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Famous Gun Inventors in History; Paul Mauser Rifles & John Browning Arms Designer

Two names come to mind that changed the world of firearms forever. In Germany the technical genius was Paul Mauser. In the US it is John Browning.

Paul & Wilhelm Mauser in Germany

Paul Mauser was born in 1838 and died in 1914. He established Mauser company that still today bears his name. It’s most famous creation is the K98 bolt-action rifle that served Germany through two world wars. He and his brother Wilhelm developed the first metallic cartridge and rifle for the German Army is the 1871 Mauser rifle. Wilhelm excelled at running the business, allow the genius of Paul to do the engineering. Paul and Wilhelm grew up in a family of gunsmiths starting with their father and brothers. Two cartridges where also developed the 7x57mm and 8x57mm Mauser. The 7mm shocked the British who were saddled with a round nose bullet during the 2nd Boer War. The Boers were armed with 7mm Mausers utilizing the stream lined spitzer (German for pointed) bullet. The combo also surprised the Americans during the campaigns on Cuba, the Cubans being armed with the ‘Spanish Mauser’ shooting the same streamlined projectiles as the Boers. The Krag-Jorgensen rifles of the Rough Riders and the ancient 45-70 Trapdoor Springfield used by the infantry. Neither had the range of the Cuban’s guns. The 8×7.9mm (8mm Mauser) was the basis for nearly every rimless bottlenecked cartridge today. But least we forget Hans Solo’s reworked C96 ‘Broom Handle’ Mauser semi-auto pistol. Mauser genius applied to rifles and what comes to mind when Mauser is mentioned, but they dabbled with sidearms as well. Up 30mm anti-aircraft cannon where seen on both the western and eastern fronts.

John Moses Browning Guns

John Moses Browning was probably the most innovative and prolific arms designer of the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1911, P35 Browning, the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), the 1917 and 1919 model .30 caliber machinegun and the beloved heavy of 1933 “Ma Deuce” M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun that is still in use today by the armies of multiple countries. Even designed a cannon or two for the Army for anti-aircraft use. Collaboration between Browning and Winchester gave us the Model 1885 single shot rifles, the Model 1887 Winchester lever action shotgun and the Model 1897 pump shotgun. Models 1886, 1892, 1894 and 1895 Winchester lever actions also benefited from the Browning touch. Even the Remington Model 8 semi-auto rifle of 1905 was Browning design. The stacked barreled Browning Superposed shotgun is still in production and are still taking their share fowl and clay. Like Mauser, Browning was no slouch is cartridge design. The .25, .32, .38, .380, .45 ACP and the .50BMG were Browning achievements with all but .38 ACP being popular today. The 9mm Browning Long was a short-lived invention as well. Browning’s collaboration with Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN) of Belgium gave us the Browning semi-auto “Humpback” shotgun and the Browning High Power of 1935 also known as the P-35 pistol were achievements shared by the Browning and FN collaboration. The P-35 was the handgun of both Canadian, British Armies, Australian and most other Commonwealth countries to the present. Made in 9x19mm Parabellum (Luger), 7.65x21mm Parabellum and 40 S&W. This was one of the first staggered column high capacity pistols made. The Colt 1911 .45 Auto is the gun most associated with John Browning. Adopted by the military in 1911 it was based on Browning’s 1908 pistol also in 45 ACP the 1911 is probably the most copied pistol in history.

Custom Shooting Ranges for Firearm Practice & Training

Hats off, a nod and thanks to the achievements of these two inventors and their contributions to the development of firearms, many of their legacy lives on for every hunter in the field and firearms competitors on ranges throughout the world. Shooting Range Industries designs and builds custom shooting ranges for your firearm practice and training! Contact us today!

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