Firearms: A Global History to 1700

Firearms: A Global History to 1700

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Kenneth Chase traces the history of firearms from their invention in China in the 1100s to the 1700s, when European firearms had become clearly superior. In Firearms, Chase asks why it was the Europeans who perfected firearms, not the Chinese, and answers this question by looking at how firearms were used throughout the world. Early firearms were restricted to infantry and siege warfare, limiting their use outside of Europe and Japan. Steppe and desert nomads imposed a different style of warfare on the Middle East, India, and China--a style incompatible with firearms. By the time that better firearms allowed these regions to turn the tables on the nomads, Japan's self-imposed isolation left Europe with no rival in firearms design, production, or use, with lasting consequences. After earning his doctorate from Harvard in the area of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and traveling extensively in Asia, Kenneth Chase pursued a career in the law. His interest in history endures unabated, however, and after nine years of research on firearms, he is now working on a history of international trade in the Indian Ocean region in the 1300s and 1400s.

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  • Used Book in Good Condition

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The Illustrated History of Firearms: In Association with the National Firearms Museum

The Illustrated History of Firearms: In Association with the National Firearms Museum

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This significant tome, with over 1500 photographs, covers the subject of portable firearms from muskets to machineguns; from dueling pistols to Glocks; from derringers to elephant guns. Compiled by the expert staff of the NRA National Firearms Museum, whose hands-on knowledge and skill comes over in text and captions, The Illustrated History of Firearms provides a visual reference book to grace any aficionado's library. It is easy to forget just how long humans have used firearms: early cannons were first used in Europe in the 13th century and by around 1350, "hand cannons" or "hand gonnes" had been developed. From then on, handguns and firearms have steadily developed: by the early 1400s, matchlocks were introduced; in the early 1500s, the wheellock; flintlocks came in the late 16th century, then rifling, the percussion cap, repeaters, smokeless powders, auto-loaders, automatic firearms.

Today, firearms development continues apace. Handguns, and revolvers in particular, have seen the development of more and more powerful ammunition. New materials other than traditional blue steel and wood have seen the development of "plastic guns" like the Glock making use of synthetic materials which are more lightweight and less affected by environmental extremes. Options for aiming firearms have also expanded dramatically over the past 50 years. Electronic red dot sights, glow­ in-the-dark night sights, ultra-compact laser aiming systems, and even night vision scopes--systems that were hitherto the preserve of the police or armed forces--have been incorporated on firearms available to the public.

The main use of firearms has also changed over the years. While hunting, self-defense and military use still predominate, the sporting and recreational use of firearms is a significant worldwide factor in firearms ownership--in particular in the United States where the National Rifle Association has ensured that "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

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American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms

American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms

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Chris Kyle—fallen hero and #1 bestselling author of American Sniper—reveals how ten legendary guns forever changed U.S. history.

At the time of his tragic death in February 2013, former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the top sniper in U.S. military history, was finishing one of the most exciting missions of his life: a remarkable book that retold American history through the lens of a hand-selected list of firearms. Kyle masterfully shows how guns have played a fascinating, indispensable, and often underappreciated role in our national story.

"Perhaps more than any other nation in the world," Kyle writes, "the history of the United States has been shaped by the gun. Firearms secured the first Europeans' hold on the continent, opened the frontier, helped win our independence, settled the West, kept law and order, and defeated tyranny across the world."

Drawing on his unmatched firearms knowledge and combat experience, Kyle carefully chose ten guns to help tell his story: the American long rifle, Spencer repeater, Colt .45 revolver, Winchester rifle, Springfield 1903 rifle, Thompson sub-machine gun, 1911 pistol, M1 Garand, .38 Special police revolver, and the M-16 rifle platform Kyle himself used as a SEAL. Through them, he revisits thrilling turning points in American history, including the single sniper shot that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War, the firearms designs that proved decisive at Gettysburg, the "gun that won the West," and the weapons that gave U.S. soldiers an edge in the world wars and beyond. This is also the story of how firearms innovation, creativity, and industrial genius has constantly pushed American history—and power—forward.

Filled with an unforgettable cast of characters, Chris Kyle's American Gun is a sweeping epic of bravery, adventure, invention, and sacrifice.

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  • American History

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Firearms: An Illustrated History

Firearms: An Illustrated History

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Published in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, Firearms: An Illustrated History charts the evolution of the gun, from the pistol and rifle, to the machine gun and revolver.

Detailed catalogs profile more than 300 firearms spanning over 700 years. With virtual tours detailing the most intricate details of key weaponry and photographic features on the world's iconic gun makers, including Colt, Smith & Wesson, Maxim, and Kalashnikov, Firearms: An Illustrated History is the perfect gift for gun, weapon, and military history enthusiasts.

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American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms (P.S.)

American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms (P.S.)

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Drawing on his legendary firearms knowledge and combat experience, U.S. Navy SEAL and #1 bestselling author of American Sniper Chris Kyle dramatically chronicles the story of America—from the Revolution to the present—through the lens of ten iconic guns and the remarkable heroes who used them to shape history: the American long rifle, Spencer repeater, Colt .45 revolver, Winchester 1873 rifle, Springfield M1903 rifle, M1911 pistol, Thompson submachine gun, M1 Garand, .38 Special police revolver, and the M16 rifle platform Kyle himself used. American Gun is a sweeping epic of bravery, adventure, invention, and sacrifice.

Featuring a foreword and afterword by Taya Kyle and illustrated with more than 100 photographs, this new paperback edition features a bonus chapter, “The Eleventh Gun,” on shotguns, derringers, and the Browning M2 machine gun.

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  • William Morrow & Company

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