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Old 02-07-2021, 03:21 PM
jeeperbob jeeperbob is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Vail, AZ
Posts: 947

Johnson Arms (not Iver Johnson) was a company owned by Col. Melvin Johnson, Jr who was the designer of the 41 Johnson rifle and the Johnson Light Machine Gun used by the USMC during WWII. They made Carbines from surplus GI parts while they were plentiful. The other companies mentioned also used surplus parts until they were not so easy to acquire and then they used fabricated parts from various sources. That's when the quality and reliability went south. Col. Johnson also designed the 5.7mm Johnson/.22 Spitfire cartridge and rifles as well. The round was a wildcat of a .30 carbine necked down to .22 cal. He actually pitched it to the military in the late 1950's but they by that time had decided to go with the 5.56mm round/M-16. It's interesting that his 5.7mm cartridge was a .2235 caliber design and not far off the 5.56/.223 caliber.

Sadly, Col. Johnson died of a sudden heart attack in 1965 at the age of 54. A very interesting man with a bio worth reading. I've always been intrigued by the 5.7mm Johnson cartridge and I am proceeding with a project to build one since I recently acquired a barrel. All the rest will be GI parts which is what he used in his brief production of those rifles. My barrel was made by Green Mountain Barrel Company for IAI arms in a .224 bore. IAI was the last company who produced this caliber between 1996-2003 and approximately 12,750 made.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm but the Second Mouse Gets the Cheese!

Last edited by jeeperbob; 02-07-2021 at 03:29 PM.
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