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A list

The Five Most Important Guns In American History

13 Responses to “A list”

  1. HL Says:

    Hard to argue with any of it.

  2. SPQR Says:

    I think many miss what was unique about the Stoner design. The use of modern materials and manufacturing techniques. While the AR was designed before CNC machining was popularized, it’s engineering put it in easy adaptation to modern manufacturing technology that made the rifle so inexpensive to manufacture.

  3. Fred Says:

    The 1911 is a nice gun even now and it’s influence on pistol design cannot be overstated but it doesn’t belong on _this_ list. Take the M2 instead and you get both an iconic gun, one that’s actually important to us militarily, and you still get a slot for Browning.

  4. Charles Says:

    As lists go that is not a bad one.

  5. PaulB Says:

    iconic muzzle loader.
    first reialble revolver
    lever action rifle
    One of the best WWII auto
    One of the most iconic firearms of this century.

    Nope, good reason for all of the ones that made america great. I have some of all of the, although I see little need to have a garand.

  6. Ryan Says:

    Pretty good list, but “Colt bought Armalite,” is a mistake I’d expect to see from a first year journalism student.

  7. nk Says:

    Heh! That’s one way to start a discussion.

    But the Spencer? The never-adopted-immediately-made-obsolete-by-the-Henry Spencer? The only thing that’s important about it is that some Quartermaster General kept it from being important.

    The 1842 Springfield, the first American military caplock was more important. The 1861 Springfield, the first American military rifled musket? The 1873 Springfield, the first standard issue breech-loader? The .30-40 Krag-Jorgensen, the first military smokeless? The 1903 in .30-06, the first “modern” American military cartridge? Winchester ’94 in .30-30, the all-time most popular civilian rifle?

    The Spencer important! Snorfle! Giggle!

  8. KevinM Says:

    @nk ditto. Though I’d mention the Win ’73 in .44-40.

  9. Bill Twist Says:

    I have some minor quibbles about the section on the long rifle, but my biggest beef is the Spencer. It should be replaced with the 1860 Henry rifle. The Spencer was a dead end, but the Henry led to directly to the Winchester Model 1866, and from there to the 1873, and all the way up to the iconic deer rifle, the Model 94.

    The Spencer, on the other hand, was a dead end. They date from the same year, but one led to a line of guns still manufactured, and one is a mere footnote in history.

  10. Richard Says:

    The Garand. First general issue semi-auto anywhere. Won WWII as much as any US small arm did.

  11. H Says:

    The privately owned musket as used at Lexington and Concord should be at the very top of this list.

  12. nk Says:

    Actually, although the Kentucky rifle is “iconic”, most people at the time preferred smoothbores. Much more versatile, and accurate enough for their purposes.

  13. JTC Says:

    Not to argue the historical importance represented here, all excellent choices as much for their societal impact as for their mechanical advances and abilities…

    But the Number One Most Important Gun in American history is the one within your reach when/if it’s your turn to face the elephant