ASME-Landmark:Browning Firearms Collection


The Browning firearms collection at the Ogden Union Station Museum recognizes the inventive talents of John Moses Browning (1855-1926), a prolific and significant designer of firearms, whose designs were known for simplicity, accuracy, and reliability. He held more than 128 patents covering 80 distinct firearms produced by Winchester, Remington, Colt, Fabrique Nationale, Savage, and General Motors (during wartime), among others. The display includes 35 pistols, 33 rifles, 33 shotguns, and 9 military automatics, either production models or original guns made by Browning.

Browning's popular inventions include the single-shot rifle produced by Winchester as Model 1885, designed in 1878 and patented (Browning's first) on October 7, 1879. He applied May 1884 for a patent on the lever-action repeater, which was also produced by Winchester. His 1890 .22-caliber pump action rifle became known to many at carnival shooting galleries. His 1899 automatic shotgun, which is considered Browning's favorite design, was manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre in Belgium. Built as a prototype in 1899 and produced in 1903 as a 12-gauge gas-operated semi-automatic shotgun, the automatic shotgun using the gas-injection principle was refined over the years and became his most profitable invention.

Noteworthy military firearms include the Colt .45 automatic pistol, Browning Automatic Rifle, and .30- and .50-caliber machine guns.

Son of a gunsmith, John Browning was born in Ogden, Utah, and established an arms factory there with five brothers. Over the years, Ogden was the site of several workshops in which John Browning designed firearms. The Browning Arms Company was acquired by Fabrique Nationale in 1977. The city of Ogden owns and operates the museum. See ASME website for more information