History Of Firearms
The history of firearms begins in China in the 9th century AD.
9th century - Gunpowder is invented in China 12th century - Gunpowder first used to fire projectiles from barrels. Early 1400s - Matchlock invented Circa 1470 - Shoulder stock invented Circa 1500 - Leonardo da Vinci produces a drawing of a wheellock. 1503 - Firearms play a role at the battle of Cerignola in Italy. 1526 - Beretta is manufacturing firearms in Italy. They are still in business. Mid 1500s - Handguns begin to come into use. Mid 1500s - Rifling in use. Mid 1500s - Sights first applied to rifles. Circa 1560 - Snaphaunce lock in use. This was a primitive type of flintlock. Circa 1580 - The Miquelet system improves upon the Snaphaunce. Circa 1610 - Flintlock perfected. 1700s - Pennsylvania Long Rifles, AKA Kentucky Rifles and Ohio Rifles, made in America. 1794 - U S Government establishes arsenals. 1795 - Production of firearms begins at Springfield Armory in Massachusetts. 1800 - Production of firearms begins at Harper's Ferry West Virginia. 1807 - Percussion ignition invented by Alexander John Forsyth. 1808 - Self contained (but not entirely metallic) breech loaded, "pin fired", cartridge and firearm invented by Samuel Johannes Pauly, AKA Jean Samuel Pauly. 1822 - Percussion cap invented. 1826 - Gunsmith Eliphalet Remington produces gun barrels for the government. Remington Arms is still in business. 1828 - Casimir Lefaucheux invents pinfire metallic cartridge. (Patented in 1835) 1833 - Hall Carbine becomes the first caplock and the first breech loader adopted by the US Army. 1835 - Samuel Colt patents his first revolver. 1839 - Percussion Cap widely adopted by US Army. 1841 - German military adopts the Dreyse Needle Gun becoming the first army to field a bolt action rifle. 1845 - First "modern" metallic cartridge produced by Louis Nicolas Flobert 1849 - Claude-Étienne Minié invents the Minié Ball allowing fast muzzle loading of rifled bores. 1866 - US Army first issues center fire cartridge, the 50-70 Goverment
National Firearms Museum
Some books on Firearms History.