A Brief History of the Gun

 A Brief History of the Gun


Firearm history is a rich and colorful subject that is not without some controversy. The first gun may have been made and used in Europe, China or the Middle East .38 special ammo . Once guns became a common military tool, the history becomes much clearer and well documented. Today there are number of gun manufacturers around the globe who continue to develop and produce guns not just for the military but also for the common person.

The First Gun

Gunpowder is a critical invention necessary to for the development of guns and firearms. China was the first place where documented evidence of the use of gunpowder exists. In the 5th century AD, scientific works document the composition and characteristics of gunpowder. At point in history, gunpowder was mainly used for medicinal purposes and called “fire medicine.” The oldest surviving record of an actual gun in China is in Sichuan province. The bronze sculpture has been dated to the 12th century.

The Middle East has conflicting accounts in the 13th century. Al Hassan claims the Mamelukes used cannon against the Mongol invasion of 1260 at Ain Jalut. Other accounts of this time in history claim the Mongols introduced gunpowder and firearm technology to the Mamelukes.

In Europe, the first documented use of firearms is in Russia. A chronicle sites the Tokhtamysh’s attack on Moscow in 1382. The Muscovite’s are credited with using guns to defend their city from the Golden Horde.

It is interesting to note that the first mention of guns in the Middle East and Europe both involve the Mongols. Since the Mongols conquered China in the early 13th century, it is reasonable to conclude that the gun was first invented in China and adopted by the rest of the known world after witnessing and experiencing its potential in the hands of the Mongol Empire.

The Firing Mechanism

The history of gun and firearm development is dominated by the west from this point forward. As with most technology, the initial developments are in miniaturization. In the middle 14th century, hand-held guns appeared. The user needed to light a wick and insert it into to the barrel or a flashpan to light the powder.

In the 15th century, the matchlock appeared in Eur




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