My son and I were talking about firearms designers the last time he visited. The name Browning kept coming in to the conversation. John Moses Browning is no stranger to the students of firearm design, whether you're talking handguns, rifles, shotguns, sporting arms, or military arms, the name Browning is synonymous with firearms design.
But, there are others. Bill Ruger, for example, who gave us excellent firearms, particularly revolvers, and sporting rifles. His Model 77 is still one of my favorite bolt rifles, and we have several in the family. We also like his wheelguns, and the Ruger Standard .22LR pistol is a gem.
Eugene Stoner, of course, of M-16 and AR 15 fame, along with Mikhail Kalasnakov who invented the enemy's rifle. The list of firearms designers wouldn't be complete without Sam Colt, or Oliver Winchester. Gaston Glock has had a pretty good run.
But, the point of the conversation was that we really haven't had a first-rate, bordering on genius, firearms designer in the past 50 years. Yeah, Glock did good with his pistol, and it's made him a lot of money, but unlike Browning, I don't see any Glock rifles, or shotguns, or even military machine guns. Don't get me wrong, I like Glock pistols. I carry one every day, but that's al there is. Pistols.
Of course, most firearms today are made by large corporations that have been in the business for many years. Perhaps it's tough for a firearms designer to rise to the top of the chain and get his name out in the pubic eye.
Of course, if Glock would come out with a new carbine, say in 9mm, that used G17 mags and make it available to the public, I might change my mind.
UPDATE*** Old NFO says not to forget Ronnie Barrett!. Good point. Who else am I forgetting?