Rapid-Fire Facts

Here are some firearms facts to impress your friends, annoy your relatives, and increase your own knowledge of firearms. Enjoy!

  • In 1860, many ammunition manufacturers devised new cartridge systems to avoid infringement of Rollin White's patent covering bored-through cylinders. The patent was later acquired by Smith and Wesson and used to manufacturer various revolvers, such as the S&W "model 1 1/2" pocket pistol chambered in .32 rimfire.

  • Leonardo da Vinci is credited with inventing the wheel-lock around 1500. In the Codex Atlanticus, da Vinci depicts a helical mainspring being used in a tinder lighter.

  • Gaston Glock got his start making knives and other tools for the Austrian military, as well as exporting polymers across the globe. It wasn't until Gaston was 52 years old that he would make the gun that started his legacy, the Glock 17.

  • Along with "revolvers so safe a baby could use them" Iver Johnson manufactured bicycles during the 1880's.

  • The expression "the whole nine yards" is believed to come from American WWII fighter pilots. Each .50 cal M2 Browning machine gun was loaded with a belt of ammunition that was approximately 9 yards long, so giving someone or something "the whole nine yards" evolved to mean giving everything you got.

  • In 2014, Wyatt Earp's Colt SAA revolver used at the O.K. Coral sold at auction for $225,000.

  • The .220 Swift is the fastest commercial cartridge in the world, with a published velocity of 4,665 ft/s.

  • The AK-47 is the most widely produced firearm in the world, with over 100 million firearms belonging to the AK family of firearms. It is also on the national flag of Mozambique due to it's influence and use in their war for independence from Portugal. Sources: NRA Firearms Fact Book, 3rd Edition

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