John Moses Browning (January 21 or January 23, 1855 – November 26, 1926), born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world. He is arguably the most important figure in the development of modern automatic and semi-automatic firearms and is credited with 128 gun patents. His first was granted October 7, 1879. He had made his first firearm at age 13 in his father's gun shop.
Browning influenced nearly all categories of firearms design. He invented or made significant improvements to single-shot rifles, lever-action rifles, and slide-action firearms. His most significant contributions were in the area of autoloading firearms. He developed the first reliable and compact autoloading pistols by inventing the telescoping bolt, integrating the bolt and barrel shroud into what is known as the slide. Browning's telescoping bolt design is now found on nearly every modern semi-automatic pistol, as well as several modern fully automatic weapons.
He also developed the first gas-operated machine gun, the Colt-Browning Model 1895—a system that surpassed mechanical recoil operation to become the standard for most high-power self-loading firearm designs worldwide.