Quantcast

FAL History

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Robert, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,890
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The H&R T48s were tested extensively, and in a few cases, even tested against T44s, but these were not for "adoption" testing, i.e., the results were not used to decide what rifle wins the big production prize, but as "how well are we doing in converting the drawings?" type testing. In these tests the T44 was used as a control as the Army had access to T44 of the latest configuration, but may or may not have had Belgian produced T48s of the latest configuration. One must recall that after each trial, both weapon types were returned to their respective manufacturers with a laundry list of the failings and recommended improvements.

    H&R's efforts were less than stellar due to the poor state of the drawing conversions, in one case the bore diameter was wrong, and a whole lot of barrels was made wrong. Some of this (well, maybe a lot of this) can be blamed on High Standard, as they were contracted to convert the drawings from FN metric standard to MIL-STD-100 standard, they were slow to produce drawings, and apparently when they were told to hurry up, they became sloppy. Reports of just converting the dimensions and tolerances from millimeters to inches, carried to five places, not switching from first to third angle projection, and other short-cuts have been recorded.

    In one case they managed to gather copies of T44s, FN T48s, 2 versions of H&R T48s and a few UK FALs to test all together. This report states that only the T44 and FN made rifles were suitable for Army use. (To be fair the UK FAL was, other than the British sand cuts, the same as an earlier FN T48 and didn't have many of the latest fixes to known deficiencies.) (Evaluation of Lightweight Rifles, CONARC 29 May 1956)

    Other reports worth looking for:

    Evaluations of Lightweight Rifles and Ammunition
    A Comparison Test of United Kingdom and United States Lightweight Rifles
    A Comparison Test of United Kingdom and United States Ammunition for Lightweight Weapons
    Service Test of Lightweight Rifles
    Rifle, Caliber .30, Lightweight, T48
    U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Lightweight, T48, Technical Report
    U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, T48 - Accuracy Improvement
    A Test of Rifles, Caliber .30, T44A4 and T48
    A Test of Rifles, Caliber .30 T48 and T48A1 Manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d'Arms de Guerre
    Development of the Caliber .30 Rifle, T48 Series

    One of these details High Standard's involvement, and I believe the first three include the EM2 and T25.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
    tark and Golfanaticshooter like this.
  2. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,890
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Another thing that is often overlooked is there are many variations of the T48 beyond just the H&R, HS and FN made examples. After each test a list of recommended and suggested changes were provided to FN for incorporation prior to the next test. And, they averaged about 1-1/2 test per year from 1952 to 1956, so there are about 6 different FN, two H&R, and one HS variations, and about 6 different T44 variations, all collected under the "T44" and "T48" labels. Unfortunately, usually the same rifles were overhauled and upgraded, so examples of each modification are lost to history, except in poorly reproduced photographs in test reports...
     
  3. tark

    tark Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,257
    Location:
    atkinson, ill
    We have, in the archives, over 2000 books, in dozens of languages, about firearms. Their use, their history, their effectiveness in battle....you name it, we've got it. I will look up the serial numbers of those two H&R FALS and find out exactly when they were manufactured and how and when they were used in the trials....if they ever were.
     
    Corpral_Agarn, czhen and Mosin Bubba like this.
  4. tark

    tark Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,257
    Location:
    atkinson, ill
    Lysanderxiii, I believe you are correct I freely admit I know very little about the trials. You seem to know exactly what happened. I suspect any research I do will prove you correct in every detail. I do know this for a fact. The Army kept changing the rules in the middle of the game and moving the goal posts until the found a way for the T-44 to prevail.
     
  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    6,295
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    Between the 3 NATO rifles of that cold war era (M14, G3, FAL) I always thought the FAL was the best as a general purpose infantry rifle.
     
    Corpral_Agarn and czhen like this.
  6. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,890
    Location:
    North Carolina
    That is hardly the case.

    In 1953 the FAL was way ahead in the trials, and had its performance in the arctic tests been better it would have been game-over for the T44*. This assumed surety of the FAL adoption is the reason why High Standard and Harrington & Richardson got contracts to convert drawings and start pilot production. If you are gaming the system to eliminate the foreign contestant, why issue two expensive contracts to prepare US industry for their production? (Especially when the Army did not have a lot of money to throw around, most of the DoD budget was earmarked for nuclear bombs and the airplanes and missiles that would carry them.)

    And, contrary to popular belief, the reports do not "turn against" the FAL, the T44's performance just improves. All of the tests were basically the same as those used in all the other weapons tests before and since and they did not change between the annual tests, so every six months or so, the latest version was shipped off to Fort Benning or Aberdeen and shot under a sprinkler or in an artificial dust storm, and it would come back with a report card.

    In the end, both were deemed suitable for Army use, so FN did walk away with one of the two most thoroughly tested rifles in the world, as they used just about every modification we suggested.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    * In fact, according to the Officer in charge of the Engineering Department at Springfield Armory that prepared the T44s for the Arctic Winter test of 1953/54, he really didn't think the T44 would win, but as a point of duty he wanted the weapons sent for the test to be the best Springfield could produce. To that end they spent a good deal of time working on the gas system in a climate chamber, something FN probably also should have done. It would have saved the Army the cost of two more years of testing.
     
    tark likes this.
  7. czhen

    czhen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    1,113
    In regards of the infamous test, FAL semi and full auto performed in the harsh of south atlantic war in 1982. Both with the same configuration offered during test.
     
  8. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    6,295
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    I have seen the FAL work exactly like it is supposed to under every type of terrain, weather, or other condition possible. As long as the dummy carrying it doesn't put the gas plug in the grenade launching mode after he cleans it, they tend to work just fine.
     
    czhen likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice