Browning is one of my go-to gun safe manufacturers, however they weren’t always gun safe manufacturers. I’m sure you are well aware they got started in the firearm business!
Recently I started up a series of articles where companies I work with help me out with 5 things they didn’t know about them. Below is what Browning shared with me!
1. The Beginning of Browning
John M. Browning was born and raised in Ogden, Utah Territory in 1855. Utah wasn’t granted statehood until 1896.
There definitely aren’t many businesses that have been around longer than the state they are in. Browning has continued to grow over the years, and they have launched more and more products, including gun safes, and accessories.
2. The business partnership
In 1883, the Browning brothers struck a deal with Winchester Repeating Arms Co. that lasted nearly twenty years. From that point until the turn of the century, nearly all of the Winchester designs were John M. Browning inventions.
I personally had no idea for a long time that Browning and Winchester were the same company. It’s crazy to think that this partnership began so long ago. John Browning was such a big part of the firearm industry in the USA, but I’m sure most people didn’t know he was such a big part, in two different companies!
3. Parting ways
John M. Browning invented the first semi-auto shotgun, the Auto-5. This design resulted in the parting of business relations with Winchester as Browning wanted royalties on each gun sold rather than the one-time payment/purchase of the design that had been agreed to in the past.
Browning has such a rich heritage of creating innovative products and this is no different. It is also cool to see how business relationships between Winchester and Browning changed over time.
That said, I don’t see them splitting up again any time soon.
4. Buying out the partner
Browning acquired U.S. Repeating Arms Company, makers of Winchester firearms, in 1990 and that remains the same today. Many current Browning and Winchester products are literally produced in the same factories throughout the world.
Going to buy a Winchester? That was probably built alongside that Browning you also have.
5. Staying local
Browning / Winchester Repeating Arms corporate headquarters are located in Morgan County, Utah, just east of Ogden, the birthplace of John M. Browning.
So many companies, especially tech companies tend to move around and look for headquarters in large cities. Browning / Winchester has been in the same place for an incredibly long time, which is really cool. This means that families and employees have had consistent work that they don’t have to worry about moving away.
While I definitely talk mainly about Browning’s gun safe line on this site, we wouldn’t have nearly the products we do today if it weren’t for the 5 things above.
It is really cool to see the insight from Browning and these things we may not have known otherwise.