Saturday, January 23, 2016

Happy 161st!

Someone suggested getting out a 1911 and taking it to the range to celebrate John Moses Browning's 161st birthday. I guess that like Leonardo da Vinci and the Mona Lisa, it's inevitable that an artist's rep gets entangled with his best known work, but Browning was so much more prolific than that.

We're talking about the dude who patented the concept of the SLIDE on autoloading pistols. The guy who pretty much invented gas-operated automatic weapons. The man who made the first practical and commercially successful self-loading shotgun.

The way a Glock works? Browning patented that. You don't like old-fashioned hammer-fired guns? Browning's first commercially successful pistol, the FN Model 1899, was striker-fired.

Other than the nameless individual who first stuffed fireworks powder into a metal pot and used it to launch a ball, there's probably no other single individual who had such an influence on firearms as we know them today.