Author Topic: Was Browning the first one to develope gas operated firearms?  (Read 1544 times)

Offline llanerosolitario

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Was Browning the first one to develope gas operated firearms?
« on: February 08, 2021, 05:21:03 PM »
No, there were several gas operated revolvers in Europe before Browing first experiments with gas.

Among the first one, or probably the first, was Luis Ybarra gas self extracting revolver, patented in 1878 in the USA and in 1881 in Spain


http://www.catalogacionarmas.com/public/23-ibarra.pdf



As it can be seen in the article, they were based on the Smith Wesson russian design, adding the modifications designed by Luis Ybarra. They were modified adding a extractor rod on the side, and a screw where the opening last is, replacing it.


Then, we have a complete new gun designed by lieutenant Clotaldo Piñal, working at the Oviedo factory, who was in charge of developing a practical and new gas operated revolver for the spanish army, taking Mr Ybarra patent as a base.

The gun was finished in 1880, in 9 mm calibre,  and took the Smith Wesson n2 as a model base. But the second model, from 1882, and this time with 7 chambers, and with a slighter heavier bullet also in 9mm, was the most interesting one.

Mr Piñal’s revolvers, unlike his predecessor’s Ybarra, lacked a extraction rod, so they have to be opened to extract the last case, using the gun fixed axis,


http://www.catalogacionarmas.com/public/24-piñal.pdf

https://docplayer.es/8245878-Los-revolveres-pinal-de-la-fabrica-de-oviedo.html


History forgot this pionner revolvers, as they were developed in a not powerful  nation at that time, only partially industrialized, like Spain..and Jhon Browing took the phame,  thougth already in 1876/77 there were already other people in other nations who had seen the potential of using the power of  gas to make a gun extract a case.

Offline Capt Quirk

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 05:33:43 PM »
Sure, he may not have invented the gas system, but he did wonderful and innovative things with it. So much so, that many others took to copying his guns.

Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2021, 05:41:59 PM »
No one copied his machine guns....too cumbersome and none as good as the Vickers or the MG13.

The Mondragón rifle was far more interesting and advanced than his Bar, an impractical monster, .and his auto five shotgun was and it is still today really   awful too shoot.

His pocket pistols were quite copied, however,  thougth mechanically not very interesting.

His 1911 works, but not better than other designs, and is not a particularly reliable pistol. I just don’t trust it.

I admit that he invented interesting things, anyway: the over and under shotgun and the 1892 and 94 rifles. In the rest, very overrated, in my opinion. I don’t see anything special in his single shots, his heavy machine guns, his pockets pistols, thougth his pump action shotguns  set the standard, and his B25 shotgun is a masterpiece.

In short, he left us with really great but also mediocre guns, and sometimes he was the first one, sometimes, no. In gas operated arms he was not, thougth they told us the opposite.

A great firearms designer, no doubt.

Offline Blackpowder Burn

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2021, 08:06:20 PM »
Having a discussion of less well known historical firearms is always interesting.  However, criticizing anything or anyone that doesn't come from your region is not well received.

If you don't trust the 1911 pistol, you're one of the very few in the world.
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Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 05:38:10 AM »
I learnt with the years   not to trust the 1911. I was a great fan of the design for a long time, until I became well aware of its flaws. No, I would not trust my life to a 1911. Too many problems with feeding ramps, extractor spring tension, bushings, recoil slings, guns that don’t work well straigth from the box, too sensitive to dust, to changes in ammo....I just no longer like that pistol.

About my comments regarding Browning, it is a feeling I had the need to share, and I am not doing it with malice. I suppose that I am a bit tired of so many miths, and we are living in a time when myths are falling.

The thing is that  3 years ago, while visiting the Shot Show, we had a dinner with a Browing arms representative that my bro had some friendship with.

He told us things I can agree with: he was an American heroe, and a genius. That is true. However, he repeated the same myth  they told me at the Browing arms museum of Utah when I visited there 15 years ago: that  he invented gas operated firearms or was the first one to do it or realize it had potential.

I told that representative that there were a lot of People in Europe, specially in Belgium, and in the nothern provinces of Spain, working on self extracting rifles and pistols as soon as 1875, being the guns from Ibarra and Piñal the very first ones to be patented, a few years before Browing began its experiments.

This same misonception was  repeated by the History Channel, by the way.

The Browning arms representative, a very nice and gentle person, by the way, didn’t  believe me, of course.
I didn’t show him the guns like I am doing now, as we had more interesting things to talk about at that time. Now I have the chance to do it here.







 





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Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2021, 06:18:38 AM »
In short, Mr Ybarra invented the gas system or at least was one of the very first ones ( Colt made experiments too around that time, but to my knowledge there is no patent in 1878 and the Belgians were experimenting too), and patented the idea in the US in 1878, and began modifying Smith Wesson Russians with his system, and then, Mr Piñal took his path and designed a new revolver  for the army, finally never adopted, in 1881.

First Ybarra modified revolvers, note extraction rod as part of the gas system attachment. Please note the screw where the opening latch was.

Six chambers, five rounds real capacity as self extracting. The extracting mechanism may  voluntarily be blocked so it may return to a conventional six shooter configuration back again.



Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 06:57:04 AM »
Us patent 1878 by Mr Ybarra


Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2021, 07:02:11 AM »
Rigth hand view...and another modified Sw, with gas system on rigth side and extraction rod

Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2021, 07:08:48 AM »
Mr Piñal first revolver from 1880, and final model from 1881/82...He began taking the SW model 2 as a starting point, with a simpler gas system than Ybarra’s, finally designing a complete new gun. Note that there is no extraction rod, and the extrem  simplicity of the  mechanism and manufacturing, an added bonus according to his own words.


Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2021, 07:18:18 AM »
Finally, his last revolver, from 1881/82, 9 mm caliber.

This time, with 7 chambers, so real capacity was 6. You load six the first time and leave one chamber empty and rest hammer down on that chamber. When shooting, the revolver, of course, will self extract five cases and allways leave one empty case...so to continue shooting, you load six again, lowering hammer on the non extracted case,

In theory, you don’t need a mechanical extractor. Just in case, the cylinder axis can be used for that. The system semt to work well.

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Offline Major 2

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2021, 08:39:53 AM »
Interesting thanks, a little known subject on this side of the Atlantic....

Maybe some made it to the S. American countries  :-\
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2021, 09:53:18 AM »
Since I can't read any of the material posted and can only look at the pictures, are you sure those revolvers are "gas operated"? Could it be they are recoil operated like the Webly-Fosbery?

As for the 1911, I carried one through out my LEO career and for 10 years after retiring. They were as reliable as a mechanical device could be and I was well protected. As someone else said, you are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts.

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Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2021, 10:12:02 AM »
Yes, they are self extracting via a hole connecting the barrel and the front of the chamber inside that little protuberance just in front of the left side of the cilinders.

There is a “deflector” with a spring plate behind the chamber, as without it, the case will fly straigth againts the shooter’s face.

both Ybarra and Piñal made few revolvers, and few have survived  but the basque manufacturers applied this system to a variety of revolvers quite in vogue at the time, and yes, whose main market was South America and the Middle East, where American guns were too expensive.

Anyway, they never became popular.

 

Offline Dirty Dick

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2021, 10:28:57 AM »
No one copied his machine guns....too cumbersome and none as good as the Vickers or the MG13.

The Mondragón rifle was far more interesting and advanced than his Bar, an impractical monster, .and his auto five shotgun was and it is still today really   awful too shoot.

His pocket pistols were quite copied, however,  thougth mechanically not very interesting.

His 1911 works, but not better than other designs, and is not a particularly reliable pistol. I just don’t trust it.

I admit that he invented interesting things, anyway: the over and under shotgun and the 1892 and 94 rifles. In the rest, very overrated, in my opinion. I don’t see anything special in his single shots, his heavy machine guns, his pockets pistols, thougth his pump action shotguns  set the standard, and his B25 shotgun is a masterpiece.

In short, he left us with really great but also mediocre guns, and sometimes he was the first one, sometimes, no. In gas operated arms he was not, thougth they told us the opposite.

A great firearms designer, no doubt.
I understand the Japanese copied the Browing .50 in WW2.
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Offline Dirty Dick

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2021, 11:04:31 AM »
 ;D  I have only ever used 1911s in IPSC competition, both .45 ACP and .38 super. Starting in 1982 until 1992, first with .45 ACP, if your gun/ammo didn't work, you weren't going to win any matches. I DID! First two years shot .45 ACP 1911 Colt, approx. 35 to 40 k rounds a year of 200gr swc reloads to gain proficiency, won almost every match I entered; my guns worked! And never broke! Of the ten years I was in IPSC competition I was Provincial Champion 6 times, a .600 batting average. The other four times I was second, beaten by a better shooter, not my gun or ammo.  A  lot of shooters were buying the cheapest magazines they could find and they mostly didn't work in a match, and are the most common reason for malfunctions, along with improperly reloaded ammo. During my career as a long distance trucker my 1911 .45 never failed me; five times I had to produce it to diffuse a potentially deadly situation, never had to point it much less shoot anyone. That huge .45 muzzle had a very calming influence.  For those choosing 9mm bullettes I have a .38 super that will do 1500 fps with 124gr gr hp, in a 5" Government model.

IMHO the Colt 1911 .45 ACP is the BEST defensive/combat/ handgun ever.   ;D ;D ;D

"Carrying a gun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable!"  Clint Smith
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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2021, 11:55:00 AM »
I won't try to suggest to alter ones opinion .... your are entitled to express it , but you will not change my opinion.

I own several 1911's  one that dates to 1917 , another made by Ithaca carried by the pilot in 1844-45 and relied on when he was forced down in France in 1944 after D-day.
I have a Springfield Armory , and a Cimarron (Armscor) .both are shot regularly and reliably.
I have owned a Remington Rand armory rebuilds , and a Kimber.

I would say the 1911 platform is quite probably the MOST copied semi-auto pistol manufactured ever.

 


 
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Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to use gas in firearms?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2021, 12:36:58 PM »
I think that as a sporting pistol is a great platform, but there are more reliable pistols under extreme conditions.

In 45 ball it has given me less reliability troubles  than in 38 super or 9mm. But in these two calibers, specially in 38, it gave more more satisfactions in the accuracy aspects than in any other caliber. The grip is much better in the Brno CZ 75.

The 1911, among the most popular platforms, lhas given me more interruptions and maintenance problems. than other pistols of the time or contemporary.

I also had some copies,,,of them the worst were the post 1956 ventilated  rib Llamas,( I had one),,and the best, the pre 1950s Llamas like the Llama Special and the Ballester Molina..( I had one) and Star copies.( I had one)..who were, virtually, maintenance free pistols.


Offline Drydock

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Re: Was Browning the first one to develope gas operated firearms?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2021, 02:13:48 PM »
I find this an odd argument.   Browning did not make much of a contribution to gas operation.  The dominant gas system in firearms originated with Samual Mclean, refined by Isaac Lewis.  That a gas operated revolver was patented in the 1870s is informative, but seems a dead end.  Even the AR uses a variation of the Mclean/Lewis system.

Brownings tilt lock is the principle operating system of every major handgun design employed today.  The Walther tilt block was the only significant competitor, but even it has largely been overtaken, certianly Walther no longer uses it, and Berretta is phasing it out.

The BAR as redesigned by the US Army was a clunky thing.  THe Belgian/polish/danish version was a vastly superior firearm.  But a modernized variant of the Lewis would have been even better, IMHO.  That should have been the M60, but the US Army kludged that up as well.  THere are some modern gas operated "continuous recoil" systems being shopped around at this time, that if you dig into them, are another variant of the Lewis gun.   (set up the Lewis recoil spring properly, and it will indeed operate in "continuous recoil".  Soviet gas operated weapons were also based on the Lewis.

No one copied the Browning Machine guns as it was cheaper to simply buy them from Colt in the 1920's and 30s.   Thus the Spitfires and Hurricanes that fought the battle of Britian carried 8 each.  As did the French Dewotienes.   1919s are still on the inventory of several smaller armies, not to mention this year is the 100th anniversary of the Browning .50 Caliber, still employed by most western armies. 

Browning was great.  So was Ferdinand Mannlichher, Paul Mauser, and I think Karel Krnka is vastly underated.  The latter being the only other handgun locking system currently being pursued.  Bonifacio Echeverria always struck  me as the best of the Spanish, he had some fasinating designs submitted to the French in 1916/17, that never made it to production.
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Offline Drydock

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Re: Was Browning the first one to develope gas operated firearms?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2021, 02:28:24 PM »
I must say, I have two Star BMs, and think them the best of the 9mm 1911 Variants.  I really really like them!

  I also carried a 1911 in both Gulf Wars, as I considered it a better combat sidearm than my issue M9.  Mine was a Commercial variant, and never let me down.  I'm not sure how many thousands of rounds I have thru it, but i've yet to have a single problem, I suspect because I have never messed with the thing, always keeping/maintaining it stone stock as JM intended.  He did not intend it as a Target Pistol, and most attempts to make it one take away from it's combat reliability.  It is supposed to be a little loose, and be good for plugging an opponent in the gut at just outside of Knife range.

It is also never meant to be anything other than a .45.  Slide mass and spring ratio were designed for that round, much as a P38 was designed for the 9mm,  The Star is an excellent example of this, slightly downsized and balenced for 9mm.  If I had it reconfigured to 45, it would beat itself to death.  If I put a .32 acp barrel in it, it would not be as reliable.  I always find it odd that folks somehow expect something of the 1911 that they expect from no other design.  It can be highly accurate in .38 super, but there's a reason that was never advanced as a combat combination.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline llanerosolitario

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Re: Was Browning the first one to develope gas operated firearms?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2021, 03:04:46 PM »
We are mixing here the invention of gas repeating systems, as we know it today, with “the pioneering” of gas operation and that’s my point.
 
They told us that one man had the idea of using that wasted gas, and that it was John Browing who did it. The History Channel, for instance. It’s false,,,someone did it before him. Thats my point.

In my opinion, gas operated revolvers were the real beginning of automatic and semi automatic arms. Interestly , the well documented encyclopedia  of fiearms, Pollard’s History of firearms, mentions
Paulsen’s patented revolver of 1886 as the beginning of gas operated arms, forgetting that the Spanish had patented  gas revolvers as early as 1878.

 The Wikipedia mentions the famous Orbea name, in 1863, as the inventor of the earliest specimen..in my opinion, probably a Lefaucheux modified revolver.

 

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