What is the process in turning an M14 into a usable DMR?

Chad H/BC520

10-32 Solutions
Moderator
#4
Way more than it's worth. I explored it a few years ago for a surplus one that my agency has. Tatonka on here confirmed some of what I had found, and it would be cheaper to buy a Remington 700 to have a gun 2-4x as accurate. There was too much that would have to be dealt with at the gunsmithing level and that would have to be addressed by continual maintenance by a support system absolutely dedicated to the weapon. It's not worth the liability, the time, nor the funds, especially when there are so many better options out there now and in an era when funds are not plentiful in the LE circles.
 

Longeye

Established
#7
According to some in my PD all you need is to attach a Simons tactical rifle scope to a surplus M14. I have a Sgt that is a qualified expert on the M14.
Who qualified him? Is he a qualified shooter or maintainer or builder? The distinctions are important.

My take is that returning the M14 to DRMO is the most important first step.

In my experience the typical DRMO M14 is not even accurate enough to be a patrol rifle.

Then setup either an M4 with an ACOG or if you need the punch, take a hard look at setting up a Colt 901 for this job.

I have just started working with the 901, and am seeing some great early results.

In any case, ammunition needs to be spec'd intelligently for the job. Montana Highway Patrol issued surplus M14's for years. In one shooting the cheap hunting type ammo that was issued failed to penetrate a rear vehicle window and drivers seat- 17 times.
 

MattJames

Certified Derpologist
Moderator
#8
One could easily spool up a 16-18 inch AR-15 as a DMR gun, for half or a third of the cost it takes to get an M14 to run half as well... and the AR will keep its accuracy throughout the life of the barrel, isn't going to effected by humidity and water getting in to the wood work if you have kept it in its original config... the list goes on and on. It's just NOT that great of a gun any longer. Frankly it never really was to begin with when one considers the offerings at the time it was adopted (G3 and FAL).

And thats an AR with a free floated GI or Medium contour SOPMOD II barrel. We are spoiled these days with AR15 system's that easily produce 1 MOA with match grade ammunition, out of what are essentially "rack grade" barrels when you free float the thing and put a half way decent trigger in it. Why would anyone even bother with the liability the M14 presents is beyond me.
 

Bronson

Fury
Moderator
#9
1) Match Grade Barrel
2) Stock & Chassis
3) Cantilever Mount
4) Quality Optic In Quality Mount
5) Maintenance Plan & Personnel To Maintain It (Armorers & Gunsmiths)
6) Spare Parts / Replacement Weapon Systems Available

Even then it's going to be long, weigh an exorbitant amount for a battle rifle, unable to retain it's precision without constant upkeep, and not allow for a SDM to function interchangeably as a member of the squad.

The juice is simply not worth the squeeze.

The cost of the Sage EBR Stock & Chassis (and the cantilever mount) means you could purchase two free float rails and two Geissele triggers for Riflemen in the squad and still have money left over.
 

Bronson

Fury
Moderator
#10
It's a thing due to:

1) Ignorance
2) People not listening to end user feedback / SME's reference DMR's.
3) Lack of DOTMLPF for the SDM in the Army.
4) Officers thinking they understand the M14 because they used to carry it around at West Point.
5) Anniston stocks possesses thousands and thousands of rifles, meaning new rifles wouldn't have to be purchased.
 
#11
Why do the USMA cadets carry around a double legacy rifle, when we have so many M16A1's laying around? At least with a M16A1, the commonality of training would transfer.

Anniston should gift all the M14's to some country we don't really like but probably won't have to fight in the next 30 years.

Or preferably scrap them, so them don't keep showing up like a bad penny.
 

Bronson

Fury
Moderator
#12
I do not have the answer to that very valid question.

If anything, I suppose ceremonial duties would be a possible reason. We used our M4's in Iraq and AFG for those details, however.

In an AAR that was forwarded up to G8, we recommended all M14's be placed on the 1033 Program for the sole intent of being ceremonial rifles. You would think we were advocating the murder of Gitmo prisoners by loosing K9's on the populace based on how some reacted to that.
 
#13
Yeah, but if cops get a hold of them for drill purpose, then a bunch of LT's and CPT's will waiver them, order enhanced stocks and put optics on them, and pretty soon this whole thing will start over.

I know if I ever am the victim of honor at a cop funeral- I am going to be peeved that the honor guard might be carrying an obsolete rifle that served four years of active duty, was obsolete the minute the blue prints were dry, and can hardly be given away to other foreign states.

Weld the bolts shut, and drill the breech. Or sell them for $165 a ton to a scrapper.
 
#14
I had an standard M1A, had it worked by a former 2112, bedding, unitizing, truing, trigger work, new sights, struggled to be 1moa....sold it...for the money, build an AR10. 2-3's as accurate and easier to maintain and way more reliable and ergonomic...M1A is nostalgia, that's about it
 
#15
OK, my lousy 2 cents. I used the M21 sniper rifle back long ago. It sucked big ones. If you bed a rifle and used it in a field environment the bedding will break down. Thus in mid 80s we went to an aluminum bedding block rifle to replace the M21. I worked the design and testing of that weapon wiht some very talented individuals. I have used the M14/M1A in comp. Bottom line, the M14 will not now, nor never will be a good DMR gun for either LEO or Mil purposes. While a great battle rifle, better than the M16 for many purposes, it sucks for precision work. Reasons are many, but here are a few, does not hold zero, does not hold accuracy, larger change from cold bore to warm bore and not always the same depending on how much spring set has occured during cold bore. None of the mil incarnations worked and the closest was in the mid 80s with the M26 concept gun. But that was designated a sniper support rifle due to its limitations. Do not waste your money. You will in the long run, spend more money and be less satisfied than if you spent the money and a bit more on a new design 308. I have and love my OBR. Even after years of shooting and cussing my M21. :)

On West Point, the M16 sucks for drill and ceremony so all the parading around would look like crap at West Point and heavon forbid that the cadets should look like crap.

On 5.56 vs 308, most, but not all, LEO shots will not require shots past the effective accuracy of a good 5.56. For those Sheriff dept guys that have the wide open spaces then 308 or a slighter hotter round could be desirable, not just for range but more importantly for wind bucking ability. Trade off is the leads for moving targets which most targets do move, seldom see them just stand there and wait to be shot.
 
#16
Way more than it's worth. I explored it a few years ago for a surplus one that my agency has. Tatonka on here confirmed some of what I had found, and it would be cheaper to buy a Remington 700 to have a gun 2-4x as accurate. There was too much that would have to be dealt with at the gunsmithing level and that would have to be addressed by continual maintenance by a support system absolutely dedicated to the weapon. It's not worth the liability, the time, nor the funds, especially when there are so many better options out there now and in an era when funds are not plentiful in the LE circles.
I was on the route to turn a couple DRMO M14s into 1moa sniper support rifles at the request of our SWAT team and snipers. Chatted with Chad about it and then looked into it on my own. The cheapest option to achieve what the snipers wanted was going to cost us well just shy of $4k per rifle, and it was going to require something similar to the Smith Enterprise M14SE SDM "Crazy Horse" retrofit. Basically, more than it would cost to buy literally any semi-automatic .308 AR on the market.
 

Matt Landfair

Matt Six Actual
Staff member
Administrator
#17
I was on the route to turn a couple DRMO M14s into 1moa sniper support rifles at the request of our SWAT team and snipers. Chatted with Chad about it and then looked into it on my own. The cheapest option to achieve what the snipers wanted was going to cost us well just shy of $4k per rifle, and it was going to require something similar to the Smith Enterprise M14SE SDM "Crazy Horse" retrofit. Basically, more than it would cost to buy literally any semi-automatic .308 AR on the market.
More PD's need to know that plus the support it will require afterwards.
 
#18
The support was the other half. I was the most weapon-inclined person in the department and was an armorer for all patrol firearms. Our SWAT team was HK whores (MP5-40, UMP40, G36C, HK416D), and not a single person was an HK armorer. We had one Remington 700 armorer, but we switched to Accuracy International AE MkIII rifles and nobody was an AI armorer. The last thing we needed to do was to add another weapon (M14) to the arsenal that nobody was qualified to maintain or repair.
 
#19
According to some in my PD all you need is to attach a Simons tactical rifle scope to a surplus M14. I have a Sgt that is a qualified expert on the M14.
I qualified Expert in Basic in 1969 with a M-14 just before they started Basic with M-16s Expert equaled being OK anyone that didn't get Expert really sucked.