So what all guns did Browning design?


September 19, 2003, 04:17 PM
Does anybody know all of the guns that John Browning designed that made it into mass production?

Colt 1903
Colt 1909
Colt 1911
Browning Hi-Power
Baby Browning

Auto-5 shotgun
Winchester 1897 (I think) shotgun

Winchester 1892 lever rifle
Winchester 1894 lever rifle
Winchester 1895 lever rifle
Winchester 1886 lever rifle (I think)

M2 Machine Gun
M1917 Machine Gun (water cooled)
M1919 Machine Gun
Browning Automatic Rifle M1918

The above in of itself is an impressive list, but there's a LOT more, if I'm not mistaken.

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September 19, 2003, 04:57 PM
Don't forget another early one, and Very Important one ...
Browning model 1900

September 19, 2003, 05:11 PM
Did he design the Superposed O/U shotgun?

4v50 Gary
September 19, 2003, 05:14 PM
Curt Gentry's book on Browning has a listing of all his guns including his 37 mm cannon. Browning also designed the potato digger machine gun that was used by our troops during the Spanish American War.

September 19, 2003, 07:44 PM
Winchester M-12
Ithica M-37

Mike Irwin
September 19, 2003, 09:18 PM
I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think that Browning did the Model 12.

He did the Models 1893 and 1897 shotguns for Winchester, but I think his affiliation with them was over by the time the Model 12 hit the bricks.

The Remington Model 8 was also his.

September 20, 2003, 10:09 AM
Hey, I'm pretty sure that th Browning Hi-Power was/is made by FN in Belgium.

What's up with that?

Did American companies reject the design?

Or were things just different back then?

September 20, 2003, 10:51 AM
JMB started the High Power for FN but died during its development.


"The specifications were received at Fabrique Nationale in Belgium, with whom John Browning had worked for years. There are some accounts that show that John Browning immediately went to work on a pistol to meet these criteria, while others of the famed FN engineer Dieudonne Saive providing Mr. Browning with the initial high capacity magazine designs. However the beginnings, John Browning produced two models of pistol for the French trials of 1922. Both featured 15 rd magazines and graduated rear sights, but had different operating mechanisms, and were slightly over the weight restriction. The second design, a locked breech and striker fired pistol was the one selected by FN to further pursue the French contract. It was this pistol, with some improvements that was John Moses Browning's last pistol design, the patent being granted in February, 1927 shortly after his death. As Mr. Stevens' Hi Power reference (The Browning High Power Automatic Pistol) mentions, it is interesting to note that while the patent contained many detailed descriptions of the pistols function, nothing is mentioned of the then very exotic high capacity magazines. It was thought that a description of the magazine would aid rivals in their own design pursuits.

The French trials of 1922 led FN's Mr. Saive to further development on a short version of the Model 1922. He dispensed with the striker assembly, and added a hammer and lightened the pistol somewhat. This became known as the Model 1923, and was noted as the finest pistol yet tested by the French during the 1923 trials, though still slightly over weight. Continued development of this pistol, known as the Grand Rendement, found Mr. Saive shortening the slide somewhat, and reducing the number of cartridges from 15+1 to 13+1 in an attempt to bring the pistol's weight to within the French specification. At this point the pistol retained it's original "breech bolt" concept, and had a "stepped" upper slide and was a bit thick in the upper grip area. But the Hi Power's graceful lines were just starting to show in the trigger guard, and front of the slide. Fn actually started marketing this pistol as soon as 1927.

By 1928, Colt's patent protection had run out on the 1911, and Mr. Saive began his third update to John Browning's original design utilizing some of the features Mr. Browning had incorporated into the 1911, but had been unavailable to FN because of the patent time limits. The Model 1928 dispelled completely with the bulky breech bolt assembly, and the the P35 as we know it today was readily apparent with the addition of a 1911 style barrel bushing and a straight grip. By 1931 the pistol featured a curved backstrap and the fixed bushing of today's Hi Power. The pistol was completed and ready for production in 1934, being offered with either a tangent style adjustable or standard fixed rear sight. It was slim, held thirteen cartridges, and was the most advanced military pistol available. Production began, and in May of 1935, Belgium accepted the first 1000 pistol order from FN sealing the Hi Power's designation of Model 1935 forever. With a state of the art design, and the swirling murkiness of events counting down to World War II, The Browning Hi Power stood on the brink of becoming the most widely used military pistol in history."

September 20, 2003, 10:57 AM
Greyhound: John Browning had separate agreements with Colt for its market and FN (Browning) for the rest of the world. He couldn't infringe on his own patents with Colt so he had to design something different.

September 20, 2003, 11:03 AM

Jim Watson
September 21, 2003, 09:29 PM
Let's add that:

Mr Browning designed a series of .22 bolt action single shot rifles for Winchester in the 1900 - 1904 era, including the Thumb Trigger model.

The Winchester 1890 - 1906 - M62 .22 hammer pumps were his, too.

Winchester 1887 - 1901 lever action shotguns.

Winchester bought many patents from Mr Browning with no intention of manufacturing them, they just wanted to keep the competition from using his designs.

FN 1903, 1910, 1922 pistols, the "Trombone" hammerless .22 pump and an auto rifle similar to the Remington Model 8.

Colt Woodsman.

I know of Colt/Browning autos of 1898, 1900, 1902, 1903 (two models, .32 and .38ACP), 1905, 1908 (two models, .25 and .380) and 1911. Not counting military prototypes of 1904, 1907, 1909, and 1910.

Probably some others, we'll think of them. No fair looking them up.

4v50 Gary
September 21, 2003, 10:10 PM
The Winchester Model 12 was not Browning's design. It was indigenous to Winchester. If my book wasn't stowed in a box beneath tons of other boxes, I could open it up and tell you the designer's name.

September 21, 2003, 10:13 PM
Everyone's missed a big one:


September 21, 2003, 10:43 PM
Nightcrawler listed the 1911 in the first post.


September 21, 2003, 10:54 PM
Did anyone mention the cute little Browning bottom eject .22 rifle ? I think John designed that, but his sons also developed some commonly known firearms.

I went to the Browning museum this summer in Ogden Utah. WOW

September 21, 2003, 11:06 PM
[HomerSimpsonvoice]/ Doh! \[HomerSimpsonvoice]

carp killer
September 22, 2003, 12:16 AM
Remington Model 17

Browning's patent June 15, 1915

Grandpa of the Ithaca 37

September 22, 2003, 12:25 AM
Hey, I'm pretty sure that th Browning Hi-Power was/is made by FN in Belgium.

What's up with that?

Did American companies reject the design?

Or were things just different back then?

Well, I don't know the exact story... but at some point, I think JMB and Winchester had a falling out when Winchester tried to screw him (that was the story I got from a gunshop guy :rolleyes: , take it as you will). So he packed up his stuff and went to Belgium.

Anybody out there that can clear this up, please do.


Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 01:37 AM
The story I got is that Browning wanted to change the way in which he was compensated by Winchester to get a bigger "piece of the pie" given that his rifle and shotgun designs were making Winchester so much money.

When Winchester balked, Browning took his talent on the road.

September 22, 2003, 01:45 AM
The Spanish Ruby looks like a small Browning. Was he involved in its design or is it a pure knockoff?

Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 01:54 AM
Pure knockoff.

The Spanish produced tons of revolvers that looked like S&Ws, too, but had nothing to do with the company other than to thieve patented/trademarked intellectual property.

September 22, 2003, 08:29 AM
Browning asked for royalty payments for his Automatic 5 shotgun, as opposed to straight cash buy out as he had accepted before. When Winchester balked Browning took it to Remington (Model 11) and FN (Browning). I believe that's pretty much how it was. And Winchester hardly had another good design since, imho. Well, OK, the Mod 12 and Mod 70.

Savage also built an Automatic 5 knock off, IIRC.

Daniel Watters
October 1, 2003, 12:41 AM
Thomas C. Johnson was responsible for the Winchester Model 12 shotgun. Other Johnson-designed Winchesters include the:

Model 1903 semi-auto rifle (rimfire)
Model 1905 semi-auto rifle (.32 and .35 WSL)
Model 1907 semi-auto rifle (.351 WSL)
Model 10 semi-auto rifle (.401 WSL)

Model 52 bolt-action rifle (rimfire)
Model 54 bolt-action rifle (centerfire)

Model 61 pump-action rifle (rimfire)

Model 21 double-barrel shotgun

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