Stanley Rickard, the great-grandfather of Troy Rickard, worked at the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1930, while working there, he began designing a new semi-automatic rifle to replace the bolt-action M1903 and later on, after being sidetracked one day, began designing a new submachine gun that would be cheaper than the Thompson. However, in 1934, Stanley was then involved in a fight between himself and some of John C. Garand's loyal friends, which ended up getting Stanley removed from working at the Armory. After suffering a short depression and fits of rage, he created his own workshop, known as the Rickard Armory, and decided to finish his designs. The M1930, which was finished first, was sent to testing for the U.S. Army, but was rejected from use. However, it was adopted by some Marine Corps (which later saw usage in the Pacific Theater alongside the M1903, M1G, and the M1941 Johnson). The weapon was also selected as one of the weapons for the Lend-Lease Act, and he added the new M1944 LMG to his armory collection.
However, towards the end of World War II, the German StG-44 started a new era of weaponry - select-fire rifles. After hearing about the new weapon in combat, Rickard decided to make a select-fire variant of the M1930 starting in early 1944, and was dubbed the M44. His finalized design appeared in January 1945, and entered testing in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines that month. The end results were good, and by the end of January 1945, his rifle entered in limited service by both the Army and the Marines. Despite the fact that the rifle was surprisingly comfortable to shoot with a full-power rifle cartridge, it wasn't necessarily as accurate or reliable as the original M1930. After World War II, the M1930's production stopped in 1945, but both remained in service until 1953, when the M1930 was withdrawn from USMC usage after seeing its final use in the Korean War. At the same time, Rickard ended production of the M44 variant and reorganized his company from a company that focused on supplying the military to a company manufacturing mostly civilian weapons, and decided to take his select-fire M44 and make a semi-automatic only variant, which was released in 1955 as the M44A. In 1957, with the introduction of the M14, which was less jam-prone and more accurate, began to replace the M44 and the M1 Garand in service, and eventually, in 1960, the M44 was retired from use altogether, although the M1 Garand still remained in service until 1971. As for the M44A, it achieved little commercial success in the civilian market, which led to its discontinuation in 1967. With both versions combined together, the rifle served 17 years in service.
- Barrel is 22 inches long.
- Chambered for the .30-06 cartridge, and is fed via a 10-round clip, while the M44 and M44A variants are fed via a proprietary 15-round magazine.
- Designed in 1930, produced from 1935 to 1945 (M1930), 1945 to 1953 (M44), and 1955 to 1967 (M44A).
- Effective range is around 450 meters.
- Rate of fire: Around 200-250 RPM, semi-automatic (M1930 and M44A), 460 RPM, select-fire (M44).
- Weighs 10.2 pounds (unloaded), 11.2 pounds (loaded)