n 1897, John M. Browning was awarded four consecutive patents, which covered a big swath of possible automatic pistol designs. The one we’re looking at today (pointed out to me by Rufus at SHOT—thanks!) is number 580,925, which pertains to a rotating-barrel lockup system. Yep, Browning patented that 15 years before the rotating-barrel Steyr went into production. It never went into production, but is definitely worth a look anyway.
Check it out over at Forgotten Weapons.