Has anyone found the hidden M-14 in the northeast sectors?
The game has many 'cached' or hidden weapons that the Redshirts (apparently) never find.
For instance, there is a shotgun lodged in a grove of charred trees in Sector 37; this is mentioned in one of the 'TIPS' guides, and possibly in one the Strategy Guides circulating.
Early in the game you have no rifles, but when a .357 (Sector 40) is married with a steel pipe and a silencer, it's almost as good. Given to Ivan it's a near certain hit and the best until rifles show up.
Playing the game years ago I sent guards up to Sectors 10 and 20 while I tackled Sector 9 and further west. An explosion in the background drew me to Sector 10 (you have to send MERCs there) and I found a bayou or grotto. In securing Sector 10, one can see this around an impenetrable screen of trees on the map screen, and the eye is drawn to the building the skirmish to take them. The bayou was just another water obstacle, until the guards stumbled on land-mines.
Searching the grove on the east side of the bayou reveals three boxes; one (left) has an M-14 rifle (60-80%), the upper one has dynamite, and the right one has an M-14 ammo clip. If you secure Sector 10 and move immediately to 9 and secure that, you might only send guards to Sectors 9 and 19, and miss this hidden weapon. Yeah, it takes Speck (or Sparky who works faster) a turn to repair, and there's only one extra clip, but it's a rifle. Early on shotgun and rifle ammo is sparse, and even .357 ammo runs low (depending on the sectors you do).
Hope this helps on the next run at the game.