By Walter J. Howe & E.H. Harrison, NRA Staff
First published in The American Rifleman, May 1962
News and publicity releases on a .22 center-fire rifle offered for military purposes, the Armalite AR-15, have raised the question as to whether it should replace the present standard M14 rifle of 7.62 mm NATO caliber. It is not at all impossible to conceive of such a small bore military rifle. The United States Navy rifle was a 6 mm (.236) for a number of years following 1895. Studies were made by most nations, including the United States, of cal. .22 military cartridges, sometimes even smaller. Rifles of cal. 6.5 mm (.256) were adopted by several nations before the beginning of this century. The fact that they were adopted by very few major military powers, and even by those users that were not considered folly successful in the test of World War II, need not prevent renewed consideration of small bores under requirements of the present.
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