M14 Rifle: Real Reason Why US Navy Seals Still Swear by This Six-Decades-Old Rifle

The M14 is a rifle of unmatched accuracy and amazing firepower that remains a staple for the US military.

The M14 rifle is a legendary weapon that has been in service for several decades – and is still going strong with its remarkable accuracy and firepower.

This rifle is so versatile that when it’s not on the battlefield, it can even work as the preferred ceremonial weapon in the US. Today, its high practicality still sets the standard on the battlefield and inspires new rifle designs.

It is a true icon of the US Armed Forces

CBP by James Tourtellotte. Public Domain.

The M14 rifle was the standard issue military rifle from 1959 to 1970. It replaced the M1 Garand as it was more accurate, modern, lighter, and with less recoil.


Later, it was replaced by the M16. However, the M14 remains in the hearts of many and has been hard to put out of service.

Reload M16 with Magazine
Reload M16 with Magazine by Elizabeth Breckenkamp. Public Domain.

It is no longer the standard US service rifle. But, because of its enormous firepower and reliability, it has remained a trusted rifle in the US armed forces.

The M16 will be replaced in the following years by the Sig Sauer M5… And the M14 will probably continue in service.


Why is it still in service?

Shooter and spotter
Shooter and spotter by Davin Fischer. Public Domain.

The M14 rifle is still in service for a variety of reasons. It is a highly accurate weapon, capable of delivering pinpoint accuracy at a long range. It is also reliable and durable, able to withstand tough conditions. 

Unlike the M16, which had many performance problems since the Vietnam War, the M14 left a significant imprint on the US armed forces.

Indeed, it is still used today by some military and law enforcement units, as well as by competitive shooters. Its primary use today is as a designated marksman’s rifle due to its accuracy and reliability. 


In addition, the M14 has continued to be upgraded over the years and continues to remain relevant on the battlefield. One of its most important and effective upgrades is the MK 14, which has been in service since 2002 with improvements that have allowed this rifle to remain up to date despite all its decades of service.

As part of its success, it also has a Chinese version created by Norinco.

Norinco M305
Norinco by Picanox. Licensed under CC by 4.0.

Also, the classic version of the M14 is widely used as a ceremonial weapon.


This rifle is even used at war right now

M14 rifle Ukraine 2022
M14 rifle Ukraine 2022 by General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Licensed under CC by 4.0.

In Ukraine, the M14 has a place. It has been deployed on the battlefield, where it is likely to be an ideal weapon for long-distance shooting, which makes it an excellent rifle for snipers.

The rifle is a potent weapon. It is chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO and has a very high rate of fire, making it an extremely effective weapon for almost every combat situation.


M14 Rifle Left Side
M14 Rifle Left Side by Unknown author. Public Domain.

  • Produced: 1959–1980
  • No. built: 1.3 million
  • Mass: 10.7 pounds (4.85 kilograms) with a loaded magazine
  • Length: 44.3 inches (1,126 millimeters)
  • Cartridge: 7.62×51 mm NATO
  • Rate of fire: 700–750 rounds per minute
  • Muzzle velocity: 2,800 ft/s (853 m/s)
  • Effective firing range: 500 yards (457 meters)

This war-hardened rifle is not yet ready for retirement

The M14 has been in service since 1959, and few rifles have been able to leave a mark like this one. That’s why it is so popular, and its upgrades have kept it relevant and competing even with next-generation rifles.


Featured image credit: M-14 rifle demonstration by Olanrewaju Akinwunmi. Public Domain.