Before there was the M-14 there was the BM59.
The Italian army in the aftermath of the Second World War [WW2] having been given an inventory of the Garand M1 rifle AND the Italians also manufacturing same under license AND also making extensive modifications to the original weapon, there NOT EVEN HAVING BEEN A NEED FOR THE T-44/M-14 PROJECT!
You could even make a case that the Italian modified M1 rifle designated the BM59 SUPERIOR TO THE M-14!
"Beretta designed the BM59, which was essentially a rechambered M1 fitted with a removable 20-round magazine, folding bipod and a combined flash suppressor/rifle grenade launcher. The BM59 is capable of selective fire."
Garand M1 rechambered for the NATO round [7.62 X 51 mm]. Also retaining the grenade launcher option not present with the M-14. That selective fire feature of dubious value.
NONETHELESS the conversions cost effective when compared to alternatives?
And as for the Beretta corporation and Italian weapons design in general ALWAYS recall that comment of the GRU defector Suvorov:
"The GRU know that the Italians have very good brains, the brains of great inventors. Few people realize that before the Second World War Italy's technology was at an incredibly high level. The Italians were not especially brilliant in battle, and that obscured the extent of Italian achievement in military technology."
The GRU [Soviet/Russian] military intelligence is of the same opinion today? If you are a GRU officer and read this blog entry please comment. Thank you.