Johnathan Browning (1805-1879), was originally trained as a blacksmith but in 1824 became a gunsmith apprentice to Samuel Porter in Nashville. In 1831 Browning starting producing his own guns, even inventing a ‘sliding breech; repeating rifle, this is when the Browning name first gained its fame.
In 1838, Browning joined the Mormon church, in the years to come this led Browning to cross the Rock Mountains to join other Mormon settlers in Ogden, Utah. Upon settling there, he opened his own gun shop, offering repairs to other settlers.
Being a Mormon allowed Jonathan Browning to practice polygamy, he had three wives and fathered 22 children. However one of the most important of these children was John Moses Browning, who later became the well known gun making. Along with Matthew Sandefur Browning, together they founded Browning Arms Company. Many of their brother’s helped them within the business, making it very much a family run business.
John Moses Browning, was a brilliant designer and created lots o patents purchased by numerous well known companies. In fact when U.S. soldiers traveled to Europe during World War One, many of the men carried Browning Automatic Rifles, Browning’s machine guns were also highly used throughout the war. This made them only more popular.
Browning moved the production to Belgium after forming a strong link to Fabrique Nationale (FN). Browning then moved most of it’s production to Japan. Today a Browning firearm is either made in the United States, Belgium or Japan.