Johnston D-1918 machine gun

I don’t know much about this beyond the name. We have four photographs from the US Ordnance Department dated from 1937 identifying this as a Johnston (not Johnson – note the “t”) Model D-1918 machine gun. It superficially resembles a Lewis gun and uses a Lewis-type radiator, but is clearly not a Lewis – it has a square receiver and is missing the mainspring. It is also shown in one picture with a wooden foregrip that I have not seen on a Lewis.

Anyone know more about this piece?

Johnston D1918

All four photos are posted on the Johnston D1918 page in the Vault.


  1. If you will try to search USPTO database, there are several patents issued to someone JOHNSTON, JAMES S
    One of such patents (US 1,447,861) describes machine gun with sliding pistol grip which is used to cock the gun (like latter Czechoslovak machine guns), and patent drawing is somehow similar to the gun on photo
    same designer also has several patents for various types of machine gun magazines of more or less unusual shape, all issued during 1920s.

  2. A quick google search doesn’t get much, but there is a sorta reference to John C. Garand and some work he did in WW1 at the Bureau of Standards on a gun, that appears to be the D-1918. A check of printed JCG biographies might be in order.

  3. Im inquireing about the JOHNSTON MACHINE GUN model D-1918. My name is Bruce L Johnston, and im the only surving person that knows about the gun.I have pictures and documentation to back up what i claim.I would like the person or persons that asked if anyone knows anything about the gunto contact me @

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