|I'm sorry to say that Allied Armament is no longer in business.|
THE ALLIED ARMAMENT BROWNING M37
a rare weapon becomes available through efforts so extreme that one has
to wonder if the person behind the project would ever have attempted it
had they known how difficult it would prove to be. The idea of reintroducing
one of the rarest Brownings ever produced for the US military would seem
more dream than practical vision. The weapon was never sold to the civilian
market, and compared to the 1919A4, relatively few M37s were made. It was
in service only a few years before the adoption of the M37's replacement,
Ultimately these projects are undertaken by a collector on a mission. Who else could muster the determination? Joe Hanaish is such a collector. Joe began his journey to bring the M37 back from the dead by setting out to locate as many of the few (and scattered) M37 parts as could be found. A daunting task, since the M37 had been out of service for decades. Once Joe had all of the available parts he was able to locate, he carefully selected the talent that could maintain the standards he had set for the restoration of his M37s. Since some of the needed parts were now unavailable, they would have to be remanufactured. Using original Saco - Lowell blueprints as well as original castings Joe had located, the trunnion, top plate, and bottom plate were made to original specifications by a job shop. The extractor cams, belt holding pawl brackets and feed guides, as well as the internal side plate components, were also manufactured. Halo Manufacturing made both of the side plates to the exacting standards we have come to expect from them.
Joe turned to Allied Armament for the final assembly and finishing of the gun. Allied did the semi-auto milling of the internals, provided their triggers and sears, then prepped and Parkerized the guns - all to the high standards for quality that this project fully deserved. The M37 remains a very rare Browning, but thanks to Joe's dedicated persistence the M37 has made its first significant appearance since the Viet Nam War.
Here at last!
|I was excited to finally be getting a chance to lay my hands on the Browning I had heard so much about over the years - the alternate feed M37. The M37 is the culmination of decades of refinement of the Browning 1919. As a peacetime weapon, built without the pressures and shortcuts of wartime production, the M37 was the cream of .30 caliber 1919s. When it arrived I was pleased to find it to be a meticulous restoration.|
The attention to detail that went into this build becomes apparent with the first glance at the side plate engraving. The one thing that is usually an issue for me is the engraving on FFL built guns. If I'm building my own I get what I want, but invariably a gun purchased from a builder has some mixture of GI and company engraving. On this gun, Allied put the original Saco-Lowell engraving on the right side plate in the proper location, and then put their company info on the inside, visible when the bolt is retracted - see above, right. This is a detail only a fellow collector would know was important, and it is characteristic of the care that has gone into this gun.
The riveting is excellent. As you can see in the photo above, left, they are uniform and neatly done. The right and left side plates, made by Halo, are first rate. The fit is tight and the faces and edges neatly finished.
|A shot of the left side showing the quality of the side plate, fit, finish, and Parkerizing. This is one beautiful weapon.|
|I test fired the M37 on a MAG58 tripod. Loading the weapon was effortless. The top cover latch is smooth, and having it on both sides is convenient. No fighting with the latch as with my 1919A4, which generally takes both hands. The retracting bar is a nice feature. The gun charges easily and the bolt slides home without effort. I had to remember not to pull down on the retracting bar as it reached it's full rearward travel, as there is a notch on the bottom of the bar which hooks on the lip of the rear guide to hold the action open. The ammunition feed was smooth and positive, even when having to pull two feet of linked ammo out of the can sideways and over the edge of the mount. I liked the trigger pull - it's consistent and smooth. The safety is well designed and easy to set.|
I fired a few rounds at a paper target before letting loose on a bag of concrete which had been left out in the rain and set. I never have fully gotten used to sighting with glasses and I'm blind without them, so it took a few rounds to get a center shot, and then a couple more rounds to remember to adjust for the hop in the MAG58, which was sitting on concrete and not weighted with sand bags. This was my first time shooting behind a newly built block wall, and while it was very convenient to have the wall to set things on, a tripod performs better when sitting on the ground. My wife planted flowers where I had hoped to be able to set my M2. Perhaps over time the muzzle blast will solve this problem for me.
Cleaning was easy. The retracting bar has a safety which locks it from accidental release while a hand is in the receiver brushing the chamber or cleaning the bolt face.
The M37 was a joy to shoot, and I simply cannot
find anything about this gun to take issue with. I can field strip it
in less time than it takes to simply get the back plate off of a 1919.
The fit and finish is superb. It's such a museum piece it was suggested
to me that I might want to leave it unfired. Not!
This M37 started out as a loner to photograph, but I am going to keep this beauty. I know a rare opportunity when I see one and while I have had to grit my teeth and pass on a few guns over the years which I have since regretted not acting on, this will not join that list.
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this project, and to James Malarkey in particular for his generous help with this Web site.