Guns, Rifles, Machine Guns, and Firearm Ammunition
Since the introduction of the flintlock musket in the 17th century, military small arms have gone through a series of
Puckle Gun - 1718
In 1718, James Puckle of London, England, demonstrated his new invention, the "Puckle Gun," a tripod-mounted,
single-barreled flintlock gun fitted with a multishot revolving cylinder. This weapon fired nine shots per minute at a time
when the standard soldier's musket could be loaded and fired but three times per minute. Puckle demonstrated two versions
of the basic design. One weapon, intended for use against Christian enemies, fired conventional round bullets, while the second
variant, designed to be used against the Muslim Turks, fired square bullets, which were believed to cause more severe and
painful wounds than spherical projectiles. The "Puckle Gun" failed to attract investors and never achieved mass
production or sales to the British armed forces. One newspaper of the period observed following the business ventures failure
that "those are only wounded who hold shares therein."
According to the Patent Office of the United Kingdom, "In the reign of Queen Anne, the law officers of the Crown
established as a condition of patent that the inventor must in writing describe the invention and the manner in which it works."
James Puckle's 1718 patent for a gun was one of the first to provide a description.
* History of the Colt Revolver
Samuel Colt invented the first revolver - named after its revolving cylinder. He was issued a U.S. patent in 1836
for the Colt firearm equipped with a revolving cylinder containing five or six bullets with an innovative cocking device.
See also - Samuel Colt and the Revolver
* The breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick Ferguson of Pitfours, Scotland.
* John Moses Browning - Winchester Rifle
John Moses Browning was the prolific gun designer who invented the Winchester rifle (30/30), the pump shotgun, and
the Colt 45 automatic. He is best known for his automatic pistols and was the first one to invent the slide, which encloses
the barrel of a pistol and the firing mechanism.
* John Moses Browning
* Modern Assault Rifles - M16 History
The history of the modern assault rifle begins with the German Sturmgewehr used during WW2, the first rifle that
could fire a medium size bullet at high rates of fire. In response the U.S. military began developing their own assault rifle,
the result was the M16 assault rifle, first issued to American Soldiers in Vietnam in 1968 and designed by Eugene Stoner,
a Marine Corps Veteran.
* John Garand - M1 Semiautomatic Rifle
Canadian, John Garand invented the M1 semiautomatic rifle in 1934.
* The Johnson Rifle
The Johnson Model 1941 Rifle one of the most innovative rifles of its time period. The Johson rifle was invented
by Melvin M. Johnson Jr.
* Samuel Gardiner
Samuel Gardiner, Jr. received a U.S. Patent in 1863 on a "high explosive rifle bullet" in .54, .58, and
.69 calibers. Fused to explode 1 1/4 seconds after firing, it ensured that any soldier hit by the projectile with a range
of 400 yards faced the danger of the bullet exploding within the impact wound. The U.S. Government purchased 110,000 rounds
of such ammunition for issue during the Civil War. Criticizing the use of similar ammunition by the Confederates, General
Ulysses S. Grant complained that "their use is barbarous because they produce increased suffering without any increased
advantage to using them."
* Rifle Scopes
A rifle scope is a refractor telescope used on a rifle. In 1880, August Fiedler (Stronsdorf), forestry commissioner
of Prince Reuss, managed to build the first telescopic sight that really did work.
* Gatling Gun - 1861
Doctor Richard Gatling patented his design of the "Gatling Gun", a six-barreled weapon capable of firing
a (then) phenomenal 200 rounds per minute.
* Maxim Machine Gun - 1885
In 1881, a friend of Hiram Maxim, the American inventor, told him: "If you wanted to make a lot of money, invent
something that will enable these Europeans to cut each other's throats with. Hiram Maxim was born in Sangersville, Maine in
1840 and was the inventor of the Maxim Machine Gun and the Maxim Silencer.
* Thompson Submachine Gun - Tommy Gun
The Thompson submachine gun or Tommy gun was invented by General John T. Thompson, it was the first hand held machine
gun. Thompson was driven with the thought of creating a hand held machine gun that would help end the First World War, However,
"the first shipment of prototype guns destined for Europe arrived at the docks in New York city on November 11, 1918,
the day the War ended."