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Did John Moses Browning carry a pistol?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by hqmhqm, Dec 10, 2007.

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  1. hqmhqm

    hqmhqm Member

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    Does anyone know if John M Browning habitualy carried any kind of sidearm?


    I just read a great Biography of him, but it didn't mention anything about him actually carrying any of his designs.
     
  2. jlbraun

    jlbraun Member

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    I remember hearing that he preferred to carry a .32ACP.
     
  3. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    Whatever.

    Why would he carry a sidearm when he could simply smite his foes with a lightning bolt?
     
  4. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    Seems to me I've seen a photo of a .32 auto described as JM Brownings personel pocket gun.
    But with mis leading captions on old photos it could have been meant as a handgun he personally designed or favored.

    I remember he'd started out building harmonica rifles. These were caplock guns with a sliding bar holding loaded chambers. A lever would push the chamber forward over the end of the breech and lock it in place with a wedge. Similar to the nagant except a linear movement rather than as a revolver.
    These were a low cost option to the lever action repeaters, and could use loose powder and shot.
     
  5. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Member

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    Darn, you beat me too it.


    At least allow me to add the fact that the lightning bolts will come out of his rear end.
     
  6. romma

    romma Member

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    So this is how urban legend is born eh?

    Just think, another 5 yrs or so it will be taken as Gospel thanks to you two Thumper and Hank!

    I mean, do you guys really want to be responsible for starting this type of ghost story?

    Shame Shame!! :evil:
     
  7. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Member

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    Yes... I can only hope to reach the level of popularity that the term "mall ninja" has attained. THink about it... everyone knows Gecko45 by heart. (And Gunkid, but he was a troll and a SOB)
     
  8. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Actually it was his Dad that designed and built a "harmonica gun," at least according to the book "John Browning, American Gunmaker."

    John Browning's first design was a single-shot rifle. He went on from there, obviously.
     
  9. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    Would that have been the Winchester high wall and or low wall single shots.

    I knew JM Browning had not invented the Harmonica gun, But I believe that he learned the trade while building them.

    Their rifles look to be pretty efficient, I wonder if they'd be illegal for Muzzle loader seasons.
    The hunter could carry precharged chamber blocks of various capacities. Say from three to five rounds ready to rock.
    Probably have the same chain fire issues as the Colt revover rifles though.
     
  10. Pigspitter

    Pigspitter Member

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    John Moses Browning carried a magical 1911. One fatefull day he fire it at a mighty oak tree and Chuck Norris emerged from the smoldering hole.
     
  11. romma

    romma Member

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    Yes but the Assault Wheelbarrow was born of a Troll!


    Now Pigspitter is starting in too! Never mind Mall Ninjas', we need internet Ninjas.
     
  12. elrod

    elrod Member

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    Pigspitter
    Was he wearing a Huckabee for Pres button? :confused:


    I'm sorry, so sorry, I couldn't resist.......:p:p
     
  13. hqmhqm

    hqmhqm Member

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    yes that's the book I read. His father invented that sliding magazine black powder rifle. John M Browning made the single shot rifle and produced a few hundred before Winchester bought the rights. They then bought the rights to dozens and dozens of his designs, over the next twenty years, mostly to keep them out of the hands of the competition.

    Maybe I'll send a note the Browning museum and ask if they know what he carried...
     
  14. Shooter973

    Shooter973 Member

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    John M. Browning......

    Brother Browning would have worn a "MItt Romney" Button not Huckabee...:neener:
     
  15. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    I heard that Browning simply had to name one of his inventions and it would mysteriously appear in his hand fully loaded and ready to be fired. So i guess my answer is, nah he probably didn't bother carrying, it would simply be redundant.
     
  16. hqmhqm

    hqmhqm Member

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    I came across was one reference in the book,

    Obviously this would have been after he invented the .32 auto :)

    Hey, if a .32 pistol was good enough for JMB, how come everyone here is always saying nothing under a .45 is worth a damn?

    Actually the book said that he developed the 1911 in .45 because of reports from the Philippines of rebels taking a couple of .38 revolver shots while still being able to hurt someone with their swords.
     
  17. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    Browning and Colt developed a .45 ACP pistol in 1907, or at least modified his existing .38 ACP pistol to take the new round.
    The Army had begun to reissue Colt SSA revolvers after the Moro's proved so tough to put down. Some double action Colts in .45 were also issued.

    The trials in 1909 included a number of .45 caliber autos, including the ultra rare .45 Luger.
    The Colt 1911 was a heavily modified 1905/1907 Browning/Colt .45 ACP design.

    Heres a civilian 1905 Colt .45 version.
    http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/admin/product_details.php?itemID=16628
    The 1907 was basically the same gun with an added grip safety.
     
  18. eric.cartman

    eric.cartman Member

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    What's wrong with you?
    He carried a machine gun :evil::D
     
  19. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    I think I read that book 30+ years ago. I don't remember much of it now, except the part about his first automatic rifle which was a lever action with a muzzle flap connected by a long rod to the lever itself. I'm not sure what he expected but as I recall the first firing test emptied the tube magazine in a few seconds!
     
  20. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    I don't know who laid down the law that nothing under .380 would do. I'm thinking Cooper... I know some of the older writers listed .32 and up. Just an arbitrary statement.
     
  21. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    Before Penicillian a .32 in the plumbing would kill you as dead as a .45, it just took longer.

    Old Civil War photos show dead soldiers with their shirts pulled up. These men when wounded would pull up their shirt to see where the bullet hole was. If the hole was in the abdomen the troopers would most often just lay back and give up the ghost.
    You might survive a lost limb or a hole in the lung, but gut shot meant you were a dead man.

    The .32 had more psychological effect than muzzle energy.
     
  22. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    I think it's fairly safe to say that most men in the United States carried a handgun of one kind or another for self defense until some time in the middle of the Twentieth Century.

    That statement needs qualification, of course, because it depends on factors such as religion, race, and place. I'd be surprised if Quakers and others whose religious convictions prohibited it carried a handgun on their person. Black people in the deep South probably didn't either. Residents of New York City didn't do it after 1912, at least not legally.

    So when I was growing up and throughout my young adulthood I assumed that every man I met had at least these things upon him: keys, a fountain pen, a pencil, a pocketknife, matches or cigarette lighter, and a small caliber handgun.

    Those were standard accoutrements for a gentleman. Look through old magazines and catalogues and you'll see a lot of ads for pocket pistols. Men bought or were given them as part of the rites of passage into adulthood. It was no big deal.

    I don't know that John Moses Browning did carry a handgun or what it might have been but I would be astonished if he didn't have one on his person whenever he was wearing pants.
     
  23. Pigspitter

    Pigspitter Member

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    JMB was a Mormon?
     
  24. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    A man asks a simple question..and everything goes to Helen Gone from there...and he still doesn't have a simple answer. :rolleyes:

    Most people who know about these things agree that Browning's favored carry piece was the 1903 Pocket hammerless in .32 caliber. Why not a .45? Mainly because there weren't as many tweaked, hopped-up crackheads who spent the last 10 years pumping iron in the prison exercise yard running around loose in those days. A .32 would usually do...though the men who actually had a need to carry a sidearm opted for something with a little more heft. Those who carried for the unlikely event of actually needing a gun generally went with something smaller and easier to lug around. Since Browning wasn't likely to place himself in harm's way...he went the small, portable route...the same way that many people do to this day. Imagine that!

    The .45 ACP was requested as much for the need to kill horses as it was to kill men. The armies of the world still fielded horse-mounted cavalry in those days, so the ability to take out a horse was an important consideration because it reduced the mounted trooper's ability to carry out his assigned mission.
     
  25. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Well I can safely say that it's unlikely John Browning carried an automatic pistol on any regular basis before 1900. Thereafter he might (or might not have). He was brought up on the Utah frontier, which could be a hairy place, and undoubtedly knew how to handle firearms, including handguns. However I don't think he frequented places where trouble would be expected.

    Browning lived at a time, and in a place, where many if not most men had some kind of a sidearm. Pocket revolvers were the most popular before pocket automatics came along because like today, they were easiest to carry.
     
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