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3278 Posts
Posted - 02/18/2004 : 7:20:59 PM

The BM 59 is a straight Garand derivative. The M14 receiver is much shorter overall, and would not fit the rest of the BM59 Parts( stock especially)
The only differance between a Garand rec. and a BM59 is the loss of the magazine well side walls, and the extra machining for the selective fire lever and disconnect at the forward end of the receiver under the ring.
Beretta actually offered a package deal to convert Garands to BM59s back in the 1960s for quantity (read Military) clients. They used this conversion system initially for the Italian Government, then started making Brand-new BM59s for Italy, Morocco, Nigeria and Indonesia.(New machined receivers). Beretta and Breda had by 1959, had several years making Garands for Italy, Denmark, and Indonesia.

I would venture to say that the Beretta BM59 is the only efficient and viable conversion of the Garand to selective fire and 7,62 Nato. And they did it (a) as a Private venture & (b) with-out all the political baggage and inter-service rivalry and arrogance of the US ordnance system. (which tried to "product improve" the Garand... and ended up with the M14... a combat also-ran, but maybe a good competition and sniping rifle.)
Note that the Italians still issue the BM59 and variants to specialized troops where the long range and hitting power is required (Paras, Mountain and Desert engagements) and keep the lighter AR90 in 5,56 for the general run of "flat-land" infantry.
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