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Synopsis of T44 Testing from 1951 through 1953

This is a discussion on Synopsis of T44 Testing from 1951 through 1953 within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; The lineage of the T44 traces back to the T20, a simple conversion of the M1 Rifle to fire fully automatic from a 20 round ...


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Old May 12th, 2020, 10:55 AM   #1
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Synopsis of T44 Testing from 1951 through 1953

The lineage of the T44 traces back to the T20, a simple conversion of the M1 Rifle to fire fully automatic from a 20 round box magazine. After the development of the T65 Lightweight Rifle Cartridge, the T20 was modified to use this new round resulting in the T36. The T36 introduced a new recoil check, utilized the T25 Rifle magazine and reduced the barrel length to 22 inched. The T36 was further modified with a new muzzle stabilizer, the bolt stroke was reduced by the addition of a spacer in the receiver heel, and the stock and hand guard were modified to use a longer one piece hand guard and enclose more of the barrel and operating rod. A gas cut-off type gas system replaced the direct impingement gas system along with the stabilizer and magazine from the T31, and a reversion to the wider M1-type stock with its butt plate.

The initial gas port was set at 0.052", however testing showed that this gas port provided insufficient power to reliably operate the system. A gas port of 0.072" was eventually adopted.

Additional deficiencies encountered during Springfield's in-house test were:

- Magazines falling out during firing,
- Magazines failing to lift the last few rounds,
- Stabilizer struck by bullets,
- Rounds stubbed on feed ramps,
- Operating rods breaking at handle/tube joint, and
- The spacer used to shorten the bolt stoke loosening.

The following corrective actions were taken to resolve these problem prior to samples being sent to Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG) for testing:

- The T47 five-prong stabilizer/flash hider fitted,
- Bullet ramps modified
- The follower modified to hold the rounds more vertically positioned.

At APG sample T44s were tested for accuracy, operation under normal and adverse conditions and for endurance. APG reported the following:

- Operating rod disengages during firing
- Bolt fails to lock back after last round
- Unsatisfactory ejection pattern (failure to consistently throw rounds forward)
- Unsatisfactory function under normal and adverse conditions
- Erosion of flash hider brush ring with subsequent failure of prong(s)
- Magazine springs taking a set

Springfield instituted the following corrective actions:

- The M1-style disassembly notch was filled in and a notch was cut in the middle of the outer operating rod track. The notch was occupied by a new tab added the the disconnector. This prevented the operating rod from disengaging from the receiver unless the disconnector was removed.
- The cause of the erratic ejection pattern was due to the ejected case not being hit by the knuckle of the operating rod due to poor timing. Increasing the gas port diameter to 0.075" corrected the timing issues.
- The unsatisfactory functioning was attributed to an under-power condition. The T20 had functioned satisfactorily at a cyclic rate of 800 rpm, and the T44 did not at 700 to 750 rpm, it was assumed that increasing the cyclic rate to 800 rpm would resolve the performance issued. Accordingly, the gas port was further opened up to 0.090", and this appeared to correct the problem in limited testing. Calculation on the maximum acceptable bolt velocity, however, limited the gas port size to 0.084". Further testing on the gas port size were postponed in order to investigate the feeding issued, see below.
- The feeding was still not reliable, so several changes were made: the magazine tube was lengthened 3/8 inch, with a new spring with 8 coils of 0.060 " wire and a free length of 12.8", the magazine catch pivot hole was moved forward 0.060", the front brow of the magazine tube was raised 0.060", and the length of the filler was increased 0.040" (shortening the bolt stroke).
- Spreading of the magazine feed lips and binding of rounds in the magazine were other issues in need of correction. The magazine ribs were deeped to bring the rounds closer together and keep the bullet stack properly staggered. The spreading magazine lips was not fixed but continuous gauging of the lip dimensions was instituted in order to continue testing.

Several rifles were required by APG for testing, so the most up-to-date rifles were sent. Upon their return the gas port size investigation resumed, and cyclic rates were extremely erratic and it was noted that the ejected case were fouled on the outside, and fouling increased with firing, there was evidence of extreme extraction force, and even with extreme extraction forces there was insufficient power for a complete cycle (failure to feed). The rifles were re-barreled with 0.075" gas port barrels. Springfield duplicated APG's normal and adverse condition tests, and while the result were not that good, the magazines gave so much trouble, it was decided that the magazine issue had to addressed before any meaningful information could be gathered on other reliability issues.

In June of 1952, the US Army Infantry Board (USAIB) at Fort Benning was scheduled to perform user trials of the T44 and as of March 1952 the T44 had the following deficiencies:

- Magazines were not all interchangeable due to the multiple variations in lengths and latch locations.
- The barrel was weak, several splitting along the splines
- The magazine latch was still not 100% reliable in retaining the magazine
- The operating rod weak and prone to breaking at the tube/handle joint
- The operating rod spring taking a set during operation
- The T47 five-prong flash hider eroded quickly
- The system not sufficiently reliable

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Old May 12th, 2020, 11:00 AM   #2
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In preparation for troop trials.

Increasing the fillet radius at the tube/handle joint increased the joint life to in excess of 10,000 rounds, however during testing a new problem arose. The tube cap, which was welded in place, broke off. Threading and brazing was tried but also failed to correct the problem. Finally, for the Fort Benning tests in the summer, threading, brazing and pinning the cap on was adopted, at least kept the cap in place, even if loose.

The operating rod spring was found to be subjected to extreme heat during full automatic firing and this was destroying the temper. Various new spring designs were tried before settling on a stainless steel spring of 0.055" wire. The new spring was also stiffer and increased the counter-recoil velocity and increased the cyclic rate, and improved feeding reliability.

The spreading of the magazine lips seemed to be a hardness issue, and improved case hardening and through hardening of the magazine lips was tried to see if this would fix the spreading feed lip problem. Testing of through hardened lips resulted in 1 malfunction in 1,100 rounds against the 12 malfunctions in 2,002 rounds with case hardened lips. and was adopted for all further magazines.

As testing when on, new troubles arose with unintentional locking of the bolt to the rear. Initially, a stiffer bolt catch spring and while this solved the unintentional locking of the bolt to the rear in also caused and increase in failure of the bolt to lock open on an empty magazine. In the end, the bolt catch was lengthened and slight alterations to its shape along with reconfiguring the top coil of the magazine spring to better support the magazine follower solved the problem.

Prior to shipment to Fort Benning all of the magazines earmarked for testing were cycled through slave test weapons (to save the round count on the actual test weapons) to verify reliability. Numerous magazine related malfunctions occurred, and was attributed to the bolt lock tang on the follower dragging on the inside of the magazine tube. The follower design was modified and testing in the slave weapons seemed to confirm the issue resolved. However, when the magazines were used in the weapons destined for testing at Fort Benning, the malfunctions reoccurred.

The major difference between the slave and test weapons was the test weapons were fitted with the T31 style slotted compensator, and the slave weapons were fitted with the T47 style five-prong flash hider. When the five-prong flash hider was fitted to the test weapons, the problem disappeared. Apparently there were some blast effect from the slotted compensator that caused issues. (BTW, the T31 style slotted compensator was put on the test weapons as the T47 five prong flash hider was known to erode quickly. So, for all tests other than the accuracy test the longer lasting compensator was to be used.

The only known issues with the T44 at the start of the USAIB tests were:

- Failure to feed in the heavy rain test - this was due to water entering the gas cylinder and preventing the piston from going forward.
- Grenade testing - over pressure of the gas system (why not the gas cut-off? Because the requirement was to fire a grenade without any change to the rifle, other than the grenade launcher being fitted and loading of a grenade cartridge. Once that requirement was eliminated in 1954 the simple addition of a cut-off valve solved the problem.)
- Ringing or bulging of the flash hider in the rain test due to water collecting on the bottom.
- Changes to the center of impact with the addition of muzzle attachments (grenade launcher and bayonet)

The user trials in the summer of 1952 when reasonably well with the USAIB recommending, in addition to correcting the known deficiencies, improving the top charging arrangement. Further head-to-head testing of the T44, T47, and T48 were scheduled to take place in the summer of 1953.

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Old May 12th, 2020, 11:05 AM   #3
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Manual Supplement

In June 1953, Springfield Armory published a supplement to the M1 Field Manual giving the latest characteristics of the T44, for instructional purposes in the troop trials with the T47 and T48. The highlights of which are given below:

The T44 was provided in three basic versions-

T44 Version 1 - The semiautomatic only version with a semi-permanent 10 round box magazine. All loading is accomplished by clips from the clip guide. Removal of the magazine is accomplished by first removing the trigger housing. (Basically, the magazine catch was immovable and the part below the stock was removed.) Full automatic operation is possible by the replacement of the dummy selector with the selector switch, but no retarder is fitted.

T44 Version 2 - Full- and semi-automatic operation with rate reducer and a quickly detachable 20 round box magazine.

T44 Version 3 - Full- and semi-automatic operation with rate reducer, quickly detachable 20 round box magazine with a heavy barrel. It additionally lets you know that with the heavy barrel long range accuracy with the addition of a telescopic sight is possible.

The action of the rate reducer is as follows: In full automatic operation the bolt, as it moves the the rear, carries the retarder rearward and compresses the retarder spring. A pawl attached to the receiver retains the retarder in the rear position. After the bolt in closed and locked, the operating rod engages the connector and continues forward carrying the connector with it. After approximately 1/4 inch travel the connector rotates the pawl releasing the retarder, which rotates forward introducing the delay element. As the retarder reaches the forward position it engages the rear of the sear and cams the sear hooks out of engagement with the rear hammer hooks. In semi-automatic operation the connector is held out of engagement with the operating rod and the retarder is held in the rear position by the pawl, and therefore inoperative.

In August 1953, a further supplement was released noting the addition of a gas relief valve in place of the gas plug. This addition allowed the use of grenades without injury to the operating system.

A few things of interest concerning these early long receiver T44, the operating rod guide had to be removed before the operating rod could be dismounted. And, the pins that are spring pins in the M14 (bolt catch and magazine catch) are solid pins permanently staked in place in these, and the tail of the piston is square.

Later, moderate success and nadir, the ups and downs of the troop trials with the T48.

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Old May 12th, 2020, 12:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for all that history, I'll add some pics from Frank Iannamico's book, The Last Steel Warrior. Attached are some of the various T-series prototypes.
(Hopefully when one click's the image it will display correctly. I highly recommend the 2nd Edition of the The Last Steel Warrior - its a great resource).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_4548.jpg (541.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4549.jpg (378.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4553.jpg (455.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4554.jpg (251.7 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4559.jpg (670.3 KB, 10 views)

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Last edited by Random Guy; May 12th, 2020 at 01:39 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 05:27 PM   #5
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Random guy, I posted those pics you wanted of my latest T44E4 clone build. In the picture section.

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Old May 12th, 2020, 07:01 PM   #6
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This is the original T44 configuration. Note the front sight is not part of the flash hider.



And a poor scan from a report, showing the original flash hider (top) and T47 (bottom)


And a pic of the T47


And an exploded view of the trigger mechanism.


And version 2, as tested at Fort Benning in 1953

Note the addition of a reinforcing bolt through the wrist, as more wood had to be removed due to the rate reducer.

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Old May 12th, 2020, 07:21 PM   #7
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Here you can see the square tail on the gas piston


Here the T44 field stripped, note the operating rod guide is removed for field stripping and the extra material removed at the back of the receiver slot in the stock.


And the semiautomatic version with the semi-permanent 10 round magazine


And last the T36 with the direct impingement gas system. Note the stock is about the length of and M1 stock


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Last edited by lysander; May 12th, 2020 at 07:32 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 07:29 PM   #8
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And, why the five-prong flash hider failed to give satisfactory life. Note the small amount of material in the brush guard, and the shape of the slot cuts.


(Incidentally, that's a forging.)

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Old May 12th, 2020, 07:59 PM   #9
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Other things of interest . . .

Field stripping of the 1953 version of the T44 was slightly different from both the M1 and the later T44E4 and M14.

After clearing the rifle and placing it in SAFE with the bolt closed, place the rifle top side down with the muzzle to your left. Unlock the trigger guard with a dummy bullet, combination tool (I assume the M1 type), or cleaning rod section, and raise to the maximum position. Lift the stock and trigger groups together off the receiver group. To separate the trigger group from the stock group, pull the trigger group slightly forward and out of the stock group. This is due to the rate reducer adding a bunch of stuff at the back of the trigger housing that won't fit through the bottom hole in the stock.

It doesn't tell you this in the "manual" but as soon as you start to pull the stock and trigger groups off the receiver, the rate reducer is going to go "click!" This is because any time the action has been cycled and the trigger is not being pulled, the reducer is in the cocked position, and what holds it in the cocked position is the full auto trip that is hooked to the connector rod assembly.

The rest of the disassembly is the same as an M14 except when you get to removal of the operating rod. Before the operating rod can be removed the operating rod guide must be removed. It had a captive headed pin that held it in place. The pin was withdrawn and the operating guide was slid forward off the front of the operating rod tube. The only reason for this I can see is the hole on the operating rod guide was a much closer fit to the operating rod tube.

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Old May 12th, 2020, 08:46 PM   #10
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the use of nutty designed tools to do maintenance may have helped ensure the T44 was never seriously looked at for production in large numbers.
Instead of a hex wrench for the gas cylinder plug, they decided on a gas plug that took a crusiform shaped wrench "cross inside a circle"
A special tool just to do general maintenance is not going in the right direction!

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Old May 13th, 2020, 07:06 AM   #11
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On 12 August 1953 the Office of Army Field Forces published the following on the subject of Lightweight Rifles and Ammunition:

Quote:
3. It is recommended that:

a. The Rifle, Caliber .30, FN, when equipped with a suitable top-loading system and modified in accordance with appendix I of the inclosed report as amended be given an expedited arctic service test, and troop tests in temperate, arctic, and tropical areas preliminary to adoption as Standard Type.

b. The Heavy Barrel Rifle, Caliber .30, FNHB, modified in accordance with appendix, 1 of the inclosed report as amended be given an expedited arctic service test and troop tests in temperate, arctic, and tropical areas preliminary to adoption as Standard Type and companion weapon to its lightweight counterpart.

c. The accessories for the Rifles, Caliber .30, FN and FNHB, including the bayonet, grenade launcher, flash suppressor, bipod, and butt plate, modified in accordance with appendix II of the inclosed report as amended be given an expedited arctic service test, and troop tests in temperate, arctic and tropical areas concurrent with the rifle itself, preliminary to adoption as Standard Type.

d. The FN and T44 type rifles which have been undergoing tests at Fort Benning and which have been returned to Ordnance be reconditioned and shipped to the Arctic Test Branch, Big Delta, Alaska, so as to arrive there prior to 1 November 1953 for the conduct of arctic tests. It is considered particularly important by this headquarters that both the FN and FNHB rifles and the T44 and T44E1 be given arctic service tests.

e. In the event that the arctic tests results substantiate the results of the Fort Benning tests, no further consideration be given the US. Rifles, Caliber .30, T44, and T44E1.

f. The two rifles modified as suggested in subparagraph 1h, appendix I of the inclosed report be furnished Board No 3, OCAFF, at the earliest possible date.
The report that spawned this letter was the first major comparison test of the T44 and what was then officially as “Rifle, Caliber .30, Lightweight, FN” and its heavy barreled brother, known during testing as the FN rifle and FNHB Rifle. (Actually, it had been the “T48” since 1951, but widespread use of that as an identifier would come later with H&R production.)

The T44 and the FN Rifle were compared to the M1, M2 and M1A1 Carbine, and M3 Submachine Gun, the T44E1 and FNHB were compared to the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle and T52E3/T161E1 All Purpose Machine Gun.

A summary of the results of the Army Field Forces, Fort Benning, GA, tests:

- The T44 is the lighter of the two test rifles by 2/3 pound, it retains the advantage empty or loaded and both the T44 and FN show a slight weight advantage over the M1, however this is nullified when loaded.
- The T44 and FN are significantly more reliable than the M1, and the FN is marginally more reliable than the T44 (malfunction rate 0.46% vs 1.12%) under all conditions. Parts broken that prevented firing were 8 for the T44 and 2 for the FN. The manually adjustable gas system was credited with much for the consistent reliability.
- The FN is overwhelmingly simpler in assembly and disassembly, with fewer parts handled by the soldier, and virtually impossible to assembly incorrectly.
- The accuracy of the T44 and FN are comparable.
- Neither is as easy to load as the M1, but the FN was considered easier of the two test rifles.
- The ease of handling was equal, with a slight advantage to the FN.
- Test subjects including both new men and those who had worked with both for about one year had a subjective preference for the FN.
- Both had unsatisfactory methods of clip loading. However, both will outperform the M1 if magazine loaded.
- The T44E1 was marginally superior to the FNHB in performance, but marginally inferior in reliability and weight. A modified FNHB bipod and butt plate equaled the T44E1 in performance.

The Army Field Forces had some further comments on things:

- They did not like either of the 5 or 10 round stripper clip designs.
- The felt a suitable method of top loading from clips greater than 5 rounds was essential for infantry use.
- The ten round magazines were useless especially in light of the dissatisfaction with the stripper clips.
- The tested FN 20 round magazine requires modification design to facilitate clip loading and to increase reliability and ruggedness to a degree which will permit the protracted use of the same two magazines with each lightweight rifle, even if this necessitates a weigh of up to three-quarters pound per magazine.

(The last is a direct quote from the report. I did so as this explained the insistence of an easily performed top loading feature for these rifles, they were only planning to issue two magazines per rifle . . . )

- The 20 round FN magazine is suitable for use.
- Both the T44 and FN are superior to the M1, except for the clip loading arrangements.
- There is an advantage to having commonality between the rifle and automatic rifle.
- Both could be replacements for the M3 Submachine Gun, provided the present distribution of M3 remains the same.
- Neither is a suitable replacement for the M1A1 or M2 carbine due to the weight increase.

8. RECOMENDATIONS. - It is recommended that:

a. The Rifle, Caliber .30, FN, when equipped with a suitable top-loading clip system and modified in accordance with appendix II, be given expedited arctic and troop tests preliminary to adoption as standard type.

b. The Heavy Barrel Rifle, Caliber .30, FNEB, modified in accordance with appendix II, be given expedited arctic and troop tests preliminary to adoption as standard type as a companion weapon to its lightweight counterpart.

c. The accessories for the Rifles, Caliber .30, FN and FNHB, including the bayonet, grenade launcher, flash suppressor, biped, and butt plate, modified in accordance with appendix II, be given expedited arctic and troop tests concurrent with the rifle, itself, preliminary to adoption as standard types.

d. No further consideration be given the US Rifles, Caliber .30, T44 and T44E1.

The following modifications were suggested for the FN Rifle:
1) Use a US-type five-prong flash hider (the tested FALs were not fitted with a flash hider).
2) Use a US-type spear point bayonet blade
3) Use a grenade launcher similar to the M7A3
4) Forearm breaks in Parachute jumps - strengthen
5) Sling swivels open during parachute jumps – strengthen
6) Remove manual windage adjustment (removed by Office of Army Field Forces)
7) Provide butt trap for combination tool
8) Provide for manual closure of bolt (there seems to be some disagreement over the need for this)

For the FNHB:
1) same as Rifle
2) Improve bipod
3) Improve butt plate (add a shoulder support flap)

The following modification were suggested for the T44 Rifle:
1) Improve bolt hold open
2) Bolt fails to close fully – fix
3) Clips fail to seat properly – fix
4) Gas plug breaks – fix
5) Bolt roller breaks off – fix
6) Stock breaks – fix
7) Pin falls out of dummy selector – fix

For the T44E1
1) Same as rifle
2) Magazine falls out – fix
3) Magazine floor plate falls off – fix


Last edited by lysander; May 13th, 2020 at 08:30 AM.
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Old May 13th, 2020, 07:30 AM   #12
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Here are representative examples of the weapons tested in the summer of 1953.

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Old May 13th, 2020, 07:52 AM   #13
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Test of Lightweight Rifles, Arctic tests

After the temperate tests at Fort Benning in July-August 1953, the test rifles were returned to the respective developers to correct identified deficiencies and then be forwarded by the end of November to Army Field Forces, Arctic Test Branch, Big Delta, Alaska for the arctic phase of testing.

During the winter of 1953-54, the results of the temperate testing were flipped. The T44 showed fewer deficiencies than the FN rifle. The test report supposes that the T44, after it poor performance in the temperate tests, was given certain tests in a cold chamber to improve performance in the arctic tests, whereas the FN was not.

Much has been made about this one sentence, mentioned in passing, in a report. FAL supporters (or M14 haters) accuse Springfield of grooming the T44 for the cold weather tests, while leaving the FNs in corner, neglected. There is a major problem here – Springfield Armory was not developing FN’s FAL, it was developing its own T44. Fabrique Nationale was offering their design for adoption, it was their responsibility to tweak the design for cold weather, if they felt such tweaking was necessary, and apparently, FN did not. It should be noted that this is before High Standard finished the conversion of the FAL drawings to American standards and well before Harrington & Richardson started to make them. All of the rifles tested to this point were manufactured by FN in Belgium.

In any case, the FN rifles were modified on the spot by a FN representative, and after that they performed satisfactorily.

The overall conclusions of the arctic tests did not indicated whether either of the rifles were suitable for use by the Army, but did provide a list of modifications. Further, the rifles had to be evaluated to determine if the arctic modifications had any detrimental effect on performance in a temperate environment.

A summary of the test results:
- Various tasks were performed and timed with heavy arctic mittens and medium mittens

FN, heavy mittens (average time in seconds)
Assembly – 50
Disassembly – 25
Adjust gas system – 115
Charge magazine w/10 rounds – 16
Load 20 round magazine - 8

FN, medium mittens
Assembly – 24 (bare hands)
Disassembly – 19 (bare hands)
Adjust gas system – 97
Charge magazine w/10 rounds – 11
Load 20 round magazine - 8

T44, heavy mittens
Assembly – 130
Disassembly – 51
Adjust gas system – not required
Charge magazine w/10 rounds – 14
Load 20 round magazine - 11

T44, medium mittens
Assembly – 86 (bare hands)
Disassembly – 40 (bare hands)
Adjust gas system – not required
Charge magazine w/10 rounds – 8
Load 20 round magazine - 9

The reliability
FN – total rounds: 14,076; total malfunctions: 771; Broken parts: 5
FN (after modification)* - total rounds: 6,111; total malfunctions: 32; broken parts: 19
T44 – total rounds: 21,563; total malfunctions: 89; broken parts: 8

*Prior to completion of the test, the FN rifle was modified by a representative of the Fabrique Nationale in an attempt to reduce the excessive number of malfunctions. After modification, malfunctioning decreased but breakage of parts increased.

The following modifications were suggested:

FN and FNHB
- Gas plug freezes in gas cylinder, cartridge not a suitable wrench
- Gas regulator sleeve freezes to gas cylinder, combination tool spanner inadequate
- Carbon fouling accumulates in gas cylinder and receiver – sluggish operation
- Gas cylinder exposed – needs protection
- Excessive breakage of bolts, extractors and firing pins
- Breech cover cracks
- Rear sight broke
- Forearm cracked
- Flash hider cracked at brush guard
- Grenade launcher changes center of impact
- Once trigger guard is folded into hand grip, difficult to get out
- Hinged butt plate tangles in arctic clothing
- Combination tool unsuitable

T44 and T44E1
- Magazine difficult to seat
- Gas relief valve fails to function properly
- Magazine spring weak
- Fore arm cracked
- Bayonet changes center of impact
- T44E1 flash hider broke
- Winter trigger binds on trigger

The T44's outward appearance was unchanged for the arctic test, the but FN had adopted a new flash hider.

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Old May 13th, 2020, 08:23 AM   #14
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Lysander, I thank you.

When I first got on this board and saw the "T-25" I bought a commercial stock and asked around who could make me a T-25 stock locallly. I took the stock and all T-25 pictures and paid half up front. He moved in the night about 6 months later with the stock 90% done.

I've looked for him all over because I put some id marks in a place he was unlikely to check.

I'd found an incorrect but looked ok M1928 Lyman sight. It had been modified before so it was mod'd to fit inside the ears of the M1A.

I loved the T-25 stock.

Direct impingement has never been good to me. I've always wondered if the system would have been like the Hakim Egypt used, copied from the Danes(I think).

Thanks again for taking the time.

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Old May 13th, 2020, 08:27 AM   #15
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Its too bad about the innovative T25 rifle, which I think had a much more ergonomic design of the stock that would lend itself to be more controllable in full-auto fire than the traditional T44 stocks. Apparently the action of the T25 was also incredible strong...

https://www.forgottenweapons.com/ear...or-the-garand/


Quote:
Harvey was a skilled designer, and his previous work included a new gas system for the M1, which was made as the experimental M1E9, and would eventually be used in the M14 rifle. He used that gas system in the T25, along with a tilting bolt mechanism which locked into the top of the receiver (somewhat like a Bren LMG). ... A rotating bolt like the M1 used, by comparison, puts a large shear force on the bolt’s locking lugs, which requires tougher steel and more machining to construct. Harvey judged that his tilting bolt would be both stronger and cheaper than the M1 bolt – and was right, too. In a firing test on May 18, 1948 the T25 was found to withstand chamber pressures of 125,000 psi without and increase in headspace, and pressures of 150,000psi without and parts breakage.
Quote:
Ultimately, internal administrative bias towards the existing M1 rifle led Col Studler to decide to drop the T25 program late in 1951 or early in 1952, although this decision still had to be made to look like a fair and objective choice. Another round of testing was scheduled for 1952, to include the T25, T44 (Springfield’s product-improved M1, which would eventually become the M14), the Belgian FAL, and the British EM2. Harvey was unable to get the time and engineering assistance necessary to iron out the issues with the T25, as intended by Ordnance Department higher-ups, and the result of the testing was the T25 (and EM2, for what it’s worth) being formally dropped from consideration.

For all the work and political maneuvering of the T25 and T44 (and the other shorter-lived experimental rifles of the period, including the roller-locked T28 and John Garand’s bullpup T31), the program was ultimately doomed to failure. The entire premise of the light rifle program since its inception in the autumn of 1945 was to devise a single standard rifle which could serve as light machine gun, rifle, carbine, submachine gun, and sniper rifle. It became clear to Harvey and the other designers, as it should have been clear to everyone, that the requirements were contradictory and impossible to fulfill. A 7-pound weapon using a full-power cartridge could never be an effectively controllable LMG, and the same gun would yet be too large and heavy to be an effective replacement for the M1 Carbine. The T25 was repeatedly found to be too light to be controllable in full auto, but the design requirement was never altered. This giant elephant in the room of the light rifle program was studiously ignored clear through the adoption and mass production of the M14 rifle, and only really addressed with its replacement by the M16.
...This debate will never be settled, but the T25 was a neat design that apparently didn't get a fair evaluation. It's too bad that the 'rate reducer' was abandoned on the T44 program, as I think John Garand was right about it being needed in a fully auto using the full-power cartridge. Anyhow, thanks for all the historical info.


Last edited by Random Guy; May 13th, 2020 at 09:36 AM.
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