The subject line comes from the title book, From Flintlock to M1, by Joseph W. Shields. Published in 1954, the book covered the history of US military long arms from the dawn of the Republic to that year, and it discussed the development of the T44, which was to become the M24, and of the competing T47, or the FAL. I just bought a book about the history of military pistols , US and foreign. Pistols, an Illustrated History of Their Impact by Jeff Kinard, is part of the Weapons and Warfare series. It starts with matchlocks, which were obviously particularly unsuited for use by mounted warriors; it goes into flint and steel ignition systems, and the end of chivalry at the hand of early pistols; and it takes us through single shot and revolving percussion guns; through revolvers that used self-contained metallic cartridges; and into the semi-automatic era. I came upon it while researching the history of pin-fire revolvers. It's a good one for the book shelf.