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M14s in Lithuania

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  • #16
    Originally posted by nf1e View Post
    And a few more that escaped silly willie's wrath.
    Originally posted by Random Guy View Post
    Debunking the myth of M14s and the CMP (or the old DCM). They are never going to release machine guns for sale to the general public.

    The ATF has been delegated by Congress with the sole regulatory authority regarding technical firearms-related policies (no one else - just the ATF and it's Technical Branch), and it is *extremely* unlikely they will ever reclassify an M14 machine gun - as anything other than a machine gun at the *time of manufacture.* From the ATFs perspective, the M1 is a semi-auto, and the M14 is a select-fire rifle. I don’t know why people think they are the same category of weapons, or that somehow CMP could one day sell obsolete M14s, M16s, M60s, or M3 submachine guns, or maybe some old M1928 Thompson submachine guns if the Army found some in a crate somewhere. It ain't happening folks. That is not within their authority.

    Yet folks bring this up all the time, conflating a WWII era M1 Garand with a Vietnam era M14 rifle - but to the ATF, once a rifle was "built as a machine gun, it's always a machine gun," That also applies to old obsolete Vietnam era M16 and M60 machine guns, which are in the same select-fire bucket as old M14s from the Vietnam era. Nothing is going to magically change the ATF's regulatory framework on those rifles. Does anyone think the ATF will allow non-regulated military M16s to be sold via CMP if the sear is simply changed to a semi-auto version? Of course not. Like the M14, that will never happen either.

    The only THEORETICAL exception would be the small number of purpose built semi-auto ONLY National Match M14 rifles made by SA and TRW in 1963-64 - those were made as semi-autos *at the time of manufacture* with factory welded lug per US govt drawings, etc. (CMP has approx 1000 of these old NM rifles, some of which were made as semi-auto rifles and will have "NM" stamped on the heel at time of manufacture, or at least CMP had them back in 2007).

    Moreover, there is no one in Congress who has ever pushed for the ATF to make a special ruling on those small number of semi-auto National Match-built M14s. Even if every star aligned in the universe - and Congress somehow did get the ATF to make a special ruling on that small number of NM M14s, and got all relevant parties to agree to sell them, and the CMP Charter was also re-written to accommodate sales of that type of weapon - and finally some hypothetical CMP auctions were allowed for disposing of those special semi-auto NM M14s - they would certainly cost as much as a nice used car(!) - maybe $20k or more, with only very advanced collectors able to purchase such rare unicorns.

    My advice? Don't worry about a hypothetical that will never occur. Just buy and enjoy a commercial M1A. They are affordable, and in the SAI's case, even have a lifetime warranty. Here's my exact replica of a 1967 SA NM M14, w/ an early NM stock and 67' NM barrel. Cost me about $2500 to build, and it's the closest I (or others) will get to a vintage National Match M14, and at a fraction of what a real NM M14 might cost - assuming such a unicorn were even available for purchase from the CMP or some other entity - which they are not - and likely never will be... My 2cts.

    'Once a machinegun, always a machinegun' is bureaucratic fiat, not law. Congress could easily amend the CMP's (or DVM's) charter to include the sale of M14 rifles that had been permanently rendered semi-automatic, and nearly did so.

    Originally posted by Calif-Steve View Post
    Random Guy: Were you ever in the Army? Much less the Army Material Command. I did 28 total years Active and Reserve. I was at RIA back then. I saw what I saw and know my facts to be true and accurate. This project was approved at all levels and was a go. Then The President backed out of the project. Old story, lots of folks know about this story.
    I'm glad to see some officiality to a story I heard as a kid 30 years ago!

    Formerly "Eli" - vBulletin won't allow 3-character user names!
    I buy "Tipo II" and BM59 parts


    • #17
      Originally posted by Random Guy View Post
      I am always interested in learning about the M14 history. I have read a lot, and never heard about RIA offering to modify M14s to semi-auto configuration during the 90s. (Maybe Carlstrom was there back then, not sure). Here's my understanding, the Gun Control Act of 1968 changed the definition of a machine gun, stating that firearms originally made as machine guns that have been modified to semi-auto configuration - are still classified as machine guns. As noted in Lee Emerson's excellent three volume set on the M14 Rifle History and Development, "This law, among other things, prevented distribution of the M14 M rifle to the public." (Vol 1, 6th Edition, 2019)

      That law is what the BATF uses with regard to any weapon originally manufactured as a machine gun, including the M14 (and M16, M60, etc). The prototype M14 M (or Match) rifles were M14s that had their selector lugs welded via Gas Tungsten Arc welding method, and thus were rendered semi-automatic only. Per request of the Army, Springfield Armory converted 1009 M14s to the M14 M configuration by June 30, 1963. An "M" was engraved on the receiver to the right of the standard "M14" nomenclature. The IRS (pre- BATF) inspected the rifles, and made SA perform additional modifications on those rifles to ensure they were semi-auto only. That work was completed by June 1964. However, none of those rifles were ever sold by the DCM to competitors, which was the original plan. I don't know what happened to them, but probably scraped, as they were no longer usable for US military purposes since they were incapable of select-fire.

      To the best of my knowledge, and only two ways to allow the M14s to be sold via the DCM back in the 1980-90s (or the CMP after 1997) would be either 1) a repeal of the 1968 Gun Control Act in regard to what is considered a machine gun, or 2) the Technical Branch of the ATF would have to render a special ruling on the small number of National Match M14s made by SA in 1962-63 and TRW in 1964, which were originally made as semi-autos and they are factory engraved "NM" on the heel. Those 12k NM rifles are the only M14s originally made as semi-automatic rifles.

      Aside from those two options, their is no legal way for the DCM to have sold M14s even if modified into semi-auto configuration. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think of RIA or the DCM as outlaw organizations proposing things that run blatantly afoul of both Congress and the BATF... Anyhow, that has always been the issue as far as the law is concerned. (I won't go into the Amnesty program in 1968 as that was a separate issue re unregistered machine guns).

      The former Director of the CMP (Orest Michaels) wrote a notification in 2003 stating the following about M14 and the myth of possible sales: That the US Army had no surplus M14s to sell, that none are being destroyed and that none had been destroyed at Anniston "for almost ten years" and that the CMP "may not want to or may not be allowed to get involved if such a program existed anyway because the M14 is considered a machine gun" per the BATF. That has been the case since 1968, and to my knowledge the above two approvals required to legally sell an M14 modified into a semi-auto has never occurred. There would be a public record if parts of the Gun Control Act of 1968 were repealed by Congress, or if the BATF made a specific ruling on the semi-auto NM M14s that Anniston had in storage. (Many M14 parts kits were subsequently sold by CMP years later, but the USGI M14 receivers were presumably destroyed).

      Lastly, the idea that the President of the United States and/or the First Lady is/was somehow actively micromanaging the disposal and/or civilian sales of obsolete US shoulder fired weapon systems doesn't sound right at all. That's not a national security issue that rises to that level, and no 2, 3 or 4 star Joints Chief of Staff is going to brief the president on such mundane topics.

      The only weapon disposal issue that might reach the level of the Commander and Chief is the decommissioning of a weapon system that falls into the NBC category: nuclear/biological/chemical weapons - as those could produce public safety or real security risks if things go wrong. For example, the Joint Chiefs could brief the President on something like moving via rail or road the de-commissioned nuclear reactor core from a submarine, from a shipyard in Puget Sound to a storage facility out in NV, or the disposal of old chemical weapons in some desert facility in AZ, or any issues re biological weapons stored at Ft Detrick up in MD, etc, but that's about it. Presidents don't get briefed on DLA's disposal practices, or DCM's sales practices re obsolete small arms...

      Again, always interested in learning more about the M14, but that's my understanding of M14 history and related legal issues. I know colleagues at Crane who ran the Navy's M14 program going back to 1989 and that has helped my research, but Carlstrom is the only M14 person employed at RIA that I recall (he's now retired, but he and another RIA employee built the 6200 EBR-RIs over a decade ago.)

      Here's the only type of M14 that theoretically could be sold in an alternative universe - where the ATF makes a specific ruling - which they have only done in one court case from 1977 re a specific serial number for an original TRW National Match M14 that has the "NM" on the receiver. The plaintiff got a letter from TRW for that court case stating that particular rifle was indeed originally made as a semi-auto match rifle. In 1962-63 SA made 6k National Match M14s that were semi-auto, and in 1964 TRW made a batch of 5k National Match M14s that were also made as semi-autos. Note the "NM" stamped by the factory on the heel at the time of manufacture. The so-called "team M14s" that CMP might have in storage 15 years ago that were made from regular select-fire M14s - but subsequently converted to semi-auto only match guns with welded selector lugs - are still considered machine guns to the BATF in accordance with the Gun Control Act of 1968. These two NM rifles would be the $20k unicorns if somehow all the stars in the Universe aligned and they were sold at auction - but as noted, that is *extremely* unlikely, and one's chances of winning a lottery are far higher...

      In addition to the “once a machine gun” receiver thing being regulatory interpretation rather than statute, the AG also has the power, delegated to the ATF, to designate firearms as collectibles not likely to be used as weapons and remove them from the provisions of the NFA. There’s a bunch of delisted firearms on the list currently, just no machine guns.

      If M14 sales were to happen, then it would probably require multi agency cooperation.

      There’s also a legal way to simply sell them as machine guns under NFA controls. 18 USC 922o prohibits transfers and possession of machine guns, with one of the exceptions being “any lawful transfer or lawful possession of a machinegun that was lawfully possessed before the date this subsection takes effect.” M14s in US government storage are definitely “lawfully possessed” and possessed prior to 1986.


      • #18
        Originally posted by BRMPCF50 View Post
        I believe that Lithuania built a factory to produce NATO spec 7,62x51mm ammunition, GGG. Vaguely recall that Winchester may have been involved in the factory setup.
        Can confirm (well except I don't know who set it up)..

        But I have some GGG ammo. It outshoots US 7.62Nato by far. The GGG is often sold in the US

        US Nylon Field gear 1967 to 2005


        • #19
          I do not need some sort to trying argument here. I know what I saw many moons ago. That project was approved at all levels. Rock Island was involved, so please do not throw Crane into the history lesson. I was a Field Grade Officer in the Army Material Command at the time and was physically at Rock Island at the time. I had boots on the ground, OK?It is an interesting story, but that about all it is.


          • #20
            Originally posted by Calif-Steve View Post
            I do not need some sort to trying argument here. I know what I saw many moons ago. That project was approved at all levels. Rock Island was involved, so please do not throw Crane into the history lesson. I was a Field Grade Officer in the Army Material Command at the time and was physically at Rock Island at the time. I had boots on the ground, OK?It is an interesting story, but that about all it is.
            Steve, I believe you. However, what Random Guy is saying is that final release of M14’s to the public requires a change in regulations by the BATF and the authority is given to the BATF by Congress - not the Executive Branch. Since the BATF reports to the Justice Department which reports to the president through the Attorney General, I think it would have somehow been ironed out if the Executive Branch really was committed. We can see that that wasn’t the case and I would wager a guess that it never will be the case. Too many places the directive can be pushed off the tracks. Just sayin’.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Calif-Steve View Post
              I do not need some sort to trying argument here. I know what I saw many moons ago. That project was approved at all levels. Rock Island was involved, so please do not throw Crane into the history lesson. I was a Field Grade Officer in the Army Material Command at the time and was physically at Rock Island at the time. I had boots on the ground, OK?It is an interesting story, but that about all it is.
              Thank you for your service.
              Remember not to believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.
              This is especially important for our military which is often out of the loop.
              You tried and failed. Accept that and move on.
              We are all part of a team and see things from different angles.
              Semper Fi
              Sgt USMC 66 -72
              RVN 67-68