NOTE: You can view full-sized versions of most pictures in a new window by clicking on the photo.


visits since
11/05/2001

click to view this gun and the whole collection in a new windowclick to view this gun and the whole collection in a new windowclick to view this gun and the whole collection in a new windowclick to view this gun and the whole collection in a new windowclick to view this gun and the whole collection in a new windowclick to view this gun and the whole collection in a new windowclick to view this gun and the whole collection in a new window

RareGunCollection.com
the rare gun collection of the late firearms designer Karl R. Lewis

top of page | home page | biography of Karl R. Lewis | words from his son | contact info
Browning designs |
Colt designs | Dan Wesson designs | whole collection

The Browning Designs

Karl R. Lewis holding Browning Lever Action Rifle (click photo for full-size)
Karl R. Lewis holding Browning Lever Action Rifle,
on which he was awarded patent # 3,471,961.


last
update
February 1, 2016

click to view this gun and the whole collection in a new window
click to view this gun and the whole collection in a new window
click to view this gun and the whole collection in a new window
click to view this gun and the whole collection in a new window
click to view this gun and the whole collection in a new window
click to view this gun and the whole collection in a new window
click to view this gun and the whole collection in a new window

Browning Achievements
(this index links to sections further down this page)


  • top of list
    Some of Karl R. Lewis' old business cards
    (click photo for full-size)
    Browning contract - front page - (click photo for full-size)

  • top of list
    excerpts from Karl R. Lewis' contract with Browning
    (click photo for full-size)
    Browning contract - front page - (click photo for full-size)Browning contract - back page - (click photo for full-size)

  • top of list
    front page of letter from the Bellmore Johnson Tool Company
    (click photo for full-size)
    letter from Bellmore Johnson Tool Company - (click photo for full-size)

  • top of list
    sample pages from Karl R. Lewis' diary
    (click photo for full-size)
    sample pages from Karl R. Lewis' diary - (click photo for full-size) sample pages from Karl R. Lewis' diary - (click photo for full-size)

  • top of list
    photos of .357 interchangeable barrels (with hammers & hammerless)
    (click photo for full-size)
    (click photo for full-size)(click photo for full-size)(click photo for full-size)(click photo for full-size)

38 Cal. and 357 Cal. Browning Prototypes (with hammer and hammerless types - documents in background are the relevant patents)

These revolvers are prototypes designed and patented by Karl R. Lewis while he was employed by Browning in Ogden, Utah. He made them at a gun shop called Bellmore Johnson Tool Company in Hamden, Connecticut on September 3, 1958. This same company made the famous Whitney Pistol. These revolvers were patented in 1952 in Miami, Florida under Karl R. Lewis.

At the time these guns were made, Mr. Lewis and Browning were contemplating putting these guns on the market. Browning decided not to venture into making revolvers at that time and, preferring instead to stay with manufacturing rifles.

Mr. Lewis left Browning in 1962 after many years of designing for them. I have all the paperwork concerning these guns and Mr. Lewis' log books from the time. To my knowledge, these guns were never exhibited anywhere.

It cost $45,000 for manufacturing, not including attorney's fees and patent costs for these two revolvers. I have all the documents to prove this, along with letters from Browning concerning these revolvers.

  • top of list
    patent drawings of interchangeable barrel (hammerless) types
    (click photo for full-size)
     - (click photo for full-size)

  • top of list
    photo of lever-action rifles invented by Karl R. Lewis
    (click photo for full-size)
    photo of lever-action rifles invented by Karl R. Lewis - (click photo for full-size)

  • top of list
    photo of Karl R. Lewis holding the lever-action rifle and patent
    (click photo for full-size)
    photo of Karl R. Lewis holding the lever-action rifle and patent - (click photo for full-size)

  • top of list
    3 photos of 10-shot .22 caliber revolver
    (click photo for full-size)
    10-shot .22 caliber revolver10-shot .22 caliber revolver10-shot .22 caliber revolver

  • top of list
    copy of official patent award document for patent # 3461731
    (click photo for full-size)
    (click photo for full-size)

  • top of list
    "Major Projects" - list of inventions Mr. Lewis created while at Browning
    (see the original scanned document: page 1 - page 2 or the edited transcript below:)

Major Projects

BROWNING ARMS PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
OGDEN, UTAH

Karl Lewis, first Product Design Engineer to design for Browning whose name was not "Browning".

Terms: Contract and Salary Arrangement - Employed 4 years, 1959-1963

1.* Designed unique.357 Magnum revolver, interchangeable to .22 caliber:

2.* Designed new exposed hammer revolver with inertia firing pin, center fire.

3.* Designed barrel weights on Medallist target pistol.

4.* Designed cast aluminum, solid frame revolver, 10 shot, .22 caliber.

5. Designed self-locking shell arrester for automatic shotgun.

6. Designed shell catcher for double automatic shotgun.

7. Designed production modifications for rear sight and base on .82 cal. Nomad.

8. Designed production modifications on Medalist .22 cal. rear sight.

9. Designed unique bottom loading, side ejection lever rifle with gear actuated locking bolt and tube magazine feed. center fire

10. Designed new trigger and 3 way safety on SAKO rifles

11. Designed new .22 caliber automatic rifle tube lock eliminating 5 production parts

12. Designed new simplified adjustable rifle slings.

13.* Designed flush mounted, quick detachable sling swivels for rifles.

14. Designed production modifications .458 caliber rifle and stock to eliminate stock splitting from recoil. (all large caliber FN rifles)

15. Designed adjustable peep sight for rifles.

16.* Designed bow stringer that enables woman to easily string 50-lb. bow.

17. Designed adjustable arrow rest for target shooting bows.

18.* Designed unique gear actuated turning bolt, clip fed lever rifle, center fire. Major parts common with rifle No.9.

19. Designed production modifications on tip-off scope mounts.

20. Designed silent hunting arrow quiver.

21.* Proposed family line of four rifles in .22 caliber, using common production parts from center fire rifles No.9. and No.18. with sketches.

1.* lever rifle with clip feed (provisions for single shot trainer)

2.* lever rifle with tube feed

3.* pump rifle with tube feed

4.* semiautomatic rifle with tube feed

above rifle No. 1 built utilizing 78 % of the parts used rifle No.18

22.* Proposed medium sized lever action rifle for .22 Hornet through .250-3000 ammo.

23. Designed unique revolving-locking cleaning rod for all sporting firearms.

24. Designed universal gun cleaning kit for all types and calibers of firearms.

25. Designed universal gun tool kit for all types firearms.

26. Designed production modifications on Reynolds bow sight.

27. Designed adjustable butt stock (length of pull) for long guns.

28. Designed commercial bow hanger rack for Browning bows.

29. I introduced on the market a production Browning rifle chambered for the Wildcat cartridge 22-250. It was an instant success although there was no commercial cartridge for it. Remington immediately jumped on the bandwagon calling the cartridge, 22-250 Remington and offered a rifle chambered for it. All other rifle companies soon followed. Note: This very excellent varmint cartridge was ignored by all the gun companies for over 40 years, until Lewis came along, because of "N.I.H.", ("not invented here"). It is possible that it may have seen daylight sooner, if any of those "company men" would have been knowledgeable gun men with some consumer orientated marketing sense.

A Product Design Engineer who is responsible to conceive and develop new products which further the company goals should always be on the lookout for new products, designs or ideas that can be exploited commercially, even though they are not his own N.I.H. keeps many good designs from seeing daylight. Product engineers seldom have the imagination to see or evaluate objectively the consumer need or commercial value or marketing impact of a new product or idea, also it is easy and safer (don't rock the boat) to pick apart a new idea or design (N.I.H) unless they are knowledgeable in the art.

Constantly on the lookout for new designs or ideas (by seeking, they don't jump out at you) I heard of a person who made firearms as a hobby during the long cold Colorado winter. With a few changes to facilitate production, this backwoods design is now the Browning .22 caliber T-BOLT rifle. This is the only really different rifle in the entire field of two dozen competitors, all of which have the old "me too" bolt design. The clodhopper retired on the 3% royalty. Browning captured more than their fair share of the market with a product that is not just another "me too" item.

* These are items which I received one or more patents on.

HOW MUCH IS YOUR GUN WORTH?
 
See the Blue Book of Gun Values Online
 
now download free & low-cost info about your gun from the Blue Book


microwave oven controller and display repairs nationwide

 

top of page | home page | biography of Karl R. Lewis | words from his son | contact info
Browning designs | Colt designs | Dan Wesson designs | whole collection

Contact Information

If you want more information about a gun you own, please look here.

All other inquiries should be directed to the Webmaster, William E. Miller at pupista@gmail.com.

HOW MUCH IS YOUR GUN WORTH?
 
See the Blue Book of Gun Values Online
 
now download free & low-cost info about your gun from the Blue Book


Web site text & content is 2001- 2016+ by John Lewis & William E. Miller - world rights reserved

# # #