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RIFLE

AleEVALUATION / (U

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UNITED STATES ARMY COMBAT DEVELOPMENTS COMMAND

T

 

Inventoried

& Retention

Justifie•&

 
 

Scopy

of

50 Copieg

 
 

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USACDC

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3

YEAR

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DOD DIR 5200.10

 

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-

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--

20 Dec

1962

t1

RIFLE

EVALUATION

STUDY

(U)

1.

(S)

Objective.

ATo

evaluate

the

employment

of small

arms

to determine the 'desired military characteristics of a rifle; to assess the 1414, M14 (USAIB), AR-15, AK-47, and SPIW to determine

the preferable weapon

tics;

in

meeting

the

desired

of

military

the M14,

characteris-

adoption

of

to make recommendations

on retention

the ARo15,

and

development

of the AK-47

type

and

SPIW.,,ý---

2.

(U)

References.

a.

Letter,

Office

of the Chief of Staff,

Department

the Army, 26 October 1962, subject:

"Rifle

Evaluation

(U)."

of

 

b. Letter,

ODCSOPS,

Department

of the Army,

9

November

1962,

subject:

"Rifle Evaluations

(U)."

 

c.

Message,

DA,

DCSOPS,

CDDC,

921911(S),

21

November

1962.

d,

Letter,

CDCRE-E,

Hq USA Combat

Developments

Command,

14

December

1962,

subject:

"Rifle

Evaluation

(U),"

with

one

inclosure.

 
 

3.

(S)

Employment.

 
 

a.

The

principal

user

of the

rifle

in

combat

 

is

the

rifle

squad

on his

infantryman;

needs.

the desired

rifle

characteristics

squad

is

to

depend

close by

and

primarily

foot

to

them or

of

The mission

visual

by

of the

rifle

movement

render

by

to within

observation

killing,

of enemy personnel

or

them

ineffective

wounding,

capturing

any

restricting

their movement.

Foot movement permits

not possible

in

dispersion

type

concealment,

and

freedom of movement

vehicle.

to

order

However,

the

a variety

squad

of air

as

to

and ground

vehicles

to

the

foot.

transport

rifle

close

as possible

on

to minimize

the distance

be traversed

are

employed

in

enemy

 

b.

The

targets

which must

be

engaged

by the

rifle

squad

are

those

which,

because

of

their proximity,

protection,

or

fleet-

ing nature,

mortars,

point,

and

the

cannot

be

engaged

To

by

engage

other weapons

these

close

such

as machine guns, both area and

400 meters.

This

artillery.

targets,

infantryman

usually must

to within

.

is the maximum distance that the rifleman usually can detect suitable ,3

point

targets

on which

rifle

fire

can be adjusted

effectively.

How-

ever,

the

rifle

squad

can,

at

times,

identify and

engage

lucrative

targets at greater ranges.

Ay

;l,*vc

%"myvIi*ive,the rife squad

c. In rendering the enemif

of delivering

must be

relatively

capable

siort

is

large volume

casualties

and demoralize

of aimed

to

fire

time with minimum

to

kill,

wound,

a

itself.

large

volume

the enemy,

This in

a

force

him

tively.

of enemy

Therefore, ideally all rifles should be capable of automatic fire

to

seek

cover,

and

reduce

his

ability

also

to

return

fire effec-

large

masses

attacks).

R-fle

squad

at

targets

close

at times

proximity

include

sea"

attacking

("human

even

though

not

bh.bituaLly

employed

in

this mode.

d.

Tiia t.chike

guuprovides

a

capability

for

rapid

re-

action

in

de'livering

point

or area

sustained

fires principally

at

ranges

up

to

about

1100 meters,

the maximum range

at which

its

fires

can be

observed

and

adjusted

effectively.

Unlike

indirect

fire weapons,

mchine gun fire can be adjusted from the

weapon

and

shifted

almost instantaneously

to

engage

targets

of

opportunity

or

to

furnish

continuous

close

support

to

advancing

rifle

squads.

It

also

can

deliver

sustained

prearranged

fires

under all conditions of visibility, and can deliver overhead fire

with aa acceptable degree cf troop safety.

Thenachine

gun assists

the

rifle

squad

to

close witih

the

enemy by

delivering

large

volumes

individual hand-held weapon. The machine

effectiveness of attacking enemy infantry before they come within

effective range of the rifleman. Because of its weight and ammunition consumption themaehilne gln requires a crew to serve it. Its rapid reaction, its prearranged fire capability, and its ability to cover ranges from 400 to 1100 meters complement but do not supplant any of the rifles of the rifle squad, regardless of whether all or some of these rifles are capable of automatic fire.

of

suppressive

fires

beyond

the

range

capability

reduces

of the

the

gun also

e. The

irregularity

of

terrain

dictates

the

requirement

for a weapon to deny the enemy the protection of close-in (400 meters or less) areas that are defiladed from the relatively flat trajectory of rifles and rmchine guns. Such targets very frequently cannot be taken under fire by supporting units becautse of safety

considerations,

reaction.

a weapon

obtained

the

efficient

lethal

ffagmentation

minimum range

explosive

of high

of massed

capabilities,

over

such

large

and

the need

for

rapid

The

lack of visibility

a

areas

further dictates

such

Additionally, fires permits

area

as that

the

gap between

that produces

by high

area

attack

relatively

explosive

area

lethal

grenades.

fragmentation

To

fill

targets.

the

range

of the hand

grenade

and

400 meters,

there

is

need

for

a

grenade launcher.

Until

each man

in

a rifle

squad

has

an effective

grenade

individuals

organization. Ideally, each rifle should be capable of launching

grenades

launching

armed

without

either

for

the

capabiie

with

necessary

launcher

in

of the

rifle

fire.

The

to

the

to

include

squad

the M79

the

grenade

degrading

or

ability

semiautomatic

should

deliver

quickly

penalty

automatic

grenade

weight

In

capability

be minimLzed.

addi-

tion

to

its

requirement

for an antipersonnel

grenade

the squad

also

has

a requirement

for

a grenade

capable

of destroying

enemy

armor.

(APC's),

f.

it

When

infantry

employs

generally

employs

them

armored

for movement,not

personnel

carriers

fighting.

The

APC

is

not designed

to

be

a

fighting

vehicle,

but

rather

a

means

for

transporting

infantry

with

some protection

from

shell

fragments

and

small

arms

fire

to

the

point where

the

tactical

situation

requires

dismounting.

Basipally,

the

APC is

only

a

means

of

protected

transport and in

combat

is

usually

escorted

by

fighting vehicles.

The

need

to

fire

rifles

from

the

APC

is

unusual and is limited to a requirement that two vien other than

the comnander be able to fire

from

the

opened

hatches.

g.

As

regards

reducing

the squad to 5 or 7 men,

such

a reduction would also reduce the size of the area the squad

could

is

control

effectively.,

Therefore,

will be

if

the size of the squad

to

control

reduced,

additional

squads

required

a given

area.

Because

the

principal

duty

of the

squad

leader

is

to

control

the actions

of

others,

increasing

the

number

of

equads

results

in

a higher proportion of leaders and a lesser proportion of those

whose

principal

leader.

as

needed

duty

the

is

a unit.,

and

to

engage

10-man

the

squad

enemy

is

directly.

within

the

must be

span of

capabilities

transported

The

control within

of one

present

total

Tactically,

With

squads

a

to

requirements

frequently

7 man

squad,

for their

separately

will be

5

more

opecation

carriers

and

maintenance

will be

increased.

 
 

h.

There

is

no

eviderce,

except

for

isolated

instances,

of

the bayonet

being used

in

recent

combat

to

produce

casualties.

That

been established

it

is

effective

for psychological jpurposes

but is

in

factually

widely accepted

combat

has

not

by

e;perienced

infantrymen.

It

4is

a valuable

tool

for use

in

control

of

civil

distutbances since it

can

be

used

actually

or

as

a

threat

without

resort to gunfire.

if this capability can be obtained without significant detriment to

other desired characteristics. Preferably the bayonet should be of the so-called "fighting knife" type so that it economizes on weight

and

The

rifle

should

be

able

to

accept

a bayonet

serves

a dual

purpose,

3

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4.

(S)

Desired

Rif

o•

racteristics.

The desired

'rifle

characteristics,

based' :

1hiussion in the previous

paragraph

and

other

obvious

considerations,

are:

a. Reliability.

safety to the user.

rough

b.

Durability.

treatment without

Able

to

function

consistently

and with

Capable

of withstanding

loss of reliability

in all

prolonged

use and

environments.

c.

Lightweight.

As

light as possible,

including

ammuni-

tion and the

accessories

that must be carried by the rifleman.

d.

Simplicity.

Simple

to operate

and maintain;

no more

complex

that the present Ml rifle.

 

e.

Accuracy.

Able to

engage effectively

area

and point

targets

up

to

400 meters

range.

f.

Flexibility.

Capable

of use

in either

automatic

or

semiautxMstiC mode.,

g.

Lethality.

Capable

of firing types of ammunition

comparable

in

lethality to that of the standard

7.62qm round

and

the area

rounds now fired

h. Human Engineering.

by

the M79 projector.

Usable without

excess dispomfort

to the user. Configured for ease of carrying and use under adverse conditions such as dismounting from vehicles, parachute operations, and movement in heavy underbrush.

 

i.

Position Disclosure.

Position disclosing

effects

should

be minimized and

should

be no greater

than those

of the

Ml rifle.

5.

(S)

Assessment.

a.

A detailed

assessment

of the

characteristics

of the

M14, M14 (USAIB), AR-15, AK-47, and the Special Purpose Individual Weapon (SPIW) to include their competing attributes and comparative

merits are

b,

given at

Inclosures

1 and

2.

a marked

The AR-15 represents

improvement

over the

M14 rif1p primarily because of lower weapon and ammunition weight.

Except

characteristics

characteristics

for

the

SPIW,

it

listed

comes

in

closest

4

paragraph

which would have

to be

4

to meeting

above.

the desired

it

However

has

two

corrected

before

the AR.-15

were

considered

an acceptable

military

rifle

in

any

role:

its

poor

rifle-ammunition

reliability

and

its

poor night

firing

characteristics.

M14(M)

has

in

shown

c.

The M14

the automatic

itself

(USAIB)

be

is

a

to

definite

in

improvement

the

few

tests

in

the

over

the

rifle role and

the

conducted

to

superior

AR-15

automatic

rifle

role

at ranges beyond

400 meters.

 
 

d.

The

AK-47

is

basically

a

submachine

to both

the

M14,

W

(uSAIB),

and

AR-15

in

range

gun

effectiveness,

and

is

inftrior

ammunition

lethality

and

other

desired

rifle

characteristics.

 

e.

The

SPIW,

if

and

when developed

to design criteria,

will come

closest

to meeting

the

desired

characteristics.

6.

(S)

The

following

factors

also

are pertinent:

 

a.

The

round

fired by the M14 family has been adopted

 

as NATO

standard

small

arms

ammunition.

A sampling

test

by U.

•.

Army,

Europe

showed

interchangeability

of NATO rounds of various

national

makes.

 

with

b.

U.

S.

the M14 rifle.

Army

Forces

in

Europe

are

completely

equipped

c.

.At the

end

of Fiscal Year

1962,

the U.

S.

Army had

an inventory of about 415,000 M14 rifles. This will increase to about 735,000 M14 rifles by the end of Fiscal Year 1963. The

production base approximates

curement objective is about 2,500,000 M14 rifles by the end of Fiscal Year 1969.

375,000

a year

and

the current

pro*

between

d.

the

There

costs

are apparently of the A14 and AR-15

no

significant

differences

rifles and their aiu;%i-

tion.

 

e.

If

achieved,

present predictions

are

that 6PIW,

as

compared with the AR-15,

ammunition

with

weight,

would

an

effect

increase

over

a reduction

in

of approxivately rate of fire,

a

40% in

improved lethality

in lethality at lesser ranges.

development

automatic

at ranges

200 meters

but possibly

decrease

under

in

Flechette

ammunition is

still

a presently

predicted

type

classification

FY 1966

(hence

probably

not

available

in

quantity

until

7Y 1968 or

1969).

The proposed

SPIW

grenade

launching

capability,

if

developed,

appears

to

be

adaptable

Lo other riflis.

i'--

-

7.

(S)

Conclusions.

 

a.

If

the

basic

decision

were

to

be made

now,

without

reference

to

the

impact

resulting

from

the

decisions

already

made,

in my opinion the prefe-able rifle

the

saindardize the AR-15 without an expedited improvement program to

correct the unraliability of the rifle-armunition comibinatior and

the poor night firing qualities.

circumstances,

for

Both

world-wide

however,

qppear

usage w

i

1dbe

AR-15.

Even

in

these

would, not

corre.-table.

 

b.

Under

present

conditions,

the

AR-15

should

be

inmproved

as noted in

"a"

above

and

then

introduced

into

the

U, S.

Army

as

an

augmentation

of

the

1414

rifle.

 

c.

For

those

units

retaining

the M14,

the

M14

(USAIB)

or

a version

thereof

should

be

stand4rdixed

for use

by

the

automatic

riflemen

in

each

squad.,

 

8.

(S)

Recontmendations.

 

a.

Continue

use

of the

M14

by

U.

S.

Army

Forces

ia 'Europe

and

equip

all

u:nits

earmarked

for

deployment

to

Europe

with

the

M14

except

airborne

and

Special

Forces

units.

b.

Correct

the

AR-15

deficiencies

in

reliability

and

night

firing

capabilities.

 

c. Equip

the

following

with

the

AR-15

(1) Aiz Assault units

in

priority

shown:

 

(2)

Airborne

units

 

(3)

Special

Forces

units.

 
 

d.

Slow

co.version

from M-1

to M-14

in

other

areas.

Final

decision

witi'

respect

to

these

units

can

be

based

on

the

experience

of the

units

listed

in

c,

 

e.

in

unit.-;

':tued

with

the M14,

replace

tie M14 wlth a

version

of

the

M114

(USAIB)

for

4utomatic

riflemen

only.

f.

conintuan

the

SPIW

program

looking

toward

a

long-range

marked

improvement

over

all

other

wopons

considered.

 

W'"W

 
 

6

 

Nam

9. It

should be notedsthat

thre

ip wide disagreement at all

levels

both as

to

the worth of

the

AR-15

and

the wisdom of

intro-

ducing

it

into

the U.

S.

Army.

These

conclusions

and

recommenda-

tions

are mine

as

Commanding General,

U.

S.

Army Combat

Developments

Command.

4 Incls

1. Physical Charac-

JOHN P. DALEY

Lieutenant

General,

U.

S.

Army

teristics,

secret

Commanding

2. Summary

of Weaporns

/

Comparison,

secret

3. Bibliography,uncl

4. Distribution

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I.

TB 381-1, Department of the Army, July 1958, "Combat Equipment Technical Intelligence Bulletin."

2.

Report

of United

States

Army

Infantty

Board,

Project

Number

2812

(Cont),

'Evaluation

of NATO 7.62mm Duplex Ammunition,"

R6eadquarttrs

United

States

Continental

Army Command,

24 April

1961.

3.

Personnel Research Associates Repor; 56-3, "A Study of the i-nfart-y Squad TOE," March 1956.

4.

Message

AJIIS-R

12-14-A,

Headquarters

bnited

States

Army

infantry

School,

16

December

1961,

reference

United

States

Army

T-f!ntry

School

position pertaining

to

degree which

Infantry

should