An icy crosswind whipped the Army's Aberdeen (Md.) Proving Ground as two riflemen stepped up to the firing line. The marksmen took aim, squeezed off a few single shots, then flipped the rate-of-fire levers on their rifles and sprayed out a rippling burst of full automatic fire at the target. The riflemen were two of the country's top small-arms experts: Major General Julian S. Hatcher, U.S.A., ret., and retired Marine Major General Merritt A. Edson. They were at Aberdeen to try out the Army's secret, new, lightweight .30-cal. automatic rifle.

While newsmen...

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