The Guns of John Moses Browning: The Remarkable Story of the Inventor Whose Firearms Changed the World

Nathan Gorenstein. Scribner, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-982129-21-7
Journalist Gorenstein (Tommy Gun Winter) offers a meticulously detailed biography of the self-taught firearms inventor known as “the Thomas Edison of guns.” Raised in the small Mormon town of Ogden, Utah, John Moses Browning (1855–1926) helped his father, a gunsmith, mend broken firearms, and was 10 years old when he built his first shotgun from a discarded musket barrel. Though he holds 128 firearm patents, Browning lived in relative obscurity, partly because he sold many of his designs to large gun companies, including Winchester and Colt, who were able to mass produce them. Gorenstein details Browning’s innovations in single-shot, lever-action, and pump-action rifles and shotguns, and notes that his autoloading pistol, with its slide mechanism and telescoping bolt, became the foundation for every semiautomatic handgun made today. Browning also invented the first gas-powered machine gun, developing a complex system that became the basis for weapons used by Allied forces in WWI and WWII. Though the extensive technical discussions may overwhelm general readers, Gorenstein ably captures his subject’s work ethic and impressive natural gifts. This comprehensive account makes clear that Browning is a more crucial figure in world history than is widely known. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/25/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9821-2923-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-2792-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-2794-1
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