5.7mm Johnson Spitfire


#1

Does anyone manufacture 5.7mm Johnson Spitfire presently? How about guns which fire 5.7mm, what are they and are they made presently?


#2

Vlad

The Spitfire, or 5.7 MMJ is still technically a wildcat, I THINK. The last outfit that tried to market them was Fulton Armory, I THINK. You can probably Google “Fulton Armory” and search around for information. The rifle used was a .30 Carbine with a .22 replacement barrel.

Ray


#3

Cartridges manufactured by Johnson Arms, Inc., New Haven, Connecticut. All cartridges are headstamped WRA 30 CARBINE.

Wildcat or ??? You decide.

Ray


#4

A friend (who owns a great old gun shop) gave this box to me. He made it sound like it was something rare. I trust his 45 years in business. I just never heard of such a calibre. The headstamp is LC69.


#5

Vlad

I’d say that ANY box of the 5.7 cartridges has collector value.

There are several versions of the cartridge, and several names to go along with them. 22 Spitfire, 5.7mm Spitfire, 22 Carbine, 5.7mm MMJ, just to name a few. It’s at least 45 years old and maybe older since there are stories that the military played with the idea as part of the SCHV program. It’s not the same, however, as the 22 Gustafson, 22 Carbine, 22 APG, 22 SCHV (which are all the same cartridge) which was based on a shortened 222 Remington case.

Maybe Mr. Watters will read this and chime in?

Ray


#6

The US military did do some testing with the round in rebarreled M2 carbines. For a few years Iver Johnson also produced M1 carbines in 5.7 MMJ for the commercial market. Fulton Armory also offered 5.7mm Carbines for a short time. If memory serves Precision Cartridge Inc., Cor-Bon, Iver Johnson and a few others have offered loaded ammunition at various times. Kind of hard to call it a wildcat as both ammunition and firearms for it have been produced for both the military and commercial market.


#7

I agree that it’s hard to call it a wildcat but it’s also hard to call it a commercial cartridge. AFAIK there has never been a commercial or military case made for it with a proper headstamp. All cases have been reformed from other brass. That’s one of the requirements for a cartridge to be called a wildcat.

Sht_LE, have you ever seen any documentation that the military tested the round? I’ve looked and haven’t been able to find any, other than Col Johnson tried to sell them the idea.

Ray


#8

I have seen several of the Johnson Arms 5.7 boxes that have had over labels stating that they were for a military contract. The ones I have seen have been for Edgewood Arsenal at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. I think I have a photo of one somewhere. I will see if I can find it.

I agree with you that you can’t really call it a commercial cartridge. I should have clarified that instead of being a wildcat, I would class it as a Proprietary cartridge. Forgot to tag that on the last sentence of my previous post.


#9

OK, I will admit that I can’t remember where or when I read this, and I don’t think I am making it up or sufferring from hallucinations… but somewhere I got the idea that BELL made a run of 5.7 MMJ cases. Can anyone verify or debunk the existence of BELL 5.7 MMJ cases? I think the same source enlightened me as to the existence of BELL .401 Powermag cases and it took me at least five years before I stumbled across a couple hundred used cases on Ebay recently. I don’t need shooting quantities of 5.7MMJ, but if you have an extra with the BELL headstamp, I would like to obtain one.


#10

I know that I have seen them advertised in Shotgun News and other places, but the only source of 5.7 MMJ barrels that I could find in a quick search was at Gun Parts Corp. e-gunparts.com/DisplayAd.asp … 766960&MC=


#11

It is my understanding that the 5.7mm MMJ barrels sold by Gun Parts Corporation (GPC) are actually those left over when Israel Arms International (IAI) folded. At one time, GPC also had a supply of loaded 5.7mm MMJ ammunition, again probably that left over from IAI’s demise.

As I state in my article on .30 Carbine Wildcats, Johnson wasn’t the only person, or even the first, to neck down a .30 Carbine case for .224" projectiles. However, his version of the .22/30 Carbine wildcat was likely the most prolific.

Regarding Gerald A. Gustafson’s fatter .22 SCHV/.22 APG experimental cartridge, the original Aberdeen Proving Ground report can be acquired from DTIC and NTIS:
Design and Fabricate a High-Velocity Caliber .22 Cartridge, Modify a Standard M2 Carbine to Fire the Cartridge, and Evaluate the Weapon-Ammunition Combination


#12

Military box lable courtesy of CSAEOD


#13

I got this box many years ago from an ordnance tech. who worked for many years at Edgewood in the vulnerability section. He brought home tons of good stuff. Now deceased, he was an IAA member for many years. His name was Lyle Snider and he lived just across the road from Edgewood for most of his adult working life. He later moved down near Norfolk Va.

Most of the combustible and consumable ammo floating around came from him as well as plenty of the duplex and triplex experimentals.

I bought 500 rounds of .223 combustible ammo from him most of which has rotted away.

He didn’t know more about this box than is on the label.


#14

Some commercial"5,7 mm Johnson Spitfire"were sold under the name of “223 Hawk” The cases were made of .30 Carabine and had headstamp " L C 54"
They were made by “Pacific Cartridge Compagny” Santa Monica Calf.