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M14SE “CRAZY HORSE”®
SQUAD DESIGNATED MARKSMAN (M14SE SDM)
AND MK14 SEI RIFLE
Detailed Discussion of SEI M14SE “Crazy Horse” Improvements
Fig. 2. SEI M-14SE “Crazy Horse” SDM as originally issued to 2ID and other US Army units, fitted with Leupold VX-III 1.5-5X20 Illuminated Circle Dot Scope.
With the realization that the M-14 has remained an extremely sound design as both a Main Battle Rifle and especially as a Squad Designated Marksman (SDM), the previous problems with accurized M14 designs have all been successfully addressed by Smith Enterprise. In tackling these well documented problems, Smith Enterprise kept its developmental focus on four imperatives: (1) Consistent build quality; (2) Keep the solutions simple, and (3) Employ all available modern technological developments that could address cited problems. Lastly, there was a fourth imperative: this is principally a military weapon – not a target rifle. All of the below cited processes and products are currently included on new manufacture M-14SE sniper systems, or available to the customer-supplied in our M-14SE SDM conversion program.
A. No requirement for glass bedding or steel inserts
It is imperative to understand that the M14SE program does not require bedding of the action, nor does it require steel inserts and the associated altering of the front end of the stock. An action, which properly locks up into a serviceable USGI fiberglass stock will readily accomplish the sniper/designated marksman rifle task. Naturally, should a customer require a custom fiberglass stock, such as a McMillan M2A or other stock, that stock must be then inletted and bedded for optimal fit. We caution against this approach as the cost of bedding is in addition to the cost of already very expensive aftermarket fiberglass stock. In practical terms, a bedded action frankly has no place on a battlefield weapon. A final note on the USGI fiberglass stock is in order. At SEI we modify the USGI synthetic stock to accommodate our unitized gas system. We also offer at extra cost, a reinforcing modification to the forearm that includes the installation of a steel MIL STD 1913 Picatinny rail for the attachment of a QD bipod or IR laser pointer. The stock can also be ordered from SEI with front and rear sling side swivels.
B. Gas Cylinder Modification Program
Previous approaches to “unitizing” the front end of the M-14 and silver soldering of the gas cylinder are no longer required. We have completely redesigned this component with key proprietary approaches, to include modification of the gas plug.
C. Barrel Installation
Improper barrel installation is another major shortfall in the original M-21 design that has been overcome with our proprietary approaches, which are unlike anything else offered in the industry. With these new technologies, the previous technique of employing a pull through reamer is no longer required.
D. Thermally cycled components
Cryogenics were obviously not available in the late 1960’s. We firmly believe that deep cryogenic, thermally cycled components, which greatly reduces stress on the barrel and other critical components, represent a wise investment and thus sound insurance for extended service life, reduced life-cycle costs, ease of maintenance and enhanced system accuracy. In creating the M-14SE we not only cryogenically treat the barrel, we also treat the bolt, receiver and most other components to this most essential process. Prior to the cryogenic treatment, SEI dry hones the barrel, bolt and receiver assemblies. In addition to removing any surface imperfections resulting from manufacturing or service use, dry honing also affords a certain measure of stress relief to these components.
Fig. 3. Smith Enterprise wire EDM M-14 Mount, NSN 5855-01-506-5750. Shown with associated Smith Heavy Duty 4140 Chrome Moly Tactical 30mm rings (not included).
E. Wire EDM Scope Mount and Rings
Smith Enterprise is the only US Manufacturer of Wire EDM optical interface components. Our three M-14 NSN mounts, both 5.0" & 7.0" models, as well as our new ACOG-compatible variant,allfeature the very latest MIL STD 1913 specifications. These units have beenprocured in large quantities by several US Army and US Navy units and our 5.0"model, NSN 5855-01-506-5750, P/N 2006 remains the number one selling M14 scope mount in DOD. Typically, our mounts are ordered with ourHeavy Duty (HD) Tactical 30mm 4140 chrome moly ring set, NSN 1005-01-535-4417, P/N 7002. This particular model,with 0.25” rise, allowsthe sniper or long range marksman to use the back-up iron sights via the see-through sight channel on the M-14 scope mount. For larger front objective optics pleaserefer to the Ring Section on our website for appropriate NSN rings.
For special applications where more than one optical device needs mounting or when an especially long or large optical device is employed, we suggest our recently developedM14 Extended (7.0”) MIL STD 1913 Scope Mount, NSN 1005-01-533-8160, P/N 2008. This new mount retains the ability to use iron sights, just like our top-selling 5.0" M14 NSN mount. However, when using the M14 Extended Scope Mount or the 5.0" NSN model on a current production Sage stocked weapon, the handguard is slightly relieved. Customers intending to employ a Sage stock should specifically request this modification when the stock is ordered and the stock can be modified before being hard anodized at the factory.
Our latestunit in this line isM14 ACOG/MILSTD 1913 Scope Mount, NSN 1005-01-535-4430, P/N 2005, that is designed to solve the traditionally difficult problem of properly interfacing an ACOG scope onto the M14 rifle. With the separate MIL STD 1913 rail interface removed, the ACOG can sit as low as possible and and at the proper eye relif, so critical with this special optic. With this particular mount, the handguard of the Sage stock does not require modification.
Fig. 4. Smith Enterprise M-14 Extended Bolt Stop installed.
F. Extended Bolt Stop.
For operations in cold or wet weather or where speed of operation is critical, we have recently developed this extended bolt stop, which is manufactured from 8620 heat treated steel to the same specifications as the M14 receiver and bolt. This extremely useful product has recently been procured in quantity by various US Army, Air Force and Navy units, as well as law enforcement organizations.
G. Consistent lapping.
Smith Enterprise has developed a process of lapping bolts, lugs and receivers in such a way that facilitates large scale, and thereby consistent production values.
H. Redesigned Hammer and Recoil Spring.
These items have been successfully redesigned, satisfying a long-sought requirement of precision shooters.
I. New Patent-Pending Adjustable Trigger Assembly.
Our firm has developed the worlds first and to date, only reliable and completely safe 2.5 to five pound adjustable trigger assembly for the M-14 rifle. This patent-pending design overcomes the significant problem associated with previous attempts to develop a light trigger for the M-14, wherein once the light trigger pull has been established, the trigger could easily fall off safe and discharge when dropped or jarred. With our new design, such an accidental discharge (AD) is impossible. Amongst other features, our adjustable trigger pack, as well as our standard 4.5 lbs. sniper pack both feature our newly developed hammer and trigger axis pins. These new axis pins, made slightly oversize for optimal fit, are made from carefully heat-treated S-7 tool steel for extremely long life and consistent wear. This new trigger assembly, which is remanufactured from existing M-14 (also M1A and Garand M-1) trigger assemblies, is now going into series production and will be commercially available in late 2005.
J. New Patent-Pending Gas Lock Front Sight (GLFS) and Vortex® Direct Connect (DC) Flash Eliminator.
These two items work together to provide the shooter with a number of advantages over existing components. Developed initially for the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Mark 14 Mod 0 rifle, and recently adopted in quantity for that purpose, the GLFS and the Vortex DC do away with the old castle nut and front sight housing. This in turn offers a number of inherent advantages. First, the host weapon now has a reliable and sturdy method for attaching a flash hider and sound suppressor. The Vortex DC flash hider is now mounted directly to the barrel threads, as opposed to the old and questionable method of mounting the flash hider to an extension of the front sight housing. The patented and combat-proven Vortex flash suppressor also serves as a very secure interface for attachment of a sound suppressor. The M-14 DC Wind Talker suppressor is detailed below. Secondly, with the castle nut being eliminated, barrel stress is greatly reduced. The gas cylinder lock is not only a front sight housing, but aids in overall tightening up the gas cylinder assembly, much in the same manner as match gas cylinder assemblies. Lastly, it is important to remember that with the development of the GLFS and the Vortex DC, the host weapon can employ virtually any barrel length appropriate for the chambering. For example, the weapon depicted below which is being built to meet specific US Navy and US Air Force requirements, features an 18” barrel (Fig 6). However, in order to meet the new US Army SDM requirement for a semiautomatic weapon capable of delivering accurate fire against human targets to a maximum range of 1000 yards, a longer (i.e. 20.0-22.5”) barrel can easily be accommodated by this unique design. A second GLFS design is now entering production, which features a special tritium insert in the front sight post. This tritium-equipped gas lock front sight is known as the model GLFS-T.
Fig 5. MK14 Mod SEI with M14DC Wind Talker™ Sound Suppressor, Mark 4 3.5-10X40 LR/T Scope, and Lightweight QD MIL STD 1913 Bipod.
Fig. 6. Smith Enterprise M14 DC Wind Talker Sound and Flash Suppressor with SEI Suppressor & Tool Pouch
K. SEI M-14 DC Wind Talker™ Sound Suppressor.
The M-14 design has long been challenged by the need to effectively mount a sound and flash suppressor. This problem has been hitherto entirely attributable to the design limitations of the original front sight housing. The aforementioned attendant problems have been entirely eliminated with the development of the SEI M-14 DC (Direct Connect) Wind Talker sound suppressor, which connects the DC Vortex flash hider’s directly onto the host weapon barrel. As opposed to the original M-14 flash hider design, which mounted onto the front sight housing, the Vortex DC and associated GLFS/GLFS-T/GLFS-D allow the suppressor to mount directly onto the Vortex DC, resulting in a far more rigid platform. Further, our M-14 DC is the only modern sound suppressor in US military use, which is completely rebuildable in the field. Thus, when and if the baffle array ever needs replacing, it can be quickly swapped out by the assigned sniper and thus, completely avoiding system down time. This M-14 DC suppressor is now being delivered to the US Army as an integral component of their new M-14SE SDM system. The nature of the Vortex DC flash suppressor interface design allows the 7.62mm M14DC sound suppressor to be effectively employed on 5.56mm and 6.8mm SPC weapons when fitted with the Vortex G6A2 flash suppressor (5.56mm p/n 1001V, 6.8mm SPC p/n 1003V).
L. New Barrel Technologies.
- M14SE M118LR Crazy Horse Barrels. High quality barrels are available to a degree that was simply not the case in the late 1960s when the M21 was developed. In close collaboration with world-renown US barrel manufacturer, we have developed 22.0” and 18.0” barrels for the M-14SE in an outstanding 1:10 ROT four-groove configuration for the M118LR round. We are also exploring the possibility of employing another completely different type of barrel technology that potentially offers a quantum improvement over traditional designs in terms of terminal performance, maintainability and service life. To that end, we have also developed a special chamber reamer that optimize use of the M118LR and all other service 7.62mm NATO rounds. For EOD applications where heavier projectiles are often preferred, our special M118LR chambering with its faster rate of twist is ideal for the EOD mission. The threading of the 10-pitch, 29 degree, stub Acme modified thread will be also held to a much tighter tolerance, and thread form will be monitored to uniform installation from receiver to receiver. Additionally, with total control over barrel manufacturing, Smith Enterprise now has op rod guides that are sized for optimal fit so as to preclude the notorious barrel knurling phenomenon experienced during the M21 program.
- 18.0” M14 Standard Profile Chrome Lined M118LR Barrel (p/n 2027). In a very recent development, SEI has just begun producing a chrome-lined 18.0” standard profile 1:10 ROT M14 barrel for use in extremely harsh environments (p/n 2027). What makes this unique barrel truly significant is the fact that although it is chrome-lined, the new 18.0” barrel is chambered for M118LR ammunition, thus making a weapon using this barrel capable of employing any known 7.62mm NATO ammunition type with remarkable accuracy. The barrel differs in other critical areas from competing commercially-available chrome-line USGI type barrels. Specifically, the SEI chrome-lined M14 barrel has a one degree crush angle and thread timing per US military specifications.
Frankly, we believe the Navy should have specified and included a chrome-lined barrel such as ours for their MK14 Mod 1 weapons. Surprisingly, the new Crane-built weapons have neither chrome linings, nor are they chambered for M118LR. The MK14 SEI on the other hand, has this unique barrel as a standard item. Simply put, the SEI chrome-lined standard profile 18.0” M14 barrel is the perfect all-purpose replacement barrel for any military M14. It is important for commanders to realize that with our 18" chrome lined M118LR barrel, our product is already perfectly headspaced for military specification M14 rifles. This means that military M14s can very quickly be rebarreled with this unique barrel design, as opposed to other commercial designs that require time consuming headspacing upon installation.
For these reasons, our new 18.0” barrel configuration in either the Sage or USGI fiberglass stock is ideal for maritime, surf zone or high humidity applications. Lastly, unit commanders should remember that with the standard profile barrel (as opposed to the medium heavy Crazy Horse configuration), the host weapon will be much easier to bring to bear on a target and when transitioning targets. The shorter overall dimensions of an M14 equipped with our 18" barrel, especially in a reduced length of pull USGI fiberglass stock or even more so in a Sage stock, makes for an especially compact, hard hitting weapon system that is ideal for parachute, air assault and other light forces. Likewise, the 18.0” standard profile barrel configuration will be much more suitable for Long Range Marksman, as opposed to strictly school-trained sniper applications. The accuracy delta in using our precision chrome-lined barrel as opposed to our Crazy Horse sniper-grade barrels becomes moot in real world battlefield conditions, except at extremely long ranges where absolute sniper-level accuracy and skills are required.
M. Heat treatment.
Modern technology enables Smith Enterprise to examine older receivers for heat treatment integrity. If a receiver falls short of Smith Enterprise requirements for surface hardness, we can then very easily readjust the receiver surface for proper hardness.