This is a discussion on LaFrance M14K within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Here are a few pictures of another board's member's Lafrance M14K:
What are your thoughts on this short M14 with the M60 gas system? How ...
Smith Enterprise, Inc. and LaFrance Specialties have collaborated on various projects through the years. One such venture was the M14K, a very interesting and innovative development of the M14 type rifle. The origin was a desire on the part of Richard Smith and Tim LaFrance in the 1980s to make the M14 more compact and controllable without generating excessive muzzle blast and recoil. Richard Smith and his son, Ron Smith, did all of the research and development for the M14K. After some experimentation, they found that the M60 machine gun gas system provided great promise in reducing the muzzle blast and recoil of the M14. So, Ron Smith further improved and perfected the M60 type gas system for the M14K. All M14K rifles were built by Smith Enterprise themselves. This included the woodworking necessary for the stocks.
The conversion to an M14K consists of installation of the improved M60 type gas system, adding a unique combination muzzle brake and flash hider, shortening the operating rod and wood stock fore end and installing National Match front and rear sights. The fore end of the wood stock was shortened to accommodate the new gas system. The M14K barrel length is 13 1/2 ". M14K models purchased by civilians had either 1:10 twist four groove match barrels or 1:12 twist chrome plated barrels. The match grade barrels proved to be markedly more accurate than the chrome plated barrels in the M14K. The M14K cyclic rate is about 600 rounds per minute and the muzzle velocity 2560 feet per second using M80 ball ammunition. Smith Enterprise has made the M14K in semi-automatic and select fire models.
During the Reagan Presidency, Smith Enterprise converted some M14 rifles to M14K models for the Columbian government. The M14K was very effective in the hands of the Colombian Army. In fact, it was so effective that the drug cartel FARC threatened bodily harm on the Smith family. Because the Reagan Administration was not able to guarantee around the clock protection, Smith Enterprise decided to cease the conversion work for the Colombian government. In 1988 the M14K was marketed by Tim LaFrance at the Soldier of Fortune Show.
Smith Enterprise plans to reintroduce the M14K in the near future. Boyds will supply the stocks. These M14K rifles will have Wilson Arms 16 four groove barrels with 1:10 twist for semi-auto models and 1:12 twist for NFA registered models. Smith Enterprise will make all the gas system components. A turnaround time of two weeks will be the goal.
Talked to Tim last week, he is in the middle of a move and not taking any work. Other than the "K" he built some of the most awesome M14 rifles ive seen. As far as i know he was the first to incorporate the HK front sight among other things.