Happy Birthday John Moses Browning

January 23, 1855

On January 23, 1855, John Moses Browning was born on the American frontier in Ogden, Utah.

All of us at Browning are proud to celebrate — along with gun enthusiasts everywhere — the birth of the person known as "the greatest firearms inventor the world has ever known."

His designs and inventions have not only benefited hunters, shooters, and outdoorsmen, but they also have strengthened and protected the cause of freedom everywhere.

Few people realize that he designed his first gun, the "Single Shot," when he was 23 years old working in his father's store and repair shop. The Single Shot became the Model 1885 only a few years later when Winchester discovered this young genius in obscure Ogden, Utah. Soon a string of legendary Winchester rifles and shotguns followed. The pace of his groundbreaking inventions did not cease during his life and he was designing extraordinary firearms right up until his death. Read the timeline below and be in awe.

The Browning company is headquartered in Morgan, Utah, just a few miles up a canyon from where John Browning was born, January 23, 1855, in Ogden, Utah. It was in his father's shop and store in Ogden that the great legacy of his genius began. John M. Browning is important to us as a company, as his vision of excellence, quality, and reliability continues today. The extent of his impact on our state and the world would be hard to quantify. 


John Moses Browning portrait photo in youth.
Portrait of John Moses Browning
John M. Browning sitting behind Model 1917 machine gun.

These words were first inscribed in history at the time of his death on a bronze plaque at the FN factory in Liege, Belgium:

TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN M. BROWNING. 1855-1926. This is the place where . . . he came from Ogden . . . where on the twenty-sixth of November, 1926, while he was busily engaged at work death overtook the greatest firearms inventor the world has ever known.

John M. Browning holding SA-22 semi-auto rimfire rifle.
John M. Browning holding Auto-5 semi-auto shotgun.
John M. Browning family photo.