John M. Browning is widely regarded as the greatest firearms inventor the world has known. He devised over eighty distinct guns, including the Browning Automatic Rifle (the B.A.R.), many of which were later manufactured by more famous companies such as Remington and Winchester. He was the son of a polygamous Mormon and one of twenty-two children in the family. His father was a gunsmith and John began taking smithing seriously when he was seven. At thirteen he repaired an utterly hopeless wreck of a gun and his apprenticeship was ended. In 1880 (he was twenty-five) he built and operated his own factory, producing the first original Browning rifle. At thirty-four he began building his first gas-operated automatic machine gun, the trick of which was to use the gases behind the bullet to operate the gun mechanism. Soon he was developing a semi-automatic hand pistol, and his creativeness was a native hymn to mechanical ingenuity. This biography by his son reveals a man of extraordinary tenacity, humor and wisdom.