Sunday, November 26, 2006

Boomsticks: A moment of silence.

How many gun designers in the history of the planet have had, say, five completely different, commercially successfull weapons to their credit?

The answer is "one".

Single-shot rifles: Winchester 1885 "High Wall".
Lever-action rifles: Winchester 1886, Winchester 1892, Winchester 1894, Winchester 1895.
Recoil-operated autoloading rifles: Remington Model 8.
Gas-operated autoloading rifles: U.S. M1918 "BAR".
Over & Under shotguns: Browning Superposed.
Lever-action shotguns: Winchester 1887.
Pump-action shotguns: Winchester 1897, Remington Model 17/Ithaca Model 37.
Recoil-operated autoloading shotguns: Browning Auto-5/Remington Model 11.
Straight-blowback autoloading pistols: FN 1900, 1906, 1910 and Colt 1903 & Woodsman.
Short-recoil autoloading pistols: Colt M1911.
Gas-operated machineguns: Colt M1895.
Recoil-operated machineguns: U.S. M1917 and M2.

The man was John Moses Browning. Eighty years ago today he died. Eighty years after his death, the most elite counterterrorist groups in the U.S.A. are still using his pistols, and the most advanced main battle tank in the world still has a machinegun he designed almost ninety years ago mounted above the commander's hatch.

Eighty years gone, and still a genius.


Kaylee said...

There is no God but Browning, and Cooper is his prophet.

Browning Akbar.


gregg said...


John Moses Browning, may you rest in peace sir, you have saved the lives of countless American soldiers.

Tam, I think in honor of this great man, I ought to brew my "Tommy Atkins East India Pale Ale" today.

Anonymous said...

I found a first edition biography of him written by one of his sons years ago.

I've read it 3 times so far.

Great man.


Matt G said...

He's not so great.

I mean, he only designed about 5-10% of my collection, and about 10 other guns I want to buy.

But, come on! Let's see him tune a Glock!


Heartless Libertarian said...

BTW, according to my tour guide at FN in Columbia, SC, the M240/MAG-58 is mechanically based largely on the BAR.

T.Stahl said...

He makes the Mauser brothers look so...uuh...uninspired.

Anonymous said...

If you (generic, not just Tam) get a chance visit the Cody Firearms Museum. There is a section of the museum dedicated to just Browning. It's humbling and inspiring.

Joe Huffman

Marko said...

Yeah, the M240 is essentially a BAR action that's been flipped upside-down so the bolt toggle unlocks towards the bottom of the receiver. So, technically, the M240 is a tarted-up BAR with a belt feed.

comatus said...

There is a section of the museum dedicated to just Browning.

/ditto Liege, where he is still referred to publicly as Le Maitre (The Master).

His father invented the "harmonica gun," and is supposed to have told young J.M. that the Mormons would have never been forced out of Nauvoo if they could only have re-loaded fast enough. JM took care of that.

Anonymous said...

I think you have to include the Browning Hi-Power, also, even though he died before completing it.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Browning Low Wall, and I think the Winchester model 67 single shot.

Anonymous said...

And absolutely don't forget that neat little .22 autoloader. In constant production since 1904...JimB

Berge said...

To the man for the ages: Thanks for giving man fine quality tools to defend himself from malcontents and opportunists.

Idahoser said...

Aren't ALL modern auto pistols based on something of his? "Locking breach" or something like that?

Anonymous said...

... and then there is his 1935 Browning Auto. Prolific to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Paraphrased from some gun mailing list back in the dark ages:
"When the US fields its gauss gun-armed hovertank, it will have an M2HB on the top"

Scot J.