POTD: Full Auto M14 Fired From The Deck Of The USS Nimitz

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 23, 2017) Senior Chief Gunner's Mate Matthew J. Rayburn, a native of Beaumont, Texas, shoots an M14 assault rifle aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), June 23, 2017, in the Pacific Ocean. Nimitz is currently on an underway period in the 7th fleet area of operations. The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ian Kinkead)

Photo by Ian M Kinkead

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 23, 2017) Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Matthew J. Rayburn, a native of Beaumont, Texas, shoots an M14 assault rifle aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), June 23, 2017, in the Pacific Ocean. Nimitz is currently on an underway period in the 7th fleet area of operations. The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ian Kinkead)


Pretty awesome. Not sure why he is using the magazine as a handhold. He would have better control grabbing the handguard. Unless the M14 was fired a lot before Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Rayburn got to shoot it. Then the handguard would be rather hot.


  • Audie Bakerson

    “assault rifle”

    • Major Tom

      Under most definitions it fits. There was no term “battle rifle” in 1957.

      • crackedlenses

        That’s probably because weapons like the AK-47/AKM were first classified as SMGs.

        • Major Tom

          Maybe in the West but I’ve never come across Soviet/Russian literature of any kind that ever referred to the Avtomat Kalashnikova (Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle) as a Pulemyot Pistolet (Pistol Machine Gun aka Submachinegun/Machine Pistol).

          • ostiariusalpha

            I used to believe the same, but Max Popenker showed me the Russian specifications, and indeed, the terms Avtomat and Pulemyot Pistolet are used virtually interchangeably. The Fedorov avtomat is definitely not a submachine gun, but at some point afterward, SMGs were labeled avtomats and full-power select-fire rifles were called avtomaticheskaya vintovka.

          • Arr Evans

            Leave the West out of this.
            Assault Rifle doesn’t exist anywhere but in the mind, I think it’s shared by all, of a few politicians and most “journalists”.

        • cawpin

          No, they weren’t.

          • ONTIME

            I didn’t care about the ancestry but the 47 was hell of a combat weapon…..

      • some other joe

        Most definitions except for LIN R95114, RIFLE, 7.62MM, M14, NSN 1005-00-589-1271… 😉
        (Of course, the M16 series and M4 are also rifles while the M4A1 is a carbine. DOD doesn’t use the term “assault rifle” at all.)

        • ONTIME

          Assault rifle came from the lips of the infamous Sen. Feinstein….

      • cawpin

        .308 is not an intermediate cartridge.

        • Major Tom

          Neither was .30 Carbine, 6.5 Arisaka, 8mm Kurz or 7.62×39 M43 at first or the 8mm Lebel derivative in a .351 SL case for the Ribeyrolles Machine Carbine.

          Yet the weapons those cartridges are associated with (M1/M2 Carbine, Federov Avtomat, STG-44, AK-47, Ribeyrolles) are often referred to in history books as assault rifles and didn’t care about “intermediate”. Especially since “intermediate cartridge” has apparently no objective definition.

          • jcitizen

            Back in the 1970’s in the Army, we were calling .308 and “intermediate” cartridge, but I think that was just TAC NCOs referring to the fact that it was shorter than .30-06 ammo of old.

        • CavScout

          Sure it was. Intermediate short time between .30cal and 5.56. 😉

    • gunsandrockets

      I suppose technically that “automatic rifle” would be more accurate than “assault rifle” to describe a U.S. 7.62mm M14 rifle.

      But look at it this way, for once the Press actually used “assault rifle” to describe a fully automatic weapon, instead of their usual practice of calling something like an SKS an “assault rifle”.

      • Jay Desmarais

        Their nomenclature is accidental, at best.

    • Blake
    • John Wisch

      Battle Rifle

  • mcjagermech

    I wonder how it handles the salt air

    • Blake

      It’s not an (as)sault air rifle…


    • Rick McMullen

      I was the Ordnance Officer (ORDO) on a DDG in the early ’90s. Our weapons handled the salt air just fine because they were liberally bathed with CLP at all times. There was a Preventive Maintenance item for it.

      • mcjagermech

        Thanks for the info, I figured that frequent maintenance was what kept them from rusting away. I asked because most firearms marketed to ship or boat use are stainless steel with polymer furniture

        • Arr Evans

          That’s because they have to lazy owner-proof them as much as possible to avoid sending free replacements every 3 years.

      • OldHand241

        Not to mention the original manganese phosphate finish was supposed to resist salt spray corrosion for at least 48 hours.

  • Vhyrus

    “Not sure why he is using the magazine as a handhold.”

    Because Navy?

  • TX

    Fun. And I like the four shell casings shown in mid-air in the pic.

    • John Yossarian

      Took me a second to find the fourth one!

  • catfish252

    With all of the weapons available in the Navy, I’m surprised they still stock M-14’s in their armory.

    • Major Tom

      7.62 rifles are much better at setting off sea mines than 5.56. From a greater range too.

      • CommonSense23

        I would love to hear where you got this idea from?

        • kl

          Technique referred to as Stand-off Munitions Disruption (SMUD). Short version is that you shoot the fuse.

          • Major Tom

            And they’ve had such rifles for as long as the Navy’s been setting to sea. Before the M14 it was the 1903 Springfield for anti-mine duties (and some M1 Garands). Even into the 1970s that was the case.

          • Blake

            6mm Lee Navy!

      • Spon Rilker

        Shark watch when a small boat is in the water for swimmers too

    • ARCNA442
      • catfish252

        Later I thought perhaps Ceremonial Rifle for the Marines, especially looking at the stock and forearm; they look in very nice shape, not your typical military rifle.

        • Pete Sheppard

          Marines use M1 Garands. Army uses M14s; watch the Old Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

          • catfish252

            Thanks Pete – I didn’t know that.

          • OldHand241

            FWIW, Army folk detailed for funeral salutes were still using M1 Garands at least as recently as Sept 2010.

    • jcitizen

      It wasn’t that long ago that you could still find M1928 Thompsons in the armory on some ships! You gotta admit they make great terrorist dusters.

  • Dan

    This guy is a complete gun noob. I can totally tell. True operators C-Clamp when they are operating in an operational area of operationings. I actually put sharp shark teeth and a skull on the front of my AR-15’s magwell to keep me from putting my hand there. If Stoner had wanted me to grip the mag, he would have put a texture there. Also, M-14s are way better than SCARs.

    • Full Name

      Also, no scarf or gloves. Or sleeve tattoos. Total n00b.

  • Ax

    I have super long fingers but I find C-clamping an m14 style rifle really difficult.

    • Blake

      Not to mention the fact that it will burn the crap out of your thumb if you shoot for any length of time.

      As my brother says: “it turns out that 20 rounds of .308 is a lot”

  • USMC03Vet

    Mag dump into the water. Annual US Navy firearm qualification. 😂

    • Scott Couch

      Maybe for those squids but a Seabee can out shoot most Jarheads…. Can Do.

      • Nicks87

        Seabees are some of the hardest working people in the military and most of them can shoot pretty well too. I worked with them in Kuwait in ’03 (when I say worked, I mean sat in a truck with the A/C running in the shade and watched them work). Much respect, though.

      • Arr Evans


      • Hoosier Ed

        Whatever squid.

      • Canarsieboy

        That was cute Scott. But I dunno if any of them Seabee squidly’s that I actually taught to shoot/qualify at Camp Lejeune would even remotely agree with you. lmao and smh!

    • Brett baker

      My cousin qualified on the 870 in the Navy on Guam. 1 up the pipe, 4 in the tube, then blast the jungle. No specific target.

    • Nashvone

      “How did you fail your qualification?”
      “I missed the ocean…”

    • noob

      A Royal Australian Navy Band friend of mine used to play seven instruments but he’d decided the Austeyr wasn’t one of them. After making his minimum required shots on the buoy to get qualified he’d fire the rest of his mag into the ocean to purposely avoid getting too high a score.

      • CavScout

        Useless personnel. Waste of time and money. Don’t want to serve.

        • noob

          Settle down, he might “merely” be a damage controlman/firefighter when he’s on a ship but can you imagine the Navy without music?!

          The Nation deems it worthy service for him to be transported along with his bandmates to warzones where he plays a very important part in filling the awkward silences when very important people come vip-ing. You want to give the politicians as little time off script to run their mouths as possible to avoid future unpleasantness.

    • Nicks87

      Me: “Chief, you forgot to take the safety off”.
      CPO: “But that’s how they told us to carry it.”
      Me: ◔_◔

    • John Wisch

      Did he hit the water? Eventually !

  • Ed

    Dispute all the crap tactical coolers and generals day, the M-14 matches on!

    Besides that when shooting M-14s on FA you get good anti-aircraft practice going on lol.

    • No one

      Yes because “people who actually know what they’re talking about” = just tacticoolers.

      But at least it lives on in its glorious ability to be fired at literally nothing but open ocean before being mothballed again!

    • disqus_f62emCdwDh

      Isn’t the M14 still the official rifle of the Navy? Could that be why?

      • Steve_7

        M16A3 is the official USN rifle, I think. Essentially an M16A2 with full-auto capability. The USN is the only branch that officially held onto the M14. McNamara made the Army and Marine Corps destroy theirs, only a few years after they were manufactured! It was never official USAF issue.

  • annoyedwithpopups

    how many freaking pop ups do you need? Even with a ad blocker your annoying pop ups get through

  • will ford

    You think you should comment on a SENIOR CHIEF’S firing of a weapon? SURE,LOL!

  • missourisam

    The question as to why GM Rayburn is using the magazine as a hand hold is that there are different stroke for different folks. My self, I would have had the sling behind my off shoulder, and wrapped around my support forearm. I’m sure there would be negative comments about that, but that is the steadiest most comfortable way for me to shoot any rifle. A lesson learned from my uncle who was a sniper in WWII.

  • Ed Warburton

    i thought the m14 was a full power battle rifle. Not an intermediate assault rifle like the ak or m16?

    • OldHand241

      Technically the M16 was not a proper sturmgewehr. The M4 is. Otherwise, you thought correctly.

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        Huh? How is the M16 not an assault rifle? There’s no maximum length.

    • Bob

      the M14 was the Main Battle Rifle from 1957 to 1964
      this “assault weapon” label must have came from too much watching of abc, nbc, cbs, msnbc, and cnn !!!

  • SerArthurDayne

    We finally figured out a new Close In Weapons System to defeat the BrahMos missile!!! Full-auto M14 mofos, Full-autop M14s….

  • parabellum

    My favorite rifle ever (I was so jealous of the one my G.I. Joe had).

  • Lucky Dog

    Yep. Us squids are not much with a rifle, no argument. I’ll take in shore support from a 5″ 54 now 5″ 65 anytime from a tin can. I shot a 55 gal drum (direct hit)on a hillside range in Cali with a inert 57# 5″ projectile at 5000 yards in 1965 with the 2nd shot, 1st missed by 2′. FTG2

  • carlcasino

    Even on the old Fleet Boats we had ammo dumps. aged ammunition was discarded out the muzzle. My first contact with a BAR. Now that was a mule for a 135# swabbie.

  • Kodi

    Annual waste of ammo Navy conducts where Gunners Mates & ‘VIPs’ pull out everything in the armory and miss targets in the water. Fun, but not useful except to prove seldom fired weapons still work.
    We fired BARs, Thompson’s, M14s, M1 Garand’s & more on USS Rockbridge APA-228 in late 60s, using ammo stocks left over from WWII and Korea. We did an abbreviated and less embarrassing version on the USS John F Kennedy twenty years later due to limited steaming time in Med and presence of Marine Security Detachment.
    BTW, all M14 have automatic capability built in, just need selector switch to be installed through cutout on stock to fire control group.


    I am so jealous……..

  • Old Vet

    Just makes me miss my M1A, dang it.

  • uffdaphil

    The M14E2 had rubber bedding in the forestock that would melt and ooze out after beaucoup mag dumps. The standard rifle with selector switch on fun just smoked the wood a lot.

  • xler8rdoug

    M-14 is the best rifle I’ve ever fired. Can’t miss. Love them.

    • No one

      You must have really low standards.

      • commonman

        I would say just the opposite. Lots of others would too. Everyone has their own standards. If it was there when you needed it and it saved your bacon, it might be your favorite too…

  • commonman

    Hmm, maybe it’s just the angle of the view but I look at mine up on the wall and look at this M14 and the pictured one looks shorter. Even the length of pull looks tight and close. Maybe after more coffee I’ll focus better. I assume he holding at the mag to help control the rise. Oh, I’m not sure but wasn’t it Hitler who first came up with the term “Assault Rifle” for the Stg 43? Anyway, great picture, great rifle. Looks like a beautiful day to be shooting an M14 at anything. Water, fish, air…doesn’t matter when you’re having a blast.

  • ChiefBoring

    I last qualified on the Garand, before the M-14 was adopted. Later I carried a Winchester Model 97 and 1911 A1 in Cuba during the Revolution. Is that some kind of gas bleed off just in front of the forearm?