Nowadays, we take for granted how long our industry has gone to develop safer, lighter, and way more practical guns for us to collect and protect our homes, but, truth be told, the history of guns is quite fascinating, to say the least. Throughout the course of history, the way the firearm has been designed, developed, used and conceived has changed a lot, and that’s a trend that’s not likely to end any time soon. Us gun enthusiasts talk a big game about the pieces we have, their features, how to properly use them and store them and whatnot, but do we actually know where they come from?
A Brief History of Firearms
Firearms go way back, and we’re not talking about a couple of centuries ago, but way, way back. As a matter of fact, there’s actual proof that the first firearm was developed in Belgium in 1313, although history claims they were first used in Germany. Ever since 1350, there’s evidence of firearms that people could handle and shoot by themselves, although they were pretty far from what we know nowadays, as they were rather basic and kind of primitive.
Those guns only had a metal pipe closed in the end with a space to fill with gunpowder or projectiles, and they had to be stuffed with wood and paper in order to load them. In the end, you just had to light it up with a match, and you were all set. Notably, those early guns had only space for one single bullet, so people had to make sure to make the most of it before throwing it all to waste and aiming wasn’t easy at all because of the weight of those guns.
Fast forward a couple of years to the origin of the word pistol. According to history books, that word was first conceived in the city of Pistoia in Tuscany, near Florence, Italy. Back in the 15th century, the first handguns were called that way, as the city was known for its knives, which resembled the shape of such handguns. As a matter of fact, some of the first handguns were designed to work as a knife as well. For over 500 years, the handgun was developed, perfectioned and commercialized all across the globe, up to the point of what we now know as an average gun, pistol, or revolver.
Later on, the arquebus became the most popular gun in Europe, as it was easy to use, massively produced, and pretty much every single one could afford to have one. Still, it wasn’t practical at all during moist weather, and it also revealed a soldier’s location, as it had to be lit at all times in order to properly work. The arquebus is one of the most famous guns in the history of humanity, as it has been reflected in thousands of paintings, cartoons, and even history books, mostly because of all of the conflicts that were going down when it was first invented.