Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Browning: The Best There Is
Back in the 1890s John Moses was out shooting duck on the Great Salt Lake in Ogden. He noticed that each time he shot, the escaping gasses would make the grass and his dog's fur move. He thought the gasses could be put to a better purpose and he started making test rifles of a different design, ones with a hole drilled in the barrel to divert some of the gasses behind the bullet into a cylinder to drive a piston. This piston would extract the cartridge case, and reload the next round, and fire it, all from a single trigger pull.
Thus was born the first fully automatic rifle.
The Navy bought his rifle in 1895. The Army bought his Colt Model 1895 Peacemaker, which was a huge mother automatic that was beloved for its power and reliability. The BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) is still famous for its innovation and simple design. And his Colt M-1911 (which he developed from his first automatic pistol design) is still used by the military and police today as a standard officers sidearm. "It just worked" is what people said about his gun designs.
So we're all safer and speaking English because of my great-great-great uncle. On this day of recognizing pioneer heritage, let us give praise.