Johnson Model 1941 Rifle

Accession Number REL/16296
Collection type Technology
Object type Firearm
Physical description Steel, Wood
Place made United States of America
Date made c 1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

The Johnson M1941 is a short recoil operated semiautomatic rifle. The rotating bolt has eight locking lugs and is locked into the barrel by a barrel extension. The forward section of the barrel is exposed and there is a bayonet lug on the underside near the muzzle. The rifle has a fixed rotary magazine which holds ten cartridges. Cartridges are loaded into the magazine via the loading port which is located on the right side of the rifle using the standard M1903 type stripper clips or by individual cartridges. The magazine loading port has a spring loaded dust cover. The rifle is fitted with a two piece wooden stock and the steel hand guard is attached integral with the receiver. The rear sight is an adjustable ladder type graduated to 1,000 yards. The front sight is a post with protected ears. The machined action is made from steel and has a blued finish. Complete with sling swivels. Markings - JOHNSON AUTOMATICS MODEL OF 1941 MADE IN PROVIDENCE R.I. USA and on the right side CRANSTON ARMS CO within a triangle.

History / Summary

The Johnson rifle was designed before the outbreak of World War Two as an infantry battle rifle and was extensively tested by the US Army and the Marine Corps. Neither service accepted it as the M1 Garand had just been put into full production. However the Marines purchased several thousand for their Special Forces and Parachutists. The Johnson is a recoil operated weapon with a rotary magazine and less prone to damage than the detachable box system. The barrel is unsupported and therefore rather vulnerable but could be easily dismounted to be carried by parachutists. In service the rifle was unreliable and during the war had a number of modifications. Production ceased in 1945.