Late last week it was announced that Jan. 24, 2011, would be John M. Browning Day in Utah. The Utah State Legislature made the official designation to commemorate Browning's lasting contributions to the development of firearm design and the military defense of the United States.
I've got two things to say. First, it's about time. Second, why are we not making this a national commemoration?
It only takes a brief glimpse back into history to see how critical and beneficial Browning's innovations were to the security of our country. His forward thinking can be seen in numerous patents, particularly in the arena of semiautomatic firearms including shotguns and the time-spanning model 1911 .45. Additional contributions include the Browning automatic rifle or B.A.R., and the .50 caliber water-cooled machine gun. These are just a few of the many ways he changed firearm history.
I did much of my youth hunting with a Browning A-5 shotgun and I still have an A-5 Belgium original that my great grandfather used. My grandfather also gave me his BAR in 7mm Remington magnum that I used to shoot several deer while I attended college.
Can you imagine World War II without the .50 caliber? The model 1911 is so popular today that even special ops soldiers carry it. In fact it's celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Yes, I think the nation deserves to commemorate Mr. Browning. We live in a much safer world because of him and his innovations.
What does the B.M.G. in .50 B.M.G. stand for? It's Browning machine gun, of course.
UPDATE- COMMENT WEEK IN REVIEW
Last week there were some comments posted regarding whether John M. Browning patented a water-cooled .50 caliber machine gun. According to the information I received from Browning, he did indeed patent that firearm along with .30 caliber versions. Keep sending in the comments. -Mark Kayser