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The M1941 Johnson Machine Gun is recoil-operated light machine gun that was utilized by the United States during World War II.


The M1941 machine gun shared many components with its companion M1941 Johnson Rifle, which didn't compete well against the M1 Garand.

The M1941 light machine gun was different from many other machine guns because it was recoil operated, not gas operated like many other machine guns. The new M1941 Johnson Machine Gun was chambered for the .30-06 Springfield Cartridge and it has a muzzle velocity of 853 meters per second. It had a length of one meter and a twenty round curved side loading magazine.

It also had a rate of fire of about 400 rounds per minute[1] There eventually was a new variant of the Johnson MG which was created in 1944. This new machine gun had a new mono-pod but was basically the same when it came to operation and mechanics.[2]

Johnson LMG 2

A M1941 Johnson Machine Gun being used


The M1941 LMG was designed in 1940 by the Marine Corps Reserve Col. Melvin M. Johnson. After the unsuccessful M1941 Johnson Rifle, Cpt. Melvin Johnson's goal was to create a better semi-automatic weapon. The development that followed resulted in the M1941 Johnson Machine Gun. Unfortunately for Cpt. Melvin Johnson, his machine gun had the same fate as its counterpart, failure.

However, despite being rejected, it was still used in combat. It was used in the Pacific Theater but it was prone to jamming after extended use. These kind of drawbacks didn't allow the Johnson to be as successful as other light machine guns.


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