View Full Version : M-14 selector

May 8, 2001, 04:10 PM
Do any of you guys have any experience with the M-14? I need to know how the selector works to switch between full- auto and semi-auto operation.

I have looked in the official manual, but it shows a grip that looks sort of like a wing nut, but the rifle itself has just a circular knob with nothing to grip.


p.s. At what distance did the military zero these weapons? Was it 25 meters like the M-16?

4V50 Gary
May 8, 2001, 05:11 PM
If I recall correctly, moving the selector causes the connector to cam back, thereby allowing it to be engaged by the Op Rod Handle when it surges forward. It's a rather simple arrangement and a very safe one with regards to timing.

Jeff White
May 8, 2001, 06:19 PM
The Army zeroed at 25 meters. They used a gridded target with a Canadian bullseye on it. You filled up the notch in the Canadian Bull with the front sight and fired a group. Adjusted the sights to move the group onto the "X". There was an "X" above and below the bull. If you were shooting an M16A1 your goal was to get your group onto the "X" below the bull and if you were shooting the M14 you wanted to get your group on the "X" above the bull.



Ken Cook
May 9, 2001, 01:13 PM
Bear in mind that the M-14 was not generally issued in a select fire configuration.

The rifle, as generally issued, came with that "circular nut" installed in place of the selector switch, making it impossible for the user to switch it himself. Selector switch units could be installed by the Unit (2nd Echelon) Armorer at the Commander's discretion, but without access to that selector unit, the M-14 is basically a semi-auto rifle.

James K
May 9, 2001, 09:47 PM
Hi, IamNOT,

The M14 selector is the "wing nut" piece you have looked at in pictures. For FA fire, it is turned so the "A" is toward the shooter.

Most M14's were assembled without the selector and spring and with a "selector lock" (the round piece) in place. The selector and spring came in a little bag and could be installed, as Ken says, on the orders of the unit commander (very few commanders ordered the installation, although some did allow a few picked men to be allowed the FA option).

On the right side of the rifle, there is a connector, which is pulled forward by the front of the op rod. When the selector is rotated into the FA position, it rotates the eccentric selector shaft so that the sear release can contact the small projection on the rear sear. When the connector is pulled forward, it pulls the top lug of the sear release, pivoting it backward and tripping the secondary (rear) sear. This continues until the operator releases the trigger or until the magazine is empty. The rifle is designed so that the bolt must be fully forward and locked before the sear is released.

FYI, M14 clones use an M1 type system which has no need for and no place for the connector or the other parts. The MKS rifles have part of the selector shaft and part of the sear release welded directly to the receiver forward of their original position. The receiver "loop" that held the selector shaft and sear release is no longer there and reconversion to full auto is infeasible if not impossible.

Unless built by an outfit like MKS from scrap parts, or one of the very few other exceptions, an M14 rifle (as made by the U.S. government or one of its contractors) is a machinegun under the law, whether it will fire full automatic or not, and is subject to the registration and transfer requirements of the National Firearms Act. There have reportedly been attempts by Federal agents, at least in the past administration, to sell people M14's and then arrest them for illegal possession of a machinegun.

Other small piece of info. As a semi auto, the M14 and its clones are good rifles. In FA fire, the M14 is about worthless, as its stock design and full power cartridge simply do not allow controllable FA fire unless one outweighs the entire Ravens' defensive line.


May 10, 2001, 05:33 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your information. As I do not have the "wing nuts" I am not going to worry about accidently flipping the selector to full-auto. I was kind of worried about issuing these weapons to my guys because I didn't want full auto fire sending .308's downrange. I would prefer a nice accurate single shot, eh?

James K
May 11, 2001, 11:15 PM
That was the reason few officers authorized their troops to go full auto. I have fired one a lot and fired a prototype way back in 1957. I am convinced that the rifle is just not controllable in FA fire. After the army adopted it, I attended a demo at APG where two old sergeants about 6 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide, and 400 lbs. grabbed M14s and fired them full auto. The guns didn't go anywhere; they looked like Mattel toys in those ham hands. The exception, though, not the rule.