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John Browning
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John Browning

John Moses Browning (January 21, 1855 - November 26, 1926), born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of weapons which were used in the US Military for decades in the 20th century. He is credited with 128 gun patents -- his first (for a single shot rifle) was granted October 7, 1879.

In addition to designing several versions of lever action rifles for the Winchester Firearms company, the weapons he developed included:

The last three weapons saw use in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The Colt 1911 had the longest period of service from 1911 to 1986, and a variant is still used by spec. ops units of the USMC and FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. Browning had a long standing relationship with Fabrique Nationale (FN) to build many of his guns. In 1977 FN aquired the Browning Arms Company which had been established in 1927, the year after Browning's death.

Browning belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a served a two year mission for the church in Georgia beginning on March 28, 1887. His father Jonathan Browning, who was among the thousands of Mormon pioneers in the mass exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois to Utah, had established a gunsmith shop in Ogden in 1852.