John Moses Browning

Born: 23 Jan 1855, Ogden, UT
Died: 26 Nov 1926, Leige, Belgium

American Firearms Designer

Common Ancestor:
James Allen
8th Gr Grandfather
of Merle G Ladd
5th Gr Grandfather
of John M Browning
Ruth Allen Joseph Allen
Jonathan Bangs Jeremiah Allen
Allen Bangs William Allen
Phebe Bangs Clifton Allen
Allen Crowell Sarah Allen
Charles Crowell Jonathan Browning
Freeman S Crowell John M Browning
Gracelaend M Crowell  
Allan D Ladd  
Merle G Ladd  
Relationship to Merle G Ladd:
6th Cousin, 3 Times Removed
John Moses Browning (January 23, 1855 - November 26, 1926), born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world. He is the most important figure in the development of modern automatic and semi-automatic firearms and is credited with 128 gun patents - his first was granted October 7, 1879.

Browning influenced nearly all categories of firearms design. He invented or made significant improvements to single-shot rifles, lever action rifles, and slide action firearms. His most significant contributions were in the area of auto loading firearms. He developed the auto loading pistol by inventing the slide design found on nearly every modern automatic handgun. He also developed the first gas-operated machine gun, the Colt-Browning Model 1895 - a system that would surpass recoil operation in popularity. Other successful designs include the Browning .50 caliber machine gun, the Browning Automatic Rifle, and a ground-breaking semi-automatic shotgun, the Browning Auto-5.

Production examples of the Browning single-shot caught the attention of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company who dispatched a representative to evaluate the competition. Winchester bought the design and moved production to their Connecticut factory. From 1883, Browning worked in partnership with Winchester and designed a series of rifles and shotguns, most notably the Winchester Model 1887 and Model 1897 shotguns and the lever-action Model 1886, Model 1892, Model 1894 and Model 1895 rifles, most of which are still in production today in some form.

Throughout his life, Browning designed weapons for his own company, Winchester, Colt, Remington, Savage, and Fabrique Nationale of Belgium. In 1977, FN acquired the Browning Arms Company which had been established in 1927, the year after Browning's death.