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AR or M1A

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Just Jim, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    So you picked your weapon for your best chance of survival, are you still happy with your choice? (got this from another site)

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/...03/army_m14_032210w/

    The Army is doubling the number of 7.62mm weapons in the infantry squad, increasing soldiers’ long-range killing power in the wide-open expanses of Afghanistan.

    Since the beginning of the war, a typical nine-man infantry squad has included a single squad-designated marksman, armed with a surplus M14 rifle for engaging the enemy beyond the 300-meter range of M4s and M16s.

    Today, squads are deploying to Afghanistan with two SDMs, each armed with the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle, a modernized version of the Vietnam War-era weapon that’s accurate out to 800 meters.

    “It’s a very precise weapon system,” said Spc. Andrew McMeley, a squad designated marksman serving in Afghanistan with B Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment. “All the improvements on it are fantastic.”

    The EBR features a standard M14 barrel, plus a receiver and trigger assembly that’s fitted with a Sage International adjustable aluminum stock, a Leopold 3.5x10 power scope and Harris bipod legs.

    “Units have been requesting this capability for a while,” said Maj. Elliott Caggins, assistant product manager for Sniper Weapons. “It provides more shootability than the old weapon.”

    The Army began building 5,000 of these modernized M14s early last year in response to the growing need of infantry squads operating in Afghanistan to engage enemy fighters at longer ranges.

    “Comments from returning noncommissioned officers and officers reveal that about 50 percent of engagements occur past 300 meters,” Maj. Thomas Ehrhart wrote in his Nov. 30 position paper “Increasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometer” at the School of Advanced Military Studies at the Army’s Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

    Many engagements extend out to 800 meters, weapons officials maintain. The shift to these longer-range engagements is forcing the Army to rethink 5.56mm focus in the squad.

    “We are looking at 7.62mm in the squad,” said Col. Doug Tamilio, who runs Project Manager Soldier Weapons. “We have always had a policy in a nine-man squad that we would keep 5.56mm flat across that.

    “The fight in Afghanistan is showing us that 7.62mm, in certain aspects, is needed and required.”

    The idea of supplanting the 5.56mm round in the squad will surely add fuel to soldier criticisms that the 5.56mm is ineffective for today’s battlefield.

    Special Operations Command has already adopted this concept with its fielding of a 5.56mm and a 7.62mm version of the Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle.

    Despite concerns over the increased weight of the 7.62mm ammunition, Tamilio said, “I think we are starting to think of a mix” of 5.56mm and 7.62mm within the squad.

    As a short-term solution, “we have given them EBR14s — two per squad” until the Army develops a standardized squad-designated marksman rifle.

    The squad-marksman role was hatched during development of Stryker brigades. Placing specialized shooters in these highly mobile, rapid-deployment units bolsters an individual squad’s precision-shooting capability when snipers are otherwise unavailable.

    Infantry units deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq, whose missions in many ways have been expeditionary, have embraced the idea of a precision shooter at the squad level since late 2002.

    The EBR effort also illustrates how the M14 has continued to evolve after its brief eight years of service when the M16 replaced it in 1965 as the Army’s standard infantry rifle. Patterned after the popular M1 Garand of World War II and the Korean War, the M14’s robust design features a gas operating rod system, wood stock and 20-round magazine. A more accurate version of the M14 — dubbed the M21 — served as the Army’s official sniper rifle from 1975 until 1988. The M21 featured a more accurate, match-grade, barrel.

    The M14 didn’t see widespread conventional use until current combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The M14s, equipped with various commercial optics, have proven highly effective at extending the killing range of the infantry squad. Despite the M14’s popularity, units have been calling for a more modernized design.

    The EBR concept, which was first used in 2004 by Navy SEALs, features a rigid, aircraft-grade aluminum chassis that secures the barrel more effectively, helping to increase accuracy, Caggins said. It’s equipped with a Picatinny rail system for mounting lasers, lights and other accessories. There’s also a removable Kydex hand guard that protects the shooter’s nonfiring hand from heat buildup during rapid firing.

    The folding stock can be adjusted to different lengths and also has a multiple-position cheek rest for different shooter preferences. This is one of McMeley’s favorite features on the EBR.

    “The adjustable cheek piece makes it to where, in a quick reflex situation, when you have a target of opportunity, you can just slap your face up against it and get the same spot on your cheek every single time,” he said. “All this adjustability makes the EBR more comfortable to shoot.”

    The EBR also has a M16/M4-style pistol grip.

    Weapons officials include a three-day new equipment training program when the EBRs are delivered to a unit. The program includes two days of classroom instruction and one day on the range.

    Despite its improved design, the EBR isn’t perfect, weapons officials said. It’s just under 15 pounds unloaded, compared with the standard M14’s unloaded weight of 9 pounds. An unloaded M4 weighs just 6.5 pounds.

    “We are looking at making it a little lighter,” Caggins said.

    The EBR’s more complex design also makes it difficult to maintain, said Sgt. Paul Bullock, another SDM in B Company.

    “The only thing I dislike is that you have to go through so much just to take it apart,” Bullock said.

    With the older M14, “You just pull a few things and you’ve got it apart. With this one, you’ve got to take apart seven or eight different screws … I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time pulling it apart and putting it back together. But, the weapon system doesn’t get as dirty as the original so you don’t have to worry about it as much.”

    It’s not cheap to produce, either — EBRs cost about $3,000 each.

    But weapons officials view the EBR as just another step toward the Army selecting a standardized SDM rifle.

    Fort Benning, Ga., officials are working on a requirement for the SDM rifle that should be ready sometime next year, Tamilio said.

    Beginning this spring, Benning officials will assess different optics and different weapon systems and try to figure out what is the optimal solution for a squad-designated marksman: what works and what doesn’t work, Tamilio said.

    For now, units deploying to the combat zone can request M14 EBRs by submitting an operational needs statement to Army’s office of the G-3, Caggins said.

    Currently, the Army has issued about 3,750 of the 5,000 EBRs being built, he said. Units return the EBRs to the Army when they come back from deployment. The weapons are then reissued to other units.

    While there is no set deadline for units to submit an ONS before a deployment, Caggins said, “earlier is always better.”

    “We haven’t had a problem getting them the weapons before they deploy,” he said. “It’s a relatively quick process.”
     
  2. SSG

    SSG Lane County New Member

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    This has been coming for some time...the .223 weapon platform...isn't getting it done...sad to think that a decent NEW weapon system hasn't been developed in 50 years, and we are going back to Korean era guns and calibers.
     
  3. Wallygator

    Wallygator Albany, OR Active Member

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    I guess owning both is a good thing. I think I will go with the JAE stock over the EBR.

    I'm glad to see the military seeing the need for a heavier round.


    wg
     
  4. aquariumjunky

    aquariumjunky Albany, Oregon Active Member

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    Reading articles like that really make me want to get a M1A , Maybe I should stop buying all these cheaper toys and actually save for a bit?

    Thanks for the read JJ
    Steven
     
  5. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    Ok,

    Got to know, what is JAE? As for the M14, I agree, great rifle that never was given it's due. After all we have seen over the past decade, it makes me wonder if we are going to stay with 2 calibers or go to a compromise like the 6.8, but from what I hear, it's ballistics are similar to the 5.56 with respect to range.
     
  6. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    Ft Benning has submitted the request to start testing the 6.5 Grendel. That would be an excellant round for a compromise for the two needs.

    Funny how the AR/M4 platform is winning fewer and fewer friends within the military. The big push is to create an AR/M4 with AK and/or FAL characteristics. Anyone else notice that?

    SF-
     
  7. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    I have a family member that has an FN-FAL Match gun, really, really nice. But at that weight I would still rather have an M14. An M14 with a Sage stock is a thing of beauty.

    SF, thanks for mentioning the 6.5, I have heard mentions on that cartridge being a sweet compromise and then, promptly forgot all about it.
     
  8. wakejoe

    wakejoe Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    I very much prefer the wood (Or synthetic) stock M14.

    The EBR feels cumbersome, and balances awkwardly. A standard M14, with some sort of updated "Flat top" receiver would be a much better system.
     
  9. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    +1

    The "air soft" guys like them... Makes them feel like Navy "Operators".

    SF-
     
  10. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    How about a 10.5" AR-15 SBR plus an AR-10/SR-25 pattern rifle? Since the SR-25/AR-10 is just as easy to break down as any other AR you don't have to worry about over 9000 screws on an EBR stock. Then you've got your close quarters home defense gun and something in case you need to reach out and touch something. Also good if you're into hunting.

    AK is pretty meh imo, but it's a personal preference thing. I don't like the safety placement, rock and lock mags are slower (bad for competitions), no bolt hold open on last round (also bad for competitions), and the standard sights are kind of terrible. Not a big fan of 7.62x39 either--less range than 5.56 even. FN FAL is pretty cool though. Also, FN came out with a new battle rifle recently, the FNAR (I like to say it fuhnar :3 ). Magazines are expensive (and I think it looks kinda ugly) but it is reportedly very accurate and the gun itself pretty reasonably priced. I don't know how easy it is to take apart and clean though and I still haven't gotten to shoot one myself.
    fuhnar.png

    I will probably stick with the platform I'm used to (AR) and go for one of those new LMT .308s for my battle rifle, but FNAR definitely seems worth taking a look at especially if you find the AR platform does not suit you and are looking for something different.
     
  11. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    FN-FAL is my favorite.

    But I just picked up a DPMS AR-10 .308 AP4, and it is sweet too.

    M1A scout is a good rifle too. Seems like a EBR or Sage stock is too heavy to walk around with. It would be better for garrison duty.
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why they don't just develop from the AR-10 platform for weight and ease of maintenance. It's accurate, and the troops already know how to use and maintain it.

    Interesting to see that they are going with commercial Leopold scopes. My preference too. I never got the fever for the mil dot deals.
     
  13. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    Well they do use the SR-25 which is almost the same as an AR-10. It is the M110 semi-automatic sniper system. Only thing is, if you want an actual KAC it will cost both your kidneys and your left nut. That's why I said I was interested in the new LMT .308. It has their nifty monolithic rail upper and reportedly shoots at least .75moa with match grade ammo. Probably even better if you experiment with handloads. They are also coming out with a super accurized version in the near future.

    If you guys are looking for nifty M1A stocks that don't handle like butthole, I like the one that comes with the SOCOM 16. Has an optic rail and bipod and sling mounting points. Not as tacticool looking as the Sage EBR, but it's a no-nonsense very functional stock.
     
  14. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Just some thoughts and YMMV...

    I don't own any real high end guns, and not because I can't afford them.

    I like Glocks.

    My most accurate and sweetest shooting hunting rifle is a Ruger M77 tang safety version in .270 Win with a Canjar trigger.

    For me as an individual, I'm plenty satisfied with an Armalite AR-10 or similar in .308 and for sure not just in 7.62 NATO.

    I just said "I'll take it" to a nice used Remington 1100 12ga with rifle sights, smooth bore and 22" barrel in our classifieds. It's $350, posted for all to see.

    I just don't get any envy or status out of having the most expensive or something for bragging rights. I hit what I aim at most of the time.

    $.02
     
  15. tattoo

    tattoo NorthWest Active Member

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    Get on the AK platform. The rest of the world has. Does the US really need to reach out and hit at 500+ yards. Thats what the snipers and there rifles are for. JMHO.
    DAVE.
     
  16. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    If you're satisfied with dinner plate of angle for accuracy, those are really good guns. :D

    I have at least a 300 yard sweep to watch and protect right out my windows. I also regulary see deer out those windows at that distance. Same with wild turkeys.

    No thanks. :)
     
  17. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    Once of the best comments on this question came from Boston T. Party's Gun Bible...basically, he said for civilians that the 7.62mm can be somewhat of a force multiplier; we don't have have MG's and gunships backing us up. We need a caliber that can hit hard, penetrate, and hit from a distance. For your best "overall" gun, I'd say go with a 7.62x51mm. FAL is my favorite.
     
  18. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    amazing that people actually carried an m1A1 and ammo all over europe and suddenly the army decided it was too heavy and went to a smaller cal. just how many wars have we won since the 30-06 and 45 were changed in for small calibers because they were heavy and had too much recoil?
     
  19. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Eugene OR, DUH! We're ALL in the NORTHWEST Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about you, but if someone is shooting at ME, I want a weapon that is more accurate and has greater range than the guy that is shooting at me. Going toe to toe with an equally equipped foe is for the for the birds, that is why the enemy uses "terrorist" tactics, which puts them too close for comfort. Superior equipment is definitely called for here.
     
  20. wakejoe

    wakejoe Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention reload speeds, rounds per pound, Stanag mags that are easier stacked, stored or carried.