Above is a great image from when the USMC was testing the FAL for possible adoption to replace the M1 Garand. You can tell how early it was by the Marine’s uniform and webgrear. He’s using the BAR belt with older should strapping, and a canteen cover still using the m1910 wire hanger system. His helmet cover is the old WW2 camo reversible model and the flak vest is the Korean war model. The uniform itself is the one used before the OG107s. You can also see the wooden furniture of the T48 rifle.
The U.S. tested the FAL in several forms; initially as manufactured by FN in experimental configurations, and later in the final T48 configuration as an official competitor for the new Light Self-Loading Rifle intended to replace the M1 Garand. The US Army procured T48 rifles from three firms for testing, including two U.S. based companies in an effort to assess the manufacturability of the FN design domestically. The T48 was manufactured for testing by Fabrique Nationale (FN), of Herstal, Belgium; (H&R) of Worcester, Massachusetts; and High Standard of Hartford, Connecticut. The United States also received a small number of FAL Heavy Barrel Rifles (HBAR) (either 50.41 or pre-50.41) for testing, under the designation T48E1, though none of these rifles were adopted by US.
Well, we all know how that turned out…
In the end, the T44 was selected over the T48/FAL primarily because of weight (the T44 was a pound lighter than the T48), simplicity (the T44 had fewer parts), the T44’s self-compensating gas system, and the argument that the T44 could be manufactured on existing machinery built for the M1 rifle (a concept that later turned out to be unworkable).
The pound less made no difference and the rest of it turned out to be complete bullshit .
In 1957, the U.S. formally adopted the T44 as the…
The M14. ahem..
The fix was already in for the M14 just like it was when the M16 was submitted. People say the FAL was “almost” a US rifle but that isn’t really true.
For the record I don’t care much for the FAL but I like it slightly more than the M14 which isn’t saying much. I do prefer the FAL a lot more than the G3.
A Marine pictured below holds a T48 in 2008.
Captian Ben Grant, USMC with one of 70 H&R T48s in Marine Corps storage, photo via FAL Files, 20
Ten yankee dollars says he still thinks the USMC should still be using the M14.