The Springfield M14 or civilian M1A rifle is one of the best rifles on the market today. It was designed in the late 40s, early 50s to replace the iconic M1-Garand. The US Military wanted a high capacity, high caliber, full battle rifle. In WW2 the US military had two battle rifles, the M1-Garand and the Browning Automatic Rifle or the BAR. The BAR was designed to be a suppressive portable automatic rifle, where as the M1-Garand was designed to be the main battle rifle. The M1-Garand was semi automatic with a capacity of 8 round clips, and the BAR was a fully automatic rifle with a 20 round magazine. They both had positives and negatives. The M1-Garand had two major negatives, first low ammo count, and second the weight. The M1-garand was a relatively heavy firearm at 10 lbs. The BAR likewise, had negatives, first it was heavy at close to 16 lbs unloaded, and close to 20 lbs fully loaded. A heavy fire arm, which the weight makes it hard to handle in combat situations in all positions except the prone position. Also the firing rate at 500 rounds per minuet means that you will empty your 20 round magazine in 2.4 seconds. Clearly both rifles needed to be replaced and needed to be upgraded in some way.
Regardless the US military needed a new rifle. Springfield Armory answered the call by combining the M1-Garand and the BAR and creating the M14. Though the initial idea was not to combine both rifles, the idea that was born to Springfield Armory was to build a brand new rifle that eventually became the child of the M-1 Garand and the BAR.
The M14 is a powerful weapon system. It is a 7.62x51mm (.308 Winchester) gas fed system. It has a maximum effective range of 1200 yards. It is a semi-automatic weapon and only weighs 10 lbs fully loaded holding a 20 round magazine. It has the ability to become a precision rifle (single shot) or a suppressive rifle (fully automatic). It was adopted by the US Military in 1959, however was replaced in the early 60s by the light weight carbine M-16.
Though it had a short life as a main battle rifle, it did not go out with the military. The M-16 rifle became the main battle rifle of the US however a small group of US service men found the rifle too good to let go. In the Vietnam war, the M-14 battle rifle found a home with Snipers. A sniper team typically works in two to four man teams. One man carries a high precision weapon, typically a bolt action rifle (the Remington 700) and the other carries a repeating weapon, the M-14.
This weapon system is still employed today by precision shooters today. Whether it is military snipers or SWAT high accuracy shooters. It has become a favorite weapon system of large game hunters as well. The 7.62x51mm round is perfect for taking down, bears, rams, moose, deer, or even larger game such as elephants, rhinos, and lions. Though you would hope you would not need to take down such a large animal, having a semi-automatic 20 round magazine allows you to put more rounds on target if you come into a situation where that large predator decides they want to fight, you now have more bite.
The M-14 is a wonderful survival weapon. It is great for defense, and hunting. It is powerful, and comes in all shapes and sizes. You can buy a full size rifle or the M1A Scout, which is shorter and compact. Regardless of where you are going, if you are going to be out in an area where there are large predators in the area, I suggest carrying a rifle like the Springfield M1A.