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RWTF,
A new term for me. What is/was a "Johnson semi-auto."


Perry M. Kissam
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About the time the US Army was considering adopting the M-1 Garand, without completely dropping the Springfield BA- both in .30-06 Gov't cal.-- Johnson offered a ten shot gas operated semi-auto rifle in the same std. caliber- instead of the 8 round enbloc clip the Garand used, the Johnson had a rotary magazine, perhaps the idea taken from the Savage M99 lever action with a rotary magazine, not 100% sure on that. The Johnson had a distinctive "pot-bellied" look, but it was reliable, offered 2 more rounds to the operator than the Garand, and had slightly fewer operational components than the Garand. RIA auction house sometimes has them offered in their catalogues, and if you want to see what one looks like, perhaps you could e-mail RIA and ask for details--RWTF


When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8
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If you have or can find a copy of "Hatcher's Notebook" he has good coverage on all aspects of the Johnson, its good points as well as its bad ones.


Miller/TN
I Didn't Say Everything I Said, Yogi Berra
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Courtesy of Mr. Google:


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Just as I remember it- we had one in the Armory Stateside, but as it was never adopted for use in WW2- we never fired it. Do I assume that Mr. Google was the infamous "Barney Google"- eyes like those of the late comedian Jerry Colona--??? RWTF


When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8
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The Johnson is a real departure from the guns before it. Had it come along before the Garrand had such a following it might have been adopted but the Garrand looks more like a military rifle which helped it more than you might think. It was normal looking. The Johnson was described to me as a pot belly pig. I shot one many years ago and found it, or atleast that one was very reliable. Accuracy was decent with open sights and we ran perhaps two rounds through it without a malfunction. Of course gun never malfunction on the range, just when you really, really need them.

The problem often encountered in new weapon design is the limitation imposed before the first design is put to paper. When you decide to keep all designs to 30-06, as a logistics decision to keep supplies to a bare number, you limit the gun. Smaller rounds could increase the capacity but you question the possible decrease of lethality. Case in point was the Carbine which was just a pistol round in a long gun.

If you read about Johnson you will find he was a interesting fellow with a bit of a checkered past. In many ways he was a fellow who thought in 3-D like John Browning. He could visualize how things worked together, make a working model and alter it to refine it better.

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Just got my latest RIA catalogue today, and on page 13 they show in good color foto detail a Johnson. Be interesting to see what it "hammers down" at for bid price. I have a M-1 D Korean USMC issue sniper rifle, just as shown above the Johnson rifle-Very accurate, but due to top enbloc clip ejection feature, a scope mount on any Garand is always a "Rube Goldberg" contraption. My NM 1903-A3 Springfield (Remington) is way more accurate out to max. visibility sight range with peep sight- for me- about 500 yards- The Garand with 10X scope, maybe to 750 yards- I also looked at the Rock-Ola (juke box Co.?) presentation M-1 carbie- reminds me of Donald Sutherland's quip to The 101 st. A/B Col- Everett Dasher Breed in "The Dirty Dozen"-- very pretty, Col., but can they fight?-- I'd rather have a riot M12 with 00 buck than a M-1 carbine= anything in range you hit with that is gonna die--


When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8
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John Garand- one r only, just like one m in Hemingway, or Remington. Canadian born, started working on the design prior to 1930--lock and load


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As a side note John did not pronounce his last name as Ga Rand' as most call his rifle but Gar' and. This came from an article on his rifle which appeared in "The American Rifleman" many years ago by a person who was closely associated with John, thus knew whereof he spoke.


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There was a TV thing on the Johnson. A negative was the thin barrel, which could bend when used for bayonet application. Also, the bayonet affected reliability in feeding, because it was a short-recoil operation. Also, the rotary magazine defied regular maintenance procedures. Like a Savage 99, disassembly of the rotary magazine is only for gunsmiths


I read a book, "The Last Stand of Fox Company" about a company of Marines that had the first contact with the Chinese in the Korean War. This was in bitter winter. The book said that the M 1 Carbine wasn't loved because the rounds wouldn't penetrate well through the ice and frozen material of the Chinese. Head shots were recommended.

It's a very good book.

Last edited by Genelang; 03/23/17 02:53 PM.
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