As many of our dedicated readers know, we at PSA LOVE our firearms history!! One thing that we have yet to do thus far, is pay homage to some of the champions of firearms. Although the three men we present in this post don’t complete the list, it would be a hard fought fight to detract from the fact that they start the list!!! In this post, we will share a small portion of the lives of three of the most celebrated names in firearms! So without any further adieu….
Eugene Stoner – Often hailed as the inventor of “America’s Rifle,” the AR-15, Eugene Stoner is one of the most important figures in modern firearms history. Stoner was born in November of 1922, and by the time that America entered WWII he had enlisted in Aviation Ordinance in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1945 Stoner began his affinity with machining as a design engineer for an aircraft equipment company. Less than 10 years later Stoner would find himself as a chief designer for the ArmaLite division of the Fairchild Engine & Airplane Corporation. During his early tenure at ArmaLite, Stoner designed the AR-3, AR-5, AR-9, AR-11, and AR-12 (all small arms firearms); with only the AR-5 (a light-weight bolt action rifle chambered in .22Hornet) seeing limited success.
The AR-10, designed by stoner in 1955, was the most successful design while at ArmaLite, being the blueprint for the venerable AR-15. The AR-10 was developed and chambered for the 7.62 X 51 NATO round. ArmaLite eventually sold the rights of this platform to Colt (a dominant firearms manufacturer), who…as we know took this rifle platform to another level!!! After this, Stoner designed other rifles including the AR-16 and the AR-18, neither of which made it out of the prototype phase. Stoner did some consulting with Colt, started his own smaller firearms companies, and eventually designed more rifles. The SR-25 (Stoner Rifle Model-25) was created in the early 1990’s by Stoner, and is currently in action with the U.S. Navy.
Upon his death in 1997, the family of the inventor of “America’s rifle” told reporters: “Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47; he died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.”
The firearms world will always hail and never forget the contributions of Eugene Stoner.
Samuel Colt – One of the most influential men in early firearms development was Samuel Colt. Colt was born in the early 1800’s and is widely known as the man who designed the “gun that won the west.” Samuel Colt originally founded the Colt Patent Fire-arms Manufacturing Company, which still dominates the firearms industry as Colt Manufacturing Company (or simply known today as Colt). His early firearms companies ended in decisive failure (maybe because of the poorly designed underwater mines!!!), and his mainstream notoriety wasn’t reached until the mid 1800’s when the Texas Rangers ordered several thousand of his newly designed revolvers. As the American Civil War ensued, both sides of the conflict benefited from being shipped thousands of Colt’s firearms.
During the early years of firearms as we know them, Colt was responsible for inventing a gun that fired multiple times without reloading. The revolver, during that era, was light-years ahead of it’s time, and proved to be groundbreaking. Colt is also credited for developing advanced manufacturing processes for firearms, the venerable Peacemaker, and the advent of interchangeable firearms parts. Colt’s brilliance didn’t stop there! Colt’s business acumen led him to create a mass market through the use of celebrity endorsements, artful design, and corporate gifting. The Colt revolver was a often hailed as a godsend to those seeking to tame the Wild Wild West!!
It has been widely recounted in the firearms world: “God created man; Samuel Colt made them equal.”
The firearms world will always hail and never forget the contributions of Samuel Colt.
John M. Browning – Most affectionately known to many as the Father of Modern firearms, John Moses Browning was born in the 1850’s and dedicated his life to the advancement of firearms. Browning is credited as having as many 128 firearms patents, and his development of automatic and semi-automatic firearms has proved to be one of the most influential developments in firearm history. By 1889, Browning had perfected his manual repeating firearms, and much, much more was in store!! The focus of the designs presented by Browning were aimed at increasing the speed and reliability with which gun users could fire multiple rounds, whether shooting at targets, game-birds, or……..other people. Several firearms manufacturers including: Winchester, Colt, Remington, and Savage originally in their inception based many of their offerings on Browning’s designs.
The pistol slide, several different pistol cartridge chamberings, and automatic loading firearms are also included in the list of accomplishments of Browning. Some the most impressive developments from the mind of this firearms pioneer include the 50 caliber M2 (affectinoaly known as the ma duce), the venerable 1911, and the BAR. Browning’s designs have spanned the course of history and have traversed from being the tools that helped settle the West, to the tools of carnage of modern warfare. It is important to note that since the Father of Modern Firearms departed for the Big Gun Range in the Sky, not much has changed fundamentally in the development of firearms.
Mr. Browning was once quoted as saying: “Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the gun.”
The firearms world will always hail and never forget the contributions of John M. Browning.
*** If you are unfamiliar with firearms and/or their accessories, and want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.
We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!! We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates! We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!! We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!
And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!