A history of firearms

Firearms are considered dangerous, due to their high efficiency. Even a semi-trained shooter is able to get rid of someone’s life within a second, not to mention hurting or injuring people. It is not an accident that you need a special license to have a weapon, which is not that easy, considering all of criteria you have to meet.

However, not many people realize that for the centuries of history of weapon development, firearms were not that useful. Artillery was a thing, but not simple firearms. When first trials to create handy weapon using gunpowder were performed, there was definitely not a revolution in military. It was merely an interesting fact and completion of traditional methods. Working on their developments, which lead to creation of emergent and really efficient weapon is achievement of many passionate engineers that believed in their inventions.

Theorists of the art of war from many centuries ago were not fond of firearms. Their efficiency was rated very low. In 16th century, Forquevaux was calculating, that it takes a ten thousand shots to eliminate one single enemy. Although with time, this efficiency was increasing, effects were yet to come. In the beginning of eighteenth century there was a battle between Russia and Sweden, known as the Battle of Fraustadt. According to relations over two thousand Russian soldier managed to kill less than ten soldiers of enemy. In ninetinth century numbers were not impressive as well. Benton calculated that to eliminate one enemy there was necessary to shoot from three to ten thousand times. This shows that works to perfect weaponry was not really that effective. From sixteenth to nineteenth century, the construction of weapon had changed significantly and yet there was no progress in eliminating the basic reasons of that efficiency. Which reasons?

Firstly, the weapon was really hard to operate and maintain. There were operated by flintlocks and there was no clips. To take one shot, there was a few things a shooter had to do which was time-consuming. On the battlefield, that was something hard to do, especially when someone wanted to do it well, and the weapon was often abandoned by the soldier, endangered by the enemy. 

Another thing was weapon's range. It was quite short, all weaponry was used effectively, from about twenty meters. That meant that shooter could be easily pacified and therefore the weapon did not gave any advantage against someone equipped with melee weapon. it was basicaly useless to bring it in the early stages of warfare history. Especially if we are considering the fact, that shooter had to hit the first time as he had no other chance for successful reload. The nineteenth century came with revolution, that changed this situation, as the new ways of detonate charges emerged with french invention.

Another reason of small efficiency were lead bullets. Only in nineteenth century, the bullets with built-in detonator was invented. That increased both the power and range of the bullets and began the era of dynamic combat. Revolution came with experimenting with the shape of bullets, as balls were definitely not effective against heavy armor. From this moment to the emergent inventions we are using firearms in combat and it looks like we will for the long time.