Monday, September 29, 2014

Browning's Genius

The .45ACP round.  Perfection that could not be improved upon.  God's own caliber.

Ok, ok, enough with the hyperbole. 

Browning invented a lot of cartridges.  The Army specced .45 because of perceived issues with .38 in scuffles overseas.  But you never know.  What if the Army hadn't?  JMB would have been out of luck?  No, he had other offerings. 

Like the .38ACP.  JMB had it in the Colt 1900.  So it predates the .45ACP that didn't come out til '04. 

And it doesn't step on patent toes of the 9mm Parabellum, which is in development at the exact same time, and maybe a little newer.  Plus, it has a little more ooomph to it than the Luger round.  Well, as originally intended.   Browning originally intended his .38ACP to be loaded at .38 Super levels, but dialed it back while he worked the kinks out of this whole semi-auto pistol business. 

I wonder how much of each other's development the 2 gun makers knew about...

At any rate, he was ready with a .38 semi offering to build off of, depending on what the Army settled on wanting.  Two steps ahead of them Government Ordnants ninnies. 

Maybe in further development, JMB might have headspaced off the cartridge mouth in a 'next generation .38 ACP.  The .38 ACP, as is, headspaces offa semi-rim.  Which is kinda odd for a semi auto, but remember, Browning was blazing trails here.  Inventing stuff out of whole cloth.   Sorta like YOUR invention of a cheap and simple phased plasma rifle in a 40 watt range.  No one knows what that gun looks like but you until you get it out of your head and into the factory.

So what tripped me down this rabbit hole?  The Webley-Fosbery had a .38ACP version.   8 shots, too.  Can you imagine?  What if the War Department had adopted THAT?!


Daniel Watters said...

FWIW: Most of the ACP cartridges were developed by William Morgan Thomas of the Union Metallic Cartridge Company. He is also credited with the .22 Long Rifle, .38 Special, .45 Colt, and several other late 19th/early 20th Century cartridges. I've seen it suggested that the semi-rim on the .25, .32, and .38 ACP cartridges was in part due to hopes that the cartridges could do double duty in semi-auto pistols and revolvers.

Tam said...

There are lots of cheap folding-trigger antebellum Euro vest pocket revolvers chambered in 6.35 and 7.65. :)

Old NFO said...

You could have always thrown the Webley at them and killed em with the weight of it... :-)

Daniel Watters said...

Basically if Colt, S&W, Stevens, or Remington requested a new cartridge from the early 1870s to his retirement in 1919, "UMC" Thomas probably designed it.