What Country Produced the Most Advances In FireArms History?


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Harve Curry
December 17, 2008, 12:14 PM
What country do you think contributed more to the advancement of firearms during the 19th and 20th centuries?
Name the country, individual inventors name, firearm, cartridge type, powder/propellant, company they worked for or that produced the product.

As I recall it was a Scotsman who invented the percussion cap about 1820?
Without that things would have taken longer to progress.
Who was the inventor of smokeless nitro based or double based powders?

In a short list I will go so far to say that country was the United States because of the inventions of the Volcanic repeaters (caseless ammunition), which lead to 1860 Henry, 1866 1873 1876 Winchesters.
Samuel Colt with his 1830's invention of the revolver.
Smith & Wesson, bored through cylinder using fixed metalic case ammunition.
Spencer and his 1860 repeater.
Ball repeater of 1861?
Evans and his 28 and 32 round repeaters of 44 caliber in the 1870's.
The Buffington sight as on the 1884 Trap Door Springfield rifles. Later Marbles, Lyman/Ideal arpeture tang sights.
John Browning a long list of firearms a short incomplete list being the 1885 Winchester single shot, 1886 Win, 1890 Win, 1892 Win, 1894 Win, 1911 Colt pistol, 1917 & 1919 30 cal machine guns, 50 cal Browing M.G., Browning High Power pistol, Auto 5 shotgun.
John Marlin another short list from his 1881 Marlin rifle cartridge lever action to the 1889, 1893, 1894 still made today, and the 1897 22 still made today as the 39A.
Remington line of rifles and early handguns the 1858 revolver.
Savage 1895 & 1899 rifles and line of pistols, 22's and shotguns.

I know I'm leaving alot out, I'm no expert, but there are experts here on THR and this should get the conversation going.:)

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jeffsenpai
December 17, 2008, 12:26 PM
Didn't the chinese invent black powder in the first place? I bet we have alot to thank them for.

Acera
December 17, 2008, 02:32 PM
I would vote for J.M. Browning, by default the U.S. since Utah is not a country.

Lewis130
December 17, 2008, 02:43 PM
I'd say the US for Sam Colt alone. But when you through in the fellow tho sold the brass cartridge idea to S&W and Saint Browning......

ReadyontheRight
December 17, 2008, 02:43 PM
Chalk one up for the French! - Without the Minie Ball (minne ball or mini ball), we might still have slow to load, inaacurate rifles.

About Minié Ball

Claude Etienne Minié was a French gunsmith. He was born in 1814 in Paris, France. He served in the French Army in Africa and in 1849 invented the Minié Rifle and bullet. In 1858 he retired from the army and directed the small-arms factory and the school of musketry in Cairo, Egypt.

Inaccurately pronounced minnie and incorrectly called a ball, it was a cylindro-conoidal (i.e. bullet shaped) lead projectile that was shot from a muzzle-loading rifle. When the piece was fired, expanding gases entered the bullet's hollow base and forced it's outer side into the rifling of the barrel. With it's invention in 1849, it was quickly adopted by the U.S. It had a revolutionary effect on tactics by greatly improving the accuracy, range and rate of small arms fire.

During the American Civil War, the Minié Ball became one of the most common types of rounds used by the U.S. However, Confederate forces used as many captured weapons and ammunition as possible and later produced the Minié Ball in huge numbers.

Claude Etienne Minié died in 1879.

ReadyontheRight
December 17, 2008, 03:00 PM
What Country Produced the Most Advances In FireArms History ?

USA. John Moses Browning in particular.

While there have been inventions that make pistols, shotguns and rifles perform DIFFERENTLY than JMB designs, there are few firearms more advanced than the 1911, High Power, Winchester Model 1894, BAR, pump-action shotgun, semi-auto shotgun, the concept of gas-operated autoloading for auto and semi-auto rifles, single-select trigger for o/u shotguns and the venerable M2 50-caliber machine gun. I believe most of these are still being made today.

PLUS a bunch of great designs like the Remington Model 8, Winchester Falling Block, Winchester 1895 and Colt .380 ACP that very very popular in their time.

Pulse
December 17, 2008, 03:02 PM
even as a foreigner, i would have to say the USA.
Browning alone did outstanding work.

second place would go to germany, they build some fine weapons as well.

third place? .. switzerland? we had the first millitary boltaction and actualy built our own MG and did not buy the Maxime.
maybe just wishfull thinking.. :D

Deanimator
December 17, 2008, 03:23 PM
third place? .. switzerland? we had the first millitary boltaction and actualy built our own MG and did not buy the Maxime.
maybe just wishfull thinking..
Actually I believe that Switzerland did buy Maxim guns, and would have been better off buying more of them than the Furrer type guns which were problematic at best.

On the other hand, Switzerland has been an important peripheral player for a VERY long time, from being the first to adopt a SERIOUS combat semi-auto handgun (M1900 Luger), to the best straight pull rifle (Schmidt-Rubin), to the various Solothurn and Oerlikon machineguns and machinecannon, to SIG and it's semi-auto rifles, machineguns and handguns. The SIG P-210 is probably the finest factory 9x19mm pistol ever made.

DoubleTapDrew
December 17, 2008, 03:43 PM
Germans gave us rifling. I kind of like being able to hit the target at more than 15 feet.

Harve Curry
December 17, 2008, 05:49 PM
DoubleTapDrew,
I didn't know that. Although I had limited the dates to inventions from 1800 through the 1900's. Do you know who and when?

mpmarty
December 17, 2008, 05:54 PM
Smokeless Powder, Alfred E. Nobel I believe in Sweden
Minie ball France
Krummlauf Germany (device for shooting around corners)
Boxer Primers England
Berdan Primers USA
Luger Pistol modification of the Borchardt USA (Paul Luger was a US citizen but the US army wisely took a pass on his finicky unriliable toggle link pistol)

lanternlad1
December 17, 2008, 05:55 PM
The French invented the Minie (mini) Ball in the 1840s by the French Army captains Montgomery and Henri-Gustave Delvigne, and co-developed with Claude-Étienne Minié, after whom it was named. The french also invented nitrocellulose (smokeless powder) which is far more powerful than black powder. It was invented by French chemist Théophile-Jules Pelouze 1838. (Pelouze, incidentally, was one of Alfred Nobel's teachers)

As far as rifling goes...

From 'The Gun and its Development,' 1910, W. W. Greener

'Most writers assign the invention of spiral-grooved musket barrels to Gaspard Kollner, a gun-maker of Vienna in the fifteenth century; and other authorities assert that his barrels had straight grooves and attribute the invention to Augustus Kotter, of Nuremberg, fixing the date as 1520....Sometimes cannon were made with straight grooves, in order to admit a tight-fitting bullet; the great fouling with the ungrained powder so quickly reducing the bore that the bullets could be forced home only with great difficulty. The grooves were to accommodate this fouling and so relieve the bullet, and it has been suggested that this grooving was used as rifling when it was found that the bullets took the impression of the grooved bore.'

Those three inventions are considered to be the greatest leaps in gun technology to this day by most historians.

woodfiend
December 17, 2008, 06:10 PM
Aside from the US, I would say Belgium.

chrissmallwood
December 17, 2008, 06:16 PM
Im going with the US due to the large number of firearms designers we've had over the years. BTW France was also the first to use a Spitzer bullet, in the 8mm Lebel.

BHP FAN
December 17, 2008, 06:21 PM
Wasn't the Lebel also the first military rifle to use smokeless powder?

JWF III
December 17, 2008, 06:42 PM
I would say China is #1. If not for them, we'd be talking about what country made the most advances in archery history.

I would say Germany is # 2, but for different reasons.

#1-Mauser actions, How many companies still copy the 110+ y.o. design.
#2-StG 44, It changed modern combat to what we know. It is the direct ancestor to the AK 47 (how many of those have been produced in the past 61 years. It is the indirect ancestor to every modern battle (assault) rifle in use today.

#3 would be the US, Sam Colt and JMB being the top 2 reasons. Gatlin being another one that changed the world (and combat).

Wyman

amprecon
December 17, 2008, 07:25 PM
The U.S. no question. Sam Colt invented the revolving repeating handgun in the revolver. Smith & Wesson developed the first self contained cartridge in the .22 rimfire. Winchester the first reliable repeating rifle. Gatling (a distant cousing of my step-fathers family BTW) invented the most devastating mult-barrel machinegun. The U.S. was the first to use rifling in their weapons as early as our Revolutionary War in their Kentucky Rifles. Rev. Alexander John Forsyth of Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1807 made percussion caps a reality first, which I believe was the catalyst towards the beginning of the discovery of the self-contained cartridge.
But IMO it has been the U.S. that has made the greatest strides in developing and producing good quality reliable fighting weapons. JMB alone is responsible for a myriad of different operating systems and designs, but we can't forget Hiram Maxim, John T. Thompson or John C. Garand.....What's with all the "John's" inventing all the cool stuff?

DoubleTapDrew
December 17, 2008, 07:59 PM
DoubleTapDrew,
I didn't know that. Although I had limited the dates to inventions from 1800 through the 1900's. Do you know who and when?

From here, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flintlock) among other places
Some flintlock hunting arms had rifled barrels. Rifling is the process of cutting spiral grooves into the inside of the barrel. A tight-fitting projectile will tend to spin, which stabilizes its flight by the gyroscopic principle. Rifles are more accurate and have longer effective ranges than muskets but they take more time to load than a smooth-bore musket. The first rifled arms were introduced about 1500. Versions made in Germany for hunting large game such as boar had barrels about 50-75 centimeters long. When German immigrants settled in America, particularly in Pennsylvania, they adapted their technology to the type of game available and the demands of the Indian trade, and built the long rifle, an improvement on the small game rifles used in Europe. This weapon has a barrel 90 to 115 centimeters long, and carefully loaded and shot, will be accurate up to 300 meters.


It was invented in the 1500's but I don't believe it became commonplace in small arms until the mid 19th century.

Dean Williams
December 17, 2008, 08:30 PM
Browning, from U.S. has to be at the top. Shouldn't leave out Flobert, a French fellow I believe, who made the first self contained cartridge, and from whom S&W got the idea. Also the guy who invented poudre' B, the first smokeless, also a Frenchman, I think.
There's some evidence that an Englishman came up with his own black powder mixture before it was introduced from China. Not saying the Chinese didn't invent it first, but may have been an independent invention from GB too.

High Planes Drifter
December 17, 2008, 09:09 PM
I dont think you can say one country's contribution is more important than another. Kind of like technilogical advancements in medicine, or automotive technological advancements. Its an evolutionary process that has taken place the wolrd over.

woodfiend
December 17, 2008, 09:15 PM
Revising my former statement, I would say that, through John Browning (US), more modern technological advancements in firearms have been produced through FN (Belgium).

barman
December 18, 2008, 10:37 AM
Speaking of France:

-first self contained metallic cartridge, Casimir Lefaucheux in 1836
-Minié ball, invented by Claude-Etienne Minié in 1843
-Smokless powder, invented by Paul Vieille (Poudre B) in 1885
-first smokeless powder rifle, the Lebel, in 1886
-first rifle using a spitzer bullet, once again the Lebel in 1898
-first light machine gun, the Chauchat rifle in 1915.

mbt2001
December 18, 2008, 11:57 AM
I vote Texas...

They are the ones who showed all you Yankees and the rest of the world how to actually USE them.

:p

j/k

22lr
December 18, 2008, 12:02 PM
The US.

We invented the 1903a3, Garand, M-16 and the M-2 heck what more could you want.

Dean Williams
December 18, 2008, 05:18 PM
22lr
Senior Member


The US.

We invented the 1903a3, Garand, M-16 and the M-2 heck what more could you want.

I think you will find that John C Garand was a Canadian gentleman. The Canucks deserve a bit of credit.

RP88
December 18, 2008, 05:26 PM
I think the US wins because of Henry Ford's pioneering of mass production and with Eli Whitney stealing Honore Blanc's idea of interchangeable parts and upscaling it to things other than firearms.

without those two things, firearms technology would not exist.

richyoung
December 18, 2008, 05:40 PM
I think you will find that John C Garand was a Canadian gentleman. The Canucks deserve a bit of credit.

1. John Garand was NOT a "Canadian gentleman". He was born in Canada, but applied for and was granted U.S. citizenship in the early 1920's - making him every bit as American as George Washington.

2. John Garand was an American long before he undertook to design the M-1... for the Americans.

3. The Socialist wasteland that is Canada drives their best engineers and doctors HERE, (thanks, btw,...), so the M-1 could NOT have been born there. The corrupt collectivist system in Canada can only spawn abortions like the Ross rifle.

sm
December 18, 2008, 05:42 PM
Utah is a country, just ask some of the members around here, or take note of where some members are located.


*grin*

Limeyfellow
December 18, 2008, 05:57 PM
mbt2001:
I vote Texas...

They are the ones who showed all you Yankees and the rest of the world how to actually USE them.

j/k

So wouldn't that fall under Mexico since all the famous Texans known for their weapons denounced their US citizenship and became Mexicans? That also means the Bowie knife and so on is a Mexican invention.

Okay.. okay, guys you can put away your guns now.

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