Thursday, 10 April 2014

The History Of Guns

Welcome back my fellow learners. Today I want to talk about guns, Unfortunately, these deadly firearms are a necessary evil, and have killed more people than the bubonic plague over the last few centuries. However, today is not about maudlin thoughts, today is about how certain pieces changed the history of guns in general.

Over the years firearms have constantly evolved ever since their appearance around 800 years ago. Ranging from primitive hand cannons to automatic rifles, here are just a few breakthroughs that changed the face of history.

13th century hand cannon
Those quiet unassuming Chinese developed a variety of gunpowder weapons called fire lances and fire dragons, and believe it or not but those deadly flame throwers and fireworks, stretching as far back as the 10th century. The first gunpowder toting firearm can be dated all the way back to the Yuan Dynasty somewhere in the 13th century. These included stunning hand cannons made in bronze, which could operated by one man and set off by another. Their firing range was short and accuracy bad, but the overall affect was known to intimidate their opponents.

1862 The Gatling Gun
If any of you remembers that legendary movie “Zulu”, you will all remember the infamous gating gun scene. This weapon was invented by Dr Richard Gatling, hence the name, and it was the first machine gun known, it fired more than 700 50caliber rounds a minute. It housed 6 barrels which rotated with the help of a handle, firing bullets from a clip using gravity. It was first seen in the American Civil War, but showed its true worth in the Spanish-American war.
1873 The Colt Peacemaker

Samuel Colt contrary to popular belief did not actually invent this revolver, what he did however, was introduce and assembly line to mass produce them, rather than rely on gunsmiths to make them. Thus ensuring a mass produced weapon. This weapon was a firm favourite in the wild west era, and cowboys all carried the famous 6 shooter, or Winchester rifle commonly seen today in many of the movies.

M1911, 1911 Colt

In a rare turn of events, a certain John Browning actually put the cart before the horse. He invented in 1904 the 45 cartridge bullet, then built the gun around it. The M1911 was used in 2 wars, the Korean and Vietnam, but was replaced eventually with the M9 Beretta. Both of these weapons earned their reputations for being reliable and accurate, although the Beretta could hold more bullets than its counterpart, however, the M1911 is still preferred by many.

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