US WWII Johnson Automatics M-1941 .30-06 Dutch Semi-Auto Rifle C&R Rare

SOLD FOR: $10,425

WOA#: WY240318CV008

Make: Johnson Automatics, manufactured by Cranston Arms Co.

Model: 1941

Serial Number: 6297

Year of Manufacture: 1941-1945

Caliber: .30-06 Springfield

Action Type: Semi Automatic, 10 Round Internal Rotary Magazine

Markings: The top of the receiver is marked with patent information, the serial number “6297”, “CAL. 30-’06 SEMI AUTO.” and “ ‘JOHNSON AUTOMATICS’ / MODEL OF 1941 / MADE IN PROVIDENCE, R.I., U.S.A.”. The right rear of the receiver is marked “CRANSTON / ARMS / CO” in an inverted “triangle” with a small “star” above it. The “triangle” was a Dutch National symbol and the small “star” is a Dutch acceptance mark (page 251 of Bruce Canfield’s book, “Johnson Rifles and Machine Guns”). The side of the bolt is marked “9508”. Johnson made no attempt at the factory to use matching part numbers (page 251). The front face of the barrel collar is marked “30-06”, “41” and “M”.

Barrel Length: 22″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a post set between two protective ears. The rear sight is a windage adjustable aperture. The adjustment knob functions. The aperture is set on an elevator that is marked “M2” on the left.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece walnut with a pistol grip, holes for mounting screws, channel under the forearm for the takedown lever, 2 sling loops and a metal buttplate. The hole on the right front of the forearm is a takedown button. It can be pressed with the tip of a bullet to release the barrel takedown lever that is on the bottom front of the forearm. The wood has no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 1/4″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate has wear and erosion under the finish. The stocks rate in about Excellent overall condition as not original to the gun.

Type of Finish: Parkerized

Finish Originality: Professionally Restored

Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with well defined rifling. There is some scattered light erosion in the bore. Our gauge shows an ME of about 2.0. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 7 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 98% of its current metal finish. There is some minor erosion under the finish on the magazine body. There are a few other little marks under the finish. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads have strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Excellent condition as restored.

Mechanics: The pin at the rear of the ejection port is a replacement. The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The rifle comes with a wood crate marked “RIFLE M-1941 JOHNSON, 1 EA. / CAL. .30 / SN: 6297”, an assortment of cleaning accessories, green canvas sling, and a copy of “Military Handbook of the Johnson Semi-Automatic Rifle” from the Military Classics Series.

Our Assessment: This rare Johnson Automatics Model 1941 is in outstanding shape for a military rifle that is over 75 years old. The rifle has been professionally restored by someone who knew what they were doing, with gorgeous new walnut stocks installed and a very uniform parkerized finish. The stampings on the metal parts tell a story about the rifle. They include a Dutch acceptance mark, though few made it to the Dutch East Indies before they were overrun by the Japanese. Those that remained stateside were still Dutch property, and they allowed about 650 to be sold into US military service. All of those sold were issued to US Marine Corps paratroopers, better known as “Paramarines”, who used the Johnson rifle to great effect in the Solomons, most notably on Gavutu, Guadalcanal, and Bougainville.

The following information can be found (with much more detail) on pages 73-87 and pages 216-223 of Bruce Canfield’s book, “Johnson Rifles and Machine Guns”: In July 1940, the Netherlands (Dutch) placed an initial contract for 10,200 Johnson Model 1941 Rifles. At the time, Johnson Automatics did not have the production capabilities to fulfill the contract. Johnson had to develop partnerships to fulfill production of the rifles. Johnson partnered with the Universal Winding Company of Cranston, Rhode Island to form the Cranston Arms Co.; hence the Cranston Arms Co. “triangle” stamping on all Model 1941 Rifles. The “triangle” was a Dutch National symbol. Johnson Automatics went bankrupt in 1949. Many of the leftover Johnson Automatics spare parts and barrels were purchased by an importer who was also able to acquire surplus M-1941 Johnson Rifles that had been sold to the Dutch. The Johnson Automatics spare parts and barrels were used to put the surplus Dutch M-1941 Johnson Rifles into working order. Those rifles were then offered to the public by mail order from the late 1950s to the late 1960s.

This example has a 1941 dated .30-06 barrel and comes with a wood crate that will make for a nice display. Whether you’re looking for a Johnson for shooting or display, this one will fit the bill. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

US WWII Johnson Automatics M-1941 .30-06 Dutch Semi-Auto Rifle C&R Rare
US WWII Johnson Automatics M-1941 .30-06 Dutch Semi-Auto Rifle C&R Rare