Detail of a Gatling gun

19th Century

Mass production

The early years of the 19th century heralded an industrial age the like of which had never before been witnessed and an extraordinarily rapid advance in weapons technology, which continues to this day.

Formerly a labour-intensive and expensive industry, by the late 1850s the mass production of military firearms had become mechanised, using technology perfected in the United States by a number gunmakers including Whitney, North, Colt and Robbins & Lawrence and others and which was first adopted in Britain by the Royal Small Arms Manufactory at Enfield.



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Did you know?

Longest-range gun ever built

During the First World War Germany built the longest-range gun ever. Its 100kg projectile travelled 122km, and left the muzzle at 1500 metres per second reaching a height of about 40km. About 6 times faster and higher than a transatlantic jet.