Firearms in American History: A Guide for Writers, Curators, and General Readers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594160448
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/28/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
From Matchlock to Flintlock, the Era of Colonization (1500-1775)     1
Arms of the Early Colonists     1
The Matchlock     2
The Wheel Lock, a Choice for the Wealthy     4
The Flintlock and Its Variants     5
Military Arms in the English Colonies     9
The Civilian Fowler     14
The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle Appears     17
Civilian Pistols in the Colonies     22
Military Arms from the American Revolution to the 1820s     24
Guns of the War of Independence     24
A Lack of Arms and Training     25
The Military Role of the Pennsylvania Rifle     27
Military Pistols, Carbines, Musketoons, and Wall Guns     30
Naval Small Arms     32
Early Attempts at Military Repeaters and Breechloaders     33
Post-Revolutionary War Military Arms     34
The War of 1812 and Its Aftermath     39
The Percussion Era and Advancing Technology (1805-1866)     44
A Clergyman's Contribution     44
The Changing Pennsylvania Rifle     45
Early Match Shooting, Hitting the Nail on the Head     49
Trappers, Explorers, and Other Western Travelers: Guns of the MountainMen     51
Percussion Pocket and Belt Pistols by Deringer and Others     54
Early Repeating Pistols by Allen, Colt, and Others (1836-1857)     56
Samuel Colt's Early Firearms     59
Texas Independence and the War with Mexico (1835-1848)     65
1855 and a New Series of Military Arms     70
New Navy Small Arms (1828-1860)     73
Across the Plains by Wagon, Handcart, and Foot (1821-1870)     74
Percussion Repeating Rifles     78
New Colts and Their Competitors     80
Dueling, Affairs of Honor     87
Christian Sharps and His Breech-Loading Rifle (1848-1880)     91
Initial Handguns by Smith and Wesson (1854-1861)     96
Tyler Henry's Rifle and the First Winchester (1860-1866)     99
Shotguns, Often Ignored but Often Present     103
A Very Uncivil War (1861-65)     105
Arms Shortages     105
Better Arms for the Infantry     112
Federal Cavalry Arms     117
Artillery Small Arms     123
Private Handgun Purchases     124
The Union Navy and Marines     125
Firearms of the Confederacy     129
Post-Civil War Military Arms (1866-1900)     138
New Rifles and Carbines     138
Improved Revolvers for the Postwar Cavalry     147
Arms for the Sea Services     150
Post-Civil War Civilian Arms (1866-1900)     155
Civilian Handguns     155
Civilian Rifles and Carbines     171
Shotguns in Many Forms     179
Later Derringers and Other Pocket Persuaders     184
Cane Guns and Other Oddities     190
Buffalo Guns and the Slaughter of the Bison     194
Target, Exhibition, and Trap Shooting     198
Indian Guns     207
Postscript     217
Collections of Antique Firearms     219
Chronology     221
Bibliography     225
Index     229
Acknowledgements     231
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