The John Browning-designed, water-cooled machine gun fared well at Congress Heights, but another gun was tested that day, too. Today, we call it the Browning Automatic Rifle.
There was considerable Congressional scrutiny when it came to the adoption of the Model of 1917 Browning machine gun. The gun put all the naysayers’ questions to bed on Feb. 27, 1917, when it was publicly demonstrated at Congress Heights area of Washington, D.C. Actually directing the men running the guns was then-Capt. Julian S. Hatcher (far l.), who would later become a major general and technical editor of American Rifleman. To his right was Acting Chief of Ordnance Brig. Gen. Charles B. Wheeler. Farther to the right was U.S. Army Quartermaster General Henry G. Sharpe (second from r.). And the general at far right appears to be none other than Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing. For more on the M1917 Browning, read Field Editor Bruce N. Canfield’s story.