The Resistance Library Podcast – John Moses Browning: The Forgotten History and Legacy of the Father of Modern Firearms

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On this episode of the Resistance Library Podcast, Sam and Dave talk about John Moses and the forgotten history and legacy of the father of modern firearms. John Moses Browning is known to firearms and Second Amendment enthusiasts primarily as a gunsmith, but he was more than that: He was also an inventor, an innovator, and perhaps one of the most successful firearm designers the world has ever seen. It’s without question that he is the father of modern firearms as we know them. John Browning is arguably the man most responsible for modern firearms, including lever-action, pump-action, and auto-loading weapons.

Browning was born into a Mormon settler family in Ogden, Utah, on January 23, 1855. His parents, Jonathan Browning and Elizabeth Clark, were Mormons who settled in Utah after the Mormon Exodus of 1847. A gunsmith himself, Jonathan often had young John in the shop alongside him, where the child learned concepts of manufacturing and engineering. The elder Browning also encouraged experimentation. By the age of 11, John had created his first firearm from castaway pieces and took it hunting, providing his family with three prairie chickens for the family’s dinner. By the time he was 18, John Browning had taken over his father’s business.

In the spring of 1879, John married Rachel Teresa Child, who would eventually bear John 10 children, eight of whom survived infancy. On October 7th of that same year, John received the first of his 128 firearm patents, this one for the Browning Single Shot rifle.

In 1880, John recruited his brothers and built what would become known as the Browning Arms Company. Although the business was successful, John was not satisfied. Rather than mass-producing firearms for commercial sale, Browning wanted to revolutionize the entire small arms industry.

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