The best rifle in the Corps

By: David Carriker

I’ve long known of the eternal discussion of the Springfield, M-1, M-14 and finally the M-16. Depending on the age of the Marine, each of these rifles has its supporters. I qualified Expert on the M-1, M-14, and the early M-16.

I personally lean toward the M-14 over the M-1 because of the increased capacity for rounds. The M-14 was a very robust design that was fairly easy to maintain.

And finally, it was the end of an era in the Corps when extreme accuracy was the goal. You could easily hit a man sized target at 500 yards. Try that with an M-16.

For the last 40 years or so, the concept of battle was no longer accuracy but rather volume of fire. This was the intended use of the M-16. As a very old Marine I find this deplorable.

The old phrase “one shot, one kill” was not originally used by snipers. In my day, every Marine believed in that motto and we all strove to emulate. Today’s Marines and soldiers are taught to blow the crap out of anything that moves.

Which is better? We’ll never agree!

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31 comments


  • ‘Stoney’ Brook

    The ‘best’ weapon the Marines didn’t have was the Stoner 63, designed by Eugene Stoner of AR15/M16 fame, This was a rifle, carbine, top-fed box magazine-fed LMG, a belt-fed squad MG and a vehicle mounted 5.56mmx45 weapons system. L/3/1 got a few to field test in RVN during 1967 and some were used by SEAL teams in RVN, Lik any weapon, it had flaws but mostly failed in the Politics Tests.

    As to “what’s best”, there’s a reason there’s Fords and Chevys, revolvers and semi-autos, beer and wine: It’s about opinion.

    In the Old Corps, I know the salts pissed & moaned about the ’03 being replaced by the M1, the M14 taking place of the M1 … As my DI pointed out, “It ain’t the dope on the rifle, it’s the dope behind the rifle.”


  • ‘Stoney’ Brook

    You’re referring to the M-50 Ontos (Greek for ‘Thing”) which mounted six 106,, recoilless rifles, two .50 caliber spotting rifles sited to the 106’s and an M1919 .30 MG


  • Bob 1381

    Murray,
    I have fired the M-14 fully automatic and it was an experience. The best way that I found was: When standing, with the rifle held tight against the hip, grip the fore end of the stock from above with the left hand. Lock the elbow, pull the trigger and hold on tight. As I remember, it helped hold the muzzle down with not as much rise. I never tried it at any other position and it did have a full stock……..Bob 1381..Vietnam 1966/1967.


  • Sgt Courtland C Conkwright USMC

    The M -14 by all means……..just loved this rifle………..couldn’t shooting a perfect score from the 500 year line……….I like it so well that I have a M1A to sister to the M -14………….308 but shots 7.62 also…..


  • Harry 1371

    Ontos, I think. Did it carry 4 of the 106 ? Ferried a few across the Thu-Bon. Harry 1371


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