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Facts About Browning: History, Locations and Information

By    |   Wednesday, 29 April 2015 02:24 PM

In 1855, John Moses Browning was born in Utah and firearms history was changed forever. He eventually became known as America’s Gunmaker, as his designs have been involved in nearly every major conflict and are still used by many military branches. Browning’s legacy continues today, with his M2 visible in one of 2015’s Oscar nominated movies, “American Sniper.”

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Browning’s loyal fans continue to buy his creations, while collectors and huntsmen scour the Internet in search of his products that are no longer manufactured. Many also admire his dedication to the craft. Browning preferred to sell his designs to manufacturers instead of manufacturing them himself—the marks of a true inventor. The NewAmerican.com deemed him “the most creative inventive genius ever to apply his talents to the creation of firearms.”

The following are a list of facts about John Browning and his gun empire.

First Gun
Those that are fans of Browning’s guns have his father to thank. When Browning was about six-years-old, his father, who was also a gunsmith, let him start building guns. Within four years, Browning built his first one at the ripe age of 10 years old. As the story goes, Browning “made the gun out of scraps from the shop’s garbage pile, and he didn’t tell his father until after he had finished,” according to his home state of Utah’s government website. “He and his brother Matt tested it out by firing at prairie chickens—and brought the chickens home to the family for dinner that night.”

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World War I
Nearly 60 years after Browning was born, one of his designs arguably became the catalyst for World War I. A Browning pistol was used to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, which started the war, according to FactMonster.com. Other Browning guns also were relied on heavily during subsequent wars.

Not surprisingly, America’s most prolific gun designer has a museum dedicated to his creations. As part of Ogden’s Union Station located in Ogden, Utah, which was Browning’s birthplace, the John M. Browning Firearms Museum showcases original models of rifles, shotguns, pistols, machine guns, and cannons designed by him. In the museum, there are facts about Browning on display. For example, one is about how Browning’s gun designs were the basis for models made by Colt, Remington, Stevens, and Winchester.

The Browning empire continues today with the Browning.com website, which features a wide range of firearms, accessories, and other products for the gun enthusiast. The community is strong, with over two million Facebook fans discussing all things Browning and getting involved with their “Show Us Your Buckmark” ongoing photo contest. The website also has a dealer locator feature for brick and mortar shops throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as online dealers. Visitors can also buy directly from BrowningShop.com.

Official State Symbol
Browning achieved many feats during his lifetime, and his legacy continues to impact the firearms world. One example of Browning’s continued influence is the controversial 2011 decision by his home state of Utah to name an official state gun, which was the Browning M1911, a gun he invented. Utah’s was the first state in history to have an official gun, and Utah State Representative Carl Wimmer said to Reuters that “it does capture a portion of Utah’s history…even bigger than that, it captures a portion of American history.” Wimmer sponsored the bill, which was met with criticism but made Browning fans proud.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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In 1855, John Moses Browning was born in Utah and firearms history was changed forever.
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Wednesday, 29 April 2015 02:24 PM
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