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(Popular Mechanics)   An article about the 11 most important guns in history; to the right, the discussion they triggered   (popularmechanics.com) divider line 132
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6903 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Dec 2012 at 1:33 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-12 05:52:55 PM  

tlchwi02: roc6783:***snip***

its more of a without the STG44 would any of the people who made decisions about military weapons and tactics ever have actually given these weapons a chance?


I'll buy that.

Strategeryz0r: roc6783: Strategeryz0r: Stone Meadow: ***snip***

/by no means a gun expert, this is my interpretation of the history behind these weapons. If I am wrong, feel free to correct me and call me dumbass.


I do not have the knowledge on this subject to call you a dumbass, but from everything here and other sources, I think the 2 guns are inseparable as the STG44 was a proof of concept that gave the Russians the impetus to try and make one on their own. In their own development, the Russians just happened to hit a formula that worked 750 millions guns well.

Saiga410: roc6783: Strategeryz0r: Stone Meadow: ***snip***

What the STG did that was unique was the shortened rifle cartridge. A lot of others at the time had semi and select fire rifle but they all used full size rifle cartridges.


Which I think would have been developed or at least thought of at some point without the STG, but the fact that it had already been proven to work really opened the door.
 
2012-12-12 05:56:16 PM  

tlchwi02: roc6783: I am way out of my league here as far as gun design/history, but, this being Fark, was the design/concept of the STG44 so unique that it is unlikely as similar weapon wouldn't ever have been developed?

Now, you could easily counter that the AK would not have appeared as early or easily as it did, but to imply that the concept of a cheap, durable, select fire assault rifle would never have been put into practice without the STG44 as a template seems wrong.

its more of a without the STG44 would any of the people who made decisions about military weapons and tactics ever have actually given these weapons a chance?


Yes. A big thing about the war was the realization the combat range had shrunk from earlier wars, down to 300-400 yards, and that the full powered, bolt action rifles were not as effective at that range. All the power they offered was literally wasted, outside the hands of skilled marksmen.

The same line of reasoning that lead to the STG 44 was in the minds of other nations as well. What was needed was something between the short range sub-machine gun and the longer range rifles. The SKS was one attempt to answer the problem pose by the range and power issues, as was the STG-44.
 
2012-12-12 05:57:02 PM  

roc6783: I'll buy that.


Well, thinking of it a little more- the US was still refusing to embrace the "assault rifle" model when we entered vietnam. Even when they were force (by the reality of jungle warfare against insurgent style tactics) to adopt different weapons, they tried to make a full-auto M14 instead of adopting a smaller cartridge. The army had to be dragged into the M16 kicking and screaming.
 
2012-12-12 05:58:50 PM  

wee: Your friend had better be careful with it. Did his dad every get any paperwork done on it (like bring-back forms, NFA registration, etc)? If not, he might be in possession of an illegal NFA weapon. That's 5 years in prison and a $250K fine if the ATF finds out about it. I'd contact a lawyer who specializes in the NFA if I were him. And I'd hide that thing until I did. The NFA is not a law you want to trifle with -- at all.


I don't think he actually ever did. I haven't talked to the guy in a long time, but I never got the impression that the gun ever had a paper trail associated with it. It was awesome though. A little rusty on the barrel, but that's why people tended not to really look at it. it looked like something they would have gotten at a thrift shop. Last year when I was in AZ for my yearly trip, we went out to the range and someone was actually shooting one that was in beautiful condition. I'f I'd have had an extra $20, I would have paid them just to let me shoot for a minute or two. I've never gotten to shoot full auto before.
 
2012-12-12 05:59:00 PM  
The BAR never gets any love on these lists, which is weird because it's export version directly inspired FN to create a more compact clone, which in turn inspired the STG44.
 
2012-12-12 06:02:33 PM  

tlchwi02: roc6783: I'll buy that.

Well, thinking of it a little more- the US was still refusing to embrace the "assault rifle" model when we entered vietnam. Even when they were force (by the reality of jungle warfare against insurgent style tactics) to adopt different weapons, they tried to make a full-auto M14 instead of adopting a smaller cartridge. The army had to be dragged into the M16 kicking and screaming.


We had tried to basically make a better M1, at least in terms of capacity, with the M14. The less powerful .308 was a start, as was the 20 round mags and the less overall weight. It's actually a damn fine rifle, and i'd love to have one.

But it was hard to control in full auto, more expensive, and held less rounds then the AK it was up against. The wet environment was also hell on wooden stocks and lead to warping, iirc.
 
2012-12-12 06:31:14 PM  

Strategeryz0r: roc6783: Strategeryz0r: Stone Meadow: ***snip***

Right, but the real question is would the AK even exist without the STG44? Kind of a what's more important? The chicken or the egg?

I am way out of my league here as far as gun design/history, but, this being Fark, was the design/concept of the STG44 so unique that it is unlikely as similar weapon wouldn't ever have been developed?

Now, you could easily counter that the AK would not have appeared as early or easily as it did, but to imply that the concept of a cheap, durable, select fire assault rifle would never have been put into practice without the STG44 as a template seems wrong.

The AK47 was basically the Soviets response to the STG44. Even though the STG44 saw relatively limited deployment by German forces, as it was crafted late in the war when Germany's manufacturing was already massively crippled, every participant in the war saw what they were trying to do with it. It was obvious from the get go that a weapon in between a standard high caliber battle rifle, and a low caliber SMG, had the capacity to change warfare as we know it.

So the Soviet's went into full on R&D mode to create their own variant of what was to be called "the assault rifle." It just so happens that they did what the germans couldn't, and created a cheap, easily mass produced, highly effective, incredibly reliable weapon.

Like I said it goes both ways, you have arguments on both sides as to which is more important. But it is very easy to argue that the AK may not have existed without the STG coming first. Or it may have come later. Who knows!

/by no means a gun expert, this is my interpretation of the history behind these weapons. If I am wrong, feel free to correct me and call me dumbass.


This is like the arguments about who really 'discovered' the New World.

Yes, the Vikings, the Irish, the Chinese and maybe even the Phoenicians and Egyptians may have gotten there
at various times in history, but none of them had a lasting presence or effect. Columbus was the one who was able
to start a mass migration from Europe (and, eventually the rest of the Old World) by his work (and yes, I'm glossing
over the human cost on the native peoples), so even if he was 'ripping off' those who came before, he did it better
and thus does deserve the acclaim.

/I doubt that Columbus was aware of any who came before, though: he was just bad at geography and math.
 
2012-12-12 06:34:55 PM  
The only gun I KNEW of that would be on the was the 1911.
 
wee [TotalFark]
2012-12-12 06:42:08 PM  

Mikey1969: I'f I'd have had an extra $20, I would have paid them just to let me shoot for a minute or two.


Well, .30-06 is running about fifty cents a round now. And the 1917 shoots at about 600 rounds per minute. So you'd get four seconds of shooting for that twenty bucks. :-)
 
2012-12-12 06:51:29 PM  
List fails HARD without the Mauser 98. Even the US ripped off its design for the 1903 Springfield, so much so that we lost a lawsuit over it. It's the basis for most modern bolt-actions, especially the much-vaunted Winchester Model 70.
 
2012-12-12 07:01:03 PM  
Didn't see the c96 or Luger. Didn't see any lever actions, or bolts from the Great Wars for that matter. The lack of mp-44 is also glaring. As is skipping all the WWII sub guns and going strait for the Uzi.
The xm-25 is revolutionary, but its on the fringe of what a gun can be defined as. More of a grenade launcher.
One piston,one gas, no roller delay?

In summation: THIS LIST IS DILDOES!

/Dildoes I say!
 
2012-12-12 07:02:00 PM  

wee: Mikey1969: I'f I'd have had an extra $20, I would have paid them just to let me shoot for a minute or two.

Well, .30-06 is running about fifty cents a round now. And the 1917 shoots at about 600 rounds per minute. So you'd get four seconds of shooting for that twenty bucks. :-)


Yeah, it's definitely an expensive proposition. My brother in law knows somebody who hosts yearly machine gun parties in the desert where he provides the ammo. I got invited 7 years or so ago, but it ended up raining every weekend for about 6 weeks, so the guy finally just canceled it. I'm still in therapy over that.
 
2012-12-12 07:05:26 PM  
dittybopper

Gaston Glock was the Steve Jobs of the gun world.

^ This. He got the cop market by dumping them at rock bottom prices knowing uneducated gun nuts would buy his product "because cops own it". A lot of wannabe gun-nuts are fools that think cops actually have a clue about firearms.
 
2012-12-12 07:06:46 PM  

milo_rules: My list of important guns, and why:

1. The hand cannon. The beginning of modern firearms.
2. The matchlock musket (arquebus) had the first practical trigger system and made the musket a formidable weapon.
3. The flintlock musket, of which the British Land Pattern Musket was the most produced, most widely-used, and most important.
4. The Chassepot and the von Dreyse needle guns - two early breech-loading designs adopted into military use. Later rifle designs owe much to the Chassepot, especially.
5. The Springfield model 1861 muzzle-loading Rifle Musket, firing Minie ball ammunition. Percussion cap replaces flintlock. Used extensively throughout the American Civil War.
6. The Colt 1851 Navy Revolver - a revolution in firepower. Widespread military use on several continents.
7. The Gatling Gun - human-powered rapid-fire weapon
8. The Maxim Gun - self-powered rapid-fire weapon
9. Colt M1911 and the Luger 1908 - both were technological breakthrus; both were designed to use new types of ammo; .45 ACP and 9x19 Parabellum, respectively.
10. The M1 Garand - first semi-automatic rifle issued to military forces
11. Stg44 - first modern assault rifle
13. The FN P90 - modern submachine gun with many newer technologies - ultracompact bullpup design, top-feeding magazine with rounds stored perpendicular to the barrel/bolt

Narrowing the list to 10 might be tough.


A very solid list but i would swap out the Garand and put in its place the double barreled shotgun. The M1 like the M14 was a stop gap between the bolt action battle rifles and a true assault rifle much like the Snider-Enfield was a stop gap between a muzzle loader and a true cartrage weapon. The shotgun is the most important civilian gun ever as its not as sexy as military weapons but a true workhorse.

Also the Springfield could be replaced by the 1853 Enfield but i suspect both choices depend on nationality more than weapon strengths.
 
2012-12-12 07:16:33 PM  

Norfolking Chance: milo_rules: My list of important guns, and why:

1. The hand cannon. The beginning of modern firearms.
2. The matchlock musket (arquebus) had the first practical trigger system and made the musket a formidable weapon.
3. The flintlock musket, of which the British Land Pattern Musket was the most produced, most widely-used, and most important.
4. The Chassepot and the von Dreyse needle guns - two early breech-loading designs adopted into military use. Later rifle designs owe much to the Chassepot, especially.
5. The Springfield model 1861 muzzle-loading Rifle Musket, firing Minie ball ammunition. Percussion cap replaces flintlock. Used extensively throughout the American Civil War.
6. The Colt 1851 Navy Revolver - a revolution in firepower. Widespread military use on several continents.
7. The Gatling Gun - human-powered rapid-fire weapon
8. The Maxim Gun - self-powered rapid-fire weapon
9. Colt M1911 and the Luger 1908 - both were technological breakthrus; both were designed to use new types of ammo; .45 ACP and 9x19 Parabellum, respectively.
10. The M1 Garand - first semi-automatic rifle issued to military forces
11. Stg44 - first modern assault rifle
13. The FN P90 - modern submachine gun with many newer technologies - ultracompact bullpup design, top-feeding magazine with rounds stored perpendicular to the barrel/bolt

Narrowing the list to 10 might be tough.

A very solid list but i would swap out the Garand and put in its place the double barreled shotgun. The M1 like the M14 was a stop gap between the bolt action battle rifles and a true assault rifle much like the Snider-Enfield was a stop gap between a muzzle loader and a true cartrage weapon. The shotgun is the most important civilian gun ever as its not as sexy as military weapons but a true workhorse.

Also the Springfield could be replaced by the 1853 Enfield but i suspect both choices depend on nationality more than weapon strengths.


No dice. The m1 was the first widely fielded self loading rifle and pivotal to the Americans success in the war.
The Germans came up with an intermediate cartridge, but the Americans fronted a truly mass produced weapon for mobile warfare.

Also, you don't talk about bolt guns without talking about mausers.
That's just impolite.
 
2012-12-12 07:21:30 PM  
I would remove the Garand and replace it with the MG34/42.

The Garand/ was obsolete when the assault rifle was created. The GPMG concept is still around.
 
2012-12-12 08:00:48 PM  

Strategeryz0r: Stone Meadow: Strategeryz0r: The XM-25 is not a gun, it's a bloody grenade launcher. And really it's just natural evolution of the weapons platform. WTF is it doing there?

No, it's a gun because it fires an integrated round, like any common pistol or rifle. The bullet just happens to have a computerized fuse and an explosive charge. It belongs on this list because it is a game changer, same as the other entries.

It wont be a game changer until it becomes financially feasible to deploy on a large scale. It's a cool toy right now, but at 30k it's just not a good investment regardless of it's capabilities. That's WAY too expensive for an infantry weapon.


3D printing will make them free.
 
2012-12-12 08:28:30 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Strategeryz0r: Stone Meadow: Strategeryz0r: The XM-25 is not a gun, it's a bloody grenade launcher. And really it's just natural evolution of the weapons platform. WTF is it doing there?

No, it's a gun because it fires an integrated round, like any common pistol or rifle. The bullet just happens to have a computerized fuse and an explosive charge. It belongs on this list because it is a game changer, same as the other entries.

It wont be a game changer until it becomes financially feasible to deploy on a large scale. It's a cool toy right now, but at 30k it's just not a good investment regardless of it's capabilities. That's WAY too expensive for an infantry weapon.

3D printing will make them free.


Cool. Can we put LEDs on them after printing?
 
2012-12-12 08:46:23 PM  
Came for this, leaving disappointed (unless someone else already posted a pic)

cdn5.thefirearmsblog.com
 
2012-12-12 08:48:16 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: 3D printing will make them free.


Not working very well right now

/3d printing in space however is the game changer...no gravity
 
2012-12-12 09:07:50 PM  

iq_in_binary: MikeSass: R.A.Danny: Marcus Aurelius: Complete list fail for missing the Sturmgewehr 44.

Having the Ak there instead of the weapon that inspired it was indeed silly.

Agreed. Also, if you are goign to put one 9mm semi-auto handgun on the list I would think that the P08 (aka Luger) would have been a better choice than a Glock 17. The only thing innovative about the GLock 17 is that they finally got the polymer right and could make plastic guns. Big deal. There still has never been a finer 9mm handgun made than the P08's.

Ummm, the Browning High Power? Idiot


No. The High Power was unsafe, and would fire with the safety on if dropped.

I have a picture somewhere of the window I took out.
 
2012-12-12 09:22:33 PM  
List fails without a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time.
 
2012-12-12 09:28:52 PM  
For you Browning fans, here's a good read--John Browning--American Gunmaker by John Browning (son of Browning) and Curt Gentry. May be out of print but I'm guessing you can find it on Amazon or eBay.
 
2012-12-12 09:37:47 PM  

Amberwind: jedihirsch: the Coffee Mill gun of the civil war predated the gatling by about half a year. And the BAR and Lewis Gun were the first two light portable machine guns and they were valuable. As other earlier noted, what about the MP43/StG44. What about the Sharpes repeating carbine and the later guns modeled after it (revolutionized rifle's worldwide and cavalry tactics. It won the US Gettysburg and Cold Harbor). Also what about the Mauser 98 used from 1898-1945 (models 98A's in the beginning till the 98K's of WW2). The AR-15/AR-10's (original variant, not the later modified ones used in Nam) were revolutionary as well as the modern day IWI TAR-21 assault rifle, considered the best modern assault rifle on the market and the best bulpub by a large margin. Also the belgian P90 PDW is also revolutionary with its top loading bulpub design. And don't forget the Calico Helicon Magazine guns that they are suing the chinese for patent violations. This article is very suspect

My husband would love talking to you. I still stand by my statement that the M1819 Hall rifle needs to be on the list, but many of the ones you listed do as well. I could also make a good case for the 1891 Mosin-Nagant, since slight variations of the Mosin design have been in continuous combat use since the rifle was first introduced (currently being used as one of the primary weapons of the insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq).


You can make an Argument for the Land Pattern musket. Was used for over 100 years with the Brits, and was what was used to build their empire.
The Hotchkiss AA-12 the worlds only truly fully auto shotgun, 350rpm with a 40 round drum.
the Daewoo K-11 dual caliber rilfe.
There also can be an argument made for the Springfield Model 1860. Primary gun used by both side during the civil war.
and lastly there is the Browning Hunting Rifle. He designed it over 100 years ago yet many of his break-through patents for his hunting rifle were used in almost every hunting and military rifle since his patten expired and in many of those before then to those who paid him for the rights. Its the basis for most military and civilian rifles today
 
2012-12-12 09:45:50 PM  

jedihirsch: The Hotchkiss AA-12 the worlds only truly fully auto shotgun, 350rpm with a 40 round drum.
the Daewoo K-11 dual caliber rilfe.



I don't think a case can be made for either of these.

They may be unique in their capabilities, but generally they've meant fark-all to the overall world of firearms and have made no real impact on history. This isn't to say everything in TFA was that impactful, but just because something is cool doesn't mean it's one of the most important guns in history.

I'd still think that little .32 ACP FN 1910 probably deserves the MOST influential firearm of the modern world, if for no other reason than what it kicked off. Think about it- it killed Archduke Ferdinand, being the immediate spark that kicked off WWI. The ending of WWI pretty well set things up for Round Two twenty years later as well as resulting in the rise of communism in the USSR and kicking off that episode in human history. Thus, both WWII and all the brush fires from the Cold War can also be laid at the feet of WWI, and thereby that little pistol. Pretty much all world history for the last century has a little mouse gun round to thank for how things came about.

Now, WWI might have happened anyway even without that, but as it happened, that one little pistol in that dipshiat anarchist's hands, pointed at that loser of a noble, ended up shaping the world as we now know it, complete with a death toll of millions upon millions of lives in war, purges, and other assorted skirmishes. Now THAT is stopping power.
 
2012-12-12 09:50:37 PM  

neuroflare: The only gun I KNEW of that would be on the was the 1911.


Same here. Also, someone mentioned the S & W Model 29. For impact on pop culture it deserves consideration, not to mention being a fine piece.
 
2012-12-12 10:21:18 PM  
Something like half the list owes their roots to John Moses Browning. Even if he didn't directly design them, every single self-powered semi and full-auto action is based on his designs.

*EVERY*FARKING*ONE*

He invented short and long recoil, gas, and blow-back operation. The AK? A gas operated, removeable magazine version of the Browning designed Remington Model 8.
 
2012-12-12 10:26:55 PM  
I think the AK 47 needed to be on the list, and I'd add the M16. The two most important rifles of the last 60 years
 
2012-12-12 11:58:22 PM  

Jammybee: I would remove the Garand and replace it with the MG34/42.

The Garand/ was obsolete when the assault rifle was created. The GPMG concept is still around.


And so are gas powered rifles. It also proved the value of a semi-auto battle rifle, which would replace the bolt action rifle in all militaries after that.
 
2012-12-13 04:30:54 AM  

jedihirsch: Amberwind: jedihirsch: the Coffee Mill gun of the civil war predated the gatling by about half a year. And the BAR and Lewis Gun were the first two light portable machine guns and they were valuable. As other earlier noted, what about the MP43/StG44. What about the Sharpes repeating carbine and the later guns modeled after it (revolutionized rifle's worldwide and cavalry tactics. It won the US Gettysburg and Cold Harbor). Also what about the Mauser 98 used from 1898-1945 (models 98A's in the beginning till the 98K's of WW2). The AR-15/AR-10's (original variant, not the later modified ones used in Nam) were revolutionary as well as the modern day IWI TAR-21 assault rifle, considered the best modern assault rifle on the market and the best bulpub by a large margin. Also the belgian P90 PDW is also revolutionary with its top loading bulpub design. And don't forget the Calico Helicon Magazine guns that they are suing the chinese for patent violations. This article is very suspect

My husband would love talking to you. I still stand by my statement that the M1819 Hall rifle needs to be on the list, but many of the ones you listed do as well. I could also make a good case for the 1891 Mosin-Nagant, since slight variations of the Mosin design have been in continuous combat use since the rifle was first introduced (currently being used as one of the primary weapons of the insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq).

You can make an Argument for the Land Pattern musket. Was used for over 100 years with the Brits, and was what was used to build their empire.
The Hotchkiss AA-12 the worlds only truly fully auto shotgun, 350rpm with a 40 round drum.


The AA-12 is *now* the worlds only truly fully auto shotgun. There was the Pancor Jackhammer and the H&K CAWS around the same time as the AA-12, too.
 
2012-12-13 05:31:42 AM  

way south: Norfolking Chance: milo_rules: My list of important guns, and why:

1. The hand cannon. The beginning of modern firearms.
2. The matchlock musket (arquebus) had the first practical trigger system and made the musket a formidable weapon.
3. The flintlock musket, of which the British Land Pattern Musket was the most produced, most widely-used, and most important.
4. The Chassepot and the von Dreyse needle guns - two early breech-loading designs adopted into military use. Later rifle designs owe much to the Chassepot, especially.
5. The Springfield model 1861 muzzle-loading Rifle Musket, firing Minie ball ammunition. Percussion cap replaces flintlock. Used extensively throughout the American Civil War.
6. The Colt 1851 Navy Revolver - a revolution in firepower. Widespread military use on several continents.
7. The Gatling Gun - human-powered rapid-fire weapon
8. The Maxim Gun - self-powered rapid-fire weapon
9. Colt M1911 and the Luger 1908 - both were technological breakthrus; both were designed to use new types of ammo; .45 ACP and 9x19 Parabellum, respectively.
10. The M1 Garand - first semi-automatic rifle issued to military forces
11. Stg44 - first modern assault rifle
13. The FN P90 - modern submachine gun with many newer technologies - ultracompact bullpup design, top-feeding magazine with rounds stored perpendicular to the barrel/bolt

Narrowing the list to 10 might be tough.

A very solid list but i would swap out the Garand and put in its place the double barreled shotgun. The M1 like the M14 was a stop gap between the bolt action battle rifles and a true assault rifle much like the Snider-Enfield was a stop gap between a muzzle loader and a true cartrage weapon. The shotgun is the most important civilian gun ever as its not as sexy as military weapons but a true workhorse.

Also the Springfield could be replaced by the 1853 Enfield but i suspect both choices depend on nationality more than weapon strengths.

No dice. The m1 was the first widely fielded self ...


The Enfield 1853 (not the Lee Enfield bolt action) was a percussion cap muzzle loader that was used a lot by the confeds during the American civil war as well as the standard issue weapon for the British Empire so it's more important world wide than the Springfield.

The M1 was the first self loading military rifle but is from the same era as the Stg44 so is much like the wheel lock weapons compared to the flintlock. It's just not as big a step forward that is needed for a top ten list. A top twenty or thirty maybe but as important as the first machine gun or assault rifle? No I'm afraid not.
 
2012-12-13 05:35:13 PM  

mr lawson: Quantum Apostrophe: 3D printing will make them free.

Not working very well right now

/3d printing in space however is the game changer...no gravity


Plenty of gravity in space, friend.
 
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