This comprehensive encyclopedia of firearms is both an authoritative reference work and a stunning visual directory, explaining the development of arms through the centuries, and showing the capabilities and individual specifications of modern weapons.
The chronological survey of arms begins with gunpowder and the first crude 14th-century hand cannons, and continues through handguns, matchlocks, wheel-locks and black powder flintlocks used in the Napoleonic Wars and the American Revolutionary War and Civil War. This primary section outlines the technological advances of this period, such as the percussion principle and the beginnings of the modern cartridge system. It also describes the beginning of mass production and the craft of the gunmaker.
Firearm design from 1800 to the present day is dominated by the manufacture of arms for major worldwide conflicts, and the development of machine and submachine guns. This book chronicles the history and development of classic machine guns, such as the Hotchkiss and Maxim, and looks in detail at iconic submachine guns such as the Thompson M1928A1 or `Tommy Gun’. Modern arms are closely examined, including the rise of Super Magnum revolvers, semiautomatic pistols and assault rifles.
The directories present a superb pictorial guide to the most significant pistols, revolvers, rifles, machine and submachine guns. Enthusiasts can quickly find specific guns, all with full information and color photography. Each gun’s features are listed, as are the military, political and technological contexts in which the gun was developed.
A full list of manufacturers and a glossary complete this easy-to-use encyclopedia which is essential reading for everybody interested in gun manufacture and conflicts of war.