Wednesday, January 23, 2008

John Moses Browning Day

Most sources give January 23rd as American engineer John Moses Browning's birthday, back in 1855 in Ogden (then a small town) in Utah, the son of a gunsmith.

In 1879, John patented the design for a rifle he'd made. It's known today as the Winchester lever-action .30-30 (the kind you've seen in many Western movies) because Winchester bought the rights to the amazing gun and mass-marketed it.

Browning invented the pump-action shotgun -- a style carried by most police departments today. Winchester also bought the rights to this popular gun.

Browning invented the cartridge-exhaust-gas powered machine-gun, and sold the design to Colt who sold the heavy gun to the U.S. Army as the Colt Model 1985 Peacemaker.

Browning invented the modern autoloading shotgun, also powered by cartridge exhaust gas. When Winchester turned him down, he took this design to Belgium (Fabrique National de Belgique).

Browning invented the barrel-enclosing slide, seen on virtually all modern autoloading (AKA semi-automatic) handguns.

Browning invented the U.S. Military's Model 1918 light machine gun, known as the BAR -- the Browning Automatic Rifle. It was used in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and at the beginning of the Vietnam War.

However, John Moses Browning's most famous gun design is the one accepted for use by the U.S. Army, the Model 1911 .45, and Browning also designed the cartridge/bullet that went with it, the .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol). The venerable M1911 was the standard side-arm of the U.S. military for decades, and is making another comeback based on combat experience in the Middle East.

Browning (1855-1926) is the world's pre-eminent firearms designer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We reserve the right to delete comments, but the failure to delete any particular comment should not be interpreted as an endorsement thereof.

In general, we expect comments to be relevant to the story, or to a prior comment that is relevant; and we expect some minimal level of civility. Defining that line is inherently subjective, so try to stay clear of insulting remarks. If you respond to a comment that is later deleted, we may take your response with it. Deleting your comment isn't a personal knock on you, so don't take it as such.

We allow a variety of ways for commenters to identify themselves; those who choose not to do so should take extra care. Absent any prior context in which they may be understood, ironic comments may be misinterpreted. Once you've earned a reputation for contributing to a conversation, we are likely to be more tolerant in those gray areas, as we'll understand where you're coming from.