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How the American Gun has Changed History

Updated on August 31, 2013

Fascinating Book on American Guns and their Historical Significance

As a lover of history and especially antique or collectible history, I am intrigued by historical items and how they relate to human existence.

I love to do research and especially, anything that others have not delved into. That being said, this website is not only about guns, but about searching for that elusive piece of history.

While I am not a gun-person, per se., this book actually caught my attention because of the links to historical events.

The book, "American Guns," was primarily written by a former highly decorated Navy Seal, Chris Kyle, who had numerous medals and awards obtained during his bravery in military service. He passed away in 2013 after being murdered.

The book identifies, what the author felt were the top ten American guns and how they changed history.

Even if you are not a gun-lover, you will appreciate this book as it makes you realize how guns have changed history.

I also know that other items can be historically significant so I will also discuss things other than the ten most significant guns from the book.

Please put on your detective gear and take a walk with me through this website.

Wikimedia Commons

American Gun - by Chris Kyle (1974-2013) and William Doyle

American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms
American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms

This newly released book is a fantastic perspective on the American gun.

Written by a War Hero, it not only details the gun but how it is significant to American history.

This is a wonderful book that would not only appear to a gun lover, but a lover of history or just someone who loves information.


Discovering History through Historical Objects

A current passion for television viewers

For several years now, the television viewing public has been enthralled by historical shows about the value of items.

I started many years ago by watching the British version of Antiques Roadshow, folloed by the American version.

Today, many different shows border on this genre. While most of them also deal with the social issues of buying and selling, most are educational and give backgrounds of the items and how historically significant they are.

Some of my favorites include "American Pickers," "History Detectives," any of the pawn and storage shows.

I think people are interested in finding or watching others find those treasures that will make them rich.

Thank you for taking your time to visit this website!

Wikimedia Commons

The American Long Rifle or Kentucky Rifle

This gun is one of the most iconic guns in American History.

It was used by the soldiers in the American Revolution in the country's beginnings and it also was used by the frontiersmen to tame the Western Frontier by Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett and others.

Painting of Daniel Boone with his Kentucky Long Rifle

Kentucky Long Rifle
Kentucky Long Rifle

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The Spencer Repeating Rifle

If you watch reenactments of the American Revolution and the early Civil War, you will see soldiers using flintlocks and other long guns that need to be reloaded. This is where the term "Minutemen" came from; the ability to load and reload within a minute.

The Spencer Reloading Rifle was invented to cut those reload times significantly and made it a more efficient weapon.

Civil War Soldier holding his Spencer Repeater

Spencer Repeating Rifle
Spencer Repeating Rifle

The Colt Single Action Army - Colt 45

Whenever you watch old or new television westerns, you will see the Colt 45.

It was the weapon of choice for good guys such as the Earps or bad guys, like BIlly the Kid.

The Colt 45 is usually shown as the gun used by the criminal element but should really be considered as the gun that tamed the West.

Original Photo of Outlaw Robert Ford and his Colt 45

Colt 45
Colt 45

Antiques Roadshow - American Edition - There are many guns on this show! Very fun facts and interesting information!

Best of Antiques Roadshow
Best of Antiques Roadshow

Want a quick sure-fire way to increase your home values? When I discovered this book, I realized that most of the things in it were very inexpensive and could be done a little at a time. These things can make or break a home sale and in these tough economic times, a small improvement may sway the home buyer in your favor. This author uses his vast knowledge and years of experience in real estate to give you the tips that you need. A must have for any home owner or home seller!


Watch an Episode of Antiques Roadshow Here!

The Winchester 1873 Rifle

The Winchester 1873 Rifle, along with the Colt 45, helped tame the West.

This gun was seen in countless western movies and was the favorite of many outlaw and lawmen alike. Billy the Kid had an 1873 Winchester and also a Colt 45.

Actual Photo of Billy the Kid with his Winchester 1873 Rifle

billy the kid
billy the kid

Yes, the Old Gun Debate Again!

What are your thoughts about owning guns in the United States?

The 1903 Springfield Rifle

The 1903 Springfield Rifle was built at the request of President Teddy Roosevelt and was used in countless battles and skirmishes.

If this gun had not been invented, the Allies may not have won World War I as it definitely made a difference over its antiquated ancestors.

World War I Soldiers; Some carrying Springfield Rifles

WWI Springfield Rifle
WWI Springfield Rifle

The M1911 Army Pistol

This pistol, used primarily by military officers, first made its appearance in 1911.

It was deployed during several wars and was actively issued until 1985. This 74 year span is the longest in military history.

Some still choose this weapon for use today including some elite Special Forces units.

Many officers were allowed to retire with their pistols as seen in "Scent of a Woman," where Al Pacino says, "A soldier never surrenders his sidearm."

A World War II Soldier holding his M1911 Pistol

M1911 Pistol
M1911 Pistol

The History Detectives

History Detectives: Season 9
History Detectives: Season 9

The History Detectives are on PBS and are a group of people who investigate objects that people have in their possession.

They usually aren't about guns, but I have seen some on the show.

The detectives reveal the research to the inquisitors at the end of each segment.


Watch an Episode of The History Detectives Here!

The American Machine Gun

The machine gun was invented several years after the Gatling Gun, which really wasn't a machine gun.

The gun was heavily used by criminals and police during the 1920's and gangsters such as Pretty Boy Floyd, John Dillnger and others toted them during their crime sprees.

The end of Prohibition diminished their popularity. Today, automatic weapons far exceed the destruction that these earlier models caused.

John T. Thompson and his Thompson Submachine (Tommy Gun)

Tommy Gun
Tommy Gun

The M1 Garand Semi-Automatic Rifle

While some of the other guns before this saved the West and saved the world against crime, the M1 is considered the "Gun that saved the world."

Who knows what the world would be like today if we had not defeated the Axis powers during World War II?

Soldier with M1 Rifle Guarding two Prisoners during the Korean War


The American Police Handgun

The American police handgun has evolved into a very elite weapon used by all American police forces.

Despite the model, if weren't for this gun, our country would run rampant with crime and be largely uncivilized.

Police in New York City with their Handguns

police guns
police guns

American Pickers

American Pickers: Season 1 [DVD]
American Pickers: Season 1 [DVD]

Hundreds of ways to increase the value of your home in just 10 minutes, from trimming the shrubs to painting the front door to replacing the mailbox. There are a lot of things you can do to improve the look of your home and increase its value without spending a lot of time or money, and this book gives the how-to secrets of simple home improvement.

Simple home improvement was never simpler! Wish you had several hundred quick fixes for your home to improve it's value? Well, here is one of the best references manuals to have. You can go page to page and just mark them off as you go. Never go to bed without feeling you've accomplished something, and in these difficult times, these can be the difference on whether you outshine your neighbor and the "Sold" sign goes up first! Another must-have reference manual!


Watch a Complete Episode of American Pickers!

The M16 Assault Rifle

The M-16 Rifle was made widely popular as a mass-produced weapon during the Vietnam War.

It is still used today by many military forces, including our own. I used one of these when I was in Desert Storm and found mine to be highly accurate and easy to maintain.

A Marine with his M-16

Marine with M-16
Marine with M-16

Where will you go to find your Treasure? - How was your trip through this pick?

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    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @lesliesinclair: Thanks for the visit. I was in the military and know the definition of a hero as I agree, nobody that just went to combat should be considered or called that. Per his book at Harper and Collins, here is an excerpt regarding his military awards.

      "SEAL Team 3 Chief Chris Kyle (1974-2013) served four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and elsewhere. For his bravery in battle, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. Additionally, he received the Grateful Nation Award, given by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs."

      This is a hero in the US as Silver Stars for Valor are directly under the Medal of Honor. I would've been proud to serve with him.

      I am not sure what gun you are referencing. I don't see any there that could be considered threatening? Let me know. Thank you.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      The historical slant is valuable, concise and straight to the point. Placement of the moving handgun pointed at the reader is threatening and confusing. I'm not sure about the common use of the word "hero" to a person whose job is killing, but I know that many people call all military members heros just for enlisting. I'd rather bring them all home, unless we are actually at war with a country, a war that Congress declares, by law.

      I look forward to reading others of your lenses.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @tonybonura: Thank you for the visit. No problem on the animation. I was an expert also, every time I qualified. I was pretty good with the 300m targets.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      When I was in basic training for the USAF, I was able to fire the M16. Scored expert the first try. Very easy gun to use and maintain. I was impressed with the lack of recoil from such a powerful weapon.. BTW I stole your twirling pistol at the front end of this lens. If you don't want me to have it, just let me know and I'll delete it. Blessed by TonyB.