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Hi Bill!

I thought I would be the first to chime in here :) I was wondering if you can tell us about the background and history behind the T44 and how and when it eventually became the M14?

I didn't know anything about the T44 until recently when I found a commerical T44 copy made by Armscorp. Apparantly, in the 80's, there was a project that went on that would bring commerical copies of the T44 to the market...like the M1a is to the M14. The project never took off the ground so there was only one sample made...serial #1 :)

The rifle has an original T44 stock with the M1 Garand style buttplate. The receiver heel is also marked like the original T44...supposely. I never seen one so I am not sure how it is originally marked.

Anyway, any information on it would be appreciate it. I wonder if there is anything else on it that is different than the M14 besides the buttplate and the markings?

Thanks for the help in advance Bill! :)
 

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I think you may be making a common designation error. There was a T44 rifle and it was an very different animal than the M14. The rifle that preceded the M14 was the T44E4.

If your question is about the T44E4 and the first year or two of production of the M14, they were pretty much identical.

The early production of the M14 would lead to a few improvements over time but not many. One that comes to mind is the band stop forged onto the gas cylinder's body. That was missing from the T44E4 and many early manufactured M14's. The M14 buttplate was another change, but that can be looked at as a characteristic option and not an improvement over a faulty design.

Here is a picture of the Gas System of the T44E4 and the first few years of M14 production. Notice there is no band stop or support on the bottom of the cylinder.

This picture is from a Springfield Armory Research and Development report dealing with Development Type Materiel and the T44E4 in particular. The publication date is 17 June 1955.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bill,

You're right sir! I am definitely made an error here. I mean the T44E4. That shows how much I know about it...lol :)

That picture from Springfield research is great! I didn't know about the band stop not being there. Out of the materials that I have, I can only find a brief mention of the T44E4....hm...come to think of it....i think the book I was reading is wrong. I think they call it the "T44" too.

Thanks again for you help sir!

You're a wealth of information! 8)
 

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Glad to be of help. A short addition:

The M1 Rifle as great as it was, was full of design problems. The early gas system was lousy, many parts were strengthened, had angles changed, the rear sights went through four basic designs. It was a rifle that needed constant improvement.

The M14 on the other hand had very few improvements. They made it right the first time!!! The plastic stocks and handguards, the buttplate change, the E2 stock, all were outgrowths of the M14 accepting a role it never was intended to perform, the role of the squad automatic rifle. The T44E5 (M15 Heavy Barrel) was supposed to replace the BAR in that role. After making a few hundred, it was decided to give the role to the M14 and have just one rifle, not two.

It is a role that overall the M14 was not a successful choice. Unlike the BAR the M14 required a skilled well trained soldier. With training doctrine being what it was in the 1960's, most troops just could not handle the rifle in that role. Anytime you hear somebody bad mouth this rifle, it is due to their limited experience with shooting it in automatic mode.
 

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I have a photo from a M14 (T44E4?), that has a Garand buttplate and NO gasvalve! Do you know that type? Or can you tell me what it was?

Greets,

Roger
 
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