Thanks for the explanation. I also find myself often confusing the two names. So could you or one of the other guys give me a comparison of when both of these rifles were used in action and any overlap aswell. Would also love to hear when the M-16 dropped in. Not coming from much of a military background other than the fact that both of my grandfathers were in WWII, and not doing a whole lot of reading, I am still pretty uneducated when it comes to gun history.
The M1 Garand was used by U.S. forces up through the Korean conflict. Between the Korean conflict and Viet Nam they phased in the M-14 and then they phased in the m-16. In the early years of the Viet Nam war we fielded both the M14s and the M16's. Eventually as the M16 was refined/improved upon and as ammo and cleaning issues were adressed it became the standard issue rifle and the M14 was relegated to a more specific role like a designated marksmans rifle or what you would see the spotter in a two man sniper team carry.
The M1 Garand is the predecessor to the M14 and some of the main differences would be that the M14 has a detachable box magazine, the gas system is reworked so it has a piston that throws back a rod instead of one long op rod like the M1 Garand, it can be readily equiped with a telescopic sight, the iron sights are pretty much the same stuff from one to the other, and the M14 uses a slightly shorter round, .308 instead of 30-06.
I am sure there probably was some overlap in the services between the M1 and the M14 but seeing as it was probably in the late 50's to early 60's and we were more involved in the Cold War than anything else you really don't see a great deal of footage one it. Unlike the early days of 'Nam when you see both of them being fielded. To this day though the M14 is still in inventory and still in use by Special Forces and other outfits that need to reach out and touch somebody.
While I do like and admire the M14 (M1A) I do not shoot at distances that are long enough to really appreciate the difference between it and the FAL. I really like the way the FAL shoulders and handles so I just stick to it and leave my M1A unfired in the safe. If I want that kind of gun I just shoot my old WWII issued M1 Garand and it never fails to put a smile on my face and on the target too if I do my job.