Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1497: U.S. Johnson Model 1941 Rifle with Bayonet

Auction Date: September 11, 2021

Desirable Early Production U.S. Johnson Automatics Model 1941 Semi-Automatic Rifle, Serial Number "0022", with Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $9,500

Desirable Early Production U.S. Johnson Automatics Model 1941 Semi-Automatic Rifle, Serial Number "0022", with Bayonet

Manufacturer: Cranston Arms
Model: 1941
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06
Barrel: 22 inch round
Finish: parkerized
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 584
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 385
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This early Johnson M1941 semi-automatic rifle is serial number "0022" of the very first production serial block 0001-9999, predating the known A and B letter prefix rifles; the lowest serial number of one of these desirable rifles we have ever offered at Rock Island Auction! One source reports approximately 21,400 Johnson semi-automatic rifles in total were manufactured, and approximately 750 were procured by the U.S. Marine Corps for issue to the Paramarines (Canfield's book), with known use in action in the Pacific theater at Guadalcanal during the Solomon Islands campaign. The Paramarines favored these rifles partly due to the ease of barrel removal, allowing a compact length for carrying in a jump bag. These rifles were originally up for consideration by the Netherlands Purchasing Commission as a service weapon for colonial troops in the Dutch East Indies, and a large order for the Johnson rifle was placed in 1940, but the Japanese invasion of the East Indies prevented delivery, with the Marine issued guns diverted from there and only a small amount of identified serial numbers today. After World War II, the majority of these rifles were sold to foreign countries or destroyed as surplus. Features a blade front and adjustable 1,000 meter rear sight. The top of the receiver is marked "CAL..30-06 SEMI-AUTO/"JOHNSON AUTOMATICS"/MODEL OF 1941/MADE IN PROVIDENCE.RI..U.S.A/0022" ahead of the standard patent markings, and a small five-pointed Dutch acceptance star mark over "CRANSTON/ARMS/CO." in a triangle on the right rear of the receiver. The barrel is marked ".30-'06/41" on the front surface of the flange, "0023A" marked on top of the chamber and on the underside of the rear locking lug, and a small "sword" proof is marked on the underside of the chamber. The bolt body is marked with number "462" (common on all Johnson rifles to have non-matching numbered bolts), "503" underneath the extractor, "166" on the firing pin sleeve, "C2308" on the firing pin, "0167" on the right side of the trigger group, and "668" marked on the right of the hammer. Fitted with a two-piece stock featuring a checkered steel buttplate. Includes a distinctive Johnson bayonet marked with number "9222" on the side, and a brown M1907 leather sling. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent, with 95% plus original parkerized finish, showing some mild edge wear and light handling marks overall. The stock is very fine, with mild scuffs and dings, and the sling shows mild cracking and verdigris. The bayonet is very fine with mild dings. Mechanically excellent. A stunning example of the lowest serial numbered M1941 Johnson rifle we have ever had the chance to offer at Rock Island Auction!

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