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



By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

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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?

John Moses Browning is one of the most famous firearms designers in world history. His guns changed the industry several times.


What sort of firearm was the Winchester Model 1886?

The Winchester Model 1886 was a triumph during the late days of the Old West. This lever-action rifle is still a legend.


What sort of gun was Browning's M1911?

The M1911 might be Browning's top accomplishment. This .45-caliber icon has a reputation for power and reliability.


Which of Browning's guns was adopted as an official sidearm for the U.S. military?

The semi-automatic M1911 was adopted by the Army in 1911. The gun worked so well that it was the standard piece until 1986.


True or false: Browning worked for Remington, Colt, and Winchester during the course of his career.

Browning was in high demand during his career. He worked at times for Colt, Remington, Winchester and other famous manufacturers.


Browning had an impact on which category of guns?

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.


At what age did Browning make his first gun?

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.


How many firearms patents did Browning apply for in his lifetime?

Browning was incredibly inventive … and prolific. He applied for 128 firearms patents, some of which revolutionized gun making in the 20th century.


What inspired the "Hi Power" portion of the Browning Hi Power pistol?

The Hi Power pistol, designed in 1915, had a 13-round capacity. That was about twice the capacity of other pistols of the day.


Where was Browning born?

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


What sort of weapon did Browning patent at age 24?

When he was just 24, Browning filed the first of many patents. His very first was for a self-cocking rifle.


How did Browning's designs benefit the companies he worked for?

Firms like Winchester and Colt made incredible sums of money thanks to Browning. But he rarely received recognition for his work.


Browning contributed greatly to which advancement?

Before Browning came along, self-loading guns were primitive. His improvements overhauled self-loading mechanisms in many different ways.


True or false, were Browning's designs also used by foreign companies?

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.


What is the M1895 Colt–Browning?

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.


Browning first went into business with which person?

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.


One of Browning's first designs was the Model 1885 rifle. Which company loved the design?

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.


What sort of gun is the Auto-5?

Completed in 1898, the Browning Auto-5 is a semi-automatic shotgun. This gun was so fabulously successful that it was made until 1998.


Early in his career, how did Browning sell his designs to gun makers?

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.


What happened when Browning tried to change his fee structure with Winchester?

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.


Which Browning gun was nicknamed "Ma Deuce"?

The Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is the legendary "Ma Deuce." Its huge rounds can literally tear apart structures, machines … and people.


What is the "BAR"?

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.


What was special about M1895 Colt–Browning 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.


The Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun has often been used in which setup?

The Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is incredbly powerful. First introduced in 1933, it's been mounted to all sorts of vehicles, including aircraft.


True or false: Has the M1911 been totally removed from service in the U.S. Army?

Offically, the M1911 was discontinued the Army service in 1986. But officers loved it so much that many pieces still linger throughout the force.


What did Browning do after a long career of successful gun design?

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.


When he died, Browning was working on a new 9 mm pistol. What happened to that design?

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.


What was a nickname for the Browning Auto-5?

The Browning Auto-5 had a distinctive angular look to the stock. That odd look earned this shotgun the name "Humpback."


What was the last gun that Browning designed?

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


What was the name of John Browning's wife?

John Browning's wife was named Rachel. They had three children.


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