The Chinn Award

The Chinn Award is presented annually to honor a government or industry individual who, in the opinion of the Small Arms Committee Executive Board, has made significant contributions to the field of small arms and/or infantry weapons systems. A significant contribution is considered to be a creative invention, new design or innovative concept in small arms weapons, ammunition or ancillary equipment that provides an advancement in the state-of-the art or capability enhancement that clearly benefits the warfighting or general military capability of the U.S. The Chinn Award may also be conferred as recognition to an individual who has performed sustained superior service in a career field of science, engineering, test and evaluation, manufacturing program management, academic study and research, publishing or maintenance relating to military small arms or infantry weapons.

The Chinn Award is named in honor of LtCol George M. Chinn, USMC, a career Marine who dedicated his life to the study, development and refinement of machine gun mechanisms. LtCol Chinn is remembered for his work as a gun designer and for having compiled a five volume reference work entitled, “The Machine Gun.”

To nominate for the 2024 Chinn Award, please access this link here.

Chinn Award Winners:


2022: Mark McFadden

2021: not awarded, COVID year

2020: Ralph Mazeski
2016: Phil "Doc" Dater
2015: Jim Schatz
2014: George Niewenhous

2013: Rudy Nedelka
2012: Dan Haywood
2011: Charles Buxton
2010: Frank P. Puzycki
2009: Joel Goldman
2008: Troy Smith
2007: Bill Dittrich
2006: Richard Swan
2005: Rich Audette
2004: Ronnie Barrett
2003: Phil Baker and Georges Chauveheid
2002: Ernst Mauch
2001: L. James Sullivan
2000: Salvatore A. Fanelli
1999: Vernon E. Shisler
1998: George E. Kontis
1997: Robert A. Trifiletti
1996: C. Reed Knight, Jr.
1995: Joseph Unterkofler
1994: Richard E. Brown
1993: Edward C. Ezell
1992: not awarded
1991: Roderic A. Spies
1990: John S. Wood, Jr.
1989: James Ackley

1988: Thomas E. Cosgrove