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1364 - First recorded use of a firearm.1380 - Hand guns are known across Europe.1400s - The matchlock gun appears.

Before the matchlock, guns were fired by holding a burning wick to a "touch hole" in the barrel igniting the powder inside.

Various guns were used, until a true dueling pistol was officially standardized in 1777, as "a 9 or 10 inch barreled, smooth bore flintlock of 1 inch bore, carrying a ball of 48 to the pound." Often lavishly decorated, the pistols are made until dueling falls out of favor in the mid-1800s.

This pair of 1786 flintlock pistols was made with ivory stocks and unusually elaborate decorative details.

A shooter uses one hand for firing, and a prop to steady the gun.

The first device, or "lock," for mechanically firing a gun is the matchlock.

Colt was the first to apply Industrial Age machining tools to the idea. Reliability and accuracy made the Colt a favorite of soldiers and frontiersmen.

The flintlock ignition system reigned for two centuries, with virtually no alteration.This removes a tremendous amount of work that would otherwise be left up to the extractor.Historical timeline of the development of modern weapons starting at 1364 with the first recorded use of a firearm and ending in 1892 with the introduction of automatic handguns.1498 - Rifling principle is discovered.1509 - Invention of wheel lock (rose lock).The next major advance, the wheel lock, generates a spark mechanically.

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