Browning Firearms: A Brief Company History, and a Few Highlights From Their Lineup

Browning Arms can trace its roots to the 1870s and John M. Browning himself.

The history of Browning Arms is, in many ways, representative of the history of firearms in the United States from the mid-19th century to the present.

The Browning Arms Company was originally founded in 1878 in Ogden, Utah by the legendary firearms inventor and designer John Moses Browning and his brother Matthew Sandefur Browning. It was intended as a way to market John M. Browning's sporting gun designs and keep them separate from his military gun designs.

During the company's history, it has offered an assortment of outdoor gear in addition to firearms, including fishing rods, reels, and gear, gun safes, archery gear, knives, and even bicycles.

While John Browning was alive and after his death, almost all of his firearm designs were manufactured under license by other gun companies, including Winchester, Colt Remington, Fabrique Nationale (FN), and Miroku.

Some models were made by Browning Arms as well as other brands. One example is the Browning Auto-5 semi-automatic shotgun, which was also made under license as the Remington Model 11 and the Savage Model 720, with slight differences.

Popular Browning Guns

One of Browning Arms' most famous firearms is the Browning Superposed, which was the very first over-under shotgun ever produced. Before that, double-barrel shotguns were exclusively side-by-sides.

Other famous Browning Arms guns include the A-Bolt and X-Bolt bolt action rifles that have been favored by hunters pretty much since they were introduced. Other examples include the BAR (not to be confused with the Browning Automatic Rifle or M1918 BAR) —a very popular semi-auto hunting rifle, the BPR pump action rifle, the BPS pump-action shotgun, the aforementioned Auto-5 shotgun, and the famous Hi-Power 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

Today, Browning Arms Company is a fully owned subsidiary of the Belgium-based Fn Herstal and is most famous for its competition trap shotguns, like the 725 Pro Trap, the Citori series and the Cynergy series.