The U.S. Caliber .30 Carbines

The U.S. Carbine Caliber .30

David Marshall Williams

Separted from the team working on what has come to be known as Winchester's 2nd prototype, Williams designed and built his own version. Whereas the 2nd prototype was completed and submitted in time for the 15 Sep 1941 light rifle trials, Williams did not complete his prototype until December 1941. Winchester's 2nd prototype, selected as the Carbine Caliber .30, M1 on 30 Sep 1941, was already in the first stages of production.

Though Williams failed to meet the deadline thereby eliminating his design from the competition the prototype he produced was considered by Puglsey to be an excellent design. Williams utilized the design in the development of a squad automatic rifle that likely would have replaced the M1918 Browning BAR had it not been for the end of WWII and Ordnance's loss of funding for new weapons. After Williams left Winchester the design was used by Winchester to develop another "light rifle" for the trials that led to the adoption of the M16 rifle.

The eventual legend of "Carbine" Williams is addressed elsewhere on this website with five pages devoted to this legend and the firearms actually designed by Williams while he was in prison, in the 1930's after his release from prison, during his time at Winchester and beyond. The story of Williams and Winchester is addressed in more detail as it related to the "legend". What this research revealed is an interesting story with his involvement in the development of the M1 Carbine being only a very small part of that story. The story of the Legend of "Carbine" Williams starts HERE.

The .30 caliber Carbine Prototype Designed by Williams

Whereas the design for the first Winchester light rifle prototype borrowed parts of from the design of the Williams 7 1/2 lb. Browning rifle, the Williams light rifle design was a smaller version of the Williams 7 1/2 lb. Browning Rifle with only a few changes. The most obvious being the redesign of the receiver with the safety at the rear.

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

The safety is a lever located at the rear of the receiver.
Rotating the lever up held the bolt to the rear.

Front Sight & Barrel Band

Short stroke gas piston
Note the rails extending out from either side of the barrel to support the slide


Safety, vent hole in receiver ring, note the opening running lengthwise down the top of the receiver


Trigger Group


Patents for the Williams Prototype

Patents issued to David M. Williams, assignor to Winchester Repeating Arms under their various names.

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

FirearmLocation Catalog Number
Prototype Carbine, Williams Design Cody Firearms Museum1988.8.421

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