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Old March 6, 2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: January 5, 2010
Posts: 4
M14 gas system re-arrangement (pipe dreamish)

As the title would pretty much suggest, this is more of a randomly thought up idea than an easily practicable modification, but I'm curious to see if anyone would see it as possible or not.

Comparing the M14 to other common battle and assault rifles of its era, it seems unique in that it has the gas system located below the barrel rather than above it - unlike, for example, the FAL, but alike M1 Garand from which it originated from. While this allows for the rifle to have a close alignment between sights and barrel, some people argue that the AR-style system of having the barrel on the shooter's shoulder level allows for better recoil control and ergonomics.

Anyway, with this in mind, I was wondering if it would be plausible to essentially switch the positions of the gas piston and barrel. Obviously, it would need a new stock design to accomodate the new shape, a different front sight (as the barrel would now be lower on the rifle, ala the FAL), and new receiver (as the bolt and other components would be lower on the rifle), as well as a new operating rod - basically a mirror of the old one.

(Of course, given that the operating rod seems to be designed due to having the gas system underneath the weapon rather than above it, it could plausibly be removed entirely in favor of a closed receiver system ala an AK or AR. Whether this would still leave it as an M14, though, is questionable.)

Anyway, it seems that this could potentially improve the ergonomics of the weapon in regards to felt recoil whilst maintaining the core design - but would this actually be plausible or would there likely be more problems created than solved?
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Old March 6, 2010, 01:26 PM   #2
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 20,073
If we're talking about recoil

I'm of the impression that the stock's design is more important than the type of gas system the gun uses. Straight line recoil as opposed to having the barrel above the shoulder level is the key consideration. If you go to Springfield Armory National Historic site, you can see the different designs that we've tried.
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Old March 6, 2010, 01:48 PM   #3
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Join Date: January 5, 2010
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Certainly, I'll have to visit sometime - unfortunately, I'm on the other side of the world at the moment so that makes things difficult :/

Are there any online resources you could link me to that would be to similar effect? While I am aware of some of the variations on the M14 stock (such as the SAW variant and the modern, 'EBR' stocks), I'd still be interested in seeing other designs.
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