Monday, March 22, 2010
U.S.Army Marksmen issued better rifles for Combat
The Army is doubling the number of 7.62mm (NATO) weapons in the infantry squad...squads are deploying to Afghanistan with two SDMs (Squad Designated Marksman), each armed with the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle, a modernized version of the Vietnam War-era weapon that’s accurate out to 800 meters...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...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...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 (Semi-automatic) 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 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...It’s not cheap to produce, either — EBRs cost about $3,000 each...
Full Article @: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/03/army_m14_032210w/
Semiauto versions of the M-14/M-21 are extremely popular in the U.S. (despite being quite punishing to shoot), especially as long-range competition target rifles, notably the "M1A" as offered by Springfield Armory. Aftermarket EBR style stocks and furniture will undoubtedly also become popular with civilian owners when some entrepreneurs decide to put them on the market (I'd go for one)...(S9)