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John Wayne’s .22 Rifle (designed by Jim Sullivan)

One of the many projects that AR-15 designer Jim Sullivan was involved in through his long career was a project to found the Wayne Repeating Arms Company (or WRA Co., not to be inadvertently confused with any other gun company with those initials). The company was backed financially by none other than John “the Duke” Wayne of movie fame, and its first product was to be a semiauto .22 rimfire rifle to compete with the Ruger 10/22. Sullivan designed the rifle and two prototypes were built in 1977 or thereabouts. Unfortunately, at this point Wayne had a falling out with his son-in-law (who was his business manager), and the new business manager who stepped in was not interested in the gun project. As a result, the funding ended and the project came to a rather abrupt end. However, Sullivan still has the two prototype rifles, and gave us a look at them. Frankly, I think they could have probably done pretty well against Ruger (especially with an association to John Wayne).

Theme music by Dylan Benson –

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