member Posts: 5,272 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Those "MGs" you mentioned are not Class 3 because they are built on semi only receivers..They only use most of the parts from the original 1919 or M60.You can bet your happy * the ATF went over these with a microscope.
    We do have 4 M14s fere in our city PD lockerroom.
    Cost was around $120 for the 4 TOTAL.
    All we had to pay was shipping.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 24,511 ******
    edited November -1
    Laredo, what you are seeing with these 1919A4, MG-34's, BAR's, and M60 semi auto's is a firearm designed to look like the original military weapon, but built on a purpose built semiauto receiver. In order to pass muster with the BATF Technology Branch, these firearms must have receivers which are incapable of accepting ANY of the original machineguns FA fire control components. While they may LOOK like the original, there are many internal changes that would make it very difficult to convert them into machineguns.

    The "once a MG always, an MG" seems to have quite a few folks searching for answers so lets take a look at its history. Go back with me now to the care free days of the mid 1950's- I was not there yet...but some of you were. The entire firearms community was awash with surplus weapons left over from WWII and there was no real military market for these. There were plans in the works to pretty much revamp and requip with such rifles as the M14, FAL, G-3 and to eliminate items like submachineguns from inventories. So what do you do with a warehouse full of STENs, Thompsons, MP40's, and who knows what else? Well some could go to brush wars or sold to third world countries- but the US an Soviet Union were already GIVING AWAY tons of military firearms to their friends around the world and you can't beat the price-FREE! What to do with all of this surplus junk? Ship it to the good old USA of course! Americans were rich and would buy anything.

    We now begin what was known as the DEWAT program, or Deactivated War Trophy. Of course the old NFA still impossed a then whopping $200 tax on machineguns- but if you modified the weapon so it would not shoot it was just a wall hanger- not even a firearm and exempt from the NFA.
    The types of modifications were usually something like welding the chamber closed and then tack-welding the barrel to the receiver. Sometimes the barrels were simply plugged- it depended on what the importer had available to do the job. Since most full sized machineguns had barrels over the 16" NFA limit, you could simply weld their selectors (if they had one) into the semi auto position and sell the thing as a regular rifle.

    Things were going on pretty well with the program for a while, but as usual, a bunch of wise guys decided they could not leave well enough alone and started fooling around with these DEWATS. Since the only part of the firearm that was disabled was usually the barrel, you just cracked the welds on the blocked original and screwed on a new
    barrel, often purchased from the same company that sold you the DEWAT! Not a good business practice. The selector welds were even easier to defeat and in under an hour you had a functional machinegun.

    Back then this was not actually illegal- but you had to pay the $200 tax, since you just manufactured a machinegun, and NO ONE was doing this. The ATTU, a division of the IRS at the time, was in charge of the NFA and began to here all kinds of reports about what was going on with these DEWATS. By 1960 the program was closed and there would be no further modified machinguns allowed to be imported. It was also at this time that the agency began its "once a MG, always an MG" and disallowed the further importation of the "G" series FAL's and a few other sporting semiautos that were simply built on MG receivers. At the time the "once an MG, always an MG" was a ruling by the IRS and NOT a law passed by Congress- this would change.

    In 1968 with the passage of the Gun Control Act, Senator Dodd, the bills author, liked the ATTU's ruling on MG's and spoke with their legal experts about its impact. he heared all of the right things and came up with the final word on machineguns here in the USA: 179.11, subpart B; "Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single fuction of the trigger". This also includes frames, receivers, and any parts which were designed solely to convert a firearm into a machinegun (like an M2 carbine conversion kit or a drop in auto sear for an AR-15). So have you got all of that guys? I think you can understand now why all of those "nasty guns" use special receivers. You can't use a surplus M16 receiver to build an AR-15, it is not legal to do that because of the M16 status as a MG.

    What this meant was that EVERYTHING that once was an MG was still an MG no matter what you did to it...unless you destroyed it. This also meant that all of the old DEWATs laying around would also have ot be registered, but since they could not function as firearms (if their owners had left them alone), they were exempt from the $200 tax portion of the NFA- registration yes, tax no. This lead to the amnesty program and the 60,000+ firearms registered in less than 3 months. We are still in the same place today as we were 40 years ago with "once a MG, always an MG" and I doubt that will ever change.

    Mark T. Christian
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