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  #1  
Old 02-11-2007, 02:31 PM
ambluemax ambluemax is offline
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Why doesn't Browning make a 1911?




With so many compainies producing 1911 pistols, it strikes me as odd that the company that bares the name of John M Browning does not produce a model or two of one of his most successfully designes ever. They still make the high power, but not 1911's.

Does anyone have an intellegent guess as to why this might be?
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2007, 02:32 PM
liliysdad liliysdad is offline
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Because Browning doesnt make anything.
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2007, 03:12 PM
SnWnMe SnWnMe is offline
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Heh
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2007, 03:12 PM
Mark 11 Mark 11 is offline
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With all the different manufacturers already doing a 1911, what could Browning do to compete? Perhaps make them in Japan or China?
Mark 11
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2007, 03:17 PM
SA1911TRP SA1911TRP is offline
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interesting enough i was thinking about this same thing last night. if nothing else, the marketing value of the browning name alone would ensure success, especially if its built with the same quality as the BHP.
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2007, 05:57 PM
f4t9r f4t9r is offline
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I agree if its built with the same quality that Browning is known for. I would think it would be a success. Maybe a little late now with all the custom guns that are out there.
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2007, 07:30 PM
adkhunter adkhunter is offline
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I was talking to a browning rep at the shot show and we were talking about how a 100 year anniversary model should be in the works for 2011.
Also If they would make a remake of the world war 2 BAR (in semi auto of course)I think people would love that.
In like the wood crate that the SA M1 garands come in.
I would jump on that one!!!!!
WAKE UP BROWNING!!!!
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2007, 08:38 PM
Martowski Martowski is offline
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Browning would have to convince FN to produce it.

Nothing wrong with FN... but that's where your Hi Powers come from. Also, kind of like Browning importing the recent FN polymer pistols and putting their stamp on it. Or when they imported the Sig 220 years ago and called it the BDA.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2007, 10:01 PM
mryu78 mryu78 is offline
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they can call it Browning 1911
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2007, 10:22 PM
USNPJS USNPJS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adkhunter
I was talking to a browning rep at the shot show and we were talking about how a 100 year anniversary model should be in the works for 2011.
Also If they would make a remake of the world war 2 BAR (in semi auto of course)I think people would love that.
In like the wood crate that the SA M1 garands come in.
I would jump on that one!!!!!
WAKE UP BROWNING!!!!
Dont tease me about the BAR, seriously I couldnt handle the dissapointment....
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2007, 03:34 AM
Robert Hairless Robert Hairless is offline
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You're sort of mushing together the name of the designer with the product he designed. It's not a "Browning," it's a "Colt." (Don't point those guns at me, boys. Hear me out.) In fact when I was a lad it was called the "Colt .45," not the "1911." And therein lies the beginning of the complex tale that might answer your question.

John M. Browning wasn't a firearms manufacturer. He was a firearms designer and one hell of a great businessman too. JMB licensed his designs to manufacturers that produced, marketed, and sold them, and paid him royalties. The big money for those manufacturers was (and presumably still is) in selling large quantities to the military. They buy hundreds or thousands of the same model, while the individual citizen might buy one. So JMB--being no dope, and having no interest in your right to keep and bear arms--designed for the military, not for you or me.

JMB designed what became the 1911 to meet U.S. Army specifications. The U.S. Army's immediate concern was to prevent Muslims from killing soldiers. (The more things change the more they remain the same, right?) The army found that its current sidearm and ammunition--the .38 Long Colt revolver--were ineffective for that kind of jungle warfare in the Phillipines. Colt of course was eager to license the Army's replacement, and JMB licensed the 1911 to Colt for production, marketing, and sales.

The 1911 was (and I think still is) essentially a U.S. military sidearm, which explains features such as the grip safety and changes from the original model 1911 to the model 1911A1. They were specified by the U.S. Army, which discontinued the 1911's adoption in 1985. Long before then, though Colt developed additional markets for the 1911: the police and us. Although the pistol and the .45 ACP round spread to some other countries, most other countries in the world--especially the Europeans--believed that they were the products of uncivilized yahoos who couldn't make a quiche if their lives depended on it. They adopted more "civilized" calibers, such as the 9mm and the 9mm Kurz (i.e., the .380), I suppose so they could kill with kindness.

In the meantime, JMB (who never met a buck he didn't like) founded Browning Arms to market his sporting firearms designs--those not for military or police use. That was in 1927.

So the 1911 is not identified with Browning Arms. It is identified with Colt. I suppose that there's nothing to stop Browning Arms from doing a centennial commemorative of the 1911 but I do think it would be silly and might even benefit Colt more by highlighting its identification with the 1911.

To make matters even more interesting, Browning Arms Company today is a subsidiary of Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, based in Belgium. Among the other companies owned by that conglomerate is FN, which manufactures, markets, and sells to the military and police throughout the world. Browning Arms Company still addresses the sporting market: us. The separate companies--FN and Browning--do cooperate: for example, Browning has the parts division for its own products and FNs in America, and both companies issued the High Power under their own brands, in different finishes appropriate to their markets.

Which leads us to the amusing part. What most of us know as the "Browning High Power" was produced by FN in 1935. We call it by the name of the designer, not the company. But we call the same designer's earlier pistol by the name of the company, not the designer: it's not the "Browning .45" but the "Colt .45," which proves something or other.

I've given you the short version, much compressed, and subject to argument about most details. But it's generally all right, I think.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2007, 06:37 AM
automan automan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Hairless
You're sort of mushing together the name of the designer with the product he designed. It's not a "Browning," it's a "Colt." (Don't point those guns at me, boys. Hear me out.) In fact when I was a lad it was called the "Colt .45," not the "1911." And therein lies the beginning of the complex tale that might answer your question.

John M. Browning wasn't a firearms manufacturer. He was a firearms designer and one hell of a great businessman too. JMB licensed his designs to manufacturers that produced, marketed, and sold them, and paid him royalties. The big money for those manufacturers was (and presumably still is) in selling large quantities to the military. They buy hundreds or thousands of the same model, while the individual citizen might buy one. So JMB--being no dope, and having no interest in your right to keep and bear arms--designed for the military, not for you or me.

JMB designed what became the 1911 to meet U.S. Army specifications. The U.S. Army's immediate concern was to prevent Muslims from killing soldiers. (The more things change the more they remain the same, right?) The army found that its current sidearm and ammunition--the .38 Long Colt revolver--were ineffective for that kind of jungle warfare in the Phillipines. Colt of course was eager to license the Army's replacement, and JMB licensed the 1911 to Colt for production, marketing, and sales.

The 1911 was (and I think still is) essentially a U.S. military sidearm, which explains features such as the grip safety and changes from the original model 1911 to the model 1911A1. They were specified by the U.S. Army, which discontinued the 1911's adoption in 1985. Long before then, though Colt developed additional markets for the 1911: the police and us. Although the pistol and the .45 ACP round spread to some other countries, most other countries in the world--especially the Europeans--believed that they were the products of uncivilized yahoos who couldn't make a quiche if their lives depended on it. They adopted more "civilized" calibers, such as the 9mm and the 9mm Kurz (i.e., the .380), I suppose so they could kill with kindness.

In the meantime, JMB (who never met a buck he didn't like) founded Browning Arms to market his sporting firearms designs--those not for military or police use. That was in 1927.

So the 1911 is not identified with Browning Arms. It is identified with Colt. I suppose that there's nothing to stop Browning Arms from doing a centennial commemorative of the 1911 but I do think it would be silly and might even benefit Colt more by highlighting its identification with the 1911.

To make matters even more interesting, Browning Arms Company today is a subsidiary of Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, based in Belgium. Among the other companies owned by that conglomerate is FN, which manufactures, markets, and sells to the military and police throughout the world. Browning Arms Company still addresses the sporting market: us. The separate companies--FN and Browning--do cooperate: for example, Browning has the parts division for its own products and FNs in America, and both companies issued the High Power under their own brands, in different finishes appropriate to their markets.

Which leads us to the amusing part. What most of us know as the "Browning High Power" was produced by FN in 1935. We call it by the name of the designer, not the company. But we call the same designer's earlier pistol by the name of the company, not the designer: it's not the "Browning .45" but the "Colt .45," which proves something or other.

I've given you the short version, much compressed, and subject to argument about most details. But it's generally all right, I think.

I suppose Browning could always contract out to Colt to manufacture Colt 45s under the Browning name. Of course, MSRP would probably be a gizillion dollars and few would be sold after markups.
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2007, 07:15 AM
DHart DHart is offline
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FN builds an awesome Hi-Power (selling under two brand names, Browning and FN, built in the same plant). I agree that if FN built a 1911 to the standards of their Hi-Power, it would be a goodie and I think it would be perfectly appropriate (and smart!!!) to market it under the Browning name, which has much more charisma and marketing presence than the name "FN" or Fabrique Nationale. FN corporate has major clout in the firearms business and the resources to build a really nice 1911 if they wanted to. Wouldn't that be nice!
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2007, 07:25 AM
silversport silversport is offline
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Robert,

Very nice summation of the facts..."we" called the .45 (1911/1911A1) the Colt .45ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) because Colt was the manufacturer...we called the P-35 (Hi-Power) the Browning Hi-Power because Browning made it (albeit by the REAL manufacturer, Fabrique Nationale')...things were much simpler in those days, eh???
Bill
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2007, 07:45 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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FN built a prototype on the 1911 design in 9.65mm. I saw it illustrated in one or another of the corporate history books. I don't know if this is the same as the early 9.8mm Colt, but it is close.
They called it the Grand Browning.

I agree that if they built it in-house at FN or maybe at Miroku, it would be a fine gun. I would just as soon they left it alone as to assemble commodity parts like Sigarms, though.
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2007, 11:14 AM
ValleyBoy ValleyBoy is offline
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Plain and simply, Browning doesn't make a 1911 because they can't. From a marketing standpoint they are pretty poor off right now. Even if they were very popular and doing well in sales, that's no guarantee of success. Look at Sig's 1911. I just don't think they ahve the desire or capabilties.
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  #17  
Old 02-13-2007, 11:41 PM
Robert Hairless Robert Hairless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson
FN built a prototype on the 1911 design in 9.65mm. I saw it illustrated in one or another of the corporate history books. I don't know if this is the same as the early 9.8mm Colt, but it is close.
They called it the Grand Browning.

I agree that if they built it in-house at FN or maybe at Miroku, it would be a fine gun. I would just as soon they left it alone as to assemble commodity parts like Sigarms, though.
I don't think I'd known about the FN 9.65mm 1911 prototype, Jim. You are indeed a fund of good information. Thank you for it.

silversport:

Everything was indeed much simpler when I was young. I got my college degree in less than a day. The entire chemistry course took just a few minutes because we only had four elements to learn: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. And so on. That's one reason why I'm so glad to be here. I learn a lot, but I must say that some of you young fellows make things far too complicated. In my day, there was only safety rule: "Don't run with that thing or you'll poke your eye out!"

Last edited by Robert Hairless; 02-14-2007 at 07:52 AM.
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2007, 07:00 AM
silversport silversport is offline
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Robert,

...that gave me the chuckle for the day...I appreciate that after looking out my window and seeing a couple feet of drifted snow where I had cleaned it to the pavement 12 hours earlier...as a 45 year old, I too remember some of those simpler times...take care,

Bill
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2007, 11:48 PM
Gammon Gammon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Hairless
You're sort of mushing together the name of the designer with the product he designed. It's not a "Browning," it's a "Colt." (Don't point those guns at me, boys. Hear me out.) In fact when I was a lad it was called the "Colt .45," not the "1911." And therein lies the beginning of the complex tale that might answer your question.

John M. Browning wasn't a firearms manufacturer. He was a firearms designer and one hell of a great businessman too. JMB licensed his designs to manufacturers that produced, marketed, and sold them, and paid him royalties. The big money for those manufacturers was (and presumably still is) in selling large quantities to the military. They buy hundreds or thousands of the same model, while the individual citizen might buy one. So JMB--being no dope, and having no interest in your right to keep and bear arms--designed for the military, not for you or me.

JMB designed what became the 1911 to meet U.S. Army specifications. The U.S. Army's immediate concern was to prevent Muslims from killing soldiers. (The more things change the more they remain the same, right?) The army found that its current sidearm and ammunition--the .38 Long Colt revolver--were ineffective for that kind of jungle warfare in the Phillipines. Colt of course was eager to license the Army's replacement, and JMB licensed the 1911 to Colt for production, marketing, and sales.

The 1911 was (and I think still is) essentially a U.S. military sidearm, which explains features such as the grip safety and changes from the original model 1911 to the model 1911A1. They were specified by the U.S. Army, which discontinued the 1911's adoption in 1985. Long before then, though Colt developed additional markets for the 1911: the police and us. Although the pistol and the .45 ACP round spread to some other countries, most other countries in the world--especially the Europeans--believed that they were the products of uncivilized yahoos who couldn't make a quiche if their lives depended on it. They adopted more "civilized" calibers, such as the 9mm and the 9mm Kurz (i.e., the .380), I suppose so they could kill with kindness.

In the meantime, JMB (who never met a buck he didn't like) founded Browning Arms to market his sporting firearms designs--those not for military or police use. That was in 1927.

So the 1911 is not identified with Browning Arms. It is identified with Colt. I suppose that there's nothing to stop Browning Arms from doing a centennial commemorative of the 1911 but I do think it would be silly and might even benefit Colt more by highlighting its identification with the 1911.

To make matters even more interesting, Browning Arms Company today is a subsidiary of Fabrique Nationale de Herstal, based in Belgium. Among the other companies owned by that conglomerate is FN, which manufactures, markets, and sells to the military and police throughout the world. Browning Arms Company still addresses the sporting market: us. The separate companies--FN and Browning--do cooperate: for example, Browning has the parts division for its own products and FNs in America, and both companies issued the High Power under their own brands, in different finishes appropriate to their markets.

Which leads us to the amusing part. What most of us know as the "Browning High Power" was produced by FN in 1935. We call it by the name of the designer, not the company. But we call the same designer's earlier pistol by the name of the company, not the designer: it's not the "Browning .45" but the "Colt .45," which proves something or other.

I've given you the short version, much compressed, and subject to argument about most details. But it's generally all right, I think.
The US Army solved the "Muslim Problem" with old .45 long Colt single action pistols they brought out of retirement, not the 1911; it came ten years or so later. The difficulties encountered in the Phillipines with the Moro tribesmen did, however, convince the brass that a .45 caliber pistol was necessary.

I believe JMB was a Colt employee when he designed the 1911 as Colt held all of the patents for this pistol. This became a problem when JMB designed the P 35, or the Browning High Power. When designing this pistol, JMB was unable to use his own ideas as Colt still controlled the patents. I have never been a fan of the High Power and wonder what kind of pistol JMB would have designed had he been able to draw upon the fruits of his previous labors.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:21 AM
Robert Hairless Robert Hairless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gammon
The US Army solved the "Muslim Problem" with old .45 long Colt single action pistols they brought out of retirement, not the 1911; it came ten years or so later. The difficulties encountered in the Phillipines with the Moro tribesmen did, however, convince the brass that a .45 caliber pistol was necessary.

I believe JMB was a Colt employee when he designed the 1911 as Colt held all of the patents for this pistol. This became a problem when JMB designed the P 35, or the Browning High Power. When designing this pistol, JMB was unable to use his own ideas as Colt still controlled the patents. I have never been a fan of the High Power and wonder what kind of pistol JMB would have designed had he been able to draw upon the fruits of his previous labors.
Although the Philippine-American War officially ended in 1902 after the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo, the Muslim Moros in the southern islands continued their uprisings for another decade. The U.S. retained the Philippine Islands as its territory until July 4, 1946, when it granted independence to the Philippine nation. I didn't intend to argue that the Model 1911 had any significant influence on the conflict, and I'm sorry if it seemed that I was. My point was that the conflict stimulated the U.S. Army specifications for what became the Model of 1911, which is true. I don't think that the U.S. Army ever "solved the Muslim problem" in the Philippines or elsewhere.

I wasn't aware that Browning worked as a Colt employee when he designed the 1911. He entered into many business relationships after designing his first firearm in 1879, most notably with Winchester and FN, but I hadn't known that he was a salaried employee of any company. Is it possible, do you think, that the relationship with Colt was of a kind that today might be called a "consultant" rather than an "employee"? I'm surprised that an independent firearms designer like Browning would become an employee of any company, in part because the company could claim ownership of any and all other work he did while he was a salaried employee.

No great matter, either of those things, in the context of the question that began this thread.

Last edited by Robert Hairless; 02-15-2007 at 01:36 AM.
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  #21  
Old 02-15-2007, 11:47 AM
1saxman 1saxman is offline
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Interesting concept about Browning doing a 1911. The only way it could ever happen would be for them to have the gun made, probably by Twin Pines. Who would want it? Just a cast gun with Browning on it. That's the way everybody is going now - assembling, not making. That's okay - just makes our old forged steel Colts more valuable.
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  #22  
Old 02-15-2007, 07:58 PM
DPris DPris is offline
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This is wandering a bit from the truth regarding JMB.
He was never a Colt employee, and the current Browning company was started after his death. He died in his office at FN in Belgium in 1926.
Browning sold his first patents to Winchester for a flat fee on each one. That included many that Winchester never produced & bought just to keep the basic ideas from being produced anywhere else in the US. The reasoning was that since there were only so many "ideas" & operating principles that could exist, somebody other than Browning would probably come up with them sooner or later and if Browning thunk 'em up first & Winchester already owned 'em, there'd be much less competition.
After several years of that the relationship ended when Browning decided he was shorting himself & offered a design to Winchester with an ongoing royalty attached, instead of a flat fee. Winchester said no, Browning said goodby.
He worked loosely with Colt on several handgun designs & had an office there, but never was employed by Colt. Patents sold or assigned to Colt involved royalties on all designs produced by Colt.
Browning had an office at FN in Belgium & developed several pistols for European sales produced by them. He was never an employee of anybody but John Moses Browning.
Denis
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  #23  
Old 02-15-2007, 10:52 PM
Robert Hairless Robert Hairless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPris
This is wandering a bit from the truth regarding JMB.
He was never a Colt employee, and the current Browning company was started after his death. He died in his office at FN in Belgium in 1926.
Browning sold his first patents to Winchester for a flat fee on each one. That included many that Winchester never produced & bought just to keep the basic ideas from being produced anywhere else in the US. The reasoning was that since there were only so many "ideas" & operating principles that could exist, somebody other than Browning would probably come up with them sooner or later and if Browning thunk 'em up first & Winchester already owned 'em, there'd be much less competition.
After several years of that the relationship ended when Browning decided he was shorting himself & offered a design to Winchester with an ongoing royalty attached, instead of a flat fee. Winchester said no, Browning said goodby.
He worked loosely with Colt on several handgun designs & had an office there, but never was employed by Colt. Patents sold or assigned to Colt involved royalties on all designs produced by Colt.
Browning had an office at FN in Belgium & developed several pistols for European sales produced by them. He was never an employee of anybody but John Moses Browning.
Denis
That's more in line with what I thought, Denis. My impression is that Browning and Winchester didn't get along well, but that FN appreciated Browning much.
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2007, 11:16 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Quote:
"I have never been a fan of the High Power and wonder what kind of pistol JMB would have designed had he been able to draw upon the fruits of his previous labors."
Mr Browning did not design the G.P. as manufactured, he did not live long enough. D. Saive gets and deserves a lot of credit for converting the Browning concept and the unsold G.R. into a salable gun. But one thing he did was to plow Browning design features back into the FN guns after the Colt-Browning patents expired. Things like the frame-side thumb safety, the slide stop holding the halves together, and the barrel bushing. (Yes, a G.P. has a barrel bushing although permanently installed in production guns.)
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  #25  
Old 02-15-2007, 11:33 PM
DPris DPris is offline
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Browning & Winchester actually got along great, till the day Browning pitched royalties along with the latest gun he took to New Haven. After that, it was over.
FN loved him from the start & had no problem either recognizing that he was largely responsible for their early growth & success, or in paying him for it. His European patents & designs were so popular that "Browning" became synonymous with "autopistol" in most of Europe, and FN was the only European company he worked with. Throughout the FN plant he was known as "Le Maitre", "The Master", and was widely mourned there when he died.
To get back to the original question- Browning would have to contract with some maker for a special run of Browning-marked 1911s, and there really wouldn't be much point in them contracting for an on-going series in a really over-crowded 1911 market. They wouldn't have any interest in coming up with anything radically new, they don't offer custom work, and there's already enough variation in quality & modifications to cover most needs. The only thing they'd have to offer would be a pretty pistol that said "Browning" on it, and that's not enough to carry longterm production.
Denis
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