The M14 Assault Rifle - Still Serving Today
The M14 stands as one of the most famous and long-serving guns in the world. Designed as the replacement for the M1 Garand and the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) the M14 had a lot to live up to. Trying to replace two of the most famous guns of World War II was no easy thing to expect of any weapon. The M14, however, was basically an M1 Garand with all the previous glitches corrected on it. A bigger and better version of the M1 was bound to be a success.
The really big change with the M14 was the introduction of a fixed 20-round clip of ammunition to replace the 8-round "en bloc" toploader system used by the original M1. This was necessary because the M14 was to be used in a number of different roles including as a sniper rifle, infantry rifle, automatic infantry weapon and also as a squad support automatic weapon. Unfortunately it never quite cut it as a squad support weapon - there was simply too much recoil and barrel movement for the M14 to be used in this role.
The M14 was used extensively in the Korean and Vietnam wars and proved to be very reliable in harsh conditions - completely unlike it's replacement the M16 (especially the early models). These wars led to the development of the XM21 sniper rifle (based on the M14) which is still used as an effective sniper rifle by many armed forces around the world due it's enviable accuracy and extended range.
Any militaria fan will be happy to know that you can get an M14 in an airsoft rifle now. Marui manufacture a full sized AEG (airsoft electric gun) M14 that is the closest thing any airsoft fan could want to the real thing. It comes in a wood finish with a 70 round capacity magazine for the standard 6mm 0.20g or 0.25g bbs that are used in this rifle. The battery for the motors is held in the rifle stock which keeps it neatly out of the way. The M14 is one of the most impressive airsoft rifles I've ever seen. The solid wood and metal construction truly add to the whole ownership experience.
Power wise the Marui M14 is no slouch with it firing bbs at 320+ fps at range of up to 120 feet. The original M14 was created to be selective fire and then airsoft replica also provides this with a semi and fully automatic firing mode and also sports adjustable sights for better target practice.