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View Full Version : Ident: America's FAL- the U.S. T-48 Rifle


fob058
November 17, 2003, 21:59
I can't find much on this rifle. Maybe a few of you can help.

Was it a metric or inch?

Was the flash hider a browning or a G1?

I have seen photos with wooden (Tapco style) handguards and the wooden (Imbel style) handguards. Which was the first issue?

Does any one still make wooden T-48 (Tapco style) handguards?

Was the T-48 issued with the type "B" butt stock, (No metal cup)?

Thanks,

Fess

cochisetexas
November 17, 2003, 22:50
>Was it a metric or inch?

T48 was inch, but w/o some of the refinements that the limeys developed.

>Was the flash hider a browning or a G1?

On page 38 of Blake Stevens' FAL coloring book it shows an M14- which came later- style with the FN bayo lug. this was #38, built by FN, supplied to Springfield Armory, in late '51, or early '52.

>I have seen photos with wooden (Tapco style) handguards and the wooden (Imbel style) handguards. Which was the first issue?

Figure #8 on page 41 gives a nice view of the stripper clip top rec cover and the walnut handguard which profiles a lot like Buddy's Tapco stuff.

>Does any one still make wooden T-48 (Tapco style) handguards?

Not likely at this point. The Izzie HB front is similar, but wrong wood. Same but different, y'know.

>Was the T-48 issued with the type "B" butt stock, (No metal cup)?

None of the photos I have of the early stuff show the metal cups at all. Later... I don't know. It's late and my brain is dribblin away.


:shades: :shades: :shades:

Tex
November 17, 2003, 22:54
1. Appears to be mostly inch pattern.
2. Slightly different contour but it's basically a Browning long style.
3. Not sure which was first issue. Evidently both were used, but I think the latter would be the most common.
4. No one to my knowledge makes them yet, but you can find a set of original from time to time.
5. Yes, the type B was the deal.

Tex
November 17, 2003, 22:56
another

Tex
November 17, 2003, 22:57
and another...

Tex
November 17, 2003, 22:58
and even another...

edited to say my bad....typa A butt. (it's gots wings!)

Tex
November 17, 2003, 23:07
One other thing and it's just a comment, I really do not care for the inch pattern rifles (not even a Poyer), but for one of these I'd make an exception. :)

cochisetexas
November 17, 2003, 23:27
Originally posted by Tex
One other thing and it's just a comment, I really do not care for the inch pattern rifles (not even a Poyer), but for one of these I'd make an exception. :)

Yay Tex! Great views. :rofl:

fob058
November 17, 2003, 23:43
All questions answered. You guy's are great!

But what type of cocking handle is that?

Tex
November 18, 2003, 00:13
The cocking handle is exclusive to the T 48 and has forward assist.

Very similar in style to the BAR.


Pics were posted here sometime ago. I do not recall who to credit for them but they did a fantastic job. Just sharing what was shared with us before....

Rooster
November 18, 2003, 00:23
Just a little addon, Micheal Bush says on his site that he would be interested in doing a repro of the handguards with the finger grooves (TAPCO style) so maybe if we get enough people to show interest he may put forth the effort to work these out where we could get some.

Rooster

John Culver
November 18, 2003, 00:42
It'd be very slick for someone to make a repro charging handle

Pluribus
November 18, 2003, 01:34
I'll second that charging handle notion. I just look's effective.

mrf2
November 18, 2003, 04:17
Didn't Tapco (gasp!) make a charging handle like that? I heard they didn't sell to well and now sportsmans guide has 'em on close out?

mrf2

SrBenelli
November 18, 2003, 06:34
Originally posted by mrf2
Didn't Tapco (gasp!) make a charging handle like that? I heard they didn't sell to well and now sportsmans guide has 'em on close out?

mrf2

The Tapco piece isn't quite correct (and kinda cheeply made at that), but is closer to "the look" than the other offerings out there.

Falcon
November 18, 2003, 06:43
Correct me if I'm wrong,T-48's of the time period used a type "A" Butt and lower assembly.

fob058
November 18, 2003, 08:59
If I wanted to build one of these which inch kit would be best?

The lower looks metric! The butt stock has the straight lines were it meets the lower.

For the correct look maybe a metric lower and inch upper with open ear sight post?

What do you think?

jdmcomp
November 18, 2003, 13:04
Check out the picture collection on the Springfield Armory website (the real government one, not the current gun builder) for lots of pics. The Smithsonian had one on display the last time I was there (last month). Older editions of Small Arms of the World have lots of pics also. I understand that there are quite a few stored at Quantico Marine base south of Washington. I am on the base monthly but do not have any access to such items.

Like you, I find the configeration of the T48 quite nice and would love to dup one sometime.

airground
November 22, 2003, 08:25
Originally posted by Tex


Pics were posted here sometime ago. I do not recall who to credit for them but they did a fantastic job. Just sharing what was shared with us before....

Those are mine. Hope you enjoy the photos!

Farmer from Hell
November 22, 2003, 14:25
Originally posted by fob058
If I wanted to build one of these which inch kit would be best?

The lower looks metric! The butt stock has the straight lines were it meets the lower.

For the correct look maybe a metric lower and inch upper with open ear sight post?

What do you think?

You got it pretty much but remember to use an inch rear sight.

A belated thanks for the pics Jeremy!

FfH

Jambo
November 22, 2003, 17:23
http://www.falfiles.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=777959

What are those two pins for, just behind the cocking handle? Do they serve as some sort cartridge guide for when reloading using stripper clips? Also, around the cocking handle lug, it looks like there's some solder around there. Is that solder or just some discoloration?

And, airground: where did you get these pictures?

airground
November 22, 2003, 20:47
Dunno about the two pins, they could be a guide for when charging the magazine or possibly a "safety" device to let you know your fingers are about ready to get bitten. :D

I took them while I worked at the Museum at the request of the FALers here.

.

SrBenelli
November 22, 2003, 20:54
The two pins served as a guide for the front of the striper clip (the clips were a "horseshoe" design that ran in front of the cartrides as well as behind, as opposed to the more modern design that we're accustomed to seeing today).

Jambo
November 23, 2003, 01:49
well, that sounds pretty cool. It'd be nice to have a receiver like that. Too bad no one makes a true T-48 receiver. Maybe DSA will make one sometime in the near future. I guarantee there'd be plenty of guys lined up to buy them.
This is what DSA need for there "T-48" model: Receiver with front stripper clip guide pins, round handguard, folding trigger guard (but I guess the one that they got right now would work), and BAR-type foward assist charging handle.
It's just too bad that they're selling an SA 58 that barely looks a T-48.

DABTL
November 23, 2003, 07:08
That is a DOD acceptance stamp on the stock by the rear sight.

fob058
November 23, 2003, 07:36
The flash hider looks like a belgain long style with the front end milled flat. Easy enough to make!

SrBenelli
November 23, 2003, 07:56
<----- Thinking out loud.... "Hmmmmm.....I wonder how hard it would be to either graft a BAR charging handle to an FAL piece, or mill one from scratch???..."

EMDII
November 23, 2003, 08:23
Originally posted by fob058
The flash hider looks like a belgain long style with the front end milled flat. Easy enough to make!

That is properly called the Browning FH. Quite different from the L1A1/C1 'system', having displaced the larger L1A1 lug w/ the more common FN bayonet lug that used to be on the barrel.

Dirtfarmer
December 11, 2003, 11:19
Uhhh...
I would suggest that you folks citing "inch" are somewhat off, here....

Now the draft projections may be, but the U.S. T-48 is closer to the Belgian style "metric) than the inch...
(Front end as well..)

Metric style gas regulator
Metric style milling on gas block ( curved open ear like the early Argie, not straight like inch...)
Metric style Lower (Type A)
Heck, even the High Standard had the 3 slot handguards!

My T-48 replica is built with a metric open ear, (but with a "yds" marked sight ramp from an R1 ) ;)

Now if i could just get a Type A stock...

Goodwill,
-Dirtfarmer

Jambo
December 11, 2003, 12:59
Inch style pistol grip
Inch style gas plug
Inch style handguards
Inch style stripper clip top cover
Inch style flash hider
Total: 5

Edited to False Muzzle's satisfaction (hopefully).

Frame lock lever follows the same pattern as both the STG 58 and Inch pattern rifles. The gas block also shares both inch and metric similarities.

Metric style Type 1 receiver
Metric style selector
Metric style magazine catch
Metric style rear sight
Metric style buttstock
Metric style gas regulator
Total: 6

Yeah, just barely a metric rifle, but what I think makes it more inch than metric is the handguard and the pistol grip, since I think they stand out more than the other features.

Jambo
December 12, 2003, 09:28
Originally posted by falsemuzzle
Inch ???? inch???? What!

The T-48 was 100% Metric, and what Dirtfarmer said maybe totally correct the H&R and High Standard drawings were in inch specs but the rifle is a Metric configuration with some unique features.

Using an Inch kit and you are going to build an Inch clone not a T-48 clone.

Jambo - inch PG and Metric butt???? How do you do that? They cannot be mixed. You "could" file-down the little scallopes on the back of the inch lower but then you still cannot put a metric butt on the inch lower, and you cannot put an Inch PG on a Metric lower.

Metric gas regulator with an Inch Gas Plug? They do not combine well on one rifle - too different. (you can 'do" it but then again why, and you have to start with a Metric GB making sure you use the Tall sight base type anyway)

The Inch PG doesn't even look or feel similar - try a unique PG that is neither a second-hand old G1 wood PG with a huge cut-out NOR a slim wood L1 PG with popsickle stick covering the cut-out. Neither of those would look right.

You would need a Mod A butt stock and lower, custom made PG and Trigger guard.

Inch Flash hider is not even close; inch HG are the wrong wood and have one less slot cut into them; Inch Gas Plug doesn't look right either.

Best start is with an open-eared Argie bbl. That has the same gas block sight ear-shape (very different from the Inch pattern)

Not an inch rear sight but a Israeli 600 yrd Tall non-folding rear sight would probably work well enough.

Talk to MisterJG - he may be making the HGs, as him to make a Model A butt for you too. Then try and get him to make the PG as well.

Good luck

Look at the pistol grip very carefully. You see that metal thingy inside the pistol grip, in the front? That's what is commonly refered to as the "ice cream stick." Now, think: what pattern of FAL has an "ice cream stick?" of course, inch pattern. Now, about the buttstock: inch pattern buttstocks fit inside the rear part of the lower receiver. The buttstock in the picture is clearly on the outside, it butts up against the rear of the lower receiver, with no part of the lower receiver surrounding the wood. You say that the rifle is 100% metric; bullsh*. The handguard is clearly inch, so is the pistol grip and the flash hider. The gas plug "looks" like an Inch gas plug. You said, "You would need a Mod A butt stock and lower, custom made PG and Trigger guard." Aaah. Did you figure that out all by yourself? No, sh*t it's custom made. I realize that the pistol grip doesn't look like a normal Inch pistol grip. My Falcon Industries Ergo grip doesn't look like a normal Metric grip, but it's still a metric grip, it's just shaped differently. Theses weren't stock High Standard and Harrington and Richardson. They were made to our specifications. I realize that it has a lot of similarities with Metric pattern rifle; it has a lot of similarities with Inch pattern rifles, as well. They took what they liked about both patterns of the FAL and incorporated them into one rifle (well, 513, to be exact; not counting the FN T-48's). What I can't understand is you know the pistol grip has the "ice cream stick," yet you insist that it is a metric pistol grip.

Dirtfarmer
December 12, 2003, 09:59
Uhhhh...

Jambo?

The T-48 grip has no "popsicle" stick... It is just a groove that the guard swivels into. Admittedly that grip attaches by bolt, not nut, but its' profile is MUCH closer to metric than inch... See particularly pg 77 Blake Stevens "The FAL rifle" Vol 1..
Only the H+R handguards are the "Inch" style (two slot), The High Standard are 3 slot...



Suffice it to say that the "Type A" lower has come in on some of the G1's...

From Blake Stevens "The FAL Rifle" Vol 1, pg. 73 Col 2..
" ...The High Standards were a straight inch-scale transfer from the FN Cal .30 Lightweight drawings..."
Admittedly, it is also noted that
" The H+R rifles were more on the line of the Canadian prototype C1's which were essentially inch-corrected EX1's...."

However The Ex series(even the Canadian built ones) all used the metric style lowers and butts... See Tool room models pg. 68,69 , 70 , 71 of above volume...
Okay, Not to mention that Pistol Grip variant "B"(T-48 style) is listed amongst the 3 styles of pistol grip in "THE FAL CHECK LIST" of Vol 3 "The metric FAL" "The FAL rifle" pg 345(unnumbered) and NOT in the any of the L1A1 nomenclature...

Also, you don't seem to understand that the T-48 used a Type A A buttstock, the kind that goes on a Type A Metric lower... Type A the first...
The type A lower is relieved slightly to allow thin "wings" to come around the metal of the lower... but no portion of the wood actually extends into the lower.. but they are metric... I guarantee...

Not pulling anything here, I'm sure you understand.


Peace on Earth,

...Goodwill,
-Dirtfarmer
(EDITED to reflect mutual understanding)

Jambo
December 12, 2003, 10:42
"Also, you don't seem to understand that the T-48 used a Type A A buttstock, the kind that goes on a Type A Metric lower... Type A the first...
The type A lower is relieved slightly to allow thin "wings" to come around the metal of the lower... but no portion of the wood actually extends into the lower.. but they are metric... I guarantee..."

I realize that. I wasn't trying to argue that the buttstock was Inch because I know it's metric; that's not what I was argueing, but thank you for being patient and for clearing things up in a more civil manner than Mr. Muzzle. But, in my opinion, in style, the T-48 is not 100% Metric; [I]maybe[I] in the dimensions of the parts.

Dirtfarmer
December 12, 2003, 10:51
Know that I DO agree with you that they are not 100% metric... Particularly the H+R model of which these pics are... The drawings for that were assisted by the Canadians, and I personally think that the HTS on the H+R is large pivot inch, (though this is just by looking at pictures) while the H+S appears to be the same as the Belgian...
Also it takes the Type A gas plug, which is not compatible with either latter day inch or metric...
(Though the square cut Imbel plugs make a near perfect look alike...)

Truly,
Goodwill,
-Dirtfarmer

Jambo
December 12, 2003, 11:44
Your appology is accepted. And I appologize for the foul lauguage; I can get really fired up sometimes; I guess you get kind of fired up sometimes, as well , huh. Don't we all? I will edit the profanity from my post. Glad we got this all figured out.

Dirtfarmer
December 12, 2003, 13:47
Originally posted by falsemuzzle
I had never heard of variant pin sizes on lowers - besides the quirky Indian and the unusual Israeli - I thought I had heard it all but hey I haven't!

thanks

No, I am sorry... I was refferring to the Hammer Trigger and Sear Axis sizes... I realized on re-reading that, that when I said pivot pin, one was probably thinking of .... the pivot pin!
Oops!

Goodwill,
-Dirtfarmer

NHBandit
December 12, 2003, 19:47
Everything I've read seems to lean toward them being mainly copied from the FN made samples with a few changes made. The lower clearly looks to be metric type. Here's another question to consider as far as the PG design (I don't know the answer), is the trigger spring housed in the PG and retained with a plate, inch style or is it retained in the lower like a typical metric lower ? Dammit, we need one we can take apart & go over everything piece by piece. Pictures just ain't cutting it.

Jambo
December 12, 2003, 21:09
Originally posted by NHBandit
Dammit, we need one we can take apart & go over everything piece by piece. Pictures just ain't cutting it.

I've been thinking the exact same thing

airground
December 14, 2003, 23:08
Here is a little more for you.......


The "HRA" marked mags are "inch" mags.
:)

Falfegnügen
December 15, 2003, 17:24
Originally posted by Jambo


I've been thinking the exact same thing

Yep, I say we just go get one. NRA museum, Marine museum, Smithsonian, and of course Quantico all have them. Seems that it would be best to "borrow" one from Quanitico, as they have so many they would never miss it, but then on the otherhand, it would probably be easier to "lift" one from the NRA museum....Hmmmmmmmmm... Anyone up for a trip to the Big House??
:devil: :eek: :devil: :eek: :devil:


I can't help but throw my own thoughts in here on the T48. So, yes, it appears the T-48 was based on the FAL-Canada, which was an basic original early FN-pattern FAL (often lumped into the misleading catagory of "metric" by many). It used a Type-A lower and Buttstock, with a modified pistol grip for the folding trigger-guard. The front end was standard FN, type-A gas plug, block and gas-piston dimensions. The flash hider was reputedly developed specifically for the US T48. It appears the Canadian/British/Australian Imperial-pattern rifles (known by many as "inch" rifles) eventually adopted some of these features, and not the other way around. Here are my own pics I took at the Smitsonian of the FN produced T48's.
http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/T-48/T48_FN_Smithsonian/

And here is the rest of my T48 pics, culled from the web:
http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/T-48/

It is also interesting to note that the Israeli-pattern FAL pretty much stayed in the original FN configuration rather than evolving as the Imperial-pattern, and later FN-pattern did. And also it is interesting that the Indian-pattern FAL stayed pretty much original, but did adopt a few of the Imperial-pattern features (but not all of them), rather than the improved FN-pattern, as on the G1.

Everyone needs to forget everything about "inch" vs. "Metric", becuase it is meaningless and leads to all kinds of confusion. There is no such difference in measurements in the FAL rifle, but rather differences in the features and specifications of each version, each truly unique. These differences just cannot be lumped into just only 2 catagories. I personally believe is better to identify the features collectively as a production "pattern". Just imagine what we will all think in a few months when we see the Venuzualan FAL's come in with the T48 handguards and the rotary rear sites....:wink:

Jambo
December 15, 2003, 19:14
Originally posted by Falophile
the Venuzualan FAL's come in with the T48 handguards and the rotary rear sites.

say what? rotary rear sights? You mean like an HK?

NZ L1A1 Collector
December 15, 2003, 19:25
Well if you can gain some T48 examples send them accross the ditch to me I will look after them and post comparision trial results and pics against the British X8E1 trials rifle, FAL and L1A1 rifles.

:D

EMDII
December 15, 2003, 19:47
Originally posted by Jambo


say what? rotary rear sights? You mean like an HK?

More akin to the Canadian rotor. Not like an HK. The T-48 is, w/ few American exceptions, a bone-stock FAL-Canada. It foillows no other pattern, because it existed before the StG-58 and G1, and all the variants except the Belgian prototypical M1. Go check the time lines in the back of the Blake Stevens book. Also examine the so-called 'Inch' timelines in Skennerton's book. the FAL- Canada and T-48 are the grand-daddies. From them derived all subsequent patterns and models.

NZ L1A1 Collector
December 15, 2003, 20:05
The Venezuela Dial sight is an earlier design (non-folding) similar to the Canadian dial sight. It looks nothing like the H&K type of sight

Falfegnügen
December 15, 2003, 20:22
Here's a pic of the Venezuelan dial site:

http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/Venezualian_FAL/Venezualiani-2.jpg

http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/Venezualian_FAL/Venezualian_Dial_Site_i-1.jpg

http://scottgs.dynip.com/pictures/Firearms/FAL-L1A1/Venezualian_FAL/Venezualiani-3.jpg

By the way, I'm just taking a poke at FWRA's MotherOfAllGroupBuys. I really don't know of any Peruvian rifles comming in... or do I :devil:

Jambo
December 15, 2003, 22:59
after reading EMDII's and NZ L1A1 Collector's posts it just hit me what is looked like. kinda like "oooohhh, that kind of rear sight" I think I remember seeing a picture of the kinda of sight somewhere. But you know, it might be kind of cool to have an HK-style rear sight on an FAL; of course, it would be kind of cool to have any other kind of rear sight on an FAL, especially an A2-style rear sight.