David Marshall Williams - Overview

David Marshall Williams

Inventions
of the
Mind
















The Legend
of
Carbine Williams

 

Incorrigible Youth
The Murder, & Whodunnit:

1900-1921

Inventions
Prison Time
 

1921-1929

Inventions
Ordnance, Colt, & Remington

1931-1939

Inventions
at Winchester
 

1939- ___

End Years
and Museums
 

1960-1975+


Inventions at Winchester
1939- ___

Management at Winchester was aware of the work of Williams when, in 1938, one of their patents (US2069887) was contested by Williams as it infringed on one of his earlier patents (US2242496). Winchester agreed with Williams and negotiated a settlement.

During this period Williams interacted with Winchester's Chief of Engineering, Edwin Pugsley. Pugsley had joined Winchester as an apprentice in 1911 after graduating from MIT and Yale prior, working his way up through Winchester to eventually become Secretary & Director of Olin Industries and Vice-President of Research when he retired in 1950. As general manager at Winchester Pugsley had many years of first hand experience in firearm research and development with the power and ability to make things happen. Pugsley also owned a personal gun collection considered to be one of the largest in the country.

Pugsley was sufficiently impressed with Williams and his inventions that he entered into negotiations with Williams to become an employee of Winchester, which occurred on July 1, 1939. As a salaried employee of Winchester Williams initially earned $5000 a year ($5000 in 1939 equated to just over $84,000 in 2013), increasing to $6000 a year when he left Winchester about 1951. Winchester also agreed should any of their firearms utilize inventions already patented by Williams they would negotiate royalties for their use. All patents Williams applied for and received out of his employment at Winchester would be owned by Winchester.

Williams initially worked as a trouble shooter on several firearms in development by Winchester and not long after was assigned and agreed to work on a prototype Winchester hoped would displace the M1 Garand as the next U.S. main battle rifle. The M1 Garand had already been adopted by the Ordnance Department with Winchester manufacturing a limited number by this time but the level of criticism of the design gave Winchester hope they could come up with a replacement.

Evolution of the Browning Military Rifle into the Winchester Model G30

Jonathan Edmund Browning, half brother of John and Matt Browning, designed the rifle Winchester hoped to develop in time to displace the M1 Garand. Winchester purchased the design from Browning on 30 Nov 1938 then hired Browning as an employee in March 1939. Two months later on 16 May 1939 Browning died during an operation at the age of 80. Williams had already been assigned the space at Winchester previously occupied by Browning when he took over the development of Browning's rifle.


Jonathan E. "Ed" Browning Prototype (1939)
Display at Cody Firearms Museum, Cody, WY

ForgottenWeapons.com
Video of Ed Browning’s
Winchester G30 Prototypes

One of the primary problems with the Browning design was the gas system. Williams' first attempt on the gas system in July 1939 was based on the design of the M1 Garand. Within the gas chamber at the front of the rifle Williams added a simple conventional piston between the gas port and front of the operating rod. The gas caused the piston to strike the face of the operating rod to operate the action.


Short Stroke Gas Piston near the muzzle end of the barrel
Gas Piston identified with blue, Operating Rod identified with pink
(Gas Operated Automatic Firearms, application dated 13 Jan 1940, patent US2348872 granted 16 May 1944)

In January 1940 Williams suggested using his short stroke gas piston design which Pugsley approved, with Williams completing the next prototype by May 1940. Winchester designated this rifle the Winchester Model G30M.


Short Stroke Gas Piston closer to the chamber
Gas Piston identified with blue, Operating Rod identified with pink
(Gas Operated Self Loading Firearm, application dated 26 Oct 1940, patent US2346954 granted 18 Apr 1944)


Winchester Model G30M prototypes
On display at the Cody Firearms Museum, Cody, WY

Prototype Winchester G30M's were used during U.S. Ordnance Department trials at Quantico, VA and Aberdeen, MD from March through April 1940. These were followed by competitive trials by the Marine Corps in San Diego during the Fall and Winter of 1940. The USMC tests pitted the Winchester G30M against the M1 Garand and a semi-automatic prototype by Melvin M. Johnson. The end result was the M1 Garand outperformed both the Johnson and Winchester rifles with the Winchester G30M coming in last.

The USMC tests did not include a final decision by the Marine Corps. It was pretty clear to Winchester they were too far behind in research and development to compete with the M1 Garand given the urgency with which a rifle was needed. With production of the M1 Garand for the U.S. Army having already started it was also clear to Winchester they would not be able to unseat the M1 Garand as the Army's primary battle rifle. This caused a shift at Winchester with the hopes that further research and development with the Winchester Model 30 may eventually produce a rifle that would be used in addition to the M1 Garand.

ForgottenWeapons.com
Video of Winchester
G30M Prototypes

The ".30 M2 Winchester Model Military Rifle"

In January 1941 Williams was directed by Pugsley to attempt to correct additional problems with the Browning design, make it as light as possible, and for use with the standard rifle cartridge .30 M2 (30-06). By the end of May 1941 Williams had redesigned the Browning rifle as requested, with the result weighing only 7 1/2 pounds.


7 1/2 Lb Prototype, .30 M2 caliber, Winchester Military Rifle
(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum, Cody, WY in cooperation with Larry Ruth)


7 1/2 Lb Prototype, .30 M2 caliber, Winchester Military Rifle
Display at the Cody Firearms Museum, Cody, WY

ForgottenWeapons.com
Video of Winchester
7 1/2 lb Prototype

This rifle was the first prototype of a rifle that would eventually become the Winchester Model G30R. The weight and concept of this first prototype prompted Winchester to take their first step into the competition for the Army's new light rifle. Which brings us to the history of what was to become the U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine.

The history of Winchester's Model G30R picks up again after the development and design of the U.S. Carbine.

Note: The focus of this web page and the others devoted to the Williams story is to provide an overview. Since the initial research and sharing of these pages author Bruce Canfield has authored an excellent book titled The M1 Garand Rifle (ISBN: 0-931464-56-1). In addition to his detailed information on the M1 Garand Canfield included a chapter on the Browning rifles above, a chapter on the Winchester G30M and a chapter on the G30R that includes information on other rifles below that were developed from these designs Williams worked on while at Winchester. Those interested in more details regarding these rifles will find these chapters of interest. The Williams carbines and carbines adopted for use by the U.S. government are mentioned but further information was not relevant to the focus of the book.

Williams & The U.S. M1 Carbine

The U.S. Ordnance Dept. had initiated efforts to come up with a light rifle that would eventually become the U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine in July 1940. On October 1, 1940 Ordnance issued a document with specifications and requirements to inventors and manufacturers for the development of the light rifle. Winchester initially decided against developing a submission due to other commitments. The deadline set for submissions was May 1941.

The trials were already underway when Pugsley wrote to Ordnance describing the 7 1/2 pound Winchester Model G30R and indicating Winchester may be able to submit a scaled down version for the lightweight rifle (U.S. Carbine) trials. In response to the letter, General Studler of the Ordnance Dept. traveled to Winchester, examined the rifle, and in the words of Pugsley "demanded that Winchester build a carbine". Tests being conducted on the May submissions had already indicated none would be acceptable.


Winchester's First Prototype

The challenge for Winchester was producing a working light rifle in time for preliminary tests prior to a second set of trials. Williams had already shown he worked at his own pace so Pugsley assigned William C. Roemer and Fred Humeston to head up the project. When Williams was not included he was livid. Williams told Pugsley he refused to have anything to do with the gun, did not want his name associated with it and that Pugsley was doing it entirely on his "own responsibility".

Thirteen days after the departure of General Studler the Winchester team, absent Williams, completed their first prototype. The receiver, rotating bolt, slide, and short stroke gas piston used on this first prototype were designed from those used by Williams to produce the 7 1/2 pound Winchester Model G30R. Of these four parts, three were designed by Williams from parts already in use on other rifles. Like most inventors, Williams simply adapted their designs for use with what had been started by Ed Browning. The one thing Williams contributed to his improvement of the Browning design that was his own, was the short stroke gas piston that drew its power from the higher pressure gas nearer the chamber, for which Williams owned the patent. Williams did not apply this concept to the U.S. Carbine, this was done by those assigned to the first carbine prototype. Since Williams owned the patent for the gas system used on the U.S. Carbine, he was able negotiate with Winchester for royalties from it's use. This will be covered in more detail below.


Winchester's 1st Carbine Prototype
(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum, Cody, WY in cooperation with Larry Ruth)


(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum, Cody, WY in cooperation with Larry Ruth)


Short Stroke Gas Piston adopted for the Carbine design

Pugsley offered Williams the opportunity to demonstrate the first carbine prototype to General Studler, prior to Ordnance trials, if Williams could do so with Winchester's best interests in mind (based on the previously noted actions of Williams). Williams agreed and did so. Pugsley then traveled to the test facility at Aberdeen where he presented the first prototype to the Ordnance Department for preliminary testing 09 Aug 1941. The outcome of these tests proved the design had sufficient merits for Winchester to proceed with the development and submit a light rifle by the 15 Sep 1941 deadline for the final trials.

Additional Information on Winchester's first prototype may be found on
the web page devoted to this carbine


Winchester's Second Prototype & Final Submission

Pugsley returned to Winchester and immediately formed a team with Williams, William C. Roemer, Ralph Clarkson, Fred Humeston, Cliff Farner and others to complete the rifle by the deadline. Williams agreed to direct the design. Three days later Pugsley returned and learned the team had accomplished little as Williams had threatened to shoot Humeston when he started work on the receiver without permission from Williams. Williams claimed Humeston was trying to steal his short stroke invention. After Pugsley assessed the situation he removed Williams from the team. Puglsey reassured Williams no one would steal his short stroke invention, directing Williams to work on his own design of the carbine concurrent to but separate from the team as Williams refused to have anything to do with the others or the carbine they produced.

On 12 Sep 1941 the rifle designed by the team was complete and ready for submission but for two problems that had yet to be resolved. Given the rifle had to be at Aberdeen by the 15th, Pugsley asked Williams if he would help the team sort out the problems. Williams agreed. Pugsley then learned the rifle had to be at Anniston by noon on the 14th. The afternoon of the 13th it was agreed to increase the diameter of the hole in the barrel to allow more power to operate the piston, solving the final problem. Pugsley, Williams, and Humeston transported the rifle to Aberdeen the morning of the 14th with Humeston remaining at Aberdeen. Pugsley and Williams returned to Winchester. The tests were completed and the Winchester light rifle was adopted as the Carbine Caliber .30, M1 on 30 Sep 1941.


Winchester's 2nd Carbine Prototype
photo courtesy of the Cody Museum, Cody, WY


Winchester's 2nd Carbine Prototype
(Cody Firearms Museum, Cody, WY - photo courtesy of George Dillman)

Additional Information on Winchester's second prototype may be found on
the web page devoted to this carbine

Williams completed the first design of his own version of the carbine several months after the other team's design won the contract, with the U.S. Carbine having already started production. Pugsley noted "The carbine he produced was unquestionably an advance on the one that was accepted, but no one could wait that length of time". The carbine Williams actually did design is addressed below.


Patents, Payment, and Earnings

Records of the United States Court of Claims (case # 47736) indicate Williams entered into an agreement with Winchester for use of his patented short stroke gas piston (patent # US2090656) on 09 Sep 1940 in exchange for a royalty payable to Williams on the basis of the value of each gun manufactured containing the invention [Carbine, The Story of David Marshall Williams, by Ross Beard Jr, page 265].

Throughout the end of 1941 and into 1942 Western Cartridge Co. (Winchester) negotiated with the Ordnance Department for the design of the M1 Carbine. In February 1942 Ordnance proposed a one time lump sum royalty payment of $886,000 in exchange for a royalty free production license. On 19 Mar 1942 Williams entered into another agreement with Winchester, accepting 26.411 percent of this lump sum ($234,100.46 - equivalent to $3,352,767.18 in 2013 - over and above his salary) in lieu of royalty payments. Winchester signed the agreement with Ordnance on 20 Mar 1942 [War Baby, Volume I, by Larry Ruth; Carbine, The Story of David Marshall Williams, by Ross Beard Jr, page 265].

The reason for the one time lump sum payment was there was a war going on. The objective was to get the carbines to those who needed them as soon as possible without becoming mired in contract negotiations that would leave production pending during the process. Ordnance was dealing with the need for massive amounts of material in a short period of time and sought to expedite legal matters based on the needs of the wartime effort.

Many years later Williams indicated he felt cheated by the government for not having been paid royalties from his design of the .22 conversion for the Browning machine gun based on the amount of money his designs had saved the government by using the inexpensive .22 long rifle cartridge for training. He was also displeased that he had not been paid royalties from every gun manufactured for the government that used his designs, particularly the U.S. Carbines. Williams was not naive when he signed the contracts. He maintained counsel with patent attorneys prior to and during the negotiations process. At the time no one knew how many carbines would be needed or manufactured, or how many companies would eventually ending up making them. Williams believed the total to be over 8 million (actual was 6,117,827).

The contract for the U.S. Carbine cited 14 patents as part of it's design. Four of these were held by Williams as an assignor of Western Cartridge Company, meaning the patents were in the name of David Marshall Williams but owned by Western Cartridge. Co. (Winchester). What earned Williams 26.411 percent of the contract for the U.S. Carbine was Winchester's use of a short stroke gas piston accessing the gas near the breach to operate a semi-automatic firearm, a patent owned by Williams prior to his employment at Winchester.

Application DatePatent #Patent DescriptionWhat it was for
October 26, 1940US2336431Takedown FirearmsWinchester/Browning 7 1/2 lb rifle, variation of U.S. Carbine recoil plate
October 26, 1940US2346954Gas-Operated Self-Loading FirearmsWinchester/Browning 7 1/2 lb rifle, short stroke gas piston
September 22, 1941US2308257Automatic Firearm Constructionprimary patent for U.S. Carbine (drawing similar to 1st prototype)
October 31, 1941US2341005Piston Means for Gas-Operated FirearmsU.S. Carbine short stroke gas piston


Summary of Contributions made by David Marshall Williams to the Development and Design of the U.S. Carbine

Williams had very little to do with the design and development of the Carbine Caliber .30, M1. Some of his actions actually slowed the project down at a critical time. However, Williams can be credited for four things that contributed to the development of the U.S. Carbine.

The employment of Williams by Winchester and his contributions to the U.S. Carbines did not end with this contract. He continued as a full time salaried employee of Winchester, working on improving his design of the Winchester Model G30 with several variations, the carbine he designed, and a .50 caliber anti-tank rifle. That none of these made it past the prototype stage was in large part due to timing as opposed to anything wrong with their design. Williams also worked on a number of smaller projects at Winchester during WWII that included the carbine's rear flip sight (Pivotal Rear Sight, application 05 Jan 1942, granted patent # US2334300) and improvements to several parts.


Conflicts While at Winchester

Williams, Pugsley and others have indicated Williams encountered difficulties working with other firearm designers throughout his time at Winchester. Who was at fault, to what extent, and why has been irrelevant in the preparation of this document. Williams correctly described Pugsley as a "company man", protecting the interests of the company in these disputes. It was in the best interests of Winchester, everyone employed there (Williams included) and everyone who used what Winchester manufactured that Pugsley should manage his resources and assets to expedite the design, development, quality and everything else involved in the production of the weapons they made. This included knowing the strengths and weaknesses of his employees and using them accordingly. Williams simply did not operate at his best when constrained by deadlines and/or working as part of a team. Pugsley learned the latter when placing Williams in charge of the team tasked with developing the 2nd prototype. Williams himself stated more than once he worked better on his own, and at his shop at home near Godwin, NC (refer Carbine, The Story of David Marshall Williams by Ross E. Beard Jr.).

That there was personal conflict given the culture and educational background Williams came from and stepped into is no surprise. That he was retained by, and continued to work for, Winchester as a full time salaried employee speaks for itself. Pugsley clearly thought Williams' strengths were worth his weaknesses. Being the "company man" he was, Pugsley wouldn't have retained Williams if he'd thought otherwise.


For further readings and references regarding Williams, Winchester, and development of the U.S. Carbines refer to:
  • War Baby, The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine, Volume I, by Larry Ruth, 1992
  • War Baby, The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine, Volume III, by Larry Ruth, 2013
  • Who Designed the M1 Carbine, by E.H. Harrison, The American Rifleman, March 1976
  • "Carbine" Williams, Myth and Reality, by Bruce Canfield, The American Rifleman, February 2009

The Williams Carbine

Williams finally completed his version of the carbine about December 1941. Whereas the carbine that was designed by the other team started off with a few parts being variations of the 7 1/2 pound 30-06 rifle Williams designed, this carbine was literally a down-sized version of the larger rifle. It is not known if the Williams version was ever put through any trials. It was never adopted for any purpose and the only one known to exist is within the Winchester archives located at the Cody Museum in Cody, Wyoming.

The design of this rifle lived on in the design of several additional rifles by Williams and/or others at Winchester as you will see below.

Photographs courtesy of the Cody Museum


The lever at the rear of the receiver is the safety. Rotating the lever up blocks the hammer from striking the rear of the bolt.
On display at the Cody Firearms Museum, Cody, WY


Rear sling swivel attached to buttplate

Patents Williams obtained related to his carbine as an assignor to the parent companies of Winchester

Application DatePatent #Patent DescriptionPatent Approved
03 Jan 1942US2323954Fixed Barrel Band13 Jul 1943
03 Jan 1942US2350484Stock cut for Sling06 Jun 1944
04 Feb 1942US2325646Receiver and Trigger Plate03 Aug 1943
04 Feb 1942US2353800Recoil Absorption18 Jul 1944
04 Feb 1942US2355768Gas Operated Self Loading Firearm15 Aug 1944
13 Feb 1942US2355769Cartridge Deflection15 Aug 1944
21 Apr 1942US2361519Firing Mechanism31 Oct 1944
21 Jan 1943US2345083Firearm Takedown28 Mar 1944
26 Feb 1943US2373213Receiver Assembly Firearm10 Apr 1945
29 Feb 1943US2366823Firing Mechanism09 Jan 1945
02 Nov 1944US2412663Cartridge Extraction17 Dec 1946

Additional Information on the prototype by Williams may be found on
the web page devoted to this carbine

The Winchester Model G30R

The Winchester G30R was a continuation of the research and development that started with the Browning Military Rifle and progressed into the Winchester G30M then the 7 1/2 lb. Winchester Military Model, Caliber .30 M2. Williams had continued his work on the latter producing this next generation prototype. Whereas the .30 caliber carbine design by Williams was a down sized version of the 7 1/2 lb. rifle that included improvements, the G30R was an up sized version of the Williams carbine design with additional improvements.

In early 1944 the U.S. Army was provided with two of these rifles for testing and designated the G30R as T10E1. The tests showed additional work needed to be done but heightened the interest of the rifle to a level that prompted Williams and Winchester to produce the rifle that follows below.

 
Unless indicated otherwise the following photos were by the author courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of History
 
One of the more noteworthy changes is the gas piston housing was moved to the 5 o'clock position
on the barrel, in line with the recoil spring. The slide was redesigned with a reinforced area at
the point of contact with the gas piston. The left side of the slide body was slightly down sized
and the slide body was shortened.

Left: Slide in the forward position; Right: slide fully retracted
 

Note the rails on either side of the barrel that support the side.
Note the use of a spring to keep the gas piston nut from rotating out.
 

Bottom of barrel (number is museum inventory number)
 

(photo courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of History)

For comparison, note the parts of the G30R (above) to the parts of the Williams Carbine (below)

The Williams Carbine

(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum, in cooperation with Larry Ruth)

Of the two known examples of the G30R, one is located in the North Carolina Museum of History in the Williams Exhibit, the other is preserved in the private collection of the Institute of Military Technology in Florida.

The Winchester Automatic Rifle (WAR)

After testing of the Winchester G30R in early 1944 the U.S. Army requested Winchester produce a select fire version. The Army was interested in replacing the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and Winchester considered a select fire version of the G30R a likely candidate. Williams modified the G30R to select fire changing a number of features to improve the weapon's performance in full automatic mode. This included a heavy barrel, bipod, flash suppressor and a larger opening in the forend of the stock to assist with cooling the barrel. Winchester named the select fire version produced by Williams as the The Winchester Automatic Rifle, which they referred to as the WAR.

U.S. Army tests of the WAR in December 1944 prompted the Army to contract Winchester in January 1945 to produce 10 production models for additional testing and refinement. Winchester delivered the ten production models in June and July 1945. The U.S. Army began testing at Aberdeen in July 1945 with several of the rifles subsequently being forwarded to the U.S. Army Infantry Board and the U.S. Marine Corps Equipment Board.

While Williams had contributed to the development of other rifles at Winchester the WAR was the first Williams designed rifle with a very good chance of a government contract for large scale production. As a Squad Automatic Weapon replacing the M1918 BAR. This would have been a major achievement for Williams and Winchester.

The results of the July 1945 trials never made it to the printer. The Japanese surrender on August 15th, 1945 brought with it immediate government budget cuts to the military. Contracts for new weapons came to an immediate halt. With the world focused of the end of WWII no one anticipated the invasion of South Korea by North Korea less than five years later. Winchester had retired the entire WAR project. The M1918 BAR continued serving American Forces throughout the war in Korea.

As noted above under the G35R those with further interest in the Browning Military Rifle and it's evolution through the G35M, G35R and into the Winchester Automatic rifle may wish to read the chapters devoted to these rifles in Bruce Canfield's book The M1 Garand Rifle (ISBN: 0-931464-56-1).

ForgottenWeapons.com
Video of W.A.R.
Winchester's Automatic Rifle

Williams .50 caliber Browning Semi-Automatic Anti-Tank Gun

During his time at Winchester during WWII, Williams designed and developed a .50 caliber semi-automatic rifle using many of the features of the Winchester Model 30 and WAR. Little is known about this rifle. It appears to have suffered the same fate as the WAR.


(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum)


(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum)

ForgottenWeapons.com
Video of Winchester-Williams WWII
.50 BMG Antitank Rifle

Williams Sporterized .30 Carbine S.L. (Self Loading) Prototype

Winchester developed a sporterized version of their M1 Carbine for civilian use in 1945, producing one known prototype. The carbine below was located by the author near the Winchester commercial carbine prototype in storage at the Cody Firearms Museum. The museum information on the carbine dates it as produced in 1945 as an experimental carbine. Williams was still employed at Winchester during this time period and appears to have created this sporterized carbine based on his carbine design, concurrent to the commercial prototype being designed by Winchester.


(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum)


(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum)


(photo by the author courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum)


(photo courtesy of the Cody Museum)


(photo by the author courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum)


(photo by the author courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum)

Winchester Model 50 & 59, Shotguns

Along with his .30 M2 Browning Military Rifle Jonathan Edmund Browning developed, patented, and sold to Winchester a design for a semi-automatic shotgun (Browning patents: US1628226, US1842581, US1971597).

It's not known exactly when Williams was directed by Winchester to see if he could improve the Browning shotgun design and correct it's deficiencies. Or how much of that work occurred at Winchester and/or the Williams homestead. Williams patents for his redesign of shotgun include:

Application DatePatent #Patent Description
06 Nov 1947US2476232Inertia Operated Bolt Lock
07 May 1955US2847787Firearm with Movable Chamber and Sealing Sleeve

Winchester introduced the shotgun in 1954 as their Model 50 Automatic Shotgun in 12 and 20 gauge. The shotgun featured as Inertia Operated Bolt Lock designed by Williams. The bolt block and cartridge sat within a large floating chamber. When the gun was fired the gas forward of the floating chamber forced the chamber to the rear approximately 1/10th of an inch in a short stroke that generated the energy necessary for the bolt block to exit the rear of the floating chamber and operate the action.


Winchester Model 50 in 12 gauge (top) and 20 gauge (bottom)


Williams Floating Chamber Containing the Bolt Assembly


Williams Floating Chamber


Bolt propelled rearward out of Floating Chamber extracting spent casing and loading next cartridge
Adapted from the Winchester Model 59 Owner's Manual

The Model 50 was offered by Winchester from 1954 through 1961, total quantity manufactured approximately 220,000. In 1960 Winchester introduced their Model 59 Automatic Shotgun which also utilized the Williams design from the Model 50. This shotgun was manufactured through 1965, total production approximately 82,000.

Several sources have indicated Williams worked at Winchester for four years, others have indicated he remained a full time employee at Winchester until 1951. He was still employed full time at Winchester in 1949 when Melvin Maynard Johnson, Jr. was hired and assigned to work in the same area as Williams. At some point between 1949 and 1951 Williams returned to his home and workshop in Godwin, NC, where he worked on various projects including part time work for Winchester.

The Winchester 224 Light Rifle

In 1956 the U.S. Army Command requested Armalite and Winchester submit a .22 caliber centerfire rifle for evaluation. Armalite submitted Eugene Stoner's AR design. Winchester submitted the Winchester 224 Light Rifle (caliber .224 WLR centerfire cartridge), designed by Winchester employee Ralph Clarkson based on the Williams Carbine design. In 1962 the U.S. Dept. of Defense selected Stoner's design over the objections of the Army.

Clarkson had been on the Winchester design team that produced Winchester's 2nd light rifle prototype that was chosen by the Ordnance Dept. as the U.S. Caliber .30 Carbine, M1.


(photo courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum)


Display at Cody Firearms Museum, Cody, WY


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