John Browning

Browning, c. 1915
Browning Brothers gun shop, Ogden, Utah Territory, 1882. From left to right: Thomas Samuel Browning, George Emmett Browning, John Moses Browning, Matthew Sandefur Browning, Jonathan Edmund Browning, and Frank Rushton
Browning with an Auto-5
Browning in his later years

American firearm designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms – many of which are still in use around the world.

- John Browning

162 related topics


M2 Browning

M2E2 with a quick change barrel and tripod
A U.S. Marine mans a .50 caliber machine gun as part of a security force during a training exercise with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in November 2002.
Twin M2HB machine gun during a pre-action calibration fire (PACFIRE) exercise in May 2005
An M2 fired from a rigid-hulled inflatable boat.
B-25H "Barbie III" showing four M2 feeds and 75 mm M5 gun
A U.S. soldier in Normandy stands guard with the M2HB installed on a dual-purpose mounting.
An M2 overlooking the Korengal Valley at Firebase Phoenix, Afghanistan, in 2007
M45 .50 AA Quad aka the 'Meat Chopper'
USMC M2 fitted with a Leupold CQBSS variable power scope.
M2HB heavy machine gun
M2E2 modification with quick-change barrel (QCB)
U.S. Army Ranger Special Operations Vehicle (RSOV) armed with RAMO M2HB-QCB machine gun
.50 AN/M2 aircraft machine gun
P-47 firing its eight M2 .50 machine guns during night gunnery
A German Army ramp gunner mans an M3M on board a CH-53 helicopter
M2 with blank-firing adapter

The M2 machine gun or Browning .50 caliber machine gun (informally, "Ma Deuce" ) is a heavy machine gun that was designed towards the end of World War I by John Browning.

M1911 pistol

Single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.

A Remington Rand version of the Model 1911A1
M1911 designer John Browning
Cross-section diagram, with labeled parts, of original Model 1911 pistol, from official Army description as published in 1917.
Springfield Mil Spec field stripped
A Colt M1991A1 Compact ORM pistol
A Colt M1991A1 Compact ORM pistol with slide locked back to expose bull barrel.
A basic version of Smith & Wesson's SW1911 with user-installed Pachmayr grips

Designed by John Browning, the M1911 is the best-known of his designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design.

M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle

Family of US automatic rifles and machine guns used by the United States and numerous other countries during the 20th century.

The M1918A2 BAR
John M. Browning, the inventor of the rifle, and Frank F. Burton, the Winchester expert on rifles, discussing the finer points of the BAR at the Winchester plant
A live fire demonstration of the BAR in front of military and government officials
2nd Lt. Val Browning with the Browning Automatic Rifle in France
A US soldier in France demonstrates a Browning Automatic Rifle in November 1918.
The primary US M1918 variants
The early M1918 BAR
An FBI special agent practices with the Colt Monitor (R 80). The Monitor had a separate pistol grip and long, slotted Cutts recoil compensator.
Heavy Counter Assault Rifle-HCAR
FN Mle D featuring a quick-change barrel
Polish partisan member of Jędrusie unit with Polish version of the M1918 BAR during World War II
Swedish Kg m/21 model, which was nearly identical to the M1919 configuration
Model Kg m/37 with quick-detachable barrel
A US Army soldier trains with a BAR
A US Marine Corps infantryman firing a BAR at enemy positions
Elements of the 6th Marine Division at Okinawa with the lead marine carrying a BAR
Korean War, 1951: A US soldier behind an M4A3E8 Sherman tank, with an M1918A2
A South Vietnamese soldier using a BAR LMG
Polish resistance fighters during the Warsaw Uprising, 1944. The wz. 28 seen here is likely a survivor of the 1939 September Campaign.
BAR in use by Vietnamese communist guerrillas, 1966
British Home Guard in 1941. The man on the end of the front rank is carrying a BAR.

The primary variant of the BAR series was the M1918, chambered for the .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge and designed by John Browning in 1917 for the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe as a replacement for the French-made Chauchat and M1909 Benét–Mercié machine guns that US forces had previously been issued.

Browning Hi-Power

Single-action, semi-automatic handgun available in the 9mm and .40 S&W calibers.

Fabrique Nationale Browning Hi-Power
Gold-plated and engraved Browning Hi-Power. Of the few created, one of these models was once in the personal possession of Muammar Gaddafi. The engraving references the Khamis Brigade.
A FN Browning High Power, belonging to the Indonesian Marine Corps
Hi-Power artillery version with its adjustable tangent rear-sight and shoulder-stock in the upper right-hand corner
Browning Hi-Power Practical .40 S&W
Browning Hi Power SFS with Crimson Trace laser sight
Pistol Auto 9mm 1A manufactured in RFI, India
Canadian Inglis-made Pistol No 2 Mk 1* Browning Hi-Power
A worn Browning Hi-Power, made in Argentina in the mid-1970s
Canadian soldiers inspect a Hi-Power pistol during a training exercise in April 2009.
A Uruguayan marine armed with a Canadian made Hi-Power during a training exercise in April 2009
A 1971 Browning Hi-Power 10

It was based on a design by American firearms inventor John Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium.

M1919 Browning machine gun

A .30 caliber medium machine gun that was widely used during the 20th century, especially during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

US soldiers fire a M1919A4 in Aachen
Two Marines with a M1919A4 on Namur Island during World War II
A Marine cradles his M1919 Browning machine gun in his lap in Peleliu
A US soldier takes aim with a tripod-mounted M1919A4 in Korea, 1953
An Aviation Ordnanceman stationed at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi installing an AN-M2 Browning machine gun in a PBY flying boat, ca. 1942
M1919A6 mounted on the tripod for an M1917
M1919A6 mounted on its bipod
The Browning .303 four-gun FN-20 tail gun turret on an Avro Lancaster
Mk 21 in Vietnam being fed by an upside-down M-13 link belt (the links are not visible)
Fokker D.XXI of Finnish Air Force
Belgian paratrooper vehicle

The M1919 was an air-cooled development of the standard US machine gun of World War I, the John M. Browning-designed water-cooled M1917.

Semi-automatic firearm

Repeating firearm whose action mechanism automatically loads a following round of cartridge into the chamber (self-loading) and prepares it for subsequent firing, but requires the shooter to manually actuate the trigger in order to discharge each shot.

The Colt AR-15, a type of semi-automatic rifle
The Fusil Automatique Modele 1917 was the first semi-automatic gun that fires cartridges to be widely issued in the infantry of any nation's army.
Remington 1100 Tactical Shotgun in 12 gauge – an example of a semi-automatic shotgun
The SKS is a semi-automatic Russian rifle
SIG Pro semi-automatic pistol
Walther P99, a semi-automatic pistol from the late 1990s
Glock 18, a fully-automatic machine pistol from the mid 1980s (The picture shown is the Glock 18C)

In 1902, American gunsmith John Moses Browning developed the first successful semi-automatic shotgun, the Browning Auto-5, which was first manufactured by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal and sold in America under the Browning name.

Recoil operation

Operating mechanism used to implement locked breech, autoloading firearms.

Key for recoil operation diagrams. Gun fires to the right.
Block diagram of long recoil operation cycle.
The barrel from a Para Ordnance P12.45, an M1911-derived design which uses short recoil operation. Under recoil, the barrel moves back in the frame, rotating the link (shown in the unlocked position), which causes the rear of the barrel to tip down and disengage from the slide.
Block diagram of short recoil operation cycle. See diagram key above.
Block diagram of inertia operation cycle, see diagram key above

Long recoil operation is found primarily in shotguns, particularly ones based on John Browning's Auto-5 action.

Heavy machine gun

Significantly larger than light, medium or general-purpose machine guns.

The M2 Browning machine gun with a tripod weighs 58 kg (128 lb).
DShK in heavy role
Wheeled mounted DShK HMG.
MG 08 system (7.92 mm) and crew circa 1931.
US .50 caliber HMG developments – Browning M2, Browning M2E2 Quick Change Barrel, XM806 Lightweight .50 Caliber Machine Gun (LW50)

The second are large-caliber (12.7×99mm, 12.7×108mm, 14.5×114mm, or larger) machine guns, pioneered by John Browning with the M2 machine gun, designed to provide increased effective range, penetration and destructive power against covers, vehicles, aircraft and light buildings/fortifications beyond the standard-caliber rifle cartridges used in battle rifles and medium or general-purpose machine guns, or the intermediate cartridges used in assault rifles, light machine guns, and squad automatic weapons.

M1895 Colt–Browning machine gun

Air-cooled, belt-fed, gas-operated machine gun that fires from a closed bolt with a cyclic rate of 450 rounds per minute.

Colt–Browning M1895/14 machine gun in 7mm Mauser caliber, possibly used in the Mexican Revolution.
M1895 operating mechanism showing the lever (P) in the forward (top) and rear (bottom) positions
One of the later versions of the Colt-Browning M1895 machine gun is demonstrated by Captain (later Major General) Julian Hatcher. The gun is shown mid-action, with the operating lever extending downward below the front of the barrel.
USS Algonquin (1898–1946) at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1898 with a 6mm machine gun mounted on a pedestal on the aft deck.
Colorado National Guardsman Sergeant John Davis manning a M1895 machine gun on Water Tank Hill, facing towards the striker's tent colony at Ludlow, Colorado during the Colorado Coalfield War, 1914.
38th Battalion (Ottawa), CEF, with M1895 Colt–Browning machine guns at Prospect Camp, Bermuda, in 1915
The Marlin M1917 used a different operating mechanism and bears only a passing resemblance to the M1895/14 it was based on.
Polish soldiers with the M1895/14 during the Battle of Warsaw in 1920.
Battle of Blair Mountain 1921; a Marlin machine gun with fitted gun-barrel heat sink at the far left.
Romanian soldiers with two M1895 Colt–Browning machine guns. c. 1939

Based on a John Browning and Matthew S. Browning design dating to 1889, it was the first successful gas-operated machine gun to enter service.

Gas-operated reloading

System of operation used to provide energy to operate locked breech, autoloading firearms.

Gas-operated firearm (long-stroke piston, e.g. AK-47). 1) gas port, 2) piston head, 3) rod, 4) bolt, 5) bolt carrier, 6) spring
Diagram of long-stroke gas operation system
Long stroke gas piston, from an AK-74
short-stroke gas piston
Short stroke gas piston and bolt carrier group, from a gas piston AR-15
floating chamber
direct impingement
fluted chamber direct impingement

John Browning used gas trapped at the muzzle to operate a "flapper" in the earliest prototype gas-operated firearm described in, and used a slight variation of this design on the M1895 Colt–Browning machine gun "potato digger".