The M14 (or the civilian M1A) is essentially a modified M1 Garand designed to be more modern. It was adopted by the United States Army as the M1 Garand’s replacement in the 1950s, and has continued to serve in limited use as a designated marksman’s weapon (DMR) to this very day. Basically, the M14 is an M1 Garand that has a slightly shorter action to accommodate the shorter .308 Winchester round, a detachable box magazine (which holds anywhere from 5-20 rounds depending on the magazine), and a shorter gas tube that doesn’t run nearly as long as the barrel. Other than those differences, the M1 Garand and the Springfield M1A are essentially the same weapon. The M1A is a highly versatile weapon due to the fact that it fires the common .308 round, is powerful enough to drop big game animals, is semi-automatic and therefore good for tactical or defense use, and can shoot rounds out to very long distances.