What if NATO decided to adopt the M14 and the M1911A1 in order to standardize weaponry?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by HistoryGunsFreedom1776, Mar 15, 2019.

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Is this even possible?

  1. Possible, despite how unlikely this scenario was due to backroom politics. Also 45= knock down!

    10.1%
  2. Hell no! Bill Clinton was correct in destroying M14s and the FN FAL will reign in the free world!

    31.7%
  3. Hell yes, America, Patriotism, Apple Pie, FREEDOM!!!

    7.2%
  4. Thanks, but no thanks Uncle Sam, I like to keep my 9mm Hipower.

    15.8%
  5. America should have adopted the FN FAL and perhaps they would have kept Saigon from falling

    41.0%
  6. M14 yes, M1911A1 no (We don't need a Forty Five Caliber cartridge with the Wild West in mind)

    2.9%
  7. M14 no, M1911A1 yes (FN FAL would have won out)

    25.2%
  8. I want no teenage drama queen, I want my M14!

    2.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. HistoryGunsFreedom1776 Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, first of all I would like to say hello and it's a pleasure being on this site:D. History has always been a passion of mine and over the millennia there's has been events that could have possibly changed if a certain action was partaken, hence the unique field of alternate history:p. Oh, and also, since this is my first scenario, I would ask for your forgiveness if the question is ill thought out here. I will be perfectly willing to go more in depth with this topic but anyway, here it is:

    The all American sweetheart, the M14, a weapon arguably obsolete before it even came off the drawing board, the shortest standard issue rifle ever issued to U.S troops yet revived as a Designated Marksman Rifle for usage in the Global War on Terror.

    However, due to a compromise, the American military promised to accept the FN MAG Machine Gun from Fabrique Nationale if the Belguim arms manufacturer would cease to campaign for the FN FAL, and the U.S Ordnance Department sweetens the deal with a contract for producing the proposed rifle as well.

    I think it could have been possible for the M14 to be adopted since Italy and West Germany, not to mention France and Greece, were given M1 Garands, thus a switch to a familiar platform just like one of the American reasoning for adopting the M14 in the actual timeline.

    In fact, Italy decided to convert their M1s to the BM-59 and West Germany developed the G3 as a result of unable to gain a license to produce FALs domestically.

    And to spice the scenario up a notch, Uncle Sam is also suggesting that the M1911A1 in .45 Caliber as the standard handgun in order to stop the charging Red horde in their tracks:eek: Again, possible due to the Browning Hipower being in service with some nations and the similarities in design, but I wouldn't be surprised if the European nations would do a case of "Since we adopted the 7.62 instead of .280, are you willing to accept the 9mm?"

    Any thoughts so far?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  2. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Given that the M14 was a poorly made weapon with a number of flaws, I doubt the Euros would want it. None after all did adopt it IOTL, going as far as to all develop their own or buy the FAL. Without ASBs I don't see any of them wanting the M14 or M1911A1, especially after they were all basically forced to adopt the 7.62 NATO round that most didn't want anyway. You'd probably have to have the US make a bunch and give them away for free or even pay the Euros to manufacture them, as they had a very vested economic interest in developing their own arms to give stimulus to domestic arms industries.
     
  3. HistoryGunsFreedom1776 Well-Known Member

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    Well, fair point, it was possible that the American government could have spend some of the funds on the rifles to equip its allies if it wished to do so.

    After all, the US even paid for the French endeavor to retain Indochina, which failed miserably, not to mention the “Marshall Plan” to rebuild Non-Communist Europe (which succeeded).
     
  4. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Even the US wasn't happy with the M14. It was too heavy, firing too powerful a cartridge, with too many manufacturing flaws. There's a reason the US phased it out as quickly as they could. At best you might get European nations to adopt the 1911. But probably only if the US essentially gave them away. Which they could do considering the sheer number of 1911s they built during WWII.
     
  5. L4a1 Well-Known Member

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    Given the production problems, quality control issues, and slow rate of production IOTL If NATO officially adopted the M14 I can see the FAL being adopted as a substitute standard.
    From Wikipedia "After the M14's adoption, Springfield Armory began tooling a new production line in 1958, delivering the first service rifles to the U.S. Army in July 1959. However, long production delays resulted in the 101st Airborne Division being the only unit in the army fully equipped with the M14 by the end of 1961"
    So it took two and a half years to fully equip one US Division with the M14, how long will it take to equip NATO?
     
  6. fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The M14 would have been a great rifle in 1940, a bit old fashioned but still a very good rifle in 1950 but by 1960 it was definitely outdated against the FAL and G3.

    .45ACP is not a knock down round its no more or less powerful than 9mm Parabellum. The 1911 is okay but which would a sensible person prefer to carry. The slightly (100g) lighter but 6 rounds more FN Hi Power, The considerably lighter (250g less) and 1 more round capacity Walther P38 or Beretta 1951.

    If the US is giving them away free with several gazillion rounds of ammo it might happen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  7. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Out of the ones you listed? The 1911, hands down. With .45 and 9mm, the thing to remember is, the military is using ball ammo, not hollow points. Personally, because of that, I prefer the .45.

    However, I'm an above average shot with a handgun, so the reduced ammo load isn't much of an issue for me. Besides, if you're down to just sidearms, something has gone seriously wrong and having a handful more rounds probably isn't going to matter.

    But. If I'm buying a handgun for regular issue, I'm buying 9mm. Why? Not everyone is a good shot. So I want to give them the most ammo I can. Plus, Infantry is already pretty heavily loaded down. So if I can shave off some weight for them, and still give them a decent last resort weapon in their sidearm, that's what I'm gonna do.

    Edit to add: I forgot to mention cost. 9mm is cheaper. Both the gun itself and the ammo. So if cost is an issue at all, the only practical option is 9mm
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  8. Nick P Donor

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    They'd have more luck persuading NATO to take on the M16 rifle as a lighter replacement to the FN FAL. The main drawback would be the cockup with the cleaning requirements that bedeviled the design in Vietnam. The sheer costs would be huge too.
    To misquote fastmongrel:
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  9. HistoryGunsFreedom1776 Well-Known Member

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    All fair points as well. Yes, the M14 wasn’t produced in the quotas asked, one of the reasons being that it was claimed that machinery for the Garands could be reused, which turned out not to be the case.

    However, the main firearm contractors (Winchester and Harrington & Richardson) were also focusing on the civilian market when the contracts came.

    As for giving away M1911s and the surplus rounds? Again, it’s probable.
     
  10. Jkdelta38 Well-Known Member

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    The M 14 had problems. Some more or less inherent in its design, and plenty that came from poor manufacturing. FAL was a superior rifle by all but the rather biased ordnance board of the USA. There was a reason no one else really wanted m14, and why m14s were phased out so fast whereas FAL and G3 lasted for decades
    M1911 is slightly more likely cuz it did work well now and been in production for long enough it'd be cheap to mass equip euros with. Issue is why bother 9mm vs .45 ACP is debatable for which is better, but Europe had been using 9mm for decades by this point, they had families of smg and pistols that used 9mm, and why would they phase that out for a new hand gun, with different ammo?
    Plus 9mm offers lower weapon weight, slightly less ammo bulk and weight, and less recoil. All ideal for a large military force made up of average soldiers.
    Now offer of m16 in late 60s or early 70s might get some traction maybe as a light rifle substitute for FAL or G3.
     
  11. HistoryGunsFreedom1776 Well-Known Member

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    Yeash, the “wonder weapon” by Stoner had kinks, specially after the “Whiz kids” of McNamera decided there were needs of “modifications” to the design, of course not all the blame can be place on a misunderstanding of small arms since the ordnance department decided to switch propellents as well.


    Again, it had kinks but World War II ended twelve years before the M14 was adopted, add to the fact that employees from Springfield Armory left for other opportunities and a few of the contractors focusing on the civilian market before the contracts came, quality control and low numbers are no surprise.
     
  12. L4a1 Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that people are going to want to use the same ammo in their SMG's as they use in their pistols, and 9mm is flatter shooting than .45 so it has a longer effective range. Given the choice people will go for the more effective SMG round.
    It's no surprise but it is going to make the practical adoption of the M14 by all of NATO unlikely simply because the weapons won't be available in a timely fashion.
     
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  13. Jkdelta38 Well-Known Member

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    O
    Oh m16 had it's issues too, lack of chrome lining barrels, switch of propellants and lack of cleaning kits caused problems galore
    The m14 tho barely won in US trials vs FAL. And essentially won via rigging test in its favour cuz there was no way in mid 50s America would accept foreign rifles.
    Now some m14 were good. And modern upgrades made the standard m14 into a decent to good marksman rifle (granted it was only rifle America had in storage that could do that job, but it did do the job well enough a at the time.)
    Issue was slow production rates means rest of Nato ain't getting any for prob a good decade or more. Now yes rest of nato could make them themselves but them why would they when they can build their own designed rifles that were at least on par or better then m14?
     
  14. HistoryGunsFreedom1776 Well-Known Member

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    Yet if NATO decides to adopt the 45 Government, it would be a moot point. There was a surplus of M3 Submachine Guns in the inventory and Greece, in the 50s, was utilizing Thompsons.


    The US could probably have contracted with European companies as well and as a plus would help stimulate the economy (just as the above mentioned scenario regarding FN). The majority of European arms companies desired to get back into business after the Third Reich fell.
     
  15. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    Pistols have been irrelevant on the battlefield since the American Civil War.

    Only really useful as a useless, heavy security blanket, trophies or shooting prisoners when you don't want to waste rifle ammo that is actually useful in winning battles.

    The only place where pistols make any sense is for tunnel fighting, and how often was that a thing?

    Being down to 7 or 14 rounds would make zero difference in the field for winning battles.
     
  16. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    Shooting SMGs in 45 or 9 past 100 yards is a waste, and at that range, there's not that much difference in drop to matter, esp. on a full auto open bolt burp gun.
     
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  17. longsword14 Communism: This time, we will get it right!

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    I don't know why the M16 and McNamara are being mentioned.

    Stoner made the original AR for the 7.62x51 round, but that wouldn't have been adopted even if it passed every test because the M-14 existed.
    OTL experience shows that nobody other than the Americans would adopt the M14, and the Americans would not get a proper gun without getting through that rifle first. There were enough trials lost by different variants of the FAL to know that.

    I don't remember enough from The Black Rifle as to why US Ordnance would not implement conclusions that they had got from the Korean war.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  18. HistoryGunsFreedom1776 Well-Known Member

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    It honestly got brought up, which is fine since the scenario assumes that the .280 was still rejected.

    If the manufacturing conundrum was resolved sooner, I would easily argue that it could’ve gone either way with both rifles yet the post-war priorities were different on both continents with American arm manufacturers keeping eye on the civilian market while in Europe, the Iron Curtain is at the doorstep.

    Spreading the contract across the Atlantic could’ve helped but I honestly don’t have a estimate of how much yet the quality control would arguably be better, not to mention production as soon as FN and CETME get the lines set up.
     
  19. wiking Well-Known Member

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    The Marshall Plan was about stimulating the US economy, as the stipulation was that the money had to be spent in the US. The Euros weren't able to spend due to the massive debt they already had from the war, plus the rebuilding they had to do, so US money being injected into their foreign purchasing budgets did help the Euros, but the goal was to keep US industry producing while their customers recovered.
     
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  20. wiking Well-Known Member

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    I've read US assessments from WW2 that stated the 9mm parabellum was more effective in the damage it did to the human body. I'd imagine that, besides the cost is the reason it was eventually adopted by the US after they gained a lot more combat experience.
     
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