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Colt 1911 100th Anniversary – Designed by John Browning

| History, John Browning | January 12, 2013

Colt m1911 Pistol by John Browning

The centennial celebration for the 1911 pistol’s 100th birthday recognizes one of the most important firearm designs of all time and the genius of it’s creator John Browning. The m1911 was granted US Patent 984519 on February 14th, 1911 “Valentine’s Day”. This link between Valentine’s Day and the 1911 is ironic since it’s responsible for possibly the greatest firearm love affair. A lot of people say that no gun collection is complete without at least one 1911.

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John Browning Patent 808003 – Colt Model 1905

| History, John Browning | February 22, 2012

John Browning’s design of the Colt Model 1905, M1905 or Military Model, Pistol brings us one step closer to the mega popular 1911. The M1905 was Browning’s first pistol designed to use the .45 ACP, making it the predecessor to the 1911. With a quick glance at the Colt Model 1905 you may see similarities to the 1911, but upon closer examination you will be able to pick out quite a few differences.

The Colt Model 1905 Slide:
-Starting with the M1905’s slide you will notice it has a uniform height from the muzzle back to the hammer, whereas the 1911’s slide descends down towards the lower frame and out towards the muzzle.
-There is also a noticeable difference in the location of the ejection port. The M1905 ejection port works horizontally, while the 1911 is more vertical.
-Continuing with the ejection port, the M1905 uses an external extractor where as the 1911 has only acquired an external extractor in later versions.
-You will also notice that the M1911 uses a barrel bushing. Instead of needing a bushing, the Colt Model 1905 uses a very interesting barrel feature.

The Colt Model 1905 Barrel and Recoil Operation:
-The M1905 and M1911 both use a short recoil operation where the slide and barrel move back together a few millimeters before the barrel disengages from the slide. It is the short recoil operation of the M1905 that exposes the barrel’s interesting feature. Unlike the single swinging link on the breech of the M1911’s barrel, the M1905 uses a link at the breech end of the barrel and another at the muzzle end of the barrel. Instead of the short recoil action we have become accustomed to in handguns like the 1911 and Glock where the muzzle rises, the Colt Model 1905’s barrel remains parallel. If you closely inspect the patent drawings below you will see that parallel motion of the barrel.
-Since this was John Browning’s first endeavor into the realm of the .45 ACP he had to design a locking lug that would handle the increased power. To do this the Colt Model 1905 utilized three locking lugs on the barrel that lock into the frame as the barrel and slide recoil. If John Browning did not use the locking lug design the M1905 would have seen continued and catastrophic failure of the two barrel links.

The Colt Model 1905 Frame:
-As we just discussed, the M1905’s frame features three cut outs that match up with the barrel’s locking lugs.
-As the recoil action continues, after the final round, the slide stop is engaged. The slide stop on the Model 1905 is relatively small and only performs that action. On the other hand, the slide stop on the 1911 takes on an additional role as the connection point of the barrel link.
-Moving away from the action of the M1905 you will notice that it does not have a mag release positioned next to the trigger guard like the 1911, instead the mag release is located at the base of the grip. It is a pivot release similar to that of an AK47 (I only use the AK as an example here because most everyone has seen it’s mag release).
-Two additional differences are the safeties, or lack thereof. The Colt Model 1905 did not have a rear grip safety, nor did it have the external thumb safety. Those safeties were added with the M1911 design.
-The final characteristic of note is the grip angle. Unfortunately the M1905 did not introduce the popular M1911 grip angle.

Even though the M1905 was missing quite a few of the M1911 features it is important to know the history of John Browning’s designs.

The M1905 was granted US Patent 808003 on December 19th, 1905. John Browning had applied for this Patent on May 25th, 1905.

Link to Arms Post’s List of John Browning Patents

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John Browning Patent 808003 Colt Model 1905

John Browning Patent 808003 Colt Model 1905

The Colt Model 1905, M1905, Military Model Pistol designed by John Browning

Top Shot Firearms – John Browning M1918 BAR Browning Automatic Rifle

| History, John Browning | February 16, 2012

John Browning with his BAR

If you have seen our 2 cents blog before then you know we are huge fans of John Browning. I personally believe he was the greatest firearm designer of all time, and for that reason we decided to put together a bit of History on the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle BAR since it is featured on Top Shot’s Season 4.
 
The M1918 BAR was not John Browning’s first automatic firearm, but it was his first lightweight portable automatic rifle. Previous automatic designs of his that hit production were the Colt-Browning M1895 “Potato Digger” and the M1917 Browning Machine Gun. The problem with the M1895 and M1917 was that they were extremely heavy. As the United States entered World War I, there was serious demand for a lightweight automatic firearm for trench warfare.
 
That demand would be supplied thanks to John Moses Browning. His answer was the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR. It was chambered in .30-06 Springfield and had a firing capability of 650 rounds per minute. All the while maintaining the famous reliability and durability John Browning was known for. Most importantly, it was portable enough to be transported by a single soldier.
 
One of the more interesting bits of history on the M1918 BAR is that Val Browning, John Browning’s Son, was one of the first soldiers to put it to use in WWI. Val Browning would later follow in his father’s footsteps and design firearms, just as John Browning had followed in his father’s footsteps.
 
Multiple US Patent Drawings for the M1918 BAR and variants:
 


 
 
The YouTube video below is courtesy of ARMS VAULT
 

John Browning Patent 781765 – Stevens Model 520

| History, John Browning | February 13, 2012

This John Browning design was produced as the Stevens Model 520 pump action shotgun.

John Browning was granted US Patent 781765 on February 7th, 1905.  He applied for this patent on July 10th, 1903.

John Browning Patent 781765, Stevens Model 520 Drawings:

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John Browning Patent 747585 – Colt Model 1903, FN Browning M1903

| History, John Browning | February 13, 2012

This John Browning design was produced as the Colt Model 1903 and by Fabrique Nationale as the Browning M1903.  The Colt Model 1903 was offered in two versions, which actually used different calibers.  The Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless was chambered in .32 ACP, while the Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer was chambered in .38 ACP.

John Browning was granted US Patent 747585 on December 22nd, 1903.  He applied for this patent on April 3rd, 1902.

John Browning Patent 747585, Colt Model 1903 and FN Browning M1903 Drawings:

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John Browning Patent 730870 – Recoil Operated Shotgun

| History, John Browning | February 13, 2012

This John Browning design was for a recoil operated shotgun, but different than his popular Browning Auto-5 design.  This shotgun used a very interesting top ejection of spent shells.

John Browning was granted US Patent 730870 on June 16th, 1903.  He applied for this patent many years earlier, on May 6th, 1899.

John Browning Patent 730870 Drawings:

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John Browning Patent 710094 – Browning Auto-5 Shotgun

| History, John Browning | February 13, 2012

This John Browning patent was another in the line of designs covering the Browning Auto-5 Shotgun.  This shotgun design hit production under many labels including: Browning Auto-5, Remington Model 11, and Savage 720.  It was the very first successful production semi-auto shotgun and it was designed so well that it remained in production until 1998 and is the second highest selling semi-auto shotgun of all time.

John Browning was granted US Patent 710094 on September 30th, 1902.  He had applied for this patent on January 11th, 1902.

John Browning Patent 710094, The Browning Auto-5 Shotgun Drawings:

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John Browning Patent 708794 – Colt Model 1902

| History, John Browning | February 13, 2012

John Browning’s patent for the Colt Model 1902 improved upon the earlier Model 1900.  The Colt Model 1902, like the Model 1900 was chambered in .38 ACP and was another evolution towards the 1911.

This design was granted US Patent 708794 on September 9th, 1902; it had been applied for on November 7th, 1901.

John Browning Patent 708794, Colt Model 1902 Drawings:

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John Browning Patent 701289 – Firearm Sights

| History, John Browning | February 13, 2012

This John Browning design consisted of a single Patent Drawing that we have shown below.  He was granted US Patent 701289 on June 3rd, 1902.  He applied for this patent on December 16th, 1901.

This Patent covered the sight system for his firearm designs.

John Browning Patent 701289 Drawing:

John Browning Patent 701288

| History, John Browning | February 13, 2012

John Browning was granted US Patent 701288 on June 3rd, 1902.  The Patent covered a recoil operated firearm, which makes sense as this is the same time period that John Browning started to design multiple recoil operated firearms.

John Browning had applied for this Patent on March 18th, 1901.

John Browning Patent 701288 Drawings:

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John Browning Patent 689283 – Browning Auto-5

| History, John Browning | January 3, 2012

The Browning Auto-5 “produced by FN”, Remington Model 11 and Savage 720 were all built on John Browning’s automatic shotgun design.

US Patent 689283 was one of his patents that covered John Browning’s auto shotgun design. This particular patent was applied for on March 18th, 1901 and granted on December 17th, 1901.

This design was the very first successful design for a semi-auto shotgun. It is really amazing to think that this design was so good that it was produced for nearly 100 years. Think about the genius required to design something so well “for the very first time in history” that it would become just second to the Remington 1100 as the top selling auto shotgun of all time. That blows my mind!!! How long did the original iPad last before it was improved with the release of the iPad 2? How long does your average vehicle get produced before it is overhauled? AMAZING. John Browning was no different than an Einstein or Newton, GENIUS!

John Browning Patent 678937 – M1917 Browning Machine Gun

| History, John Browning | October 5, 2011

The Model 1917 / M1917 Browning Machine Gun was a recoil powered automatic firearm. It was granted US Patent 678937 on July 23rd, 1901. This patent was applied for on June 19th, 1900. So why was this Machine Gun given the name Model 1917 when the model number usually mirrors the patent year plus or minus one year? The name is actually based on the fact that this firearm was not adopted for use until 1917. The design sat around for years until the US Military found itself in need of some high power high output firearms. Along came the Model 1917 after spending some years in hibernation.

A key feature of the M1917 is that it was a water cooled machine gun. This was a factor in the weight and thus restricted some applications. The 1917 eventually morphed into multiple other versions / variations including the M1919.

Another key feature that should be mentioned is that this patent has a right side ejection of spent rounds where the M1917 would adjust it to bottom ejection.

John Browning Patent 660244

| History, John Browning | October 5, 2011

This is a Machine Gun Feed Belt loading machine, which as it implies loads the rounds into the cloth belt. During this period of John Browning’s machine gun designs he was using a fabric belt for feeding the rounds. Even later models like the M1919 benefited from this form of feed belt rather than metal links. The feed mechanism had a claw that would pull the rounds into the breech.

John Moses Browning applied for this patent on November 15th, 1899. He was granted US Patent 660,244 for this design on October 23rd, 1900.

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