25 September 1946
Aberdeen Proving Ground
This was the day they were all waiting for: the testing of new weapons, developed from the plans captured in Germany last year. This test will involve the test-firing of a drastically redesigned copy of the German Sturmgewehr-44, using a version of .30-'06 ammunition shortened to an overall length of 40mm, and a milled receiver for this test model, but to have a stamped receiver, if it passes muster. They need this to work succeed, to counter the Soviets' new semi-automatic rifle, the Simonov SKS, now being captured from Soviet soldiers, along the Pyrenees Line.
In attendance is the U.S. Army's Chief of Ordinance, Lieutenant General Levin Hicks Campbell, Jr., brought out of retirement and promoted, to oversee the weapons development of captured German plans and materials. On the other side of the base, off in the distance, he can hear the screams of rocket artillery being launched, improved and redesigned versions of the German Raketenwerfer and Nebelwerfer systems. Only, these versions carry a newly-developed, nasty, payload: air-bursting cluster sub-munitions. It was akin to launching a box of grenades, and having them blow up right over the enemy's head. Very nasty stuff, indeed. But this war had to be particularly nasty: the American way of life and freedom was truly at stake now...
Finally! The armorers are bringing out the rifles, designated T46A1, for the test. General Campbell still can't get over Buck Rogers-look of this rifle, but it may be one the only things that gets our asses out of this sling. In attendance with the General and his trusted staff, are the design staff that were able to be brought back here in Operation Paperclip and Paperclip II: former DWM-Mauser AG engineers, Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch and Alex Seidle, along with the chief designer of the Belgian Fabrique National de Herstal, Dieudonne Saive; they are here to observe the results of the test-firing, and improve the fruit of their collaboration, if need be.
The test rifles will be fired in graduations of 100 yards, up to 500 yards. Since this “assault rifle” was not meant to be used outside the 300-yard range, positive results were not expected in the 400- and 500-yard ranges. As the armorers fired the weapons, the designers could see that the rifles were stable, when fired from the shoulder and from the hip, the armorers were able to stay on target, or switch targets, with no apparent trouble. As soon as the firing ended, the firing range manager looked at the targets carefully, and soon declared that the rifles had consistently hit bulls eye, 96 out of 100 times, up to the 400-yard mark. This accuracy was even beyond the engineers wildest expectations. They now had an assault rifle suitable to present to President Truman, for his approval.
General Campbell congratulated the four engineers, leaving them all smiles, as he was ushered to his jeep, where his driver waited to take him to the rocket-artillery range, where he could witness the results of what the artillery men were now calling “Truman's Organs”. Bet that bastard, Uncle Joe, will get big surprise out of that...