John Moses Browning vs. Eugene Stoner

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Justin, Aug 21, 2015.

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  1. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    I had a thought this morning regarding these two gentlemen.

    The genius of John Moses Browning was that he designed many guns for many applications.

    The genius of Eugene Stoner was that he designed a single gun for many applications.
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Like Mr Browning, Mr Stoner designed a lot of stuff that didn't get produced. Probably not as much, but he definitely kept busy.
     
  3. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    That was more a case of serendipity than intentional application of genius.
     
  4. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    Stoners design allowed the bolt to engage directly to the barrel, thus cutting out the middle man (the receiver). I think that design was revolutionary and took some thinking on his part.

    Laphroaig
     
  5. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Not to take anything away from Stoner, but he's a one trick pony compared to Browning.
     
  6. 200Apples

    200Apples Mojave Lever Crew

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    With respect, there is no comparison. Had J.M. Browning access to the same firearm technologies as did Mr. Stoner, who knows how far superior a battle rifle than the "AR-15" he would design.
     
  7. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Gotta agree. Everything from Machine guns to shotguns to pocket pistols and everything in-between.
     
  8. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Did Browning ever work on a battle rifle? My guess is that if he did, we'd still be using it regardless of the technologies of the time he designed them. He was so far ahead of his time

    It's not too hard to imagine a future battlefield where super advanced cyborgs are fighting it out with M2 .50's mounted to their robot arms.
     
  9. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    I really doubt we would. A design dating from Browning's era would be more expensive to manufacture. It would use lots of machined forgings. Don't forget Browning lived in an era when labor was cheap and technology was expensive. Now it's pretty much the other way around. Browning did design an almost-assault rifle -- the BAR. The only thing that keeps it from being a true assault rifle is the full power cartridge. I am no engineer, but I imagine it would be child's play for a competent firearms engineer to scale down that design to fire an intermediate cartridge. And then you'd have an 7-9 pound, select fire, gas-operated, locked breech rifle, comparable in performance in every respect to the assault rifles that did appear at the end of WWII and later. So why didn't anyone ever do it? Probably the main reason was cost. The BAR was a product of an earlier era, and needed a lot more machining, and that meant higher cost.
     
  10. Averageman

    Averageman Member

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    There wouldn't be a Stoner if there hadn't been a Browning.
    Technology builds off of bits and pieces of designs and knowledge developed over years of blood sweat and tears.
    I'm sure both Stoner and Garand would say the exact same thing, they owe much of their success to following Browning's foot steps.
     
  11. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong but didn't the MG42 and a couple of other WWII era guns lock the bolt directly to the barrel?

    What has made the AR15 so great was military sales and those sales spawning civilian sales over time.

    Lot of folks think Stoners 63 system was better than the AR15 at the time they were both semi new and the AR18 for that matter was thought better by some.....but neither saw huge military sales to one of the military giants of the planet and all its client states. Although the AR18 saw some success in near copies and guns developed from it. My understanding is that the spilt between Stoner and Armalite (the original) was over a single project that split to become those last two rifles. Armolite wanted a single gun it could sell topping for and Stoner wanted to make the One man Army Gun as it were. I am also given to under stand that Stoners work on the AR 15 was more of a group effort than individual and far from the lone inventor/designer drawing new ideas on his mother's tablecloth one handed while eating biscuits with the other.

    The AR 15 owes as much to its current glory to a certain USAF general and a certain US secretary of defense as to its actual design.

    The closest to JMB in my book was Mannlicher, but who in the US knows about him?

    -kBob
     
  12. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    That's a good point. Here's the counter point. Machining back then was a craftsman standing at an end mill or lathe. Today that would be very cost prohibitive but that's not how it's done now. Today it's a CNC milling center programed to complete all the necessary machining. Replace forging with casting and you could have a superior Browning design from the past falling within acceptable cost parameters in the present.

    Wouldn't that be cool! A modernized BAR, firing 7.62 NATO, lighter weight, higher rate of fire. Who wouldn't want one!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  13. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    Still wouldn't get it, I think. The premise, so I gather, is a weapon for military use. We're talking hundreds of thousands of units. Economically, you'd still lose out to stamping, polymers, or aluminum (which is easier to machine).

    7.62 NATO isn't an intermediate cartridge; it's a full power battle rifle cartridge. That's why many of the assault rifles chambered for it (e.g. M-14, L1A1, etc.) were made semi-auto only. Full auto fire was simply uncontrollable. I'd be more interested to see a BAR in .276 Pedersen, .280 British, or even 5.56 or 7.62x39. (It does make me wonder: if MacArthur hadn't nixed the .276 Pedersen, and the Garand had been chambered for that round, and if the army then also ordered BAR's in the same caliber for logistical reasons -- which could be significantly lighter as a result of firing a less powerful cartridge -- I have a suspicion that during combat in WWII, when the BAR gunners realized they had an effective assault rifle on their hands, maybe there would have been a push to get more of those in combat, and if indeed we might have seen most US infantry carrying them by the end of the war. A lot of ifs in that scenario, but it seems somewhat plausible.)

    Another problem with the BAR for modern use, is that the bolt locks to the receiver. This means the receiver is a highly stressed component, and needs to be made of steel. This will bring the overall weight of your rifle up at a time when other designs are using aluminum, stamped steel, or polymer to bring weight down.

    It would be very interesting to see what Browning would do if he were around to use today's materials though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  14. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    $4400 plus shipping and tax gets you one:

    http://www.ohioordnanceworks.com/hcar
     
  15. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Maybe I should have clarified, using Browning's design of the past with todays manufacturing technologies AND modern materials (i.e. cast aluminum alloys, plastics, ect)

    And I was talking battle rifle and you're talking assault rifle. Two different animals.
     
  16. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    That is AWESOME Jeff! Did not know there was a company doing that. I watched both videos, now I need to go smoke a cig.
     
  17. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    You can't make the BAR significantly lighter as long as you're sticking to a full power battle rifle cartridge. Remember, the earliest versions were only about 15 lbs. It wasn't until later that weight went up to about 23 lbs. Maybe the use of polymer grips, buttstock, and handguards will shave off a pound or so, but the real killer is the fact that the upward-tilting locking lever engages a notch machined into the roof of the receiver. This means that the receiver has to be made of steel, and be of robust construction to handle the stress. AR-15s get away with an aluminum receiver because the bolt locks to a barrel extension, taking the stress off the receiver and allowing it to be made out of a lighter, weaker metal.

    Chambering the gun in 7.62 would shave another few ounces off the total weight, because the action could be made slightly shorter, but we're only talking one centimeter or so. Realistically I don't see how you're going to bring the weight below 12 lbs, at a minimum, using this design and a full power cartridge. I'm really not seeing much advantage in rechambering to a 7.62x51 here. You're still going to end up with something too heavy for a rifle, and too light for a proper light machine gun.
     
  18. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no such thing as a "battle rifle". It's a term that was coined by an American gun writer. No military in the world buys "battle rifles" or differentiates between rifles of different calibers by calling one a battle rifle and another an assault rifle.

    In the US Army we have carbines (currently the M4 family), rifles (M16, M14, and even some M1s floating around) and machine guns (M249, M240, M2 and even some M60s) We do not have battle rifles and assault rifles. We have rifles.
     
  19. Nature Boy
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    Billy, go look at that link posted by Jeff above. They got it down to 11 pounds sticking with .30-06
     
  20. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    Yeah, with a truncated barrel that doesn't allow you to realize the full potential of the cartridge. Meanwhile, a Garand that does (or an M14 if you go to 7.62 NATO), comes in a full two pounds below the modernized BAR.

    Like I said: I'm not seeing the advantage here.
     
  21. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    With modern communications/support/aircraft . An army could outfit its infantry entirely with Brownings designs and I think they would do ok (though they would be overloaded perhaps)
    Remington model 8 w/detachable 15rd mag - rifle (perhaps with some BARs for added firepower)
    The 1919 machine gun , M-2 machine gun and of course the 1911 or hi power as a side arm
     
  22. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    The Remington Model 8 would be a terrible gun for military service. It could probably be made to work with an intermediate cartridge very well, and might be reliable as hell, but maintaining it would be a nightmare in the field.

    Watch Ian McCollum's video about the gun here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsQXksP-YhI

    It's a very complicated design to field strip, and it has a lot of very small, easily lost parts. It also requires a special tool to remove the barrel from the barrel shroud. Military rifles need to be soldier-proof, and this one most certainly is not.
     
  23. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    Well he didn't design a lot of semi auto rifles I guess you could supplement the BAR with winchesters :)
     
  24. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    OK, but are you seeing the cool factor?
     
  25. velocette

    velocette Member

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    I seem to recall that at least one of John Moses Browning's designs is still in service with many military organizations such as the USMC, US Army, Coast Guard & Navy.
    It's called Ma Deuce, M2 50 caliber machine gun. It is the longest serving weapon in any military anywhere. Thank you VERY much John B.
     
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