Cool Guns: Battle Rifles
This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is mine.Back to Cool Guns
—Sergeant Hartman, Full Metal Jacket.
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The M14 was designed as a modernised version of the venerable M1 Garand to meet new NATO requirements; the clip feed was replaced with a detachable magazine, and a new barrel added. Unfortunately, someone decided it needed to be select-fire, requiring every part of the rifle to be strengthened to handle the increased stress of firing the powerful 7.62x51mm NATO round on full-auto settings. The resulting weapon was regarded as rather clumsy and utterly impossible to control in full-auto; many were locked to semi-auto and this, among with other modifications, created a serviceable weapon. And even then, the thing was quite heavy, which unfortunately, didn't so much dampen its full auto recoil as cause for many soldiers to struggle with its weight. The M14 was the US Army's standard issue rifle for only a short time, serving from 1962 to 1966-67 when it was replaced by the M16; this is the shortest any weapon has served as the US army's standard, and the M14 would be last battle rifle issued to normal infantry by them. The M14 found its niche as a marksman's rifle like the Soviet SVD, fitted with a selection of scopes and with wood stocks being replaced with fiberglass and later all-synthetic furnishings.note It remains in use today as a ceremonial weapon, and modernized versions are still issued in small numbers as designated marksman's rifles. Its sniper variants are the M21 which saw much use in Vietnam, and the M25, which is used by US Army Special Forces and the Navy SEALs. A few select fire M14's have made it onto the U.S. civilian market, although they are very rare; it is more common for M14's in civilian hands to either be the very similar, but semiautomatic only M1A, or to have been converted to semiautomatic only when they left the service. Civilian versions (semi-auto only) are also available in most US states and they are very popular with the shooting public, and they are the gun of choice for Iron Man 3-gun competitions as well as other battle rifle competitions. The Chinese company Norinco has naturally made its own knockoffs, the M305 and the M14S, however they are not available in the U.S. due to a ban on Chinese firearm imports; they are only sold in Canada, Italy, and New Zealand. While the M21 was phased out in favour of the M24 SWS in 1988, similar weapons based on converted original production M14s are now being issued to marksmen in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are also issued to park rangers in the Organ Pipes National Park due to drug cartel activity.
Note: Multiple live action productions from The Seventies and The Eighties supposedly featuring the M14 are actually using the Beretta BM59, an Italian weapon based on the very same idea, owing its existence to the fact the Italian Army didn't have many funds to replace their M1 Garands and Beretta had produced them under license. The only practical differences between the two weapons is that the BM59 has an integral folding bipod and a flash suppressor that can work to shoot rifle grenades.
- Rainbow Six, in Rogue Spear and Raven Shield.
- "This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is mine."
- The M21 version is standard equipment for the US snipers in Operation Flashpoint, and is quite possibly the most versatile weapon in the game. ARMA II has the M14 DMR version, while Operation Arrowhead adds an original M14 with an Aimpoint sight. ARMA III includes both the Mk 14 under a slightly-different name, and, with the Marksmen DLC, another original M14.
- Battlefield: Vietnam, used by the US and ARVN, the M14 is the primary weapon for engineers while the M21 is an option for snipers.
- Again in Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam; the base game also features the Mk 14.
- Recruits in Forrest Gump are shown dis- and re-assembling M14 rifles in training, with Gump himself doing so in record time.
- The Mk 14 Mod 0 EBR (a modernized M14 with a collapsible stock and multiple accessory rails) shows up in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and is one of the best all round rifles in the game due to the ease with which it can be acquired, abundant ammunition due to nearly every enemy using weapons firing the same round, and being the only sniper rifle-type weapon that has any ability for customization.
- The M1A SOCOM 16, a semi-auto only M14 variant, is usable in darkSector as the "VX Carbine."
- Far Cry 3 and 4 likewise both feature the SOCOM 16 as the "MS16", unlocked in both games after liberating 10 radio towers, with options of a suppressor, a sight of some kind, and/or an extended magazine. The latter also includes a signature version called "The Trooper", which mounts all three.
- Some marching US soldiers in Goldfinger.
- Appears in Fallout Tactics, although incorrectly using the .303 British ammo.
- The M14 is useable in the multiplayer of Call of Duty 4 and Black Ops.note Its M21 variant also appears often in 4, and the Mk 14 appears in the same role in Modern Warfare 2 and 3. This gun also appears in Call of Duty: Ghosts as a Marksman Rifle, and again in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
- The M14 is available in several different variants in 7.62 High Calibre. In addition to the M14 and the M14 Sniper Mod, you can also get the Springfield M1A, a civilian version (no automatic fire), and the M1A 'Scout', which is smaller and less accurate, but less expensive.
- The Mini-14, a civilian .223 rifle using an action based on that of the M14, fills a sniper rifle role in Left 4 Dead and the sequel, called the "Hunting Rifle".
- The Juggernaut Tactical Rogue M14 is a bullpup conversion kit for M14 rifles. The weight and length are cut down drastically, and the barrel rise actually becomes barrel fall when the muzzle break is equipped, making trick shots such as aiming for the head a better idea, as it will line you up a body shot anyhow.
- A Springfield Armory M1A appears in PAYDAY: The Heist as the M308, where it sports digital camouflage and can be fitted with a reflex sight. It returns in PAYDAY 2 where it's more inspired by the M14 DMR (adding a selector switch; notably, this is the only weapon in the game with multiple fire modes that defaults to semi-auto), and can be turned into a Mk 14 with the "Abraham" stock.
- Killing Floor, where one of the Sharpshooter's most powerful and expensive weapons is a Mark 14 with a traditional stock and a Laser Sight.
- Upotte: Ichiyon/Fourteen is the personification of an original M14 rifle. As a joke on the info given above, she often attempts to fire her weapon in full-auto only to lose control of it and miss every shot.
- The Bureau: XCOM Declassified takes place during the brief period where the M14 was a standard issue weapon, so every Army grunt seen in-game is carrying one. Carter and XCOM Commandos can use them as well.
- SWAT 3 allows you to arm yourself and your fellow officers with the M1A, with options of the standard wooden stock, an all-black one, or a forest-camo one.
Nicknamed "the right arm of the free world," the FAL ("Fusil Automatique Léger", French for "Light Automatic Rifle") was one of the three major battle rifles designed for the NATO 7.62x51mm bullet (the other two were the M14 and H&K G3) and was undoubtedly the most successful of the three designs, having much lighter recoil and greater durability (equal to the AK-47's legendary durability). The FAL was designed by Dieudonne Saive, who is probably more famous for his work on the Browning Hi-Power. Originally, the FAL was meant to be an assault rifle, with prototypes chambered in intermediate rounds such as German 7.92x33mm (only the very first prototype; there was never any intention to go to production with this particular round) and .280 British (7x43mm). However, when NATO standardized on 7.62x51mm at American insistence, FN beefed up the FAL to handle the more powerful round, and the rest was history. It was so popular that every Western and non-communist nation except the USA adopted it as their main rifle. Even the US strongly considered adopting it, but decided not to on the basis of a combination of nationalism and false testimony to Congress claiming that the M14 could reuse the existing M1 Garand production lines; West Germany had initially adopted it too, but only for its border guards. When the Germans wanted to buy the license from FN to domestically produce the rifle themselves, they were turned down, probably in no small part due to the fact that they had invaded Belgium twice in the previous forty years. This led to them ultimately working with Spain on its CETME 58, which ultimately became the G3. The FN FAL is considered the classic post-war battle rifle and the Western counterpart to the AK-47. Over one million FALs have been made; the most notable users include the UK and Australia, who made their own version called the L1A1 SLR (Self Loading Rifle). This version is easily recognizable due to its long barrel and slender profile, and is among the semi-automatic only variants of the FAL; versions capable of fully automatic fire also exist, but would often jam when actually fired in full-auto. Another highly recognizable FAL version is the Israeli FAL, with its distinctive and very cool half-wood, half-sheet metal◊ handguard. Parts of the L1A1 (built on an inch pattern) are not compatible with other "metric" FALsnote , leading to many headaches among collectors, especially when there is parts breakage on one of the much rarer inch FALs. Inch FALs can use both inch and metric pattern magazines (usually), which is lucky for inch FAL owners since metric mags are more common. The reverse is not true, though; metric FALs can only use metric mags. The FAL is available on the US civilian firearms market in most states, with lower end Century Arms (or worse, Enterprise or, God help you, Vulcan) models going for $550, although a FAL of reliably high quality will likely run $800 or more and top-of-the line FAL builds can run over $2000. The FAL and its variants were in production for a long time. In fact, some of the earlier variants look almost nothing like the later versions, owing to some 30 odd years of production, upgrades, and changes. The result is that early versions are made out of wood and steel while the later variants feature modern polymer furniture (though still steel; there have been experiments with aluminum receivers, but the 7.62x51mm round just exerts too much force for them to hold up). The gun is still in productionnote and use by many countries from around the globe. In fact, an updated version has been created for use as a spotter's rifle.
Also worth to note that the first country to adapt the FAL was Canada in 1954. They developed their variant of the rifle reffered to as the C1A1 Battle Rifle. This variant can only be shot in semi-auto, but it had a removable trigger guard which allowed those with gloves to fire it, and it can also be fed stripper clips. The British L1A1 was directly based on the C1A1, with the UK, Canada and Australia coordinating their development of the FAL after buying licenses to make their own from FN, so as to ensure that the major Commonwealth armies would have complete interchangeability of equipment.note India, seeking to have the same rifle as the rest of the Commonwealth but without being forced by mere legality pay royalties to FN, reverse-engineered their own version, the 1A1. FN was not amused, especially when India started offering the pirated copy for export sale.
FN briefly experimented in the early 1960s with bringing the FAL back to its assault rifle roots in the form of a scaled-down version chambered in 5.56x45mm, but this was deemed too expensive for mass production, especially given the growing success of H&K's cheaper G3 and its assault rifle derivatives. Their next attempt was the CAL ("Carabine Automatique Léger", French for "Light Automatic Carbine") which still looked like a scaled-down FAL but incorporated many internal changes. This proved to still be too expensive and was a commercial flop (and now a Rare Gun since so few were made), resulting in FN moving on to the entirely new FNC (Fabrique Nationale Carabine).
Note: if an Italian is referring to a FAL, chance is he's actually talking about the above Beretta BM59, designated as Fucile Automatico Leggero (again, it means "Light Automatic Rifle") by the military. As the BM59 was anything but light (it was essentially an M1 Garand modified to fire 7.62 NATO ammunition from 20-round detachable magazines; very much like an M14, except heavier), the soldiers nicknamed it ''Fucile Automatico Pesante ("Heavy Automatic Rifle"), or, in an unintentional example of Fun with Acronyms, FAP.
A few countries still use it with some countries even upgrading them to use as marksman rifles in the same manner as the M14.
- Can be found in Fallout 2, one of the better weapons of the game, though finding ammo is a problem.
- Fallout Tactics as well, but it erroneously used the 7.62 Soviet rounds instead.
- One of the mook weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops. The Modern Warfare 2 appearance is memorable for its use of the speed reload technique (where the player character flicks the release lever with the fresh magazine, which flings the spent mag away from the gun as he inserts the new one).
- Reappears in Black Ops 2 as a primarily friendly gun (like it's supposed to be) and Jason Hudson's new weapon of choice, while also seeing some use by enemy proxy militias in the 80's flashback missions. Future missions and multiplayer allow the player to use the similar SA58 Para Elite Compact, with the same reload as the MW2 version. Notably, the new select-fire attachment finally allows both the semi- and full-auto modes of the FAL to be showcased.
- Call of Duty: Ghosts, with its enemies being made up of various South American countries, features both the Brazilian IMBEL IA2 and the proposed Peruvian Diseños Casanave SC-2010.
- Rainbow Six 3
- Far Cry 2.
- SWAT officers use it during the shootout at the beginning of Predator 2.
- Carlos carries a heavily modified one in Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
- Shows up in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as a long-arm. It's more accurate but less powerful than the AK-47, and more powerful but less accurate than the M4. It also comes with a red-dot scope, but it can only fire in 3-round bursts.
- The resistance members led by Eva/Big Mama in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots carry them; it stands as the only one of the three battle rifles here that Snake actually has to buy from Drebin, as the resistance members only carry it during cutscenes and Snake hands every single one he picks up over to someone else.
- Standard issue rifle for ARCAM troops in the anime film Spriggan.
- The Wild Geese featured many different versions of FN FAL rifles.
- Hidden weapon in Operation Flashpoint. A folding-stock version appears in ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead as a standard weapon of the Takistani army, available both unmodified and with a night-vision scope.
- The MNU Helicopter snipers in District 9 use FALs with scopes mounted on them.
- The rifles carried by the guards in Escape from L.A. were FALs with grenade launchers attached.
- Some of Sosa's Mooks in Scarface (1983).
- Monroe Kelly carries one with a folding stock through most of the film Congo.
- During the penultimate showdown at the end of Hot Fuzz Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) has one of these in his hands.
- Racer and the Geek gives one of these to Sunny Breeze.
- A near Game Breaker in Jagged Alliance 2, thanks to its good damage, good accuracy and laughably fast fire rate, using only 5 action points to shoot.
- Available in 7.62 High Caliber as a powerful battle rifle, with both variants (the standard and the paratrooper, which has a folding stock) capable of full auto fire. When fitted with a bipod, it can be an acceptable gun for a marksman at medium range, while the folding stock allows for easier storage in a pack and can make for an emergency room clearing weapon of ridiculous power.
- Added to Killing Floor with the 2012 Summer Sideshow event, meant for the Commando; it's a mash-up of multiple FAL variants, being full-auto capable but using the wooden furniture from the L1A1. It also mounts a 4x scope.
- Fal of Upotte is based on the British L1A1, though despite this she is occasionally seen to fire her gun in full-auto. She's also stated to be the older sister of Funco, who is based on the FNC.
- Ghost Recon: Future Soldier features the SA58 OSW for the Bodark faction, despite the game's insistence on only giving them weapons based on the AK action; it's classified as a "Personal Defense Rifle" due to its short length. The same weapon also appears in another Tom Clancy game, Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
- The L1A1 variant is often seen in the hands of UNIT soldiers in Doctor Who, in the Classic era.
- Appears in PAYDAY 2, as the Falcon Rifle. The ingame version is based on the DSA SA-58 OSW Paratrooper variant, though fitted with the full-length handguard, barrel, stock and short magazine of the standard FAL, as evidenced by the stamping on the weapon's left side. The weapon can be modded to be an exact SA-58, with other modifications being based on other variants of the FAL, such as the Israeli FAL seen above and the Brazilian IMBEL IA2.
Heckler & Koch G 3
A German weapon developed from the Spanish CETME series of battle rifles, the G3 was the third major weapon chambered for the 7.62mm NATO round. It came about because the Belgians were wary of licensing the FAL to Germany, resulting in Germany looking to Spain and its CETME. Like the FAL, the CETME was initially intended to be an assault rifle, prototyped in a series proprietary intermediate cartridge and finally in a reduced-power version of 7.62x51mm, but when the collaboration with HK began they (despite not yet being a NATO member) followed the German lead and adapted it to the full power 7.62x51mm NATO. A stamped steel battle rifle using a roller-delayed blowback system originally designed for the StG-45 prototype in World War II (appropriately enough)note , the G3 is more widely known for its derivatives than it is in itself, being not nearly as widely distributed as the FN FAL. Note that the G3 derivatives are simply scaled down versions of the rifle adapted to fire different rounds. Visually, the FAL and the G3 are very similar, with the most noticeable difference being that the FAL's charging handle is on the left side of the receiver while the G3's charging handle is up near the left of the muzzle of the gun. The action of the G3 has served as the basis for nearly every non-pistol weapon designed by Heckler & Koch until The Nineties, when the G36 series with its ambidextrous AR-18-inspired action took overnote ; the MP5 is effectively a miniaturized G3 chambered in 9mm, the PSG1 and MSG90 are accurized versions for marksman use, the HK21 and HK23 a general-purpose / light machine gun version adapted for belted ammo, and so on. The G3 is known for being reliable, but shooters are often critical of rather violent action that tends to mangle ejected cartridges and throw them anything up to thirty feet away, and the ergonomics and weight of the rifle in general. Therefore, it is a good idea to never stand on the right side of a G3 shooter if you can avoid it, unless you want hot brass hitting you. The brass also tends to be too damaged to reuse in handloading. Genuine G3's and HK firearms are rare in the United States civilian shooting market, with the ATF banning their importation because they could be quite easily converted into automatic weapons.note Also, HK is only minimally invested in the US civilian marketnote , and even then, its main product is handguns. Genuine HK G3 clone imports are expensive, going for an average of at least $1700. Semiautomatic G3 clones are much more common and cheaper; the two main ones available on the market are the 7.62x51 C91 and the 5.56x45 C93. They come in at a normal price of at least $650. CEMTE-based semi-autos are also on the market, but since both CETME and HK independently continued development of the roller-locked design there's little if any interchangeability of parts between G3 clones and CETME clones. Though primarily used by small armies, it was also the standard rifle of the West German army due to Fabrique Nationale refusing to sell a license to H&K to manufacture FALs, and the Bundeswehr wanting a domestically-manufactured rifle. Up until the G3 was adopted, the BRD was supplied with FAL rifles that it bought from other countries, as well as with American weapons. The Belgians didn’t want to sell the Germans the rights to make their own weapons, considering what had recently transpired. Many Bundeswehr soldiers also took a liking to the CETME rifle provided for testing. Thus, the G3 was born. The G3 is still in service with many second and third world militaries around the globe and is still in production.note
- Cool Action: The HK Slap actually originated with this weapon - while it is more associated with the MP5, as above that gun is in effect just a miniaturized G3, and the technique will work with anything based on the G3's action, or even weapons that aren't but have a similar charging handle, like the Steyr AUG.
- A few can be seen amongst the dozens of AK's wielded by the militia in Black Hawk Down.
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare features the HK91, a semi-auto-only variant (which still fires full-auto in singleplayer), though it's not quite as common as the various AK's. In multiplayer it's strangely underpowered, dealing the same damage as the other full-auto assault rifles (but with less recoil in return) so as to not completely overshadow the M14, which has the proper higher damage and recoil of a 7.62mm rifle but is unlocked far later.
- Rainbow Six added some of these to its armoury, for when teams need more punch, starting with Rogue Spear. In Vegas with the 6x scope, it makes a decent all-rounder substitute for a dedicated sniper rifle.
- Dog Soldiers.
- Hidden weapon in Operation Flashpoint.
- Used by the Militia in the second chapter of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and usable by Snake. In the first chapter one of the militiamen there also got his hands on an HK21, which Snake can choose to make him part with.
- The standard assault rifle in Fallout 3 is the prototype version with the older circular handguard (instead of the current MP5-style handguards) and wooden furniture, and it uses 5.56 ammo in the game.
- In Battlefield 3, the G3 can be found in the hands of the PLR. Also unlocked for use in multiplayer after gaining enough points in the co-op mode.
- Far Cry 2 has the G3 as the initial assault rifle given to the player character. It is weirdly underpowered, both having very low recoil for 7.62x51, and taking around six body shots to kill.
- A modified version of the MSG90 sniper variant with an AK-74 muzzle brake appears in Left 4 Dead 2, called the Military Sniper.
- Available in (of course), 7.62 High Caliber. Very similar to the FAL and even has a variant with a collapsible stock, but it has the advantage of being able to take a scope.
- Syphon Filter, starting with The Omega Strain.
- G3 of Upotte, as her name suggests, is based on the G3A3. In reference to the numerous G3-based guns in the real world, she has a ton of younger sisters who are all nearly identical to her - the sister based on the HK33, in particular, manages to pass herself off as G3 for a day at one point.
- In Racer and the Geek, Keffiyeh wields one of these.
- A G3A3 can be found in the Chrysler Building in Parasite Eve.
- Appears in PAYDAY 2 as the Gewehr 3 - the extended version of the G3's Real Life name - with an HK21E clubfoot stock. Attaching the wooden stock and foregrip makes it resemble earlier models of the G3, while the DMR Kit turns it into a G3SG/1. Attaching the Precision Foregrip, Precision Grip and Precision Stock makes it resemble the MGS90, sans the telescopic sight.
- The G3SG/1 appears across the Counter-Strike series, as the terrorists' semi-auto sniper rifle and their equivalent to the counter-terrorists' SG 550 Sniper or FN SSR. Named the "D3-AU/1" in every game except Global Offensive.