How Much Do You Know About American Firearms Legend John Moses Browning?

By: John Miller
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
How Much Do You Know About American Firearms Legend John Moses Browning?
Image: wikimedia

About This Quiz

These days, a lot of gun companies perform expensive market research to determine public tastes and then ask engineers to develop new firearms. Not so in the days of John Moses Browning. Back then, Browning was a fervent gun designer, one who made new firearms to satisfy his own curiosity and relentless perfectionism. In doing so, he became one of the most legendary gun makers of all-time. Pull the trigger on this gun quiz – do you really know much about John Browning and his pursuits?

Born in the Old West, Browning surely understood the American ideals of self-reliance and self-defense. After all, the West was a lawless place in which firearms often helped men and women protect themselves and procure food. Do you know anything about the young man’s upbringing?

He began making guns at a very early age. And he didn’t stop there – Browning also went into business for himself, determined to capitalize on his inventiveness. But he wasn’t really a great capitalist, and he suffered as a result. Do you recall anything about his business dealings gone awry?

In the end, Browning was and is regarded as an incredibly influential gun designer, an imaginative and determined man who hit the bullseye, time and again. Take this Browning firearms quiz now!

What was John Moses Browning's occupation?
career politician
firearms designer
John Moses Browning is one of the most famous firearms designers in world history. His guns changed the industry several times.
bomb maker

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What sort of firearm was the Winchester Model 1886?
aircraft machine gun
full-auto pistol
lever-action rifle
The Winchester Model 1886 was a triumph during the late days of the Old West. This lever-action rifle is still a legend.

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What sort of gun was Browning's M1911?
bazooka
shotgun
pistol
The M1911 might be Browning's top accomplishment. This .45-caliber icon has a reputation for power and reliability.

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Which of Browning's guns was adopted as an official sidearm for the U.S. military?
Maxim gun
Hi Power
M1911
The semi-automatic M1911 was adopted by the Army in 1911. The gun worked so well that it was the standard piece until 1986.

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True or false: Browning worked for Remington, Colt, and Winchester during the course of his career.
True
Browning was in high demand during his career. He worked at times for Colt, Remington, Winchester and other famous manufacturers.
False

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Browning had an impact on which category of guns?
all of them
Browning was so imaginative (and competitve) that he worked with all types of guns. His impact was felt from pistols, to rifles and many more.
just pistols
rifles, mostly

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At what age did Browning make his first gun?
3
13
Using the tools in his father's shop, Browning made his first gun when he was just 13 years old. It was a fast start to a blazing career.
34

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How many firearms patents did Browning apply for in his lifetime?
6
16
128
Browning was incredibly inventive … and prolific. He applied for 128 firearms patents, some of which revolutionized gun making in the 20th century.

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What inspired the "Hi Power" portion of the Browning Hi Power pistol?
It held more rounds than most pistols.
The Hi Power pistol, designed in 1915, had a 13-round capacity. That was about twice the capacity of other pistols of the day.
It shot rockets.
It included solar panels.

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Where was Browning born?
Russia
Utah Territory
Browning was born to Mormon pioneers in the Utah Territory in 1855. His father -- a polygamist -- had 18 kids in addition to John.
in a combat zone

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What sort of weapon did Browning patent at age 24?
flamethrower
self-cocking rifle
When he was just 24, Browning filed the first of many patents. His very first was for a self-cocking rifle.
a BB gun

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How did Browning's designs benefit the companies he worked for?
They were sued often for faulty designs.
They made heaps of money.
Firms like Winchester and Colt made incredible sums of money thanks to Browning. But he rarely received recognition for his work.
Mismanagement meant that they rarely profited.

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Browning contributed greatly to which advancement?
trigger reinforcement
gunpowder improvements
self-loading guns
Before Browning came along, self-loading guns were primitive. His improvements overhauled self-loading mechanisms in many different ways.

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True or false, were Browning's designs also used by foreign companies?
true
Browning was renowned worldwide for his designs. Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal of Belgium made one of his over-under shotguns for years, to great success.
false

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What is the M1895 Colt–Browning?
a pistol
a shotgun
a machine gun
Browning didn't stop with civilian firearms. He made the M1895 Colt–Browning, too -- a belt-fed machine gun that found serious wartime use throughout the world.

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Browning first went into business with which person?
his brother
His first company was John Moses and Matthew Sandifer Browning Company. His partner was his brother -- and this was the forerunner to the Browning Arms Company.
a descendant of George Washington
Samuel Colt

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One of Browning's first designs was the Model 1885 rifle. Which company loved the design?
Union Pacific
Winchester
Browning's Model 1885 rifle was intriguing to Winchester, which bought design rights. It eventually became the Model 1886, the advent of a long partnership between the company and the designer.
Sony

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What sort of gun is the Auto-5?
a shotgun
Completed in 1898, the Browning Auto-5 is a semi-automatic shotgun. This gun was so fabulously successful that it was made until 1998.
rifle
grenade launcher

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Early in his career, how did Browning sell his designs to gun makers?
one-time fees
It was an amateur mistake. Browning allowed companies to buy his designs for one big payment … thus missing out on a percentage of the (massive) sales of his weapons.
through extortion
sales percentage fees

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What happened when Browning tried to change his fee structure with Winchester?
Winchester refused.
Browning wanted to make more money for his designs, and told Winchester to give him a portion of sales numbers. The company refused to give more money to their right-hand man, and the partnership suffered.
The company offered double the money.
Nothing changed.

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Which Browning gun was nicknamed "Ma Deuce"?
M1911
M2 machine gun
The Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is the legendary "Ma Deuce." Its huge rounds can literally tear apart structures, machines … and people.
M1895

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What is the "BAR"?
Browning's favorite adult beverage
an automatic rifle
The BAR is the Browning automatic rifle. Designed at the end of WWI, it was a factor in both World Wars and in Korea, too.
a howitzer

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What was special about M1895 Colt–Browning machine gun?
It had two triggers.
It shot potatoes.
It was the U.S. military's first machine gun.
The M1895 Colt–Browning has a special place in American history. It was the very first machine gun officially adopted by the military.

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The Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun has often been used in which setup?
mounted to wagons
underwater
on aircraft
The Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is incredbly powerful. First introduced in 1933, it's been mounted to all sorts of vehicles, including aircraft.

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True or false: Has the M1911 been totally removed from service in the U.S. Army?
true
false
Offically, the M1911 was discontinued the Army service in 1986. But officers loved it so much that many pieces still linger throughout the force.

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What did Browning do after a long career of successful gun design?
graduated to bomb making
made even more guns
Browning was a tireless worker and innovator. He spent every day of his old age working on new gun designs. He died in 1926 at age 71.
played golf

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When he died, Browning was working on a new 9 mm pistol. What happened to that design?
It was lost for good.
It came to market in 2017.
It was completed by another designer.
Browning didn't get to complete one of his most famous 9mm designs. A Belgian gun engineer took the reins, and the result was the Browning Hi Power.

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What was a nickname for the Browning Auto-5?
"Donkey Spur"
"Humpback"
The Browning Auto-5 had a distinctive angular look to the stock. That odd look earned this shotgun the name "Humpback."
"Blood Master"

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What was the last gun that Browning designed?
Colt Single Action Army
Thompson submachine gun
Browning Superposed shotgun
It was one of the first-ever over-under shotguns -- the Browning Superposed. It was the famed designer's last gun … and he likely started working on it as early as the 1880s

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What was the name of John Browning's wife?
Rachel Browning
John Browning's wife was named Rachel. They had three children.
Eve Browning
Hannah Browning
Sarah Browning

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