Firearms

Fathers of the Firearms World

Mikhail Kalashnikov

Today we wanted to highlight some of the famous fathers of the firearms industry. Without their hard work, dedication, and innovation, we would not be where we are today in the gun world. While there are hundreds of influential figures we could talk about, these are just a few of our favorites.

John Browning
John Browning

John Browning

This man enjoys an unparalleled status in the firearms community. He is arguably the most important figure in the development of modern automatic and semi-automatic firearms and holds 128 gun patents to his credit. He made his first firearm at age 13 in his father’s gun shop, and was awarded his first patent on October 7, 1879 at the age of 24. Browning’s most successful designs include the M1911 pistol, the Browning .50 caliber machine gun, the Browning Hi-Power pistol, the Browning Automatic Rifle, and the Browning Auto-5, a ground-breaking semi-automatic shotgun. These arms are nearly identical today to those assembled by Browning in the 1920s, with only minor changes in detail and cosmetics. Even today, John Browning’s guns are still some of the most copied guns in the world.

Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt

Samuel Colt

After the Texas Rangers ordered 1,000 of his Colt revolvers during the American war with Mexico in 1847, Samuel Colt’s firearms business expanded rapidly. His factory in Hartford built the guns used as sidearms by both the North and the South in the American Civil War, and later historians credited his firearms in taming the western frontier. Colt died in 1862, before the end of the Civil War, as one of the wealthiest men in America.

Oliver Winchester
Oliver Winchester

Oliver Winchester

He was the inventor of the Henry rifle, the first reliable lever-action repeating rifle.

Oliver Winchester hired Henry at the New Haven Arms Company in the late 1850s to improve the design of the Volcanic-repeating rifle. On October 16, 1860, he received a patent on the Henry .44 caliber-repeating rifle, which soon proved the worth of the lever-action design on the battlefields of the American Civil War, where soldiers used Henry rifles alongside muzzle-loading rifled muskets such as the Springfield Model 1861. Benjamin Tyler Henry continued to work at the Winchester Repeating Arms Company until at least 1873.

Eugene Stoner
Eugene Stoner

Eugene Stoner

Stoner is the man most associated with the design of the AR-15, which the U.S. Military later adopted as the M16. Many historians regard him, along with John Browning and John Garand, as one of the United States’ most successful military firearms designers of the 20th century. In 1955, Stoner completed initial design work on the revolutionary AR-10, a lightweight selective-fire infantry rifle in 7.62 x 51mm NATO caliber. Stoner submitted the AR-10 for rifle evaluation trials to the US Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground late in 1956. In comparison with competing rifle designs previously submitted for evaluation, the AR-10 was smaller, easier to fire in automatic, and much lighter. However, it arrived very late in the testing cycle, and the army rejected the AR-10 in favor of the more conventional T44, which would become the M14. At the request of the U.S. military, Stoner’s chief assistant, Robert Fremont and Jim Sullivan designed the AR-15 from the basic AR-10 design, scaling it down to fire the small-caliber .223 Remington cartridge. The U.S. military later adopted the AR-15 as the famous M-16.

Mikhail Kalashnikov
Mikhail Kalashnikov

Mikhail Kalashnikov

In 1944, he designed a gas-operated carbine for the new 7.62×39 mm cartridge. This weapon, influenced by the M1 Garand rifle, lost out to the new Simonov carbine, which the Soviets later adopted as the SKS; but it became a basis for his entry in an assault rifle competition in 1946. His winning entry, the Mikhtim, so named by taking the first letters of his name and patronymic Mikhail Timofeyevich, became the prototype for the development of a family of prototype rifles. This process culminated in 1947, when he designed the AK-47, which stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947. In 1956, the AK-47 assault rifle became the standard issue rifle of the Soviet Army and went on to become Kalashnikov’s most famous invention. It is the most recognizable firearm in the entire world.

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Comments (7)

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  4. Whether left or right, conservative or liberal, Americans are united in their perception of a general descent of American economics, morality, ethics, spirituality, tolerance, science, education and world dominance in general. Everyone seems to be united in a presumption that America’s time is , or will soon be, over! The America that we’ve known all our lives is changing, the world is changing, and our relationship to the world is changing as well. Much of what we do then is in reaction to the fear that is the product of our new perception of reality.

    In an effort to combat this pervasive feeling of vulnerability and weakness Americans find different ways of coping, of feeling safer. Certain groups of Americans look toward investments to establish the ultimate personal economic stability but whether you can afford investments or not Americans are searching for better methods of security to protect what they do have. In the post-9/11 era, we have become a world full of conservative reactionaries enjoying a renaissance of all things military. It is common today to hear people unthinkingly and unapologetically blurt out ideological, religious, scientific, military, political, ideas and sentiments of past eras as if they were fresh and smart things to say. Our respect for each other has disappeared , our civility is a thin and porous veneer which works to destroy the trust in our relationships and institutions. Our belief in a progress and faith in science and technological innovation has given way to 101 visions of apocalyptic hell.

    On a more personal level our exposure to gang bangers, drug addicts and the mentally ill commonly disrupt our lives while TV news, movies and newspapers reinforce the perception of consequence free senseless violence. More and more Americans have experiences in war zones, at home and abroad, and more Americans have had experience within the prison system than in any other country in the world. Immigrants to this country are very often escaping from hard lives in war-torn lands. The vagaries of a decade-long recession have produced an army of people, young and old, who are unemployed and/or underinsured but who are definitely under treated with a variety of physical and mental problems. This socio-economic reality encourages people to self medicate by using ever increasing amounts of illegal drugs and alcohol, which in turn, lends itself to an enhanced sense of insanity in a landscape already littered with corpses and people who feel they have nothing to loose.

    So, after all that, you ask me why I think Americans are buying guns by the truck load?
    Because they love them, and what they represent.

  5. Started as an interest in concealed carry for personal defense. I work unusual hours in a part of town that is not always secure, and where crime is up. After getting my permit I started taking short courses in gun safety, defensive gun handling, and marksmanship. then came IDPA through a group near where i live. I highly recommend this for anyone wishing to become more comfortable with safe and efficient handling of guns. AND FUN! Recommend IDPA/USPSA when the range has become monotonous and boring; my practice routine has definitely changed since doing IDPA.

    I Now own a variety of high quality handguns. Already owned several rifles for hunting. I am not particularly interested in assault weapons. I did not become an enthusiast out of fear of the “apocalypse”, fear of oppressive government, or any fantasy of glorious citizen militia activity. I Just like guns, and I love living in a country that does not restrict such freedom for individuals. It is essentially and fundamentally American.

    Citizens without guns are subjects.

    sd

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