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The swivel buttplate is used for better control of the weapon in full auto mode...or so I've been told.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your replys, I have also been told that it was for full auto mode, but he didn't sound so sure either. Using it for shooting prone sounds resonable, but I don't know about shooting at airborne targets. Again, thanks.
 

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No, no, no...you're all wrong. It actually served a triple role as a cover plate, striker and guide-wing on the top-secret model developed early in the M-14's manufacture. You see, the cover plate would protect the insidious rocket thrusters that could easily be fitted into the storage holes when vacated by the cleaning equipment. If you ran out of ammo, and were up against an armored vehicle from the opposition, you would: 1) prop the rifle against a log or rock, 2) aim the rifle at your objective, 3) remove the thrusters, invert them so the engine venturis were facing rearward, 4) seat the thrusters in the retainers 5) slam the cover plate closed against the igniters on the rockets (causing the mercury fulminate to be activated in a slow detonation giving you a two second delay) 6) then instantaneously flip the cover up again to serve as a guide-wing, much like the feather on a dart. It would fly off at such great speed that the momentum of the rifle's weight was all that was needed to act as an incendiary weapon, the barrel serving as the main extruding factor. If lucky, you could impale the main operator. Also, If done with live cartridges still in the weapon, it was often possible to have it rupture the armored plate and fire several rounds into the inner housing, with the better chance of reaching internal targets.

Oh yeah,... I suppose it would have helped during full auto too.
 

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The plate actually comes from the M-15 rifle which was a trial squad rifle (full auto) intended to replace the aging BAR. Not many were made as it was deemed too hard to handle in full-auto mode only and was never to see the light of day as an issue weapon. Since the M-14 as issued could still be used in the full-auto mode the powers that be saw the wisdom in retaining the stabilizing butt plate on the '14. Hope this clears that up.

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Mancos Tom
 
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