Book Review: The Guns of John Moses Browning

The remarkable story of the inventor whose firearms changed the world

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The Guns of John Moses Browning
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Author Nathan Gorenstein has done a remarkable job of bringing perhaps the greatest and most prolific firearms inventor and designer in history to life in this fascinating new biography of the man and his inventions.

Most books focus on the guns Browning designed and the variations of specific models and types, but this book is far more focussed on the man himself and his amazing talent and life.

It is the most well-written and interesting book on Browning I have ever read, and I am a bit of a Browning fan boy, having even travelled to the Browning Museum in his hometown of Ogden, Utah in the USA and also read many books on his designs. I own and frequently use nearly a dozen firearms of his design. 

In fact just yesterday I was controlling some pigs in scrub on our farm using a Browning Auto 5 12-gauge shotgun that was designed in 1898, patented in 1900 and bought by my father in 1947. The A5 was still in production until recently and is still a highly reliable and practical firearm for multiple uses. 

The Guns of John Moses Browning
John Browning’s original shopfront (left) and the cover of the new book (right)

I think it is safe to say any enthusiast of firearms will find this book easy to read and very hard to put down. 

John Browning led a truly amazing life, from making his first functioning gun at age 13 to his death in 1926, literally at his workbench working on what would become the venerable Browning Hi Power pistol, which Australian defence forces are still using.

Reading this book, you begin to understand that Browning was a unique and interesting character. 

The Guns of John Moses Browning
The legendary Browning .50 calibre machine gun is another of Browning’s everlasting designs, still in use today

He literally designed the guns in his head without drawings, then would sit with his brother making wood models of some of the world’s most famous firearms.

It’s well worth the time and money to grab a copy and read at least once. I am on my second read.

The Guns of John Moses Browning
The Browning A5 semi-auto shotgun was in production for more than 100 years

Published by Simon & Shuster as a hardcover. Expect to pay $A45-48 from local bookstores (they can order you a copy) or from online retailers such as Booktopia or Amazon. 

If you enjoy reading ebooks on Kindle or similar systems you can save money and have a copy in minutes on your device. Amazon Kindle has it for $US15 as an ebook.

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