Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record
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|Title:||RIFLE, ASSAULT - HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ASSAULT RIFLE "T223" 5.56MM SN# 0274|
|Maker/Manufacturer:||HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON|
|Date of Manufacture:||C 1962|
|Catalog Number:||SPAR 8225|
|Measurements:||OL: 93.9CM 37" BL: 15.7" 7.65 lbs. unloaded and 9.04 lbs. w/40-rd. magazine|
HARRINGTON & RICHARDSON ASSAULT RIFLE "T223" 5.56MM SN# 0274
Manufactured by Harrington & Richardson, Worcester, Ma. - Experimental 5.56mm (.223) assault rifle made in early 1960s by Harrington & Richardson and essentially a line copy of the German HK33 assault rifle. Roller locked delayed blowback operation. Selective-fire. Muzzle velocity 3,150 fps. Cyclic rate of fire 650 to 750rpm with a practical rate of 160 rpm. Fed by 20 or 40 round detachable box magazine. Parkerized finish on all metal parts. This model with fixed stock. Complete with sling. Trigger housing group and magazine missing.
Magazine housing: H&R INC./WORCESTER, MASS. T223 CAL. 5.56MM/NO. 0274.
Butt: tape wrapped around butt bears the number 3.
Weapon transferred to the Museum from the Ft. Sheridan Museum, Ft. Sheridan, Il. on 21 February 1986.
Notes: Tested in SAWS program. A piece of masking tape wrapped around the butt bears the number 3 - possibly meaning test weapon.
Notes: "Other countries in the NATO alliance could see a strong future for the .223 round after its official adoption by the U.S. military. Several small arms companies developed a number of weapons chambered for the high-velocity round, known as the 5.56x45mm round in NATO terminology. Heckler & Koch of West Germany designed a version of their G3 rifle to use the 5.56mm cartridge. The new weapon, known as the HK33, was imported into the United States by Harrington & Richardson of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Marked as the H&R T223 rifle, the weapon was submitted to the U.S. Small-Arms Weapon Systems (SAWS) study for evaluation. The SAWS study ran from December 1964 to the submission of the final report in December 1966. During the study, a number of weapons were examined including the T223, M14, M16E1, and Stoner weapons system.
One result of the SAWS study was a number of weapons being brought to the attention of the SEALS. Even though the empty H&R T223 was 0.9 pounds (0.41kg) heavier than an empty M16E1, the weapon had a forty-round magazine available for it and that made it attractive to the SEALS.
One interesting point of the H&R T223 (HK33) is that it very much resembles a slightly smaller, 3.25 inch (8.3cm) shorter version of the 7.62mm NATO G3 rifle. In one much published picture of a number of SEALs in Vietnam, one SEAL is holding a T 223 but the weapon can only be seen from its top side. Since the HK33 and G3 are almost identical when viewed from the top, the weapon was identified as a G3 rifle, which the SEALs did not use during the Vietnam War. In an earlier-generation copy of the same picture, the long, curved, forty-round magazine can be used sticking out from the bottom of the weapon." - Dockery
"Choices of weapons was left as much as possible up to the tastes of the individual SEAL. The squad had to carry a balance of firepower, but that wasn't any problem to accomplish. For myself, I had taken a liking to the Harrington & Richardson T223 rifle. The H&R T223 was an imported version of the German Heckler & Koch HK33. The weapon had been available for a few years, and the Team was evaluating it in combat.
We had a lot of experimental weapons at the Team, and when I went over it was suggested that I take the T223 over and see what I thought about it. Though the weapon is slightly heavier than an M16, it fires the same ammunition, so ammo supply wouldn't be a problem. The Team had been using the AR-15/M16 rifles since its first days, but we only had the twenty-round magazines. There were some thirty-round magazines around, but they were few in number and hard to come by. One thing that immediately made the T223 appeal to me was the fact that it come with forty-round magazines.
I liked the weapon. It was a lot easier to clean and maintain than the M16 and worked well in the jungle environment. While the other men of the platoon would be just starting to clean their weapons after an op, I would already be done and moving on to something else. The T223 (HK33) was good but it was a foreign (German) weapon and suffered from the 'not made here'
Dockery, Kevin. WEAPONS OF THE NAVY SEALS. Berkley Books. N.Y., N.Y. 2004.
Fawcett, Bill, Ed. HUNTERS & SHOOTERS. AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE U.S. NAVY SEALs IN VIETNAM. Avon Books. N.Y., N.Y. 1995.
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