Historical Profile: John Moses Browning

The thumbprint, and trigger fingerprint, of John Moses Browning, is on nearly every major firearm design of the 19th and 20th centuries. A veritable fount of weapon designs, Browning’s innate skills, and pure determination at being a self-motivated marketer of his own works have made him a legend not only of the American shooting world, but globally. To many, he remains a paragon of the American spirit: born of humble origins built into a name of worldwide recognition through his own efforts and tenacity.

Considering the number of designs Browning contributed to the world of firearms it is difficult for many to accept that it was, in fact, one mind responsible. He registered 128 patents with the US Patent Office, and this does not include his numerous adjustments and improvements or the cartridges he specifically developed. He was a veritable Da Vinci of gun design, apparently motivated by a belief that improvement was a constant, never a finish line.

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14 Responses to Historical Profile: John Moses Browning

  1. Alan says:

    If your’e in Salt Lake City, make it a point to drive up to Ogden. Only about 45 minutes from the airport. The Browning museum is holy ground, and in the same complex is a classic car and a train museum. Plan on more ‘n a couple hours, if not a day. They have examples of his successes, but also prototypes and ideas that never worked out. Oh, and if you go to the Mormon Temple downtown, it’s a nice place to visit. Mormons got their own thing going but while you’re at the temple watch yourself, they will latch on to you like a spring tick. (grin)

    • Stretch says:

      I second this recommendation. The Smarter Half and I took a 5,500+ mile road trip to Ogden back in September, 2018. There are LOTS of interesting museums an points of interest along I-80 an I-40. Just the trip to make once we get out of the silliness of the Wuhan Red Death.

  2. grayman says:

    Can not get a better weapon anywhere, love my hi-power!!!

    • Bad Attitude says:

      I grew up shooting a Hi-Power. I love my Hi-Power. But, I also love my Glock 17.

      • Wirecutter says:

        I’ve only shot a Hi-Power once and didn’t care for it. The grip angle just didn’t feel right after shooting a 1911 for so many years.

        • =TW= says:

          Well I’m partial to 1911s too. But I have lots of respect for the High Power. My MK II is reliable and at least as accurate as any 1911 I own.
          If there were no such thing as a 1911 I would be perfectly satisfied with the BHP. CZ 75 has similar frame profile and these fit me better than most other doublestack pistols.

          Pro tip: Ditch the factory grips.

      • WilliamGene says:

        Agree. Gotta stick with my G17’s and G45 MOS.

  3. =TW= says:

    Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless- an elegant .380 pistol.
    I’d like to see a retro/modern version in 9mm. Something like this:
    Suggested by a caption in the article- “Machine Gun Blues”/Social Distortion

  4. SgtBob says:

    Good, informative article. Like a lot of other readers, I’ve used the M1911A1 and the M2.

  5. Ray Mota says:

    WOW ! That’s all – WOW!

  6. FrankP says:

    Have been a John Browning fan for years.

    Currently have a Colt 1911, SA-22 and Browning O/U. Will someday add a Hi-Power and, my Holy Grail, an A5 Sweet 16. Have wanted the latter since as a young boy was allowed to shoot one.

  7. Sanders says:

    Rebuilt my 1911A1, yesterday with new pins and springs. The hammer pin isn’t supposed to come out the right side while shooting, so I figured I’d just replace them all with an Ed Brown kit. Wilson springs (with an 18-1/2 lb recoil spring and a reduced weight hammer spring) replaced the old ones while I had it all apart. I got it in mid-2000 and I don’t know how many thousands of rounds I put through it. For a while, I was shooting 200 rounds/week at lunch time at the indoor range near my office. Shit wears out, after a while.

    Was still amazed at St. Browning’s genius in the simplicity of the machine.

    The Hi Power with Hogue grips feels real good in my hand and is fun to shoot.

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