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The Best Rifle Never Made


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#1 KodiakBeer

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 09:40 PM

In the waning days of WWII, the US army was looking for an upgrade to the M1 Garand.  They were working on a rifle called the T20,which was simply a Garand capable of full auto fire and sporting a box magazine - really, just the later M14, using 30.06 ammunition instead of the shorter 7.62x51 which came along a few years later.

 

The war ended before it went into production.

 

During those post-war years, they began work on something called the T-25, which had some similarities to the Garand, but used the inline stock of the FG-42 to tame muzzle rise in full auto, which was always the issue with the M14 which was eventually adopted.  Why this rifle wasn't adopted is an interesting story.

 

t25-2.jpg

 

http://www.forgotten...for-the-garand/


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#2 KJ Jr

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 10:10 PM

My first thought was that it reminded me of the FG-42. Similar design.
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Einstein
 

 

#3 von Poop

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 10:47 PM

I saw the title & thought this might be a thread on the EM-2, as it often generates such terminology.
http://www.forgotten...s/british-em-2/

I'm surprised by that T31 mentioned in the Garand article. Early for a Bullpup
http://www.forgotten...arands-bullpup/
 
The doomed designs are always so interesting, aren't they.
Off to Leeds Armouries in a few weeks, where there's a decent little collection of 'project cancelled' stuff.


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#4 harolds

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 11:24 PM

For me also, my first thought was a FG-42 scared by a an M-14. Sights and butt stock look to be straight off the German rifle.



#5 Dave55

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 11:30 PM

When I saw the heading on this thread I thought immediately of the original 10 shot .276 Garand.   MacArthur put the kibosh on that in favor of the 30:06. :(


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#6 Takao

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 11:43 PM

I was expecting the T1E3 Pedersen .276.

 

Leave it to Forgotten Weapons to come up with something different.  But, it has always been an excellent and informative website.



#7 KodiakBeer

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 12:25 AM

It's a shame it wasn't developed.  Most of NATO (and the free world) went with the FAL (L1A1) and yet this rifle would likely have been superior to either the FAL or the US' M14 in full auto.  Few mortal men could tame either of those otherwise great rifles in full auto because of muzzle climb, but this inline stock would have made a tremendous difference.


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#8 gtblackwell

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 12:26 AM

I always wondered why the Garand had a  clip instead of say a 10  or more shot magazine.  The magazine would have cost a bit more, been slightly harder to carry in a bandoleer, protrude from the rifle and the idea of still stressing accurate shooting may have deemed 8 shots as sufficient. and the en bloc clip may have been a vestige of the stripper clip but the merits seem, to me, worth while. I guess the Army came to that conclusion with the  M 14..

Funny the Revolution was fought primarily with the .79 caliber, the Civil War with the .58,  the Indian Wars with the .45,  the WW1 and 2 with .30 with a few Lee Navy 6mm's thrown in, then the .22 and now the .17 being experimented with.....are not the Brit's using a .17? .

 

I guess ray guns and phasers will have zero caliber !

 

I guess , KB, that the T 20 might have better control than the M 14 on full auto if both had 7.62 X 51  chambers . Looks like they learned something from the Germans then promptly forget it.

 

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#9 bronk7

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 02:09 AM

in some instances, full auto is a waste of ammo..did it have single mode also?



#10 Takao

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 03:02 AM

Yes.  it could fire either in automatic or semiautomatic.



#11 harolds

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 03:16 PM

gt,

 

From what I've read, Garand actually wanted a detachable magazine but the army in its specifications said no. Thus, the Garand came out a lot more mechanically complicated than it needed to be.



#12 phylo_roadking

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 08:05 PM

It's a shame it wasn't developed.  Most of NATO (and the free world) went with the FAL (L1A1) and yet this rifle would likely have been superior to either the FAL or the US' M14 in full auto.  Few mortal men could tame either of those otherwise great rifles in full auto because of muzzle climb, but this inline stock would have made a tremendous difference.

 

 

Not necessarily ;) For some reason, most Americans have a blind spot for....THIS!

 

http://en.wikipedia....ckler_&_Koch_G3


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#13 KodiakBeer

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 08:53 PM

I did say "Most of...".   ;)


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#14 phylo_roadking

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 09:35 PM

It's actually a quite close split, closer than you'd think at 74 vs. 90....because a lot of the 90 FAL (or variant) users, when you look at a list of them, are police users - and it has quite a lot of, um, "temporary" users on it - like anti-Gaddafi forces (when supplied by various other nations), the Croatians - but only during the civil war - Katangas, an unreocgnized satate that disappeared in 1963, things like that!

 

The count is also confused by a lot of "military" users using both BOTH, or variants of the FAL for ambush or covert operations compared to other battle rifles, when those others like the G3 or Steyr equip their regular forces.

 

If we were to similarly add the number of unrecognized/irregular/insurgent forces into the G3 mix along the lines of what's in the FN/FAL list, it might look VERY different; for at least two decades the G3 was the weapon of choice in the bush wars in Africa ;)


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#15 KodiakBeer

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 10:05 PM

I always thought of the G3 as a cheap stamped version of the FAL.  I know that's not fair but when you examine a FAL or an M14 against a G3, it doesn't inspire the same love.  


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#16 phylo_roadking

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 10:08 PM

Oh I dunno - remember all those "boy soldiers" grinning on the front of magazines in the 1970s and 1980s, dwarfed by their G3s!!!


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#17 gtblackwell

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 01:07 AM

Well I grew up thinking milled meant good and stamped meant bad. Still have trouble with that idea. But the MG 42 had to be strong to hold up under it's cycle rate but then I never read any reliability data on them. I almost did not buy my Sig 228 because it's slide is stamped over a mandrel, then welded of all things (! ) then milled. After 25 years I think it will now out last me !!!

 

But I will die liking milled, hand polished and fire blue guns....except for military pieces. . Still prefer milled but that is probably a obsolete idea.

 

The FAL remains my idea of what a battle rifle  should be and while I appreciate the qualities of the G3 I cannot warm up to one. And , KB, absolutely cannot love one  !

 

Gaines



#18 KodiakBeer

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 03:23 PM

Ah, professor, close your eyes and listen to the precise 'snick' and 'clack' of a milled steel weapon as you work the action.  Then the cacophony of tin can sounds from a stamped weapon. You'll soon confirm your admiration for milled steel.

 

That has nothing to do with function, but I will say that a man who admires and respects his weapon will probably take better care of it and that may be the difference between life and death in some future fight.


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#19 phylo_roadking

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:32 PM

Well I grew up thinking milled meant good and stamped meant bad. Still have trouble with that idea. But the MG 42 had to be strong to hold up under it's cycle rate but then I never read any reliability data on them. I almost did not buy my Sig 228 because it's slide is stamped over a mandrel, then welded of all things (! ) then milled. After 25 years I think it will now out last me !!!

 

But I will die liking milled, hand polished and fire blue guns....except for military pieces. . Still prefer milled but that is probably a obsolete idea.

 

The FAL remains my idea of what a battle rifle  should be and while I appreciate the qualities of the G3 I cannot warm up to one. And , KB, absolutely cannot love one  !

 

Gaines

 

  I think I must just be from a different generation :) Coming from a two-wheeled background, and with the garage swimming in threaded thingies...I was always told that "milled" meant material being taken away, whereas stamping/forging meant the same "form" achieved without compromising the structural integrity of the piece ;)


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#20 Dave55

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:51 PM

Well I grew up thinking milled meant good and stamped meant bad. Still have trouble with that idea. But the MG 42 had to be strong to hold up under it's cycle rate but then I never read any reliability data on them. I almost did not buy my Sig 228 because it's slide is stamped over a mandrel, then welded of all things (! ) then milled. After 25 years I think it will now out last me !!!

 

But I will die liking milled, hand polished and fire blue guns....except for military pieces. . Still prefer milled but that is probably a obsolete idea.

 

The FAL remains my idea of what a battle rifle  should be and while I appreciate the qualities of the G3 I cannot warm up to one. And , KB, absolutely cannot love one  !

 

Gaines

 

You and KodiakBeer left out the third component.   Milled, Blued and Wooden Stock  :)


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#21 George Patton

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:55 PM

You and KodiakBeer left out the third component.   Milled, Blued and Wooden Stock  :)

 

There's three and a half components.

 

Milled, Blued or Parkerized and Wooden Stock.


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#22 KodiakBeer

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 10:05 PM

I do love a parkerized gun for real work. 


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#23 Chain of Command

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 10:38 AM

Thanks for sharing this story. Just by the look of it you can tell it's comfortable 'to work with', the long barrel also adds to precision.



#24 denny

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 12:47 AM

I shot a full auto FAL a few times. It had the hard plastic bolt stop, or whatever that thing is. I cannot imagine any full length, 30 caliber full auto would be a good idea if it was not on a bipod at least.

It is hard for me see shouldering a gun and firing (in full auto) at a target that was far enough away to need something like a 308.

I can see why an army would go to a 20-25 caliber weapon for a foot soldier. Unless you are a "sniper" would there really be much benefit of a 308 size round.?

I would think those M16 guys can carry tons of ammo.


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#25 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 06:52 AM

If you look for ugly you should have a look at the swiss Stgw.  57  but it does have a straight stock. I remember my surprise when in Switzerland at meeting soldiers going back home taking the thing with them. At the time I knew little about it and I recall wondering why every soldier had an LMG ! the weapon looked pretty massive for a rifle.


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