The T24 was developed in 1943-44 by the US Army as a replacement light machine gun. The photographs above were made at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in February 1944. The T24 was infact a direct clone of the German MG42 but rather than being chambered in the German 7.92mm Mauser cartridge it was rechambered to fire the standard .30-06 round used by all heavy small arms in the US military. You can see the .30-06 rounds inserted into a German belt in the final photograph.
The gun is almost identical to the original German weapon except for the use of a US pattern bipod and M2 tripod- the sort used on the Browning 1919A6 and BAR . As well as US stock flip up sights welded onto the weapons receiver.
The MG42 was chosen because of it’s reputation as a flexible weapon capable of sustained fired, something the US’ light machine guns lacked, and it’s high rate of fire - a staggering 1,200 rounds per minute. Such was the MG42’s effectiveness Allied troops attacking German positions would wait for the brief pause in fire caused by belt and barrel changes. It was a much feared weapon and was often nicknamed ‘Hitler’s buzzsaw’.
The T24 however, suffered from a number of technical issues that prevented its further development. It was found that by simply altering the weapons cartridge meant that it’s bolt no longer travelled back far enough which lead to stoppages, the .30-06 round was longer than the original German cartridge. The T24 was abandoned in 1945 and development of other light machine guns such as the T44 began, the later prototypes, which were heavily influenced by the MG42, later became the M60.