Saturday ATF: Battle Rifle Edition
Let's talk battle rifles.
By battle rifle, I mean a military service rifle chambered for a full-power cartridge (such as .30-06, 7.62x51 NATO, or 7.62x54R, etc). This is not a resurrection of the endless "AK vs M16/M4 debate, because neither is a battle rifle, neither having an effective range of more than 300 meters (and I think I am being generous with that 300m effective range, especially if we are talking a shorty M4).
No, we are talking about real rifles, the M14, the FAL/L1A1, the G3/CETME, the AR10 and the venerable M1 Garand.
Am I saying that I would go into combat with a Garand over an M4? Yeah, there are situations where I absolutely would. Certainly, the M1 is not well suited for clearing a building or CQB, but for the Three Hundred Meter War it beats a 5.56
"Cherish your enemies; they teach you the best lessons." -Anonymous
Ask a recent returnee from Afghanistan what the favored tactic of the Taliban is. They figured out that the 5.56 is out of gas past 300 meters (especially out of an M4) so they open up on our guys from greater distances with longer range weapons (like mortars, PKs and no doubt many a servicable Enfield) and then scoot before the Americans can close or call in air/artillery support. According to official reports, about half the engagements in Afghanistan are starting at 500+ meters. Why do you suppose the .mil has been refurbishing the dwindling number of M14s (the ones Clinton didn't destroy, or sell/give away (!) to places like Latvia)? 5.56 weapons may be able to hit at extended ranges, but the little bullets aren't able to deliver the goods when they arrive.
Weapons in intermediate cartridges are all well and good when the Air Force and artillery are just a radio call away, but I'm pretty sure, if the excrement hits the air circulation device in this country, it won't be the folks loyal to the Constitution who will be able to call in fighter-bombers and helo gunships to tenderize the enemy.
So anyway, I have tried CETMEs, HK91s and FALs, had my gun-crushes on all, but have settled on the M14. As "Fred" of fredsm14stocks.com says the M14 "has no vices". It's simple (fewer parts than an AK or SKS), reliable, has EXCELLENT sights and trigger, and is quite accurate. The G3 and FAL both have their good points, but are needlessly hobbled by mediocre sights and triggers. And I DO mean NEEDLESSLY, because John Cantius Garand (Peace Be Upon Him) showed the world how to do both, way back in 1937.