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History of Gun

Updated on March 21, 2011


The term usually means a firearm pistol of conventional type, also known as "handgun" for use with one hand, consists of a small barrel, a handle, a trigger with which to fire a rifle through, which strikes the primer causing the outbreak. Most of these weapons is also equipped with a safe. The gun is probably the most widely used firearm in the world. It can be of various types, ranging from simple dog-chases blanks, the semiautomatic pistol.

Guns In The Common Perception


The guns are supplied to police forces and armies around the world, as well as weapons of defense, are also used as sports equipment, such as target shooting.


The guns were a symbol of the era of the Far West, which were also called "fire-eaters." The most famous manufacturer of handguns is the U.S. Colt, born in 1836. The revolver by Samuel Colt was the most common in the American West.


It should be noted that both Italy and the rest of Europe ', Austria, Germany and Switzerland in particular, has developed the development and production of semiautomatic pistols to levels of excellence as to be taken by the Americans themselves for their Army (Beretta 92FS) or by 'FBI and the DEA (SIG Sauer, Glock). However, the firearm most known and used.




Top Gun (distinct from the previous gun) appeared in the middle of 500, according to some in Tuscany, Pistoia, where shops were flourishing of talented dealers and the term derives its name from that city. The etymology is instead derived from the official Czech píšťala ("tube, cane), while others would rise by Pistoles, Spanish coin with a diameter equal to the caliber of the guns then.


The first guns exploited the ignition system to the wheel: it was centered on the right side of the diskette from the edge steel knurled, spring loaded and bound to trigger. Pressing it the disk was spinning, rubbing against a bar of pyrite, held in place between the jaws of a vise dog, from which emanated sparks that ignite the priming powder.


The wheel system, expensive and delicate, did not offer extensive guarantees of reliability, for which the artisans of the disk rotating replaced the dog itself, with a flint pressed between two jaws. Arrears, you compress a spring and locks the sear. Pulling the trigger, the trigger is pulled on a steel plate (drums), rubbing against the stone and producing sparks which set fire to the powder primer.


For the first 800 it was discovered that some chemicals explode if subjected to percussion: a small envelope (capsule), which contains mercury fulminate, potassium chlorate and antimony sulphide, took the place dell'acciarino. The birth of the percussion system, which is still universally adopted, marks the final entry into the modern era of firearms can greatly reduce the physical size of the weapon and provides almost complete reliability of operation.


For years, however, the number of shots a weapon coincided with that of the barrels of which it was equipped with: a generally, often two, maximum three, little-used, subject to exaggeration, as the so-called "duck foot guns" with four or more rods arranged in a fan on a horizontal plane that fired the shotgun at the same time or seven barrels of English Manton. In 1836 Samuel Colt, drawing on revolvers called "pepperbox" (with various barrels, firing one by one being rotated by the drive of the trigger), filed a patent on the gun muzzle-loading rotating drum, in which the bundle of reeds of "pepperbox" was reduced to a short cylinder (the drum, in fact) that rotates around its axis (behind a single barrel), applied to stop the dog a shot at a time, the revolver was born. With the invention of metallic cartridges attributed to Lefaucheux Casimir (who deposited it in Paris in 1836 a patent for a cartridge with a trigger pin side), the principle of breech met his final statement, being universally extended to all handguns.


The first Colt guns were firing in "single action" (ie you had to cock the hammer with your thumb before each shot), and had five or six shots. With the emergence of the "double action" revolver reached the highest point of its evolution, remaining essentially unchanged to this day. The new system makes it possible to shoot without arming the hammer for every shot, but rather the firm pressure on the trigger to pick up the dog, turn the drum and blow the shot. In 1880, the spread of smokeless powder (smokeless), based on nitrocellulose as cordite and ballistics, as well as dramatically reduce the problems caused by the accumulation of carbon deposits, allowed to manufacture cartridges more powerful and had a tendency to the gradual reduction of gauges in use (a smaller size enables faster speed of the projectile and the speed is primarily responsible for 'kinetic energy).


The breech-loading also allowed the development of the last great innovation in the world of handguns: semi-automatic system recovery, in which the kinetic energy of the recoil caused by firing will be used to drive back the slide, which ejects the cartridge case empty, resets the dog or the firing pin, pick up a new cartridge from the magazine and brings her into the room, significantly increasing the rate of fire. A similar system was adopted for the first time in 1884 by Hiram Maxim, inventor of the homonymous machine gun.


Further improvements were applied to handguns by Hugo Borchardt, to whom we owe the birth of the first semi-automatic pistol, the Borchardt-Luger, made by the manufacturer Austrian Georg Luger. From this, in 1897, came the famous Luger Parabellum, then mod. P. 08 (from: "Guns 1908"), adopted by several European armed forces. At the beginning of the century, Peter Paul Mauser another revolutionary patented semi-automatic pistol with the magazine placed before the trigger. Studies in America instead of John Moses Browning gave rise to the Colt 1911 Government .45 ACP caliber, until a few years ago dell'USArmy pistol and many police forces, still in production. In 1939 in Germany built the famous Karl Walther P.38 (from: "Guns 1938") in 9 mm Parabellum, semiautomatic first to exploit the principle of double action, allowing to keep the cartridge in the barrel and fire at the push of trigger, without prior back the truck, thereby avoiding the use of both hands.

Main Types




Guns must be recharged after each shot or armed.


Single Shot


These guns are in theory the simplest, where the charge was introduced and then fired the cannon with the same system and as such, they were essentially nothing more than miniature cannons, small enough to be handled. Improvements in the following centuries, as various types of locks (ignition devices) were invented and used on Matchlock, then wheellock. In the seventeenth century used the flint, in the nineteenth century, have been developed percussion caps, followed shortly thereafter integrated modern cartridges, and hammers, and then going to replace the flints.


Multiple hits


Guns are equipped with a drum or tube, where shots can be managed in several ways:


Simultaneous hits, shots are fired in the drum at the same time


Single shots, shots are fired individually in the drum, but the drum must be rotated manually after each shot in order to arm the gun




Gun short wheel of the XVI-XVII century, was so named because the barrel was reduced by two thirds compared to normal (less than 35 cm), which easily allowed to hide under clothing or in pockets.


A repetition or semi-


Guns should not be charged at every stroke, which can then detonated a series of shots by simply pressing the trigger (in some cases after manual fitting of the dog).



The revolver is the handgun or semiautomatic firearm constructively simpler; consists of a closed frame that houses a drum rotating around its axis and tilting to the left side, inside which are obtained cylindrical chambers housing the cartridges. Pressing the trigger causes the rotation of the drum and simultaneously (dual action) buckle dog that has reached its maximum extension (dead), it breaks down on the trigger of the cartridge or the firing pin. To fire again, repeat the operation. For a more accurate shot, is almost always possible to arm the hammer, thereby drastically reducing the travel of the trigger and the stress on the same. In this regard, the most selective double-action revolver available, that allows you to shoot in both double and single action, of which there are also some single-action only (purely sport models or replicas of the old Colt SAA) and others only to Double Action (compact models typically from defense to domestic dog or hull).




Essential qualities of the revolver, compared with a semiautomatic, are:


the ease of use, even with one hand, since there are no carts back;


the safety of port and storage services (almost all are without a manual safety, useless, because it is necessary to shoot a pull of the trigger, and then decided intentional);


immediately possible to verify if it is loaded or not, just look at the drum or profile before paying attention;


the possibility of using the same size (and within certain limits) ammunition of varying power, as the latter is irrelevant to the firing cycle;


the possibility, in case of malfunction of the cartridge to explode immediately another shot, pressing the trigger, because the cartridges are already installed in many independent combustion chambers;


the fewer moving parts and, consequently, lower probability of failure and broken and require less maintenance and lubrication;


a greater theoretical precision, given the lack of moving parts during firing that can lead to parasitic vibrations;


the total insensitivity to changes in weather and climate;


combining a kick, you can reduce the recoil as the .45 magnum ammunition, up to 80%;




Main drawbacks, however, are:


fewer strokes, usually six, but often five, seven and sometimes eight, in close relation to the size;


the large lateral dimensions, because of the drum, necessarily cylindrical;


Dry the recoil of the powerful calibers, which is downloaded entirely on the wrist, not even being partially absorbed by the reset mechanism;


the propensity to get dirty after each shooting session, because the vent gases from between the drum and barrel;


the removal operation of the shells and filling the drum are slow and cumbersome, especially in moments of excitement.


Gun blowback


This gun is only a type semi-automatic (or automatic, see "Automatic gun") and it is worth pointing out that the term "semiautomatic pistol" refers to a weapon that works with the system described below. The "automatic pistol" in its correct definition is rather a weapon that fires in bursts: that keep firing until the trigger is held down. Such is the case of the "machine gun" (also known as, well, "machine guns") or very few handguns (eg some old Mauser or some Glock).


The operating principle of the "gun blowback" is conceptually simple: the first shot is entered manually into the chamber, pulling back the truck to pick up a cartridge from the magazine and cock the hammer, when shooting the kinetic energy expansion gas, caused by the rapid combustion of the charge of throwing the bullet goes through the path that offers less resistance, ie, the barrel, part of that energy (recoil) is used to back the truck again, eject the fired cartridge case and reset the dog. Under the action of the recoil spring back in the cart seat, taking a new cartridge from the magazine into the chamber. To explode the following shots every time just pull the trigger, firing in single action mode (hammer already cocked).




Essential Qualities of automation, compared to the revolver, are:


greater ability to focus, usually from 7 to 17 strokes, according to the size, with staggered magazine;


Most theoretical speed range, and because the speed of the rectilinear motion of the trolley is greater than that of drum rotation, and because after the first shots are fired in single action, with less effort;


ability to quickly replace the magazine sold out with another reserve, generally when a charger is sold the weapon to remain open with the truck back, just to introduce another magazine, release the carriage and the cartridge is already chambered;


thinner and therefore, other things being equal in size and weight, greater comfort and concealment of the port;


less felt recoil, with the same caliber, for a smoother ride over the recoil spring;


ability to silence the weapon through the application of a silencer on the muzzle, which is impossible for most revolvers since the outburst of gas is not only from the barrel, even in the castle in the area that houses the drum.




The main drawbacks, however, are:

the greater complexity of construction, leading to higher wear of the parties and, in cheaper models, can lead to malfunctions, failures and broken;


the need to use both hands to pull the cart and chamber the first cartridge of the first charge, unless it is with a gun ports, which is recommended only if the weapon has adequate security systems that block firing over the dog and the trigger;


the inability to know right away if the magazine is full or not;


the difficulty of knowing whether the chamber is empty or not;


the noise of weapons;


the high degree of training necessary to master it with certainty (probability of injury during scarrellamento firearm) and efficiency;


the need to use cartridges of a certain power, which has been calibrated on the kinematics of fire: changes in less can cause jamming or failure to reset, increases may be hazardous to the integrity of the mechanical and the shooter;


possible power problems with balls not armored (a soft spot, called plumb naked) or to form other traditional OGA;


the need, in case of jam, only to leave the chamber scarrellando again;


sensitivity to climate changes (the cold weather can freeze the lubrication oil) and the infiltration of dirt;


the possibility of failure if the charger is left long full of ammunition, due to the anomalous compression spring which is the subject of the magazine: it is deformed and is no longer able to provide the necessary thrust upward cartridges that are not properly forfeited.


Automatic Pistol Or Machine Gun


Although the term commonly show you submachine gun submachine guns, the term may be used, and perhaps more correctly, to indicate fist automatic weapon in the proper sense of the term, which does not require that the repeated pressure on the trigger to shoot more shots, then fired in bursts and turning out a middle ground between a semiautomatic pistol and a submachine gun itself. Typical examples of this are the Beretta 93R and Glock 18. In the versions with the push of the recoil drum is used to rotate the drum and pull the dog, then it is a revolver that fires in single action but with the same speed of a semiautomatic pistol. Typical examples are the Webley-Fosbery of 1895, which can operate as both automatic and semiautomatic pistol and as the modern Mateba "autorevolver" of 1997



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    • susannah42 profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      Good hub, well written.


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