The History Of Military Weaponry

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Starting with the first civilization and up until the present day, military weaponry, and weaponry in general, has changed a lot.

The days of spears, bows and knives have evolved into cannons, rifles and even drones. The evolution of modern weaponry has been a fascinating process, and it’s something we should all learn about.

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The armaments used by our military, spanning the last three hundred years or so, have varied greatly. So, from muskets to trapdoor guns, let’s rifle down the history of military weaponry!

Weaponry in the 1800s

In the early 1800s, the American military started to get a bit of inspiration from the French. It was in 1777 when the French join forces to support America’s endeavors, and that brought with it the use of French weapons.

The War of 1812, which ended three years later in 1815, saw the use of the famous U.S. musket. It’s a little known fact, but this musket was nearly identical to the French Infantry Musket of 1763. Coincidence? I think not!

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These firearms are present in many a military weapons collection, and it’s amazing to see how they’ve endured to this day. The craftsmanship and skill on display is something you don’t really see in today’s mass produced weapons industries.

The mid 1800s introduced the .45 trapdoor rifle, named due to the way it reloads. The gun was opened at the top of the breech and a round was placed inside.

These started to phase out in the early 1900s, which leads us to the caliber .30 rifle.

Weaponry in the 1900s

The caliber .30 rifle was the world’s first semi-auto rifle to be used by the United States infantry. It was a powerful weapon, and was incredibly cost-effective. In fact, it only cost $45 dollars to produce each gun, as opposed to the cost of similar weapons at close to $100 dollars.

The new M1 rifle became the military norm in 1936, and was being made at 600 rifles a day by 1941. That’s a lot of weapons! This weapon gave the U.S. a huge advantage over its rivals. It was incredibly powerful, and unlike anything opposing forces could build.

This rifle was upgraded and tweaked, with the M16 in 1954 and the M16A2 in the 1980s. This was replaced by the M16A4, which was used all the way up until the early 2000s.

Present Day

Jumping forward to today, and military weaponry is rather technologically advanced. One of the biggest leaps in combat is the CornerShot, a gun which is twisted so it can shoot round corners.

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James is a decorated, active duty United States Non-Commissioned Officer transitioning from the military to a civilian career upon retirement. He has a Bachelor of Science in History and is currently pursuing a Masters in History.

1 COMMENT

  1. Shooting around corners is nice. What about automated hunter-seeker drones that self-charge, self-rearm and self-annihilate enemy combatants over the area of contention? Trenches? Fortresses? People? The game has changed. Who needs us?

    I for one welcome our new robot-overlords™.

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