America was part of the New World, and because it is relatively a young country the gun has played a big part in forging its history. Since its very inception during the American revolution back in 1765 when America battled for its independence against British rule, the gun has been at the forefront of American history. In this blog we look at some of the most important guns that helped forge a nation.
The American long rifle was a flintlock and gave the New England militia a big advantage over the British Redcoats as it could fire over twice the distance than their muskets. However, the disadvantage was in close quarter fighting as the American long rifle took much longer to reload. George Washington mostly used these rifles for sniper fire.
The Colt Walker
The first really reliable revolver was the Colt Walker, and the earliest record of them being used was by the Texas Rangers in the Indian wars. Before the repeating Colt, frontiersmen had to use single shot rifles which was a distinct disadvantage to the rapid firing Indian Bow. It also had a second and really big advantage, the Texas Ranger could now fight on horseback as the handgun was ideal to wield on the back of a horse. That is why this revolver was credited as the gun that conquered a frontier.
The Spencer Repeating Rifle
The first lever action repeating action was made by Christopher Spencer in 1860, it fired seven cartridges from a magazine. The Union Army saw its benefits and made it standard issue for the Cavalry during the Civil War. A carbine version came out three years later, it was lighter and shorter and could be manufactured in larger numbers. This rifle was credited as one of the reasons that the Union won the war as the Confederacy did not have anything like them.
The Sharps rifle was known for its accuracy, and they were shipped in secret to anti-slavery in the battle against slavery. It was said that 900 were shipped in crates that were marked Bibles, which gave them the nickname of Beechers Bibles.
The model 1911 was the standard issue sidearm that has been used by the US military from 1911 to 1985, it is estimated that the military bought nearly three million of these handguns. This was the first mass produced semi-automatic pistol, and some gun experts state that it is the greatest gun ever made. Even some police and security forces still use this firearm. Colt designed and originally manufactured this gun, and during WWI the demand was so great that production was taken over by the government-owned Springfield Armory.
These five guns are our first edition of the guns that forged America, and there is very little dispute that these firearms were involved in momentous periods of America’s history. For good or bad these guns overcame wilderness, helped free a nation and won civil wars. In Part Two of our blog we will be focusing on the latter firearms in American history and the events that they made an impact on.