Cal. 30. SN 67.

The G30R was based on a design conceived by Jonathan E. Browning in 1930 (Below), which could be adapted with equal ease to both civilian and military use. Although it was generally believed that the Munich Agreement had forestalled the possibility of war in Europe, the management of the Winchester company wanted to have a design for a military rifle in hand should the need for it arise. Consequently, from June 7. 1938, through May 1939, an extensive series of tests were carried out using the original Browning samples (Plates 258 and 259) and those subsequently made by the company. During the testing of the first sample, a number of problems were encountered in the design. 

These were subsequently summarized in a report prepared by William C. Roemer, on April 10, 1940, as follows: 

Irregular Action--The gun would perform well for a time, then it would fail to feed or fail to eject or fail to make its automatic cycle. At other times it would fail on the first few shots. This difficulty was not elimi­nated until the annular gas piston was abandoned as later detailed in this report.

Poor Ejection--The ejection of the Winchester made gun was prac­tically the same as Mr. Browning's sample, viz., toward and over the shooter. With Mr. Browning's coop­eration we tried all manner of expedients to cause the empty shell to eject forwardly but were unable to effect this until we tried a deflecting member adjustably [sic] attached to the receiver. This was successful and was later incorporated as a part of the rear sight base.

Bolt Stop Failures--The member use to keep the action open auto­matically after the last shot was fired never functioned consistently in this gun. We felt this was due to a cormbination of effects involving irregular bolt travel, lack of consistent magazine follower position and close timing. This trouble was not completely removed in this model until February 1940.

Trouble with Firing Mechanism-­In Mr. Browning's sample gun the firing pin was cocked by the link and held by a vertical sear in bolt which connected with a hook attached to the trigger mechanism. This mechanism, especially the connection between sear and trigger mechanisms, was completely concealed and its action was uncertain due to the difficulty of making the proper fits. This mechanism gave so much trouble that it was replaced by a hammer mechanism of Winchester design.

Clip Loading--In Mr. Browning's military sample, no provision was made for loading the magazine with a clip. This was developed by Winchester, forming a part of the rear sight base.

Rear Sight--Mr. Browning's sample was not equipped with sights suitable for military purposes. The sights on the present guns were developed by Winchester but are not considered final.

In July 1939, the annular piston designed by Browning was replaced by a more conventional version situated beneath the barrel (Below), and most of the problems noted by Roemer were immediately corrected.

In recognition that its stocks of U.S. M1 rifles were insufficient to meet potential requirements, the United States Army asked for bids on a 65,000-unit contract in mid-September. The Winchester company, having gained valuable experience in the manufacture of that model due to the educational contract of earlier that year, was able to submit the lowest bid, and on Oct. 10, 1939 was awarded the contract.

The company also stepped up work on the G30R, producing a second revised sample in December. When subjected to a sand test, however, the bolt stuck fast in the wedge-shaped stopping surface located in the rear of the receiver, totally disabling the rifle'. In consequence of this, it was decided that it was necessary to redesign the rifle's lockwork.

The designer selected to perform this task was David Marsh Williams, who the company had hired under a one-year contract on Julv 1. 1939. Williams immediately fitted a short stroke piston to the sample (below). which corrected some of the operating problems. the design of Browning's bolt, however, still made cycling erratic, so in late 1910, it was abandoned'. 

Williams then substituted a bolt of his own configuration. This bolt was of tubular form with two locking lugs located at its forward end and an angled slot cut in the bolt's body. The purpose of this slot was to receive a projection milled on the tip of the operating rod. When the rod moved rearward under pressure front the piston, the projection sliding in the bolt slot caused the bolt to rotate out of its locked position before any rearward movement of the bolt could begin. The delay which thereby occurred in the unlocking of the action allowed the pressure generated by the combustion of the cartridge powder to dissipate before the action began to cycle. This arrangement allowed the modified Browning-Williams rifle to be chambered for any high-pressure cartridge by the simple expedient of modifying the bolt slot length to adjust the bolt rotation to the point that the bolt could be safely opened. The versatility of the Williams' design was recognized by the company's management, and a series of samples (below) were authorized for field trials and endurance tests in January 1941.

Browning Drawing