A moment of silence please for John Browning's birthday


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News Shooter
January 21, 2008, 06:37 AM
January 21, 1855
Gun designer John Browning is born

John Moses Browning, sometimes referred to as the "father of modern firearms," is born in Ogden, Utah. Many of the guns manufactured by companies whose names evoke the history of the American West-Winchester, Colt, Remington, and Savage-were actually based on John Browning's designs.

The son of a talented gunsmith, John Browning began experimenting with his own gun designs as a young man. When he was 24 years old, he received his first patent, for a rifle that Winchester manufactured as its Single Shot Model 1885. Impressed by the young man's inventiveness, Winchester asked Browning if he could design a lever-action-repeating shotgun. Browning could and did, but his efforts convinced him that a pump-action mechanism would work better, and he patented his first pump model shotgun in 1888.

Fundamentally, all of Browning's manually-operated repeating rifle and shotgun designs were aimed at improving one thing: the speed and reliability with which gun users could fire multiple rounds-whether shooting at game birds or other people. Lever and pump actions allowed the operator to fire a round, operate the lever or pump to quickly eject the spent shell, insert a new cartridge, and then fire again in seconds.

By the late 1880s, Browning had perfected the manual repeating weapon; to make guns that fired any faster, he would somehow have to eliminate the need for slow human beings to actually work the mechanisms. But what force could replace that of the operator moving a lever or pump? Browning discovered the answer during a local shooting competition when he noticed that reeds between a man firing and his target were violently blown aside by gases escaping from the gun muzzle. He decided to try using the force of that escaping gas to automatically work the repeating mechanism.

Browning began experimenting with his idea in 1889. Three years later, he received a patent for the first crude fully automatic weapon that captured the gases at the muzzle and used them to power a mechanism that automatically reloaded the next bullet. In subsequent years, Browning refined his automatic weapon design. When U.S. soldiers went to Europe during WWI, many of them carried Browning Automatic Rifles, as well as Browning's deadly machine guns.

During a career spanning more than five decades, Browning's guns went from being the classic weapons of the American West to deadly tools of world war carnage. Amazingly, since Browning's death in 1926, there have been no further fundamental changes in the modern firearm industry.

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mr hanky
January 21, 2008, 07:52 AM
Genius. Absolute Genius.

Tim Burke
January 21, 2008, 08:47 AM
There is some debate about the date. (http://www.dapcom.com/Temples/Headstones/browning.htm)
I use 1-23-1855.

theHeretic
January 21, 2008, 09:11 AM
Since the schools are closed today, you should take the kids to a gun shop to celibrate.

A friend and I are taking his son to Cabela's.

Happy John Moses Browning Day!

igpoobah
January 21, 2008, 09:59 AM
Here, here!

Husker1911
January 21, 2008, 10:45 AM
Moment of silence? It would be more appropriate to fire a volley of shots in the man's honor.

John M. Browning should be heralded with other great American designers.

armoredman
January 21, 2008, 10:56 AM
If I wasn't sick as a dog, AND have to go to work, I'd go to the range and put some rounds down range in honor thereof. BTW, the BAR came out very late in WWI; most Doughboys were carrying the horrible French Chauchat automatic rifle.

Tim Burke
January 21, 2008, 11:02 AM
I'm taking my son to the range. He's not off on Wednesday, anyhow.

Uglyoldpoorman
January 21, 2008, 11:11 AM
And lest we forget today is the birthday of another great man. That's right I know what you are thinking, how could I have forgotten General Stonewall Jackson's birthday.

Living here in the deep south it is easy for me to remember because the schools are closed on this day.

http://www.vmi.edu/assets/0/430/448/1105/32f58bbf-e4ce-42e3-8719-d64f2e362034.jpg

Frandy
January 21, 2008, 11:24 AM
It's a good day to shoot my Colt 1911!

Gunnerpalace
January 21, 2008, 11:25 AM
Moment of silence? It would be more appropriate to fire a volley of shots in the man's honor.

Here, Here!

A M1911 or BAR should be appropriate.

graybeard321
January 21, 2008, 11:25 AM
While we are at it, Don't forget Robert E Lee's birthday on the 19th.

mike101
January 21, 2008, 01:31 PM
Think about it for a moment. If it wasn't for John Browning, look at all the different guns we would be doing without. The man was amazing.

I thought it fitting to remember his birthday elsewhere on the web. So I called for a moment of silence in his memory on the Brady Blog. You can only post comments to Brady on Huffpo, these days. They printed it! They probably don't know who he was, but just for a little insurance, I first mentioned Martin Luther King's birthday.

:evil:

KMKeller
January 21, 2008, 01:43 PM
Never knew today was his birthday... did however know that today is my wife's birthday as well as our wedding anniversary. :)

Dean C
January 21, 2008, 01:47 PM
I didn't know either. Well it seems I have something in common. My birthday is today (Jan. 21) also. Not quite 1855 though.
Happy birthday John,
dean

Robert Hairless
January 21, 2008, 03:04 PM
KMKeller:

Never knew today was his birthday... did however know that today is my wife's birthday as well as our wedding anniversary.

Happy anniversary and please relay my wishes to your wife for a happy birthday and anniversary too.

What more appropriate gift could the two of you exchange on this day than a precious item designed by John Moses Browning.

Remember: A 1911 is forever. :)

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