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Looking for XM-21 Expert

This is a discussion on Looking for XM-21 Expert within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Hello all. I am new to the M-14 forum, as you can see. Some may recognize me if you spend any time on AR15.com, specifically ...


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Old April 11th, 2020, 10:23 AM   #1
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Looking for XM-21 Expert

Hello all.

I am new to the M-14 forum, as you can see. Some may recognize me if you spend any time on AR15.com, specifically in the retro forum. A bit about myself and what brought me here... I graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point last May and am currently a 2LT stationed at Fort Benning. I am waiting to PCS to Fort Carson once this Coronavirus thing blows over.

While a "Firstie" (senior) at West Point, I impressed the Arms Curator of the West Point Museum about my knowledge of firearms, specifically the AR-15. Thus, I was given the opportunity to examine several of the weapons in their collection. In exchange, I told the curator I would write a report describing the important details of each of the weapons I looked at. Among them was an XM-21 that served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. However, I only know the basic details of the M-14 platform. I have been told by a friend (M1Sniper on AR15.com, unsure if that's what he goes by here) that this is probably one of the most famous XM-21s because it is one of very few out for display. He also told me that he shared the pictures I took with this site. I would love to see the thread, if anybody knows where it is.

A description of my trip to the West Point Museum can be found here:
https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar-15/We...s-/123-740272/

A link to the photo album with this rifle can be found here:
https://imgur.com/a/8JzMLp7

When I moved to Fort Benning, I sought the opportunity to have the same access to the National Infantry Museum's collection. With a good word from Les Jensen at the West Point Museum, I was allowed access. Again, the National Infantry Museum has what I believe to be an M-21. The provenance of this rifle is in question. The museum's catalog does not even state when the rifle was acquired (pretty rare, as this information is usually present). It is believed that this rifle might have been put together as a display piece for the museum by the marksmanship unit, but again, it is unknown.

A description of my trip to the NIM can be found here:
https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar-15/NI...65967#i8065967

And the link to the photo album regarding this rifle can be found here:
https://imgur.com/a/ASioUAG

If somebody could help me and write up a detailed report about these two rifles, it would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for information about production dates, proof marks, information about the optic, mounts, etc. I want everything you guys can tell me. Thank you all for your time.

-Andrew
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Last edited by AmericanSheepDog; April 11th, 2020 at 11:31 AM.
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Old April 11th, 2020, 11:27 AM   #2
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Thank you for your service LT!

While I have no relevant info I can share, I'm very interested in what you are doing and what you will discover. Thanks for sharing this and keep it coming!

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Old April 11th, 2020, 11:29 AM   #3
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Random guy will be here in a moment he will fill you in, he types faster than I do.

Very nice pictures, thanks for doing this!

XM25REN

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Old April 11th, 2020, 12:30 PM   #4
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Random guy will be here in a moment he will fill you in, he types faster than I do.

Very nice pictures, thanks for doing this!

X25REN
Thank you. M1sniper just told me that he is probably my best bet as well.

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Old April 11th, 2020, 12:31 PM   #5
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Hya AH, here is the Benning thread:
https://m14forum.com/m14/492614-ft-b...xm21-pics.html


And the WP thread:
https://m14forum.com/m14/485286-spec...21-lovers.html

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Old April 11th, 2020, 12:37 PM   #6
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I remember walking thru the NIM while waiting for a physical, which I think were conducted in the building next to it. That was in 1986.

The XM21 may be in the condition in which it returned from Vietnam, but it's not the way it left. That's a standard fiberglass stock on it. Barreled action looks correct. I think the guys over at the AMTU would have done a better job if they were tasked with providing one. This one looks like it came back with an evacuee in '75.

The NIM doesn't appear to be a stickler for details, either. The rifle is a TRW, but the hand receipt lists it as Springfield Armory.

Thanks from nf1e and XM25Ren
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Old April 11th, 2020, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtC View Post
I remember walking thru the NIM while waiting for a physical, which I think were conducted in the building next to it. That was in 1986.

The XM21 may be in the condition in which it returned from Vietnam, but it's not the way it left. That's a standard fiberglass stock on it. Barreled action looks correct. I think the guys over at the AMTU would have done a better job if they were tasked with providing one. This one looks like it came back with an evacuee in '75.

The NIM doesn't appear to be a stickler for details, either. The rifle is a TRW, but the hand receipt lists it as Springfield Armory.
Hey Kurt, I'ma surprised. Ya missed that the Benning rifle is missing it's magazine catch.

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Old April 11th, 2020, 01:09 PM   #8
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Hey Kurt, I'ma surprised. Ya missed that the Benning rifle is missing it's magazine catch.
I saw it was missing when I wondered why the mag was locked in place. When I scrolled thru all the mixmaster parts, it didn't seem to matter much. It's probably in the desk drawer with the firing pin.

Thanks from XM25Ren
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Old April 11th, 2020, 01:43 PM   #9
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AmericanSheepDog, welcome to the forum. We appreciate the pics you took of these rifles for M1sniper. I’m doing a house project this afternoon - but this evening I’ll do a little write-up per your request.

Thanks from nf1e, XM25Ren and AmericanSheepDog

Last edited by Random Guy; April 11th, 2020 at 05:29 PM.
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Old April 11th, 2020, 02:03 PM   #10
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AmericanSheepDog, welcome to the forum. We appreciate the pics you took of these rifles for M1 sniper. Iím doing a house project this afternoon - but this evening Iíll do a little write-up per your request.
I appreciate the help. Thank you Sir.

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Old April 11th, 2020, 02:18 PM   #11
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Do you know if the rifle at Benning is stamped XM 21 on the heel of the receiver? I would be very interested to see a picture of the stampings on the heel of the receiver. XM 21 was stamped on the flat just behind the rear sight and is somewhat hidden by the ARTEL scope.
Thanks.

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Old April 11th, 2020, 02:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PILTDOWNHOAX View Post
Do you know if the rifle at Benning is stamped XM 21 on the heel of the receiver? I would be very interested to see a picture of the stampings on the heel of the receiver. XM 21 was stamped on the flat just behind the rear sight and is somewhat hidden by the ARTEL scope.
Thanks.
The receiver does not have the XM21 on the heel, it is a TRW RECEIVER, not a NM receiver, just a standard.

REN

Thanks from PILTDOWNHOAX
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Old April 11th, 2020, 02:31 PM   #13
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The barrel is TRW National Match, dated 2 65. I doubt anyone would screw one on a TRW receiver back then, if they didn't have something particular in mind. The bolt is an early heat lot.

Thanks from m1sniper, PILTDOWNHOAX and XM25Ren
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Old April 11th, 2020, 02:42 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forum AmericanSheepDog I was wondering if you would make it over here to this forum. I've been reading all your posts over on ARFCOM and have learned a lot over there.

This last fall I took a two week vacation and went east and the USMA at West Point was one of my stops. My dad was a cadet there in 1942 but left in '43 to join the US Army Aircorp. I chronicled my trip with writeups and photos some where from when he was there and posted here if you are interested https://m14forum.com/geedunk/493100-...onvention.html
Scout

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Old April 11th, 2020, 04:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Do you know if the rifle at Benning is stamped XM 21 on the heel of the receiver? I would be very interested to see a picture of the stampings on the heel of the receiver. XM 21 was stamped on the flat just behind the rear sight and is somewhat hidden by the ARTEL scope.
It is really hard to see, but the receiver has the original "M14" nomenclature milled out, and the heel is lightly stamped "XM-21" behind the rear sight, per the museum data card shown below:



Quote:
"Remarks
Ser. #586319. M14 designation has been milled out & XM 21 stamped above it."


...just an fyi.


Last edited by Random Guy; April 11th, 2020 at 05:06 PM.
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