View Full Version : Greatest Shotgun Designers of all time?

Badger Arms
November 6, 2000, 01:29 AM
Hehe. Okay, it's a trend here, but let's limit our choices to shotgun designers. Designers, not companies.

1) John Moses Browning (Winchester 1887, 1893, 1897, etc, etc.)
2) John Browning... Wait, nevermind.

Are there any other big ones?

Dave McC
November 6, 2000, 07:14 AM
1, JMB.
2, "Uncle" Dan LeFevre.
3, WW Greener.
4, Parker
5, AH Fox.
6, Fred Kimball.
7, McNaughton.

No particular order, just how they came to mind...

November 6, 2000, 08:05 AM
Some additional names

William Anson and John Deeley invented the boxlock shotgun action which is the basis for most breaking action guns including the Browning Superposed.

Joseph Needham first patented ejectors.

Crawford C. Loomis for patenting the first American made over/under the Remington Model 32. The locking system is a masterpiece of simplicity.

William Baker. The Baker guns were the predecessors to L.C. Smith and Ithaca.

[This message has been edited by PJR (edited November 06, 2000).]

Captain Bligh
November 6, 2000, 10:14 PM
John Moses Browning. Browning A-5. My favorite shotgun of all time. And, as old as I am I've pretty much seen "all time." My kids say I'm older than dirt. :D


"Never turn your back on the crew."

November 7, 2000, 01:12 PM
Greetings from Texas. My List:
John Browning - great, heavy and ugly guns.
Daniel Lefever - way ahead of his time.
Alexander Brown - L C Smith designer
William Baker - Baker and Ithaca guns
Eugene Stoner- AR and Armalite guru
Ansley Fox - tough and simple boxlock design.
Charles King- designer of the hammerless Parker gun
Mikail Kalashnikov- 'nuf said

That oughta do it for now, thanks, OL

This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future! - Adolf Hitler, 1935

[This message has been edited by Oldlightning (edited November 07, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Oldlightning (edited November 09, 2000).]

November 7, 2000, 01:46 PM
How about Marsh Williams Designer for Winchester Model 50 my favorite auto shotgun.

Cause he liked the quiet clean country livin
and 20 more years slipped away.-JB.

August 3, 2010, 02:31 PM
PJR: I have a 1936 Remington Model 32 Skeet in beautiful condition & the wood is fantastic. Great gun. 26" skeet barrel, VR, choked "IN-OUT". Bought in 1973 from Bob Keer (Keer's Sporting Goods-LA Cal).

August 3, 2010, 03:12 PM
Purdey, Boss, Manton, Dickson, Beretta, Grant (sidelevers)

August 3, 2010, 07:12 PM
Since we've strayed from shotgun designers, let's not forget John C. Garand, inventor of the M1 rifle.

August 3, 2010, 07:20 PM
I'm surprised Thomas Crosley Johnson, the designer of the Winchester Model 12, didn't get an honorable mention. Known in olden days as 'the perfect repeater'. In production from 1912 until 1963 and was a very well thought of shotgun. Still is AFAIC. :)

August 3, 2010, 09:55 PM
So yeah, John Moses Browning.

He invented the Auto-5, the first semiautomatic shotgun in 1898, and it remained in production for nearly 100 years. Wow.

He also developed the Remington Model 17, which directly inspired the Ithaca 37 and Browning BPS.

He also invented gas operation, although it wasn't applied to shotguns until long after his death.

John Pedersen had a hand in the Remington Model 17 as well.

August 4, 2010, 07:37 AM
+1 for Browning

I had a Sweet 16 that I should have never let go and do have a Remington Great Model 81 Woodsmaster in 35 Rem (made from the Browning patent). I have always loved the hump backs.

August 4, 2010, 02:31 PM
"the Auto-5, the first semiautomatic shotgun"

The first successful one. The Superposed wasn't too bad either.

August 4, 2010, 02:45 PM
I'm all for a celebration of John M. Browning. From the Winchester High Wall to the Browning Hi Power, Winchester shotguns, lever guns, machine guns ... he was without doubt the greatest gun designer of all time, but the OP's thread title was greatest shotgun designers ..... plural. :)

August 4, 2010, 03:20 PM
JMB did a nice job on autos and pumps, but without the early English folks, things would be a lot different. Unfortunately, it seems that most here do not grasp that, or have ever shot a good SxS or O/U that utilizes the designs of the original masters

August 9, 2010, 12:09 AM
Not that he doesn't deserve it but let's not have him blushing in his grave over all the excess flattery. A little more appreciation for Mr. Johnson and the marvelous 1912 Winchester from me.

August 9, 2010, 04:04 AM
John Browning for me :p

August 9, 2010, 02:57 PM
Resurrecting an old thread provides a good look back at previous opinions. Mine haven't changed on Browning. Shotguns were not his strength and either he incrementally improved exisiting designs or built on already established concepts.

When he designed the 1897 there were many pump action firearms in existence. Browning incorporated those designs into the 97.

The Auto 5 was the first semi-automatic but the concept of recoil operated firearms was pioneered and patented by Hiram Maxim in the early 1880's. When John Browning was making single shot rifles at Winchester, Hiram Maxim presented a working belt-fed machine gun to the British Army Board.

The Superposed is an Anson Deeley boxlock shotgun with a unique and needlessly complicated forend design. Even Browning didn't retain the Superposed forend designs on later guns choosing the AD style instead. The Superposed is a fine gun but its real quality was to be easily made on machines. Until then double guns were largely built by hand.

Browning was a great designer of many things but he was not the only gun designer in existence at the time. Others were equally great if not better.

Evan Thomas
August 11, 2010, 03:21 PM
...the concept of recoil operated firearms was pioneered and patented by Hiram Maxim in the early 1880's. When John Browning was making single shot rifles at Winchester, Hiram Maxim presented a working belt-fed machine gun to the British Army Board.
And not only that, but he was also the inventor of the basic form of... the mousetrap. A smart and versatile fellow, was Sir Hiram. :D

August 11, 2010, 07:20 PM
Let's don't forget Robert L. Hillberg, who designed (among other guns) the first commercially successful gas-operated semiautomatic shotguns, marketed for many years by High Standard.


August 14, 2010, 01:49 PM
I nominate JMB's son Val. I love the Browning Double Auto!

August 17, 2010, 09:37 PM
I have to mention Ole Horsrud, inventor of the gun that was sold as the Sears Ranger and the Marlin Model 90 O/U. It had many technically advanced design features when it was introduced in 1936/37. ( See article entitled, "A Case Study in Ingenuity; The Marlin Model 90," in the 2010 Gun Digest, Page 66.) My favorite upland bird gun is a 16 ga. Model 90.