August 26, 1346
- Cannon, firing a round ball carved from rock, first used in
battle in France (Edward III of England reportedly used 22
cannons during the defeat of Philip VI of France at Crécy);
chief effect, in the beginning, was psychological: burst of
fire, loud noise effective in getting enemy's attention, made it
impossible for them to forget that their lives in danger.
May 15, 1718
- James Puckle, London lawyer, received patent for a "Portable
Gun or Machine...Call'd A Defence"; world's first machine gun.
Eliphalet Remington founded
E. Remington and
Sons in Ilion Gorge, NY; 1888 - acquired by Marcus
Hartley and Partners, major sporting goods chain; May 1933
- majority interest acquired by
1993 - acquired by Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice for
$300 million; 2007 - acquired by Cerberus Capital
$118 million; oldest company in United States which still makes
its original product, oldest continuously operating manufacturer
in North America, only U.S. manufacturer of both firearms,
ammunition products; one of largest domestic producers of
Samuel Colt, of Hartford, CT, received
patent for a "Revolving Gun" ("Improvement in Fire-Arms");
revolving barrel multishot firearm; August 29, 1839
- received patent for "Improvement in Fire-Arms and in the
Apparatus Used Therewith";
percussion-repeating revolver (revolving barrel multishot
firearm that combined a single rifled barrel with a revolving
chamber that held five or six shots); chamber revolved
automatically, when the weapon was cocked for firing, to bring
the next shot into line with the barrel; could be aimed with
reasonable precision at a 30-40 yard distance because the
interior bore was "rifled"--cut with a series of grooves
spiraling down its length which caused the slug to spin rapidly
as it left the barrel, gave it gyroscopic stability; five or
six-shoot capacity made accuracy less important, since a missed
shot could quickly be followed with others.
December 5, 1846
- Christian Frederick Schönbein, of Basle, Switzerland, received
a U. S. patent for an "Improvement in Preparation of Cotton-Wool
and Other Substances as Substitutes for Gunpowder"; mixture of
concentrated acids to convert cellulose present in well-cleaned
cotton-wool into cellulose nitrate.
January 4, 1847
- Samuel Colt won contract to provide U.S. government with
1,000 of his .44 caliber revolvers (rescues his faltering
company); 1850-1860 - Colt sold 170,000 "pocket"
revolvers, 98,000 "belt" revolvers, mostly to civilians looking
for a powerful and effective means of self-defense in the Wild
July 31, 1849
- Benjamin Chambers, of Washington, DC, received patent for a
"Canon"; breech loading cannon (sped up the reloading process
allowing troops to fire more rounds per minute). Prior to this
technology, troops using musket loading guns and had to run to
the front of the gun to reload thus wasting time and risking
- Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson formed their first
partnership in Norwich, CT with the aim of marketing a lever
action repeating pistol that could use a fully self-contained
cartridge; sold company to Oliver Winchester, a shirt
manufacturer; February 14, 1854 - received a
patent for a "Magazine Firearm"; improvement in repeating
firearms; August 8, 1854
- received patent for a "Cartridge" ("new or improved cartridge
for Pistols, Rifles, or other Fire-Arms"); metal bullet
cartridges; 1856 - formed second partnership to
produce a small revolver designed to fire their patented Rimfire
cartridge; first successful fully self-contained cartridge
revolver available in the world (patented the revolver);
1869 - designed new revolver, Model 3 American, became
known in the United States, was the first large caliber
cartridge revolver, established Smith & Wesson as a world leader
in handgun manufacturing (two most important customers - United
States Cavalry, which purchased 1,000 units for use on the
Western Frontier, and the Russian Imperial Government);
February 3, 1914 - Smith & Wesson Voluntary Association
registered "Smith & Wesson" trademark first used in 1857
(revolvers, pistols, [automatic pistols, rifles and guns and
ammunition]; 1987 - acquired by Tomkins of London
for $112.5 million.
- Julius Gottfried Anschütz, son of gunsmith (Johann Heinrich
Gottlieb Anschütz) established J. G. Anschütz in Zella-Mehlis,
Thuringia,. Germany, to manufacture Flobert and pocket pistols,
Teschings, shotguns, Lancaster Terzerole;
1896 - 76 employees;
1901 -Fritz and
Otto Anschutz (sons) took over;
1909 - 175 employees;
1923 - Fritz Anschütz continued company
(brother died); 1935
- Max and Rudolf Anschütz (Fritz's sons) tyook over; 550
employees; 1945 -
shut down; 1959 -
founded J. G. ANSCHüTZ GmbH (7 employees, 20 machines); made air
pistols; did repair work; started to manufacture Flobert, target
rifles; 1968 -
Dieter Anschütz (4th generation) took over;
1972 - "Die
Meister Macher" slogan created (after success of ANSCHüTZ Match
Rifle); 1992 -
Jochen Anschütz (Dieter's son) became president;
March 31, 2008 -
took over sole management of J.G. ANSCHüTZ GmbH (Ulm, Germany);
acknowledged as world's leading producer of accurate target
Julius Gottfried Anschütz
J.G. ANSCHüTZ GmbH (http://tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:bKHiCdRAycOSKM:http://jga.anschuetz-sport.com/dateien/verschiedene%2520Dateien/Diverse/Julius_Anschuetz.jpg)
March 25, 1856
- Ambrose Everett Burnside, of Bristol, RI, received patent for
a "Breech Loading Firearm"; Burnside carbine (eliminated
problems with the Hall carbine: leaked gas terribly, fouled
miserably, cases stick in the breech block).
July 8, 1856
- Charles E. Barnes, of Lowell, MA, received patent for a
"Machine Gun" ("Improved Automatic Canon"); crank operated
October 16, 1860
- Benjamin Taylor Henry, of New Haven, CT, received a patent for
a "Magazine Fire Arm" ("improvements in a repeating
breech-loading gun designed and arranged for the exclusive use
of a hollow loaded ball with a primer inserted in the
base...thus greatly increasing the power and certainty of fire
of the arm"); first practical, lever action repeating rifle.
July 8, 1862
- Theodore R. Timby, of Worcester, MA, received patent for
"Discharging Guns by Electricity" ("Method for Firing Guns by
Electrical Agency, particularly applicable to my revolving
tower, to be placed on land or water, for offensive or defensive
revolving gun turret; September 30, 1862 -
received a patent for a "Gun-Turret" ("Improvement in Revolving
Battery-Towers); for battle ships.
November 4, 1862
- Richard J. Gatling, of Indianapolis, IN, received U.S. patent
for a "Machine Gun" ("Improvement in Revolving
Gatling gun ("battery-gun"), first to successfully combine
reliability, high firing rate and ease of loading into a single
device; hand-cranked to rotate a cylinder of ten barrels loaded
from a gravity-feed magazine on top and fired on each
revolution; believed rapid-firing gun could enable one man to do
what previously required many, armies could be smaller, saving
men from exposure to battle and disease; May 9, 1865
- received a patent for a "Machine Gun" ("Improvement in
Winchester Repeating Arms Co. founded on same original lever
action design created by Smith & Wesson.
- General John Taliaferro Thompson received patent for
submachine gun ("Tommy gun"); 1921 - major
production began; quickly gained notoriety in the hands of
gangsters and popularity in Hollywood films.
October 19, 1926
- John C. Garand, of Somerset, MD, received patent for an
"Automatic Gun"; semi-automatic rifle.
June 14, 1942
- First bazooka rocket launcher produced in Bridgeport, CT;
designed by Edward Uhl, United States Army Ordnance Officer;
used piece of scrap metal tubing
to create recoilless rocket launcher to propel M10 shaped
charge as anti-tank weapon for use by infantry; launched from
shoulder, avoided danger of burns to face of operator.
1947 - Mikhail Kalashnikov,
obscure 26-year-old sergeant with little formal
education, only few years of experience designing
weapons, won contest to design "Avtomat
Kalashnikova 47 ("Automatic of Kalashnikov 1947"),
automatic rifle, for Soviet
Army (minimum of parts, stronger than necessary, loose fit
between major moving parts, fired even when clogged with
powder residue, dirt); 1950 - mass production AK-4 7 began (15 years before U.S. introduced M-16
automatic rifle); 2010 - production
of AK-47s estimated at more than 100 million, still rising (one
for every 70 people in world, more than 10 times number of M-16s
produced; widely, cheaply available for less than $200,
including air delivery, in international arms market).
October 3, 1952
- "Hurricane", first British atomic bomb (third country to
test), tested at Monte Bello, Australia; used improved plutonium
implosion bomb similar to U.S. "Fat Man"; explosion, 9-ft below
water line, left saucer-shaped crater on seabed 20-ft deep and
May 17, 1955
- Enrico Ferme, of Santa Fe, NM, and Leo Szilard, of Chicago,
IL, received a patent for a 'Neutronic Reactor" ("relates to the
general subject of nuclear fission and particularly to the
establishment of self-sustaining neutron chain fission reactions
in systems embodying uranium having a natural isotopic
content"); described method by which self-sustaining nuclear
chain reaction had been achieved; assigned to the United
States of America as represented by the Atomic Energy
February 27, 1997
- Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into
September 14, 2008 - Department of Defense has
agreed to sell, transfer more than $32 billion in weapons, other
military equipment to foreign governments in fiscal 2008 (vs.
$12 billion in 2005); reflect foreign policy (wars in
Iraq, Afghanistan), broader campaign against international
terrorism; direct commercial sales have grown (State
Department-approved export licenses issued in 2008 cover
estimated $96 billion, up from $58 billion in 2005); U. S. long
been top arms supplier to world.
(Austrian Arms Manufacturing Co.), Maximilian
Der Pionier von Steyr:
[Josef Werndl]: ein Tatsachenroman: das Schicksal eines grossen
Erfinders u. Industriepioniers. (Ennsthaler, Austriua:
Neuaufl, 362 p.).
(Austrian Arms Manufacturing Co.),
Karl-Heinz Rauscher (2009).
Der Konig von
Steyr: Anmerkungen zu Josef Werndl. (Gnas, Austria:
Weishaupt Verlag, 208 p.). Industrialists -- Austria -- Steyr --
Biography; Weapons industry -- Austria -- History; Werndl,
Josef, 1831-1889. Built one of largest, most successful
industrial companies in history of Austria; 1855 - took over
family business after father's death; started to reorganize
firm; produced high quality barrels, other parts for small arms;
started to develop, with his foreman Karl Holub, modern breech
loading rifle system; 1869 -1913 - leading European producer of
small arms, delivered more than 6 million rifles of varying
models to Austria, several other states of world; 1889 - more
than 10,000 employees.
(Beretta), R.L. Wilson; photography by Peter
Beard and Mauro Pezzotta (2000).
The World of Beretta: An International Legend.
(New York, NY: Random House, 370 p.). Beretta, Pietro; Beretta
(Bullard Arms), G. Scott Jamieson (1988).
Bullard Arms. (Erin, ON: Boston Mills Press, 245 p.).
Bullard, James Herbert, 1842-1914; Bullard Repeating Arms
Company -- History; Bullard firearms -- Catalogs; Firearms
industry and trade -- Massachusetts -- Springfield -- History.
(Colt Industries), R. L. Wilson
The Rampant Colt; The Story of a Trademark. (Spencer,
IN: T. Haas, 107 p.). Colt Industries, inc.; Trademarks.
(Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing
Company), Charles Tower Haven and Frank A. Belden (1940).
A History of the Colt Revolver, and the Other Arms Made by
Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company from 1836 to 1940.
(New York, NY: Morrow, 711 p.). Colt, Samuel, 1814-1863;
Revolvers; Pistols; Firearms; Colt's patent firearms
(Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing
Company), Jack Rohan (1948). Yankee Arms Maker; The Story of
Sam Colt and His Six-Shot Peacemaker. (New York, NY: Harper,
305 p. [rev. ed.]). Colt, Samuel, 1814-1862.
(Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing
Company), Gertrude Hecker Winders (1959).
Sam Colt and His Gun; The Life of the Inventor of the Revolver.
(New York, NY: J. Day Co., 159 p.). Colt, Samuel, 1814-1862;
(Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing
Company), Ellsworth S. Grant (1982).
The Colt Legacy: The Colt Armory in Hartford, 1855-1980.
(Providence, RI: Mowbray Co., 233 p.). Colt, Samuel, 1814-1862;
Colt family; Industrialists--United States--Biography; Colt
firearms--History; Firearms industry and
(Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing
Company), William Hosley (1996).
Colt: The Making of an American Legend. (Amherst, MA:
University of Massachusetts Press, 254 p.). Colt, Samuel,
1814-1862; Gunsmiths--Connecticut--Hartford--Biography; Colt
revolver--History; Hartford (Connecticut)--History.
(Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing
Company), Herbert G. Houze (2006).
Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention. (New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press, 272 p.). Expert on Samuel Colt and
firearms. Colt, Samuel, 1814-1862; Colt firearms--Exhibitions.
Samuel Colt (1814–1862) first patented his "Colt" revolver in
1835. Evolution of invention (unsurpassed Colt firearms collections held
by Wadsworth Atheneum).
(FN-Browning), Auguste Francotte, Claude Gaier
(1989). FN-Browning: 100 Ans d'Armes de Chasse et de Guerre.
(Bruxelles, Belgium: Didier Hatier, 198 p.). FN (Firm ;
Belgium)--History; Firearms industry and
trade--Belgium--Liège--History; Liège (Belgium)--History.
(FN-Browning), Gene Gangarosa, Jr. (1999).
FN-- Browning: Armorer to the World.
(Wayne, NJ: Stoeger Pub., 334 p.). FN (Firm : Belgium)--History;
Firearms industry and trade--Belgium--History.
(Gatling), Julia Keller (2008).
Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything
and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It. (New York,
NY: Viking, 304 p.). Cultural Critic (Chicago Tribune). Gatling,
Richard Jordan, 1818-1903; Gatling, James Henry, 1816-1879;
Gatling guns; Inventors--United States--Biography.
First machine gun transformed
America; discharged 200 shots/ minute with alarming accuracy;
became vitally important to protecting, expanding America’s
overseas interests; exemplified paradox of America’s rise as
Gatling - machine gun
(Krupp), Gert von Klass (translated from
German by James Cleugh) (1954). Krupps; The Story of An
Industrial Empire. (London, UK: Sidgwick and Jackson, 437
p.). Krupp family; Krupp'sche Gussstahlfabrik, Essen;
Munitions--Germany. Translation of Die drei Ringe.
Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach
(Krupp), Norbert Muhlen (1959).
The Incredible Krupps; The Rise, Fall, and Comeback of Germany's
Industrial Family. (New York, NY: Holt, 308 p.). Krupp
family; Krupp'sche Gussstahlfabrik, Essen.
(Krupp), Peter Batty (1967).
The House of Krupp. (New York, NY: Stein and Day, 333
p.). Krupp family; Fried. Krupp AG.; Munitions--Germany.
(Krupp), William Manchester (1968).
The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968: The Rise and Fall of the
Industrial Dynasty that Armed Germany at War : The Rise and Fall
of the Industrial Dynasty that Armed Germany at War.
(Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 976 p.). Krupp von Bohlen und
Halbach, Alfried, 1907-1967; Krupp family; Krupp'sche
Gusstahlfabrik, Essen; Fried. Krupp GmbH--History;
Industrialists--Germany--Biography; Steel industry and
trade--Military aspects--Germany--History; Defense
industries--Germany--History; World War,
1939-1945--Germany--Technology; World War,
(Krupp), Eited by Klaus Tenfelde; foreword by
Berthold Beitz (2005).
Pictures of Krupp: Photography and History in the Industrial Age.
(London, UK: Philip Wilson Publishers, 384 p.). Professor of
Social History and Social Movements, runs the Institute for
Social Movements, a central institute (Ruhr University in
Bochum). Krupp family; Fried. Krupp AG--History; Fried. Krupp
AG--History--Pictorial works; Weapons
industry--Germany--History--Pictorial works; Steel industry and
trade--Germany--History; Steel industry and
trade--Germany--History--Pictorial works. Business, social history of
company, photography as source for history of labor and
(Marlin Firearms Company), William S. Brophy
Marlin Firearms: A History of the Guns and the Company That Made
Them. (Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 696 p.). Marlin
Firearms Company--History; Firearms industry and
(Putilov Company), Jonathan Grant (1999).
Big Business in Russia: The Putilov Company in Late Imperial
Russia, 1868-1917. (Pittsburgh, PA: University of
Pittsburgh Press, 203 p.). Krasnyi putilovets--History; Firearms
industry and trade--Russia--History.
(Remington Arms Company), Alden Hatch (1956).
Remington Arms in American History. (New York, NY:
Rinehart, 359 p.). Remington Arms Company; Firearms.
(Remington Arms), Dimitra Doukas (2003).
Worked Over: The Corporate Sabotage of an American Community.
(Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 199 p.). Visiting
Assistant Professor of Anthropology (Cornell), Adjunct Assistant
Professor of Anthropology (NYU). E. Remington & Sons--History;
Big business--Social aspects--New York (State)--Mohawk River
Valley; Social values--New York (State)--Mohawk River Valley;
Local government--New York (State)--Mohawk River Valley;
Distributive justice--New York (State)--Mohawk River Valley.
(Ruger Corporation), R. L. Wilson (1996).
Ruger & His Guns: A History of the Man, the Company, and Their
Firearms. (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 358 p.).
Ruger, William B., 1916- ; Ruger Corporation--History;
Firearms--United States--History; Gunsmiths--United
(J. P. Sauer & Sohn), Peter Arfmann, Rolf Kallmeyer;
[translation into English by Phil Shaw] (2006).
J. P. Sauer & Son: The Story of the Oldest Weapons Factory in
Germany, Established in 1751; the Suhl Era, the Eckernförde Era.
(Suhl, Germany: Peter-Arfmann-Verlag, 184 p.). Firearms industry
and trade -- Germany -- History; J.P. Sauer & Sohn -- History.
(Smith and Wesson), Roy G. Jinks and Robert J.
Smith & Wesson, 1857-1945. (South Brunswick, NJ: A. S.
Barnes, 434 p.). Smith and Wesson, inc., Springfield, Mass;
Smith and Wesson firearms.
- Smith and Wesson
- Smith and Wesson
(Smith and Wesson), Roy G. Jinks (1977).
History of Smith & Wesson: No Thing of Importance Will Come
Without Effort. (North Hollywood, CA: Beinfeld Pub. Co.,
290 p.). , inc., Springfield, Mass; Smith and Wesson firearms.
(Smith and Wesson), Roy G. Jinks, Sandra C.
Smith & Wesson: 1852-1965. (Charleston, SC: Arcadia
Pub., 128 p.). Company Historian; Independent Historian. Smith
and Wesson firearms. Company history, people, significant products from partners'
first venture in 1852 to sale of Wesson family business in 1965.
(Sterling Armament Company), James Edmiston
The Sterling Years: Small-Arms and the Men. (London, UK:
L. Cooper, 146 p.). Sterling Armament Company; Submachine guns.
(Vickers), Dr. Richard Lewinsohn (1929).
The Mystery Man of Europe, Sir Basil Zaharoff.
(Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Company, 241 p.). Former
Director and Chairman of Vickers. Zaharoff, Basil, Sir, 1850-.
Thomas Edward Vickers
(Vickers), J. D. Scott (1962).
Vickers, A History. (London, UK: Weidenfeld and
Nicolson, 416 p.). Vickers-Armstrongs limited; Vickers Limited;
(Vickers), Clive Trebilcock (1977).
The Vickers Brothers: Armaments and Enterprise, 1854-1914.
(London, UK: Europa, 181 p.). Vickers, Albert, 1838-1919;
Vickers, Thomas Edward, 1833-1915; Vickers Limited; Weapons
industry--Great Britain; Businesspeople--Great
(Vickers), Harold Evans (1978).
Vickers, Against the Odds, 1956-1977. (London: Hodder
and Stoughton, 287 p.). Vickers Limited--History; Weapons
(Weatherby Inc.), Grits Gresham and Tom
Weatherby: The Man, the Gun, the Legend. (Natchitoches,
LA: Cane River Pub., 290 p.). Weatherby, Roy E.;
Industrialists--United States--Biography; Firearms industry and
trade--United States--History; Hunting rifles--United
(Winchester Repeating Arms Company), Herbert
G. Houze (1994).
Winchester Repeating Arms Company: Its History & Development
from 1865 to 1981. (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 512
p.). Winchester Repeating Arms Company--History; Winchester
rifle--History; Firearms industry and trade--United
Gábor Ágoston (2004).
Guns for the Sultan: Mlitary Power and the Weapons Industry in
the Ottoman Empire. (New York, NY: Cambridge University
Press, 289 p.). Assistant Professor in the Department of History
(Georgetown University). Weapons industry--Turkey--History;
Stuart D. Brandes (1997).
Warhogs: A History of War Profits in America.
(Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 397 p.).
War--Economic aspects--United States--History;
C. J. Chivers (2010).
The Gun: The AK-47 and the Evolution of War. (New
York, NY Simon & Schuster, 481 p.). Reporter (New York Times).
AK-47 rifle --History; War --History; Machine guns
--Technological innovations --History; Firearms --Technological
innovations --History. From first attempts to
create machine guns to invention, mass
distribution of assault rifle, its effects on war; human account of evolution in
experience of war: inventors, salesmen, heroes, megalomaniacs,
racists, dictators, gunrunners, terrorists, child soldiers,
government careerists, fools; origins of world’s most abundant
firearm, consequences of its spread; miniaturization,
distribution of automatic firepower.
Mikhail Kalashnikov - (AK-47) Avtomat
Kalashnikova 47 (http://en.academic.ru/pictures/enwiki/77/Mikhail_Kalashnikov.jpg)
Tom Diaz (1999).
Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America. (New
York, NY: The New Press, 258 p.). Senior Policy Analyst for the
Violence Policy Center. Firearms industry and trade -- United
States; Firearms ownership -- Government policy -- United
States; Gun control -- United States.
Helmut Carol Engelbrecht (1934).
Merchants of Death; A Study of the International Armament
Industry. (New York, NY: Dodd, Mead & Company, 308 p.).
Munitions; Firearms industry and trade; War.
Jonathan A. Grant (2007).
Rulers, Guns, and Money: The Global Arms Trade in the Age of
Imperialism. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
304 p.). Associate Professor of History (Florida State
University). Defense industries--History; Weapons
industry--History; Arms transfers--History. How arms trade led to all-out
arms race, ultimately to war; arms dealers pursued their own
economic interests, convinced their homeland governments that
weapons sales delivered national prestige, could influence
Anthony Sampson (1977).
The Arms Bazaar: from Lebanon to Lockheed. (New York,
NY: Viking, 352 p.). Arms transfers; Defense industries; World
Merritt Roe Smith (1977).
Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology: The Challenge of
Change. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 363 p.).
Armories--West Virginia--Harpers Ferry--History; Firearms
industry and trade--West Virginia--Harpers Ferry--History.
Eds. Donald J. Stoker, Jr., and Jonathan A.
Girding for Battle: The Arms Trade in a Global Perspective,
1815-1940. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 236 p.). Associate
Professor of Strategy and Policy (U.S. Naval War College);
Associate Professor of Modern Russian History (Florida State
University). Defense industries--History; Arms
transfers--History. Aspects of global trade in armaments from 1815 to 1940;
connections between diplomacy, domestic politics of procurement,
private business, military technology transfers in Asia, Europe,
Africa, the Americas.