USA transfers more than 400 upgraded M14 rifles to Lithuanian army
Lithuania announced that, at the beginning of April, it received more than 400 upgraded M14 rifles for use in Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces.
M14 L1 with sniper scope (Picture source: Lithuanian army)
“Lithuanian Armed Forces and Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces have received upgraded weapons – US production M-14. More than 400 rifles were upgraded with the use of a bipod and a modern optical sight. The project used the financial support funds from citizens allocated in 2016,” a Twitter post announced on 8 April. M14s are used for ceremonial purposes by the Lithuanian army which also uses them as marksman rifle M14 L1 when equipped with the sniper scope.
The M14 rifle (officially designated the United States Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M14) is an American select-fire rifle that fires 7.62×51mm NATO (.308 in) ammunition. It became the standard-issued rifle for the U.S. military in 1959, replacing the M1 Garand rifle in the U.S. Army by 1961 and the U.S. Marine Corps by 1965 until being replaced by the M16 assault rifle beginning in 1964. The M14 was used by U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps for basic and advanced individual training from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s.
The M14 was the last American battle rifle issued in quantity to U.S. military personnel. It was replaced by the M16 assault rifle, a lighter weapon using a smaller caliber intermediate cartridge. The M14 rifle remains in limited service in all branches of the U.S. military as an accurized competition weapon, a ceremonial weapon by honor guards, color guards, drill teams and ceremonial guards, and sniper rifle/designated marksman rifle. Civilian semi-automatic models are used for hunting, plinking, target shooting, and shooting competitions.
The M14 is the basis for the M21 and M25 sniper rifles which were largely replaced by the M24 Sniper Weapon System. A new variant of the M14, the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle has been in service since 2002.