Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, became familiar with their new M14 Enhanced Battle Rifles as they trained for Personnel Security Detachment duty for their battalion Sept. 6, at Johnson Field.
The EBR is a magazine-fed, gas-operated, shoulder-fired weapon that also has a Mark-4 tactical scope and cantilever mount with an aluminum billet stock. The M14 EBR also has a new adjustable buttstock, cheek rest and M4-style pistol grip but can also be returned to its original configuration with no permanent modifications.
“Today we are practicing and familiarizing ourselves with our new M14 7.62mm weapon before we go to the range in preparation for our fall deployment to Afghanistan,” said Spc. Daniel Lueptow, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 327th Inf. Rgt. “Though I understand the need for adjustment for this upcoming deployment, I enjoyed the older model and did well with it on my last deployment.”
These Soldiers are part of an 11-man PSD team trained and prepared for deployment and fit the need for this specific rifle due to the mission that they are assigned.
“If you have to reach out further to engage a target, it’s easier than using an M4, but the main differences are that there is no solid wood stock and there is a pistol grip now,” said Lueptow.
The first issue with the older M14 rifle was that the fixed stocks could not be adjusted to fit the length-of-pull needed for today’s body armor. Secondly, the 40-year-old rifles could not accommodate modern accessories such as lasers, night vision scopes and lights, which require tactical rails.
“I am learning the basic know-how of the M14s on site picture, the trigger squeeze and just the fundamentals on the weapons system in preparation for deployment,” said Pvt. Dylan McGalliard, HHC, 1st Bn., 327th Inf. Rgt. “Growing up the way I did, we had a lot of hunting rifles that were the same caliber as this one, but on the military side this is my first time with a fancy one like this.”
The M14 EBR takes the standard M14 action and replaces the standard barrel with an 18” barrel. The barreled action is then bolted into a telescoping chassis stock system, with a pistol grip, a different front sight, four tactical accessory rails (which surround the barrel), and a more effective flash hider in place of the standard lugged USGI flash suppressor. A paddle-type bolt stop, similar to that of the M4 carbine, is used on the rifle; and the EBR chassis system stock is made up entirely of lightweight aircraft alloy.
Several configurations are allowed on the M14 EBR rifle, to include the attachment of the AN/PVS-4 night vision scope. Others had included the capability of adding two different scopes/sights on the tactical rails, for more precision or zoom level.
“We have been told that we need to be qualified with all the weapon systems so we get out here and do our thing and I feel pretty comfortable with this weapon,” said McGalliard, “I am ready for deployment. I feel it’s a pretty simple job from what I was told as PSD go watch a dude’s back, come home in time for tacos.”