TTAG has reported the U.S. Army’s ongoing sloth re: equipping troops in Afghanistan with rifles capable of effective range. And now, finally, they’re doing something about it. allvoices.com reports that the Army is sending M14 Enhanced Battle Rifles to forces in Afghanistan. The new weapons are supposed to be accurate to 800 yards (731.52 meters). That’s around 530 meters greater than the non-enhanced M14 rifle (200 meters). The M14 Enhanced is designed to eliminate the “range gap” detailed in Major Thomas Ehrhart’s widely-read 2009 study Increasing Arms Lethality in Afghanistan.
A report which asserted that 50 percent of Army engagements in Afghanistan occur with the enemy attacking at 300 meters or beyond, while more than 80 percent of soldiers in an infantry company are equipped with weapons that can’t touch the enemy beyond that range.
The positive impact of the new weapons is not assured. Only 5000 examples are headed in theater; two per squad. The troops receiving the gun will only get three days’ training. The rest of the squad will not receive training on how to incorporate the rifles into existing strategy. And the rifles are more difficult to maintain.
Other than that, the new M14’s good to go.