A series of articles on the design, development and use of some of the handguns on which our replicas are based.
The Browning Hi Power was the last design developed by John Moses Browning before his death in 1926. Despite early problems, it went on to be adopted by the military forces of more than eighty countries around the world and was one of the very few designs to be used by both Axis and Allied forces during World War Two.
For most people, the Colt Single Action Army revolver is the archetypal “cowboy pistol”. This isn’t historically accurate and is largely due to the influence of the television and movies of the 1950s and 60s. Nevertheless, although it wasn’t the first revolver or even the first revolver to use self-contained cartridges, this is an iconic and historically significant handgun.
Is the Glock 17 a classic handgun? When it was introduced in 1982, many people were horrified – not only had it been created by someone who had never before designed a gun of any kind, it was ugly and it was made partly of plastic! Surely something like that could never become popular? But the huge commercial success of the Glock 17 went on to change handgun design forever.
Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe that the Walther PPK was designed in the 1930s. Yet, somehow it still looks contemporary and good. Why is this? And why did it take six novels before Ian Fleming finally gave James Bond a Walther PPK? And why are we still waiting for the definitive PPK replica?
This isn’t a handgun at all, so you might wonder what this article is doing here? Well, the Girandoni repeating rifle was one of the most technically advanced military weapons of the late 1700s. And it was a PCP air rifle. Though there were also repeating pistol versions…
The handgun designs of John Moses Browning.
American gun designer John Moses Browning produced radical designs for rifles, shotguns and even machine guns. However, it is his influence on the design of semi-automatic pistols that I want to look at here. Beginning with quirky pistols like the Pistolete Browning we’ll see how Browning’s designs gradually evolved to produce such classics as the Colt 1911, the Browning Hi-Power and the Colt Woodsman.