By: Friedrich Seiltgen
Copyright © 2021
You’ve heard of a boy named Sue, now here’s a gun named Linda!
Wilkinson Arms has been around six decades in one form or another. During the 60s, Ray Wilkinson was living out in California manufacturing parts for go-karts and motorcycles. His neighbor, Bob Penney, had a business building M1 Carbines, 1903 Springfields, and “Tanker” Garand’s named Alpine & National Ordnance.
One day, Ray came over with a mockup of a design he created for a 9mm Carbine. The two became partners. and J&R Engineering was born! The design was called the M-68 and was a semi-automatic blowback, used a closed telescopic bolt, had a 31-round magazine, and a buttstock made of high-impact plastic. Back in those days, the mail order sale of weapons was allowed. J&R sold the M-68 for $149.95, and sales were aplenty. The passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act changed all that, and J&R Engineering went belly up!
Wilkinson knew his carbine was a quality product and went into business by himself. Ray opened Wilkinson Arms, and the carbine was now called the “Terry,” with a pistol version named “Linda.” Wilkinson also produced a .25 ACP pistol named “Diane,” and a .22 LR pistol named “Sherry.” I’m sure you’ve already guessed that the names came from Wilkinson’s wife and daughters. Wilkinson stayed in business until Ray’s passing in 1998. The new owner, Boyd Gray, came in and moved the company to Washington State under the Northwest Arms name. Finally, in 2015, the current owner, Patrick McFarland, bought the company, the name, and moved to Murphy, Idaho, where he produces the carbine version as the “Linda.”
Action Type: Semi-automatic, hammer fired, direct blowback
Magazine capacity: Proprietary 31 round magazine
Sights: Fixed aperture peep sight, fixed front post
Barrel Length: 16.5” with ½ X 28 threading
Overall Length: 31.5
Weight: 6.25 lbs.
The retro look of the Linda is cool, and the materials used today have been upgraded. The only plastic on the gun is in the grips and backstrap. The upper receiver is an aluminum alloy extrusion, and the lower receiver is also constructed of aluminum. The fixed buttstock is made of steel tubing with a wood buttplate and a wood foregrip. The Linda can be modified with an adapter to use the M-4 stock. The sights are basic fixed aperture types, but when it comes to mounting optics, there’s an issue. The top of the receiver is equipped with a weaver style rail! Y’all better get some picatinny style rails mounted up there expeditiously!
The Linda is a piece of firearms history. It’s been resurrected a few times but won’t go away. It’s a great design using tried and true features. Whether its for plinking, home defense, or just something to show off at the range, the Linda has you covered!
That’s all for now folks! Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article ideas. And as always – “Let’s be careful out there.”
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, Active Shooter Response, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in RECOIL, The Counter Terrorist Magazine, American Thinker, Homeland Security Today, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.