Pfc Jason W. Dangel
4th BCT, 4th ID PAO
A weapon know for its durability and long-range accuracy can be seen around the shoulders of many of the Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team walking the sandy roads of Camp Beuhring, Kuwait.
The M14 rifle, originally used during the Korean war and during the first half of the Vietnam War has been assigned to select combat personnel who scored expert or higher during weapon's qualifications earlier this year.
The weapon is intended to be used as a sniper rifle, and gives Soldiers the ability to acquire targets that the M16 or M4 rifles cannot reach.
"This is a great long-range weapon," explained Spc. Paul Canale, personal security detachment team leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th BCT.
"The effective maximum range is something like 800 meters and it definitely packs a punch," he said during a class conducted to familiarize Soldiers with the weapon.
As the predecessor of the famous M1 Grande rifle, the M14's wooden stalk supports a chamber compatible the robust 7.62 millimeter round, and can be fed with a magazine and can also be top loaded rather quickly with it's built-in speed loader mechanism, said Canale.
This user-friendly weapon can also be assembled and reassembled quite easily as it has only seven main components.
Typically each squad is issued two sniper rifles, usually the best two marksmen in the squad carry the M14, said Canale.
"This weapon definitely gives us another way to take the fight to the enemy, explained Sgt. Andres Su, cavalry scout, 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th BCT.
"We now have the ability to fire long-range if the situation permits. It's a little extra to tote around but its definitely a great acquisition," he said.
The M14 is also a very durable and reliable weapon, a great attribute for a piece of equipment that will soon see the harsh, sandy environment of the Middle East.
Its durability is second to none when it comes durability, Canale said.
"You can drop this thing in the mud, get it wet or sandy and it will still fire," he said.
"If my M4 locks up on me, I know what weapon I'm going to pick up, that's for sure."
As the time draws near for the Cobra Brigade to depart from the sandy training grounds at Camp Beurhing, the Soldiers that form it's formations have a high level or morale knowing they have another way to take the fight to the enemy.
"If I need to hit an insurgent down range I can do that. If my weapon malfunctions in the heat of battle I have another weapon in reserve," explained Su.
"Knowing this makes me feel confident that I can perform my duties and complete the mission."