M14: The Old Rifle the U.S. Navy SEALs Still Love

The M14 is an old rifle adopted by the US military in 1957 that is still used by some units, including the US Navy SEALs, due to its power, accuracy, and versatility.

Birth of a Battle Rifle


The M14 battle rifle is a gas-operated, semi-automatic weapon capable of full-auto fire with a 7.62x51mm NATO caliber, a maximum effective range of 500 yards, and weighs 9.2 pounds empty.

The M14 was designed in 1954, became standard-issue for the US Armed Forces from 1959 to 1964, replaced the M1 Garand, and had a detachable 20-round box magazine that eliminated the "M-1 ping" and increased ammunition capacity.

The M14 had a reputation for ruggedness and accuracy but was deemed too heavy and uncontrollable during full-auto fire, particularly in the jungles of Vietnam, where the M16's lightweight and controllability were favored.

Serving the SEALs


Navy SEALs have used modified M14s as sniper rifles since Vietnam and still keep them in inventory for their accuracy, effectiveness at long range, and strong takedown capabilities, with the latest iteration being the Mk 14 Mod 0 Enhanced Battle Rifle.

U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Barnett uses an M14 EBR with an optic lens at an observation point in Kunar province, Afghanistan.