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[Brief] History of Guns in America

Guns have always been a matter of discussion in the United States; however, July is one of those months that brings out people's patriotism. In between all of the cook-outs, pool parties, and fireworks, it can be easily forgotten the history that got us to Independence Day. Much of America’s history begins with the use of guns. From guns used for war and protection to guns traded for goods, they have been used since 1364. In 1364, the first use of firearms was recorded. There is a long extensive history of guns in America, so we have chosen to explore key factors that have led to the major innovations of gun models.

Early Settlers

Many of the first firearms came to the United States by European settlers in the early 15th century. The firearm became a crucial part of American settlement to establish land and hunt. The main firearm during this time was the German-made blunderbuss which was an early version of a shotgun that loaded at the top.

Early pioneer gunsmiths in America developed and began using what is now known as an American rifle. The main innovation of this rifle was the grooves that caused the projectile to spin while exiting the barrel making for a straighter shot. This was especially valuable for the early settlers who were hunting game for survival.

Independence Day

The Revolutionary War is the war that led to the independence of the United States. Guns played a major part during the war. During the war, Americans typically used the rifle they had developed to shoot the British from further distances with better accuracy. While the British typically used innovative guns called British Brown Bess and French Charleville muskets which lacked accuracy but had a faster ability to reload. Americans quickly realized they needed to be able to construct something that was able to be loaded easier and faster. During the war, the armory in Massachusetts held ammunition and gun cartridges, shortly following the war, in the 1770s, they began manufacturing muskets and other guns. Around this time, began the start of Eliphalet Remington of Remington Firearms that began producing flintstock firearms in 1816. Also getting his start was Henry Deringer who began producing flintstock rifles for the U.S government. Shortly after, in 1836, Samuel Colt created his handheld pistol that had a rotating barrel with multiple chambers allowing shots to these revolvers to fire quickly and accurately.

Civil War

It wasn’t long before other companies began running off the revolver idea of Samuel Colt. Revolver designers began creating guns with faster load and discharge. Around the 20th century, the “double action” design was created that swung out the barrel to the side to make for easier loading. While the revolver was being improved, so was the shotgun. The most important improvements to the shotgun were the innovation of the rear loading gun, packaged cartridges, and a double barrel with one trigger allowing for a bigger shot in one pull.

Around the start of the Civil War was the creation of the Spencer gun that allowed for multiple cartridges that were stored in multiple magazines and each shot was mechanically loaded into the firing chamber for long and fast shooting.

Cold War

The Cold War ran from about 1947-1991. The most significant firearm invention of this time was the AK-47. The Soviets created the AK-47 was a short-barreled gun with curved magazines for rapid fire like machine guns but also light-weight for portability. This weapon became one of the most deadly weapons of the war. As a response, American manufacturers created the AR-15 assault rifle that performed like the AK-47.

As we can see, most of the guns in America got their start for the use of weapons in war. However, over the years, guns have become a source of collector's items and hobbies for people. Guns have seen a vast improvement from the early days of individually packing the gunpowder into chambers. Nowadays, there are many ways to create your own guns through kits and self builds. We’d love to see what you all have created. Tag us in social media of any of your uniques guns or builds!

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