The evolution of American sporting guns

The evolution of the rifle from muzzleloader to today’s modern version is the most dramatic of all the firearms changes.

Guns in America are not just a tradition but, for many, a way of life. The vast majority of us who own guns do so for a variety of reasons.  

Some are for self or home protection. More are for target shooting and still many millions more are used in the sport of hunting.  

The evolution of the gun in the United States has been influenced by several very forward-thinking gentlemen that were able to envision guns being used for sport instead of to feed and protect their families, and not only in military applications.

Prior to the Civil War most families’ primary provider and protector owned a long gun of some sort.

Muzzleloading rifles and shotguns not only provided meat for the table but also kept the wolf away from the door… literally.

Some men also carried handguns during this period but until Samuel Colt developed the first multi-shot revolver and began mass-producing it in 1836, these were few and far between.

Colt’s rate of production made these guns more accessible and more affordable.

In 1848 Christian Sharp designed the first breech-loading system for rifles. This made loading quicker and easier and was used initially for the military.  

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