John M. Browning Historic Timeline

John M. Browning Historic Timeline

John M. Browning group photo
John M. Browning, second from the left.
Browning Firearms
Browning Firearms

Morgan, UT –-( John Moses Browning designed the Browning 1911, a revolutionary gun by one of the greatest gun designers of all time. As the founder of today’s Browning Arms Company, John Moses Browning had a major impact on the history of American firearms.

Following is a historical time line of the events and achievements of Americas greatest firearms designed and inventor.

  • Jan. 23, 1855
    Birth of John Moses Browning in Ogden, Utah.
  • Oct. 1869
    John assembled a slide rifle out of spare parts for his brother’s birthday.
  • Spring, 1878
    John Browning begins work on his first single shot rifle.
  • April 10, 1879
    John Moses Browning married Rachel Teresa Child.
  • May 12, 1879
    The application for patent on the single shot rifle was filed.
  • Oct. 7, 1879
    U.S. Patent No. 220,271 was granted to the single shot rifle.
  • 1880
    With the aid of his brothers, John Browning established his arms factory.
  • Mar. 20, 1882
  • Patent application was filed on bolt-action repeating rifle with a tubular magazine.
  • July 25, 1882
  • U.S. Patent No. 261,667 was granted to the bolt action repeater.
  • Sept. 13, 1882
  • Patent filed on lever action, exposed hammer, tubular magazine rifle.
  • Spring, 1883
    Mr. T.G. Bennett, Vice-President and General Manager of Winchester Repeating Arms Company, comes to Ogden,
    Utah Territory and forms an alliance that is to last nineteen years and is to change the course of firearms development. As part of the transaction, the Single Shot is sold to Winchester, and Mr. Bennett is assured of first rights on a new repeater. The Single Shot becomes the Winchester Model 1885.
  • May 26, 1884
    Patent filed on lever action repeating rifle that employed sliding vertical locks.
  • October 1884
    Patent No. 306,577 was granted on the new repeater and John, together with his brother Matt, traveled to New Haven to deliver what was to become the famous Winchester Model 1886.
  • Feb. 16, 1886
    Patent No. 336,287 was granted on a lever action repeating shotgun. Known as the Winchester Model 1887, it was the first successful repeating shotgun.
  • Mar. 28, 1887
    John leaves for Georgia to spend two years as a Mormon missionary.
  • Dec. 13, 1887
    Patent was filed on a 22 caliber pump action repeating rifle. It has been called “the most popular 22 caliber pump action rifle ever made.” Patent No. 385,238 was granted on June 26, 1888. First marketed as the Winchester Model 1890.
  • Fall, 1889
    Began development of the first models that were designed to employ the expanding gases behind the bullet to operate the action.
  • Jan. 6, 1890
    John filed his first patent dealing with gas operation.
  • June 30, 1890
    Patent application was filed on a pump action repeating shotgun. Marketed as the Winchester Model 1893. A later take-down version was known as the Winchester Model 1897
  • Aug. 3, 1891
    Patents filed on two separate automatic gas operated guns.
  • Nov. 7, 1892
    Filed first patents on the Colt Model 1895 Automatic Machine Gun. Earned the name “Browning Peacemaker” during the Spanish-American War.
  • Jan. 19, 1894
    Filed patent on what would become the Winchester Model 1894, the first repeating action sporting rifle to handle smokeless powder cartridges. This rifle is ascribed by many to be the most popular high powered rifle ever built.
  • Nov. 19, 1894
    Patent was filed on a lever action repeating rifle with a non-detachable box magazine designed for jacketed sharp-nosed bullets. Marketed as the Winchester Model 1895.
  • Sept. 14, 1895
    Filed patent application on first semi-automatic pistol.
  • Oct. 31, 1896
    3 basic pistol patents were filed that concerned blowback action, a locked recoil system with a turning lock, and a locked recoil system with a pivoting lock.
  • July 17, 1897
    A contract between Browning and Fabrique Nationale was signed which authorized the Belgium firm to manufacture a blowback operated, 32 caliber semi-automatic pistol for all markets outside the United States. Production commenced in 1899.
  • Feb. 17, 1899
    Application for patent was filed on a single shot 22 caliber plinking rifle known as the Winchester Model 1900.
  • Feb., 1900
    Colt placed a Browning designed 38 caliber recoil operated semi-automatic pistol on the market. It was the first semi-automatic pistol in the United States.
  • Feb. 8, 1900
    The first of four patents were filed on the revolutionary autoloading shotgun. It would be manufactured by Fabrique Nationale in 1903 and by Remington Arms Company in 1905.
  • Oct. 6, 1900
    The first successful autoloading high-power rifle received Patent No. 659,786. U.S. manufacturing and sales rights were granted to Remington Arms Company, and the rifle first appeared in 1906 as the Model 8.
  • July 16, 1901
    Browning submitted a blowback operated 32 caliber semi-automatic pistol to Colt, who immediately accepted it. The marketing agreement stipulated that the pistol would be priced low enough to compete with the revolvers of the period.
  • Jan., 1902
    In a disagreement about the public acceptability of the autoloading shotgun, John Browning severed his nineteen year relationship with T.G. Bennett of Winchester.
  • Jan. 8, 1902
    An appointment was made to show the new shotgun to Mr. Marcellus Hartley of Remington. This meeting was cancelled by Mr. Hartley’s untimely death that afternoon.
  • Feb., 1902
    With his autoloading shotgun securely tucked under his arm, John Browning embarked on his first ocean voyage. He would offer the new shotgun to Fabrique Nationale.
  • Mar. 24, 1902
    A contract was signed granting FN exclusive world rights to manufacture and sell the autoloading shotgun.
  • July 10, 1903
    Patent application was filed on a pump action shotgun that would become the Stevens Model 520.
  • Summer, 1903
    At the request of FN, Browning developed a 9mm military semi-automatic pistol.
  • 1904
    In the face of restrictive tariffs, FN agreed to cede to Remington the rights to manufacture and sell the autoloading shotgun in the United States.
  • June 21, 1909
    The application for a patent on a 25 caliber semi-automatic pistol was filed. It has been manufactured and sold by both FN and Colt. It was part of the Browning Arms Company line from 1955 to 1969.
  • Feb. 17, 1910
    Patents were filed on a 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. It served as the official United States military sidearm for almost 75 years.
  • Nov. 26, 1913
    Filed patent on a pump shotgun that would be marketed as the Remington Model 17. It was John M. Browning’s last repeater-type shotgun.
  • Jan. 6, 1914
    Patents were granted and production began on a semi-automatic 22 caliber rifle. Remington also produced this rifle as the Model 24.
  • Feb. 27, 1917
    First public demonstration on the Browning 30 caliber Heavy Machine Gun at Congress Heights, Washington, D.C.
  • July, 1917
    Began work on the 50 caliber Water Cooled Machine Gun. Completed too late for World War I, this weapon played a prominent role in World War II and Korea.
  • Aug. 1, 1917
    Application for patent filed on the Browning Automatic Rifle. The B.A.R. first saw combat in 1918.
  • July 26, 1919
    Patent application filed on a 22 pump action rifle that would be produced exclusively by Fabrique Nationale.
  • Early 1921
    John M. Browning began work on his first 37mm Aircraft Cannon.
  • Oct. 15, 1923
    The first of two patents were filed on the Superposed Over/Under shotgun.
  • June 28, 1923
    Patent application was filed on a 9mm short-recoil, locked-breech, exposed-hammer semi-automatic pistol. This was John M. Browning’s last pistol development.
  • Nov. 26, 1926
    John Moses Browning died of heart failure at Liege, Belgium. The great gunmaker had laid down his tools.
  • Today
    Browning remains a major player in the international firearms, gun safe, outdoor clothing and sporting goods industry. Browning, along with Winchester Repeating Arms, FNH USA and FNM are owned by Fabrique Nationale, located in Herstal, Belgium.

Browning…The Best There Is in shooting and hunting sports. Check out our full line of rifles, shotguns, pistols, archery, clothing, footwear, shooting accessories, gun safes, knives, and flashlights. Visit for more info.

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