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Evolution of Handguns


Jimmy Smith

on 6 September 2012

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Transcript of Evolution of Handguns

The first step Wheel Lock Samuel Colt and others Revolvers John Browning and others Semi-Automatics Glocks and others Machine Pistols The first design, the wheel lock, used a wound-up spring to spin a wheel that would grind against a small piece of iron pyrite. The friction ignited the powder charged rammed down the barrel. The Wheel Lock pistol could only fire one round at a time, and was a muzzle loader, requiring the powder and blasting cap and ammunition to be loaded in one at a time. Operation of the M1911 After the semi-automatic, the next logical step was to give pistols the machine gun's ability to spray endless rounds downrange. Enter the full-auto pistol. Although many modern handguns have full-auto variants, perhaps the most well-known is the Glock 18. Glocks are manufactured out of lightweight polymers, making them lighter, easier to handle, and cheaper than metal-body pistols. The G18, operating on the same principle as the semi-auto pistols, will fire as long as the trigger is held down or until the magazine is emptied. This is the pinnacle of modern handgun evolution: lightweight, low-cost, fully-automatic firepower in a package that fits in the palm of your hand. Other machine pistols include the Uzi, Raffica, and MAC-11 "Dirty Harry" with his famed Smith and Wesson .44 Magnum revolver After several centuries of little development, the handgun received a major upgrade when the revolver was developed. It was the first working pistol that could fire multiple rounds before reloading. The revolver was developed by Col. Samuel Colt in 1836. It utilized a cylinder with several chambers into which rounds were loaded, ball and cap style, until self-contained cartridges were developed. The first Colt pistol to incorporate cartridges was the famed Colt Peacemaker, also known as the Single Action Army. These were all single-action pistols, meaning the hammer had to be pulled back before each shot. Later came double-action revolvers, which cocked the hammer automatically as the trigger was pulled. From there revolvers evolved themselves and are still changing. Many Taurus revolvers are designed to fire shotgun shells rather than standard ammunition. Colt 1860 revolver Handguns The Evolution Thereof The semi-automatic handgun was innovated by John Moses Browning in the early 1900s. Semi-automatic means that a round is fired with each pull of the trigger, similar to the double-action revolver. In the semi-auto, cartridges are fed into the chamber from a magazine, and chambered by the slide on the top of the gun. After firing, the recoil caused by the bullet (Newton's third law) pushed the slide backward, ejecting the shell from the previous cartridge and chambering the next round. This is the basic operation of almost all semi-automatic handguns since. One of the most well-known semi-autos is the M1911-style pistol, designed by John Browning. First adopted by the U.S. military in 1911, endless variants are still used by today's forces. The next improvement was the flintlock, which used a piece of flint instead of iron pyrite. The flint was slammed down on a piece of steel and the sparks were used. The result was a cheaper, easier to produce, and more efficient weapon. The next challenge to was to fire more than one shot between reloading. Flintlock The End
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