The Springfield Armory National Historic Site (Part II)

By Frank Iannamico

During a recent visit to the Springfield Armory National Historic Site Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, Small Arms Review was granted access to the area of the museum where weapons not on display are stored. Only 16-percent of the museum’s collection is currently on exhibit.

One might wonder why some of the more unique, one-off firearms are not on display. I have asked this question of several museum curators over the years, and the answer is always the same. The average military museum visitor is interested in seeing a rifle or handgun that was issued to them, their father or grandfather. Most are not interested in one-of-a-kind prototypes.

High Standard T48 7.62mm FN FAL Rifle Serial Number HS-1

One of the rarest FN FAL rifles was manufactured by the High Standard Corporation, Hamden, Connecticut in 1954. The Belgian FN FAL rifle, as originally manufactured in Europe, was produced using the metric system of measurement. Canada, Great Britain and the United States all used the Imperial system of inches. Any rifle produced in these countries would need to adhere to their standard of measurement. One of the obstacles encountered with the Belgian rifle was that all the factory drawings were done using the metric system.

The Springfield Armory was busy with the T44E4 rifles and numerous other projects and decided to turn the task over to a commercial entity. Bids were taken for the project, and the contract was eventually awarded to the High Standard Corporation. As part of the agreement, High Standard was to manufacture at least 12 functional FN FAL T48 rifles from their final drawings. Harrington and Richardson received a contract and manufactured 510 inch-pattern T48 rifles for testing and evaluation.

Inland M1 Carbine Serial Number 1

The M1 carbine was manufactured during World War II, issued to primarily arm personnel who were not engaged in front-line infantry fighting. The carbine used a new 7.62x33mm cartridge with a 110-grain bullet at a muzzle velocity at approximately 1,970 feet per second. The carbine was designed to supply a more effective weapon to those...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V23N1 (January 2019)
and was posted online on November 16, 2018


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