The Browning Legacy Unfolds.

A brief historical overview.

Jonathan Browning. The Father of the Father of Modern Firearms. 

  • Born in Tennessee in 1805.
  • Apprenticed to a gunsmith.
  • Started his own shop then moved to La Prairie, Illinois.
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Fixed many rifles, made cap a ball rifles from scratch. Designed and built revolver rifles. Invented a Harmonica rifle in 1834.
  • He was acquainted with a young Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln.

•Became interested in the Mormon church, met Joseph Smith and joined.

•He built a gunsmithing shop in Nauvoo, Illinois and was good friends with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. 

An Advocate of the 1st and 2nd Amendments.  Each firearm inscribed with: Holiness to the Lord, Our Preservation.

•Brigham Young “called” Jonathan to Utah after he had outfitted Mormon wagon trains with guns and gear for five years in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

•Jonathan became a prominent leader in the Ogden area.

•Why Ogden? When he arrived in 1852 Salt Lake City already had a gunsmith. 

John Moses Browning
January 23, 1855

•John Browning was a son of Jonathan’s 2nd wife, Elizabeth Caroline Clark.

•He grew up working at his father’s gunsmithing and blacksmithing shop in Ogden. 

•He invented his first “significant” rifle, the Single Shot, in 1878, at 23 years old.

•His father died in 1879. Never knew about his success.

•About 600 rifles were produced and sold.

•In 1883, three years after Oliver Winchester died, one of John’s rifles found its way to Winchester’s V.P., Thomas Bennett. He never met Oliver Winchester.

•The Single Shot became the 1885 Winchester.

•He invented his first “significant” rifle, the Single Shot, in 1878, at 23 years old.

•His father died in 1879. Never knew about his success.

•About 600 rifles were produced and sold.

•In 1883, three years after Oliver Winchester died, one of John’s rifles found its way to Winchester’s V.P., Thomas Bennett. He never met Oliver Winchester.

•The Single Shot became the 1885 Winchester.

The inventing race.

The Winchester Era.

The FN Era. In 1902 Browning ended his association with Winchester and sailed to Belgium to his licensee, FN. This began the “Made in Belgium” mystique which is still part of Browning’s quality image. 

John M. Browning invented the modern machine gun. He observed the expanding gasses of a fired cartridge flattening grass in front of the muzzle. Built a working prototype the next day. Patented 1893. Virtually every machine gun since then uses some form of his design.

Redefinign