What was old is new again. I will admit, I know very little about Wilkinson Arms and the Linda 9mm carbine except for the fact that they have a cult-like following and are *unique* enough to actually be beautiful. After being discontinued for many years, Wilkinson Arms and the Linda are now back in production and available for purchase.
Besides the traditional Linda, other versions that include an underfolding stock, optics and light rail mounts and AR-style stock adapters will be available. Parts, accessories and magazines will also be sold directly from the Wilkinson website.
I had the opportunity to speak directly with Patrick McFarland, the owner of Wilkinson Arms via email. Here’s what he had to say:
The Linda is indeed blow back operated with a telescoping bolt similar to an Uzi. Tight tolerances between the bolt and barrel help contribute to an accurate platform.
The magazines are proprietary. Following Ray Wilkinson’s passing there was a period of time where magazines were difficult and expensive. Some people did claim to have success adapting certain brands of Hi-Power magazines. However supply is no longer an issue and the price is comparable to the market. Magazines are available in 18 and 31 round capacities with discounts for multi-mag purchases.
Turning the Linda into an SBR is a simple process. The barrel is held in with a barrel nut that can be undone with the hand and a short barrel installed. Following submission of a form 1, of course. We do intend to build some factory SBR’s in the future.
Unfortunately I can’t comment yet on the suppression of the Linda, still waiting on the SOT to arrive. It should suppress very well for a 9mm carbine due to the tight tolerances between the bolt/barrel and the heavy weight of the bolt.
Currently the Linda is being sold in four configurations and customers can submit requests for different stock/hand guard combinations.
Ultimately the Linda is built like a tank capable of handling +P+ ammunition pushing the 9mm cartridge out to impressive velocities.
Wilkinson Arms History:
In the 60’s Ray Wilkinson lived in Covina, CA producing parts for both go-karts and motorcycles. In a neighboring building was Bob Penney, owner of Alpine who were known for their “Tanker Garand,” a shortened version of the ubiquitous WWII battle rifle.
One day Ray showed up to Bob’s office with a wooden model of a 9mm carbine. The purpose of the visit was to sell Bob on the idea of forming a partnership to produce the handy little carbines.
At that point J&R Engineering was formed and development of the M-68 began. The M-68 was a 9mm blowback carbine featuring a closed/telescoping bolt and a 31 round magazine capacity.
Orders for the carbine were instantly strong and J&R knew they had developed a good rifle. At this time mail orders for firearms were legal and this constituted the bulk of the sales. These orders were killed with the advent of the Gun Control Act of 1968. Not long after, J&R ceased operations. The remaining parts were assembled into carbines and sold under the name PJK by Bob. In addition to the M-68, the M-80 had been developed which moved the charging handle from the top to the left side.
Ray Wilkinson believed in his carbine and felt there was a market for it. He went back to the drawing board to resolve a few issues present, namely with extraction, and took the opportunity to also update the hammer, feedramp, receiver, barrel, among other parts.
The new carbine would be named Terry after Ray’s daughter. Later a pistol version would be produced and named Linda. In addition to these two models, Wilkinson would also produce Diane, a .25acp pistol and Sherry, a .22LR pistol.
The common denominator with all of the models produced by Wilkinson was quality. Tight tolerances and robust designs lent themselves to accurate and reliable firearms. When Ray passed, the company was bought by Boyd Gray who fell in love with the carbine during a trip to Idaho. Boyd renamed the business to Northwest Arms and moved it to Washington. This brings us to today. Wilkinson is back!
- 16″ barrel
- Aluminum alloy extrusion
- Fixed front and rear sites with weaver style rail
- Ejection port dust cover
- Supplied with wood handguard
- Aluminum with polymer hand grips
- Cross-Bolt Safety
- Thumb operated magazine release
- Tubular steel fixed stock with wooden buttplate
- One 31 round magazine included (additional 31 or 18 round magazines available)
From Wilkinson Arms’ Website:
Wilkinson Arms is a Type 07 FFL
Wilkinson Arms has a long but scarcely known history, however, more important than where we’ve been is where we’re going.
Currently Wilkinson Arms is bringing back the Linda Carbine and will provide current Wilkinson owners with a source for parts and accessories.
In the future we will revitalize the brand with new and exciting products based on the premise of quality. We thank you for your interest and welcome any inquiries you may have.
A SBR’d and suppressed version of the Linda will have my full attention. McFarland says to keep an eye on the Wilkinson Arms social media pages for further updates. I know I will.