AND I had the wherewithal…. I’d collect every firearm Browning ever designed. Decent versions of each type, and as close to the patent date as possible.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that has thought of this. I bet there are more than a few Browning collections out there.
Collector can love a finite and defined subset to put boundries on their obscession. Sure there are stamp collectors that know it is impossible to get them all, but there are other collectors that appreciate the limits. For example: The Stanley Rule and Level Company of Bridgeport Connecticut made and developed tools for the workman, and numbered them. They did this from the 1860s until a little after WWII when other tools and machines took over from their hand powered types. You can pick a tool types, like hand planes or rulers, and collect one of each. I know some of the handplane collectors. The numbers go from 1 to 444, with one or two duplicates and some gaps in the upper numbers. But the planes are well documented. You CAN get them all. And after you do you can STILL collect by getting a nicer version of each. It’d take more than a lifetime of looking and pretty deep pockets to get a hardware store new version of each tool.
For boomsticks with an open ended collector pit to fall down, better to get a milsurp rifle from all major countries thoughout time. Aaaargh has done a good job down this path. They are like Stamp collecting. You’ll never get them all. Dang Philatelists. So obscene.
The thing about collectors… the acquisition becomes as important as the object. And you don’t want to FINISH. If you do you’ll have to figure out something else to collect. That’s a danger in collecting Browning stuff. With enough money to afford em, you can FINISH pretty quick. Then you risk losing interest in the tool stuff (or shooty stuff) and you switch over to bottle caps or comic books or steam powered farm equipment.
Better to get a milsurp rifle from all major countries throughout time. Aaaargh has done a good job down this path.
I like looking at these tool collections, but I don’t want to collect myself. I have a few handtools and like the tool’s function, and futz with them in the shop a bit, but I don’t need a $2500 version of a common woodworking tool. Even if I had money to spare.
But if I had money to spare I WOULD want an armory with one of each of Brownings’s work. I don’t know why. The gun collection is much more expensive than a tool collection. There is almost zero chance I will even work down that collector’s road, seriously. Maybe that’s why I’d like to collect Browning weapons, because I know I will never have to.
And yes I’d collect the machine guns too. This is all assuming I win Powerball or a Goerge Soros turns out to be my long lost Uncle and wills all his money to me before he has a chance to give every dime to the Democrat National Committee. Since the Browning designed M2 Machine gun alone is north of $50,000, I'll need that kind of scratch
I’d have to have shooting/functioning versions of each, but some Browning firearms are more fun to shoot than others, so some in the collection will be played with more than others.
And collectors always like a spare or two in case one item breaks or fails. Spares means you can shoot the less valuable gun and preserve the pristine one, and have a source of parts for repairs.
I guess I HAVE started this collection though. Very informal. It just turns out that the practical functional firearms I want to play with are available in a pretty nigh-ideal form. And they just happen to be browning designs.
Here is a list of Browning designs from wikipedia, and I already have a version of the ones with ~~~, the ones with *** I REALLY kinda covet:
M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun
Colt Model 1897
FN Browning M1899/M1900
Colt Model 1900
Colt Model 1902
Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer (.38 ACP)
~~~Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless (.32 ACP)
Colt Model 1905, the first .45 ACP
Remington Model 8 (1906), a long recoil semi-automatic rifle
Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket (.25 ACP)
Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless (.380 ACP)
FN Model 1910
~~~U.S. Model 1911, the first .45 ACP military handgun
Winchester Model 1886 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1887 lever-action repeating shotgun
Winchester Model 1890 slide-action repeating rifle (.22)
Winchester Model 1892 lever-action repeating rifle
***Winchester Model 1894 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1895 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1897 pump-action repeating shotgun
~~~Browning Auto-5 long recoil semi-automatic shotgun
U.S. Model 1917 water-cooled machine gun
Model 1919 air-cooled machine gun
Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) of 1917
Browning M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun of 1921
***The Browning Hi-Power, the last pistol that John Browning developed
The Superposed over/under shotgun was designed by John Browning in 1922 and entered production in 1931
If I was a collector, I'd need as antique-y minty versions as I can get of all of them.
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