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 Post subject: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Location: Chelsea, Qc, Canada
Hello everyone,
I have been collecting Browning auto 5 for a few years. The production of this legendary shotgun is well documented therefor, it is not difficult the find catalogues, owner manuals, books and web articles. However, I am having difficulty to find detailed information about the so-called American Browning. Beside the fact that it was produced by Remington from 1940 to 1946, I can't find the following:
-were there catalogues published
-were there different grades
-what is the origin of the design
-why did Remington produce for Browning as they were competitors
-what was the Browning client reception
Can anyone help to answer these questions.
Thank you




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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:18 pm 
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Browning were made in Belgium - there was a minor inconvenience known as WWII going on from 1940 to 1945......... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:13 am 
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I think Gibier is well aware of the reason that Browning went to Remington to supply shotguns during the war. His question has to do with why Remington would help its competitor.

I think there are several reasons. First, Remington got a big shot in the arm by producing JMB's design under license. Winchester was their biggest competitor, and as far as the semi-auto shotgun market is concerned, Winchester never did catch up. There was a lot of good will between Browning and Remington.

Second, I don't think that Browning was much competition for Remington. Think Buicks and Chevys. Most people could afford a Remington; not that many were willing to spring for a Browning. It made business sense to supply the guns.

As far as the other details, hopefully Researcher will add his comments.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:50 am 
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You forget that Browning was not "making" the shotguns. It was buying them from FN for resale in North America. FN sold to the rest of the world. WWII obviously stopped production, but after it resumed Browning still licensed the design to others.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 pm
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Location: Chelsea, Qc, Canada
Thank you Rudolph for initiating the dialogue hopefully I will have some response to the other questions. To follow up on your comment, I understand that before the war, Browning's share of the American market was rather marginal. And for the reason that you mentioned, they was good will between the two firms. But beside good will, can we speculate that Remington was very busy producing for the war department and was already planning the arrival of the model 11-48. Therefore Remington was not concerned about Browning and is hunting shotgun which in his eyes was a obsolete design that needed to be updated.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:01 pm 
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https://www.amazon.com/John-M-Browning- ... n+gunmaker

Buy this book and read it.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Gibier,

I always thought it curious that Remington would have the capacity to continue civilian production during the war. Maybe they had excess inventory and the guns were assembled from parts. As far as the 11-48 is concerned, I don't have a clue. I always assumed it was a post-war design, but who knows?


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:12 am
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Location: WA/AK
In 1938, a good comparison year before the world really went sideways, the list price of a Browning A5 Standard Grade 1 in 12-gauge 2 3/4 inch or 16-gauge 2 9/16 inch which still had the idiot safety in the front of the trigger guard had a list price of $49.75. A Remington Model 11A "Standard" Grade offered in 12-, 16- or 20-gauge all made for 2 3/4 inch shells and which had gotten the much superior cross-bolt safety behind the trigger circa 1928-9 had a list price of $49.95. Browning charged $8 extra for a solid rib or $14.10 for a vent rib, both of which were soldered on. A Remington solid rib was $8.00 and their ventilated rib listed at $14.30 but the Remington ribs were machined integral with the barrel. Looks like a wash to me.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:18 am 
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Gibier wrote:
Hello everyone,
I have been collecting Browning auto 5 for a few years. The production of this legendary shotgun is well documented therefor, it is not difficult the find catalogues, owner manuals, books and web articles. However, I am having difficulty to find detailed information about the so-called American Browning. Beside the fact that it was produced by Remington from 1940 to 1946, I can't find the following:
-were there catalogues published
-were there different grades
-what is the origin of the design
-why did Remington produce for Browning as they were competitors
-what was the Browning client reception
Can anyone help to answer these questions.
Thank you


Actually, no, Remington was not a competitor-- they were a partner with F.N., as all Remington Model 11s were produced under license from F.N. (1905–1947). Remington paid F.N. to use the patents and so did Savage. The more Model 11's and Savage 720s that were made, the more money F.N. made.

Remington and F.N. had a good relationship, Remington paid F.N. a lot of money, and then F.N. paid Remington to produce the "American Browning" (a Model 11 with a magazine cut-off) on Remington tooling when F.N. was out of commission due to the German occupation of Belgium.

It was a temporary arrangement, everyone knew that, as the Browning patents owned by F.N. were set to expire in 1947. With the intellectual property no longer an issue in 1948, the 11-48 appeared as did numerous other variants, the most notable of which was the Franchi 48 AL.

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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:44 am 
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Researcher01 wrote:
In 1938, a good comparison year before the world really went sideways, the list price of a Browning A5 Standard Grade 1 in 12-gauge 2 3/4 inch or 16-gauge 2 9/16 inch which still had the idiot safety in the front of the trigger guard had a list price of $49.75. A Remington Model 11A "Standard" Grade offered in 12-, 16- or 20-gauge all made for 2 3/4 inch shells and which had gotten the much superior cross-bolt safety behind the trigger circa 1928-9 had a list price of $49.95. Browning charged $8 extra for a solid rib or $14.10 for a vent rib, both of which were soldered on. A Remington solid rib was $8.00 and their ventilated rib listed at $14.30 but the Remington ribs were machined integral with the barrel. Looks like a wash to me.


That the Browning would be 20 cents less when it included the Magazine Cutoff and (by 1938) standard engraving is very surprising. One would think that a giant like Remington could sell the gun a lot cheaper than Browning, who had to import from Belgium, could.

Also, a small point on the safety. FN only used the "Suicide Safety" on the first few thousand guns. By 1904 it had moved to the front of the trigger guard where it was engaged without having to put your finger inside. Remington used the original for 22 years. I like the Browning safety, it's in the same place as the M14's I shot in the army and the M1's I own today.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Quote:
Actually, no, Remington was not a competitor-- they were a partner with F.N., as all Remington Model 11s were produced under license from F.N. (1905–1947). Remington paid F.N. to use the patents and so did Savage. The more Model 11's and Savage 720s that were made, the more money F.N. made.

Remington and F.N. had a good relationship, Remington paid F.N. a lot of money, and then F.N. paid Remington to produce the "American Browning" (a Model 11 with a magazine cut-off) on Remington tooling when F.N. was out of commission due to the German occupation of Belgium.

It was a temporary arrangement, everyone knew that, as the Browning patents owned by F.N. were set to expire in 1947. With the intellectual property no longer an issue in 1948, the 11-48 appeared as did numerous other variants, the most notable of which was the Franchi 48 AL.


None of that sounds right to me. I'd like to see source information for that.

The whole reason JMB went to Remington and then FN and then back to Remington is he wouldn't sell the Patent for his autoloading shotgun to Winchester. Browning Arms Co. in the U.S. contracted with Remington Arms Co., Inc. to make the guns after their source in Belgium was overrun by the Germans. Remington geared up and began producing A5s for Browning Arms Co. in October 1940 and production ceased in June 1942, because of the war. Remington then produced a few more A5s in late 1945 and 1946. Remington did continue to produce military Model 11/Sportsman 12-gauges during WW-II.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Researcher01 wrote:

None of that sounds right to me.


It is common knowledge. https://www.militaryfactory.com/smallar ... rms_id=675

Winchester didn't pay royalties, they bought JMB patents outright whether they produced the article or not. JMB wanted both production and a royalty, Winchester blew him off. That resulted in JMB setting sail for Belgium. With F.N., Browning got the royalty arrangement he had sought with Winchester, but the patents were assigned to F.N.

Browning Arms was formed after JMB death. JMB passed in 1926. "Browning Arms Company" was formed posthumously. http://www.uen.org/utah_history_encyclo ... PANY.shtml

Quote:
The business known as the Browning Arms Company was officially organized in Ogden, Utah, under that name in 1927, a year after its most famous namesake, John Moses Browning, died.

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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:06 pm 
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I seriously doubt JB patent lasted 50 years . FN licensed from John Browning same as Remington


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:59 pm
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Location: Chelsea, Qc, Canada
Good evening
Thank you everyone for this interesting information. It will be more valuable If we could identify some literature or catalogue to support it.
Again it will interesting to find catalogue or publicity describing how Browning presented is "newly design" Auto-5 during the war.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:25 am 
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On Mar. 24, 1902, the contract was signed granting FN exclusive world rights to manufacture and sell the A-5 shotgun. FN owned all rights.

In 1904, in the face of restrictive tariffs, FN agreed to cede to Remington the rights to manufacture and sell the A-5 shotgun in the United States.

FN also licensed the A-5 patents, which it owned, to Savage Arms . . . which produced the Savage Model 720 and Savage Model 745 under license from F.N.

The underlying problem was the exorbitant tariffs that impeded F.N. from going to market in the United States. John Browning had no massive manufacturing facility or employees and did not have any capability to mass-produce his inventions. Winchester did, though, as did Colt, Remington . . . and F.N.

The tariff problem prevented F.N. from importing directly at the time. Originally formed to make Mausers, F.N. then was owned by the Germans for a time . . . FN Sales Director Hart O. Berg met with John Browning to start their relationship. After WWI, it was Belgian banks that gained control of F.N.

Part of the history of F.N. is here: http://www.herstalgroup.be/en/1/125-years-Of-History .

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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:10 am 
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My grandfather bought an American Browning A5 12ga during the mid 40s at Sears w the solid rib brand new. I still have the gun, it is in really nice shape, was used by my father and myself over a 50 year period. They are heavy, but that weight also absorbs recoil.

It interesting, if you put it next to an FN A5, its a totally different gun, they had that beadblasted type matte finish on the top of the receiver with very simple engraving.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:51 am 
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Randy's take on who owned the patents is different than what most of us read in the S/V book. Since both the Remington and FN barrels clearly state "BROWNING'S PATENTS" I lean towards the S/V explanation. Either way, it doesn't matter as far as Gibier's questions. That Browning and Remington had a cordial relationship is established.

I've always been curious as to just how long the patents were in effect. I always thought they were good for 20 years. If anyone familiar with patent law as it was at the end of the 19th century knows, please speak up.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:15 am 
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It seems it is 17 years, as Ithaca Gun Co. thought they could bring out their knock-off of John M. Browning's Patent No. 1,143,170 granted June 15, 1915, Remington Model 17 in 1932. However, Remington's designer John D. Pedersen made design refinements in 1919 (applications filed Sept. 15, 1919, Patent No. 1,429,621 granted Sept. 19, 1922 and Patent No. 1,487,799 granted Mar. 25, 1924) and G.H. Garrison made further improvements. It was the patents on these improvements that forced Ithaca to wait until 1937 to bring out their copy of this gun.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:04 am 
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Thank you, Researcher. So I wonder when Remington stopped paying royalties, when the patents expired or a few years later in 1923 when Remington's exclusive right to make and market the gun in the US did.


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 Post subject: Re: The neglected American Browning
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:25 am 
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It is 17 years.

Not all that important, as licensing agreements are just that: done by contract. Remington had no exclusive deal, as Savage made their versions of the A-5 legitimately under contract as well.

Multiple patents were involved and not all were licensed. A-5 speed-loading was invented by Val Browning much later.



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