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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.

John Browning Patent 659786 – Remington Model 8

| History, John Browning | September 24, 2011

This semi-automatic rifle design became the Remington Model 8. It was granted US Patent 659786 on October 16th, 1900. This Patent had a fast turn around as it was applied for by John Moses Browning earlier that year, on June 6th, 1900

The Remington Model 8 rifle was the first successful autoloading high power rifle design. The production rights to this rifle belonged to Remington Arms Company in the US. FN also produced limited numbers of this rifle, 4,913 units under the name FN Caliber .35 Automatic Rifle.

John Browning Patent 659507 – Browning Auto-5 Shotgun

| History, John Browning | September 3, 2011

This design was the first autoloading, recoil operated semi-auto shotgun. It was originally presented to Winchester by John Browning, but a deal could not be worked out. I suspect they would like to have that one back, as the Auto-5 became one of the most popular shoguns ever produced.

John Browning eventually worked out a licensing agreement with Fabrique Nationale of Belgium. They became the first to produce the Browning Auto-5. FN also produced quite a few other John Browning designs, especially his autoloading pistol designs. The Auto-5 shotgun was also produced by Remington as the Model-11 (Remington ran production for the US Market) and later Savage licensed it for the Model 720 and Model 745.

As with all FN firearms, World War II would interfere with the production of the Auto-5 shotgun, due to the fact their facilities were seized by Nazi Germany. At that point Fabrique Nationale moved production of the Auto-5 to the US. Remington began producing both models until FN was able to return production to Europe.

Outside the fact that John Browning designed the Auto-5, it’s hard to comprehend it being the first successful semi-auto shotgun ever produced. Think about this, the genius of his design was manufactured for nearly 100 years, without changing the fundamental design. Now look at the iPad “1”, it lasted maybe one year before the iPad 2 was able to improve upon the ORIGINAL design and I hear an iPad 3 is on it’s way…

To wrap it up, this landmark design earned John Moses Browning US Patent 659507 on October 9th, 1900. He had applied for the patent on February 8th, 1900.

John Browning Patent 632094 – Winchester 1900 .22 Bolt Rifle

| History, John Browning | August 29, 2011

The Winchester Model 1900 was a bolt action .22 caliber rifle. The rifle was only capable of single shot use. To keep cost down Winchester made sure to keep it simple and even made some adjustments to John Browning’s original design. The production rifle was capable of firing both .22 Short and .22 Long. The Winchester Model 1900 Single Shot 22 Rifle design was granted US Patent 632094 on August 29th, 1899. John Moses Browning applied for this patent on February 17th, 1899.

John Browning Patent 621747 – FN Model 1900 Pistol

| History, John Browning | August 29, 2011

This design was the first model that FN ( Fabrique Nationale de Herstal ) produced in a very successful partnership with John Moses Browning. This particular pistol was the Model 1900, or M1900 chambered in .32 ACP. It was also known as the M1899 until some improvements led them to update the name. However, that wasn’t the extent to the naming of this pistol; it was also known as the Browning Number One and even the FN Browning M1900.

The most influential part of this particular pistol on the future of firearms was that it was the first to introduce the “slide” mechanism. Using the slide mechanism John Browning was able to create a semi-auto single action pistol. The Model 1900 was produced in Belgium and eventually came to total around 700,000 units manufactured.

The design was granted US Patent 621747 on March 21st, 1899. John Moses Browning had applied for this patent on December 28th, 1897.

John Browning Patent 619132 – Winchester

| History, John Browning | August 29, 2011

This design was for a .30 caliber rifle. Knowing the time period this was in and knowing that the design was sold to Winchester I assume you could guess the mechanics of the firearm. Like his other dealings with Winchester this design of John Browning’s was for a lever action rifle. Like the Winchester Model 1895 this used a box magazine. The design is more compact than the 1885, but the same movement away from the tube magazines, which was due to an increase in the size and power of the rounds to be used. Unfortunately, Winchester did not manufacture this design. Regardless, the design earned John Moses Browning US Patent 619132 on February 7th, 1899, almost one year after applying for it on February 21st, 1898.

John Browning Patent 599595

| History, John Browning | August 26, 2011

This Lever Action rifle was designed by John Browning and purchased by Winchester. It was designed around a .236 caliber round. Unfortunately, Winchester never produced this design. Regardless, it did receive US Patent 599595 on February 22nd, 1898. John Moses Browning had applied for this patent on May 5th, 1897.

John Browning Patent 580,926

| History, John Browning | August 25, 2011

This Patent was the final of four semi-auto pistol designs that were granted consecutive US Patent Numbers. This particular design was granted US Patent 580926 on April 20th, 1897. John Moses Browning had applied for this patent on October 31st, 1896. Patent 580926 utilized the .32 caliber round with a semi-auto blowback action.

John Browning Patent 580925

| History, John Browning | August 25, 2011

Here we see the introduction of the popular grip safety that has found its way into many pistol designs since 1897. John Browning utilized the .38 ACP caliber round again for this semi-auto pistol. Another feature that was introduced with this patent was a locking recoil system. A quick glance at the patent drawing and you will notice this design stands out compared to his other designs. Colt purchased this design and tested it, but never moved forward on production. The design earned John Moses Browning US Patent 580925 on April 20th, 1897. He had applied for this patent on October 31st, 1896.

John Browning Patent 580924 – Colt Model 1900 & Model 1902

| History, John Browning | August 24, 2011

This design became the Colt M1900 or Model 1900 and later with very minor modifications the Model 1902. It was the first self loading semi-auto pistol manufactured by Colt and would become the foundation for most of the Colt auto loading pistols. It was actually the second semi-automatic pistol designed by Browning and purchased by Colt, but the previous patent never hit production. The Colt M1900 also marked the introduction of the .38 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) caliber round. In addition to the introduction of the .38 ACP, this design stood out because it was the first with a full length slide.

All of these features are seen in the Patent Drawings. This US Patent was granted to John Browning on April 20th, 1897 under the Patent Number 580924. John Browning had applied for this patent on October 31st, 1896.

John Browning Patent 580923

| History, John Browning | August 24, 2011

This was the first semi-automatic pistol that John Browning designed. It used a .38 caliber round with a single stack magazine. That remained the standard magazine design until the John Browning Designed Hi-Power (Patent 1618510), which used a double stack magazine. He was granted US Patent 580923 for this design on April 20th, 1897. Browning had applied for this Patent almost two years earlier, on September 14th, 1895. Patent 580923 was sold to Colt, but Colt never manufactured this particular design.

John Browning Patent 577281

| History, John Browning | August 23, 2011

Again like the two previous John Browning Patents, this one involved a pump action 12 gauge shotgun design. Winchester owned the rights to this design, but never manufactured it. John Moses Browning was granted US Patent 577281 for this design on February 16th, 1897. It had been applied for on March 16th, 1896.

Even though there is not a lot of information available on this patent, it appears from reading the patent description that it provided a safety design preventing the premature opening of the bolt between the time the trigger is engaged and the time the round is expelled.

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