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PostSubject: Important Dates in Gun History   November 1st 2015, 11:27 am

GUN DATING
by Buck Conner



Important Dates in Gun History

(Based on A History of Firearms by Major H.B.C. Pollard)
[From "Notable Gun Dates" in Edgar Howard Penrose, Descriptive Catalog of the Collection of Firearms in the Museum of Applied Science of Victoria [Australia], by, Museum of Applied Science of Victoria Handbook No. 1, 1949.]


Event
Date
The first record of the actual use of gunpowder in Europe is a statement by Bishop Albertus Magnus in 1280 that it was used at the Siege of Seville in
1247
Roger Bacon gives an account of gunpowder in his Opus Majus. (Actually his account was written in cryptic form. See Read, T. Explosives (Pelican Books, 1942)
1267
Edward III used cannon against the Scots *
[*Date may be wrong as this is year of Edward's birth according to one site visitor.]
1327
Hand Cannon had appeared in the field of battle during the reign of Edward III in
1364
Hand guns were known in Italy in 1397, and in England they appear to have been used as early as
1375
The first mechanical device for firing the hand gun made its appearance in
1424
We hear of armour being penetrated by bullets and the hand gun showing signs of becoming a weapon capable of rudimentary precision by
1425
Henry VII organized the corps of Yeomen of the Guard, half of whom were to carry bows and arrows while the other half were equipped with harquebuses. This represents the first introduction of firearms as an official weapon of the Royal Guard
1485
Columbus discovers the Americas
1492
Rifling was invented in
1498
The first wheel lock or "rose lock" was invented somewhere about
1509
Firearms were recognized as hunting arms as early as 1515, and a book (Balleates Mosetuetas y Areabuces Pablo del Fucar, Naples, 1535) on sporting firearms appeared in
1535
Rifled arms had been made since
1540
The hair trigger was a German invention of about
1540
The invention of the typical Spanish lock is attributed by some writers to Simon Macuarte the Second, about
1560
The snaphaunce lock, the forerunner of the true flintlock, was invented about, or considerably earlier than
1580
Settlers arrive in Jamestown, VA
1607
Settlers arrive in Plymouth, MA
1620
The standard flintlock gun came in about
1630
The rates of pay for repairs and new arms were fixed in
1631
The London Gunmakers' Company initiated proofs when it was first incorporated, but it is not clear whether private proofs or a trade proof-house common to the Company was used. (A crowned A was given as the mark).
1637
The screw or cannon barrel pistol came in probably prior to
1640
The bayonet was introduced by the French; it was a long narrow blade with a wooden plug handle and was simply dropped into the muzzle of the musket
1640
The London Gunmakers' Company enjoyed powers which enabled them to enforce proof when the second charter was granted in
1672
A ring attachment was added to the bayonet so that it no longer served as a muzzle plug
1680
The earliest known English breech-loading rifle was made by Willmore, who was apprenticed to Foad in
1689
The "Brown Bess" was known in Ireland as a "King's Arm" from its use by William at the Battle of the Boyne
1690
The whole English army was equipped with flintlocks in
1690
Snaphaunces continued to be made on the Continer%+, till about
1700
In the reign of Queen Anne the "Brown Bess" was known as the "Queen's Arm" in Ireland
1702-1714
The socket bayonet had appeared and was adopted in the British service about
1710
The letters G.R. were adopted as a mark in the reign of George 1, (1714-27) but successive Georges did not add any variant
1714-1830
The broad arrow as a sign of government property, was adopted during the reign of George 1, and the word TOWER is marked on the lock plate of many of these arms
1714-1727
The French established their "Manufacturers Royales" at Charleville, St. Etienne and Maubeuge in
1718
The large box lock type of pistol made its appearance about
1730
A few hammerless flintlock sporting guns were made by Stanislaus Paczelt, of Prague in Bohemia about
1730
The French introduced the double-necked hammer and the steel ramrod in
Note- The double-necked hammer or cock was not a new invention, for it is often found on dog locks of 1670 and other early arms.
1746
The use of pistols for duelling purposes became general as the practice of carrying the rapier or small sword died out between
1750-1765
French & Indian War
1756-1763
The duelling pistol was entirely unknown until about
1760
Note: Meetings were fought with horse pistols prior to this date. The horse pistol shows a marked development into the true duelling pistol from
1760-1775
Double shotguns were rather peculiar arms, usually of the under and over revolving barrel type until About
1760
No official pistol was issued by the French prior to
1763
The French introduced the muzzle band with a funnel or guide for the ramrod and acorn sight integral with the band in
1763
American Revolution wins independence from England
1776-1783
Duelling pistols became officially standardized weapons -then it was laid down that they should be 9 or 10 inch barreled, smooth bore flintlocks of 1 inch bore, carrying a ball of forty- eight to the pound
1777
The top rib in double-barreled guns appeared about
1780
Spring bayonets are common on blunderbusses and pistols of the period subsequent to the date of the patent (John Waters, Pat. No. 1284) in
1781
The first patent for single trigger locks for double arms (James Templeman, Pat. No. 1707) was in
1789
Single trigger pistols, with side by side, and also under and over barrels, were made by Egg about
1789
The acorn pattern trigger guard extension toward the barrel used up to about
1790
The duelling pistol approached perfection by
1790-1800
Joseph Manton's first patent (No. 1865) introduces the "break-off" breech, into which the barrel fits with a lump instead of being secured by a tang and screw as previously used
1792
Springfield Armory established
1795
Barrels with a number and the letters D.C. (Dublin Castle) were personal arms registered at Dublin Castle after the rebellion and disarmament of Ireland in
Note, As the act was in force for some Years it is only of relative value in dating pieces and indicates that the piece is prior to [Webmaster's note- The first "gun registration" scheme in Ireland to prevent gun violence, totally failing for over 200 years, but politicians want to try it in the U.S.]
1798
The duelling pistol was customarily full stocked down to
1800
Pistols appear to have been seldom used in the East prior to
1800
The swivel ramrod attached to the piece by a stirrup appeared about
1800
The "First Baker Rifle" was issued in
1800
The half stocked pistol with the lower rib beneath the barrel fitted to carry the ramrod came in during
1800
Louisiana Purchase
1803
The "Second Baker Rifle" was introduced in
1807
Alexander Forsyth patented the detonating or percussion principle in
1807
The revolving principle is as old as firearms, but manufacturing methods permitting sufficient accuracy of workmanship and precision of boring for a really safe cylindered or chambered weapon date from
1810-1820
The first serious military breech loader was an American invention, Colonel John H. Hall's patent of
Note: This was made first as a flintlock, then as percussion, and is the first breech loader officially adopted by any army. The flintlocks were made till 1832, the percussion model from 1831
1811
War of 1812, Washington DC burned by British, Battle of New Orleans
1812-1815
The copper percussion cap is not definitely alluded to in the patent records till 1823, but appears to have been invented about
1814-1816
The saw handle was very popular, both in flint and percussion pistols about
1815-1825
The true flintlock revolver is the very rare weapon made by Collier about
1820
Flints were converted to percussion cap, and the flint principle lost favor from
1820
The percussion cap came into universal use on private arms about
1826
The Delvigne (French) service rifle was invented in
1826
The "Third Baker Rifle" was issued about
1830
The back action lock made its appearance about
1830
The Robert rifle was invented by Robert, a gunsmith of Paris in
1831
The needle fire cartridge was patented by Adolph Moser in
1837
The percussion cap system of ignition was in common use before it was adopted for the service weapon. It was tested at Woolwich in
1843
Coach pistols supplied to the guard of public stage coaches are extremely rare, but were made with flintlocks and brass lock plates until
1835
Percussion cap locks fitted with a pierced platinum disc below the nipple gradually fell into disuse and are seldom found in arms subsequent to
1835
The rim fire cartridge evolved naturally out of the percussion cap, and was first made by Flobert of Paris, a maker of saloon arms, about
1835
Colt claims the ratchet motion, locking the cylinder and centre fire position of the nipples as particular points of his specification
1835
Colt did not know that the revolving principle was an age-old European idea until he visited England in
1835
The Enfield percussion carbine - .65 inch calibre with hinged spring triangular bayonet folding below the barrel was made for Constabulary service in
1835
The true pin-fire cartridge emerged about
1840
It was not until 1840 that we definitely find a breech-loading needle gun cartridge patented (Wm. Bush, Pat. No. 8513) in
1840
The Brunswick rifle superseded the Baker model about 1840
1840
Duelling declined in England after
1840
The period of decadence of duelling was noticeable for the production of rather short barreled pistols
1840-1850
A few service arms were converted to the percussion cap system in 1839, and it was officially adopted in
1842


For additional later information than our time frame go to the source:


"A History of Firearms" by Major H.B.C. Pollard



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