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Samuel Colt was born in Hartford, Connecticut on July 19, 1814. As a youth, he passed the time stripping down and reassembling his father's firearms. At the age of 16, he boarded a ship bound for India and during the journey, he carved a wooden prototype of a handgun having a revolving cylinder with several chambers for bullets, thereby inventing the revolver. In 1851, Colt set up business in his native Hartford. In 1856, the Colt Paten Firearms Manufacturing Company was producing 150 revolvers per day. In mid-1960, when the United States descended into Civil War, Colt supplied to both the soldiers of the Confederation and those of the Union. In 1861, Colt stopped selling guns to the Confederate Army. Samuel Colt died on January 10, 1862 at the age of 48. His wife Elisabeth took over and continued to make the Colt Firearms Company prosper. In 1873, the first revolver with metal cartridges was invented and it was given the name "Peacemaker," but it was better known as the SAA (Single Action Army). In 1891, Colt worked with a certain John Moses Browning, father of the Colt 1911.


The Fabbrica d'Armi Pietro Beretta (Pietro Beretta Arms Factory) traces its origins to 1526, when an arms manufacturer from Gardone Val Trompia in the province of Brescia, Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta, received 296 ducats in payment for 185 harquebusiers sold to the Arsenal of Venice. The product range of Beretta is very wide, taking in over-and-under and side-by-side shotguns for hunting and firing ranges, automatic and pump-action rifles, as well as semi-automatic handguns, submachine guns, assault rifles and light machine-guns. All its weapons are offered in various calibers and many different levels of finish. Beretta is the designer of the famous Beretta 92, which replaces the Colt 1911 in the American Army as the M9. It is also found in the French Gendarmerie, where it is called the MAS G1. The Brazilians have produced a replica under the license called the PT92.


Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov was born on November 10, 1919 in the village of Kurya, Russia to a large peasant family. In 1938, he entered the Army, where he was trained as a mechanic and specialized in the design of tanks in Kiev. In 1942, he created his first submachine gun, but it was not taken up by the Red Army and in 1946, his semi-automatic carbine was also a failure. Between 1945 and 1949, he invented many experimental models of assault rifles and he left the Army to take a job at the arms factory of IZMASH in Izhevsk. In 1949, the Soviet Army adopted one of his models dating from 1947, calling it the "Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947," better known later by the abbreviation AK47. A whole series of improved versions followed: the AK47S, AKM, AK47M, AKS-74U and AK 100.

Smith and Wesson

In 1856, Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson established a company to produce a small revolver that could fire the Rim fire cartridge they had patented two years before, called the company Smith and Wesson. The American Civil War (1861-1865) was a genuine opportunity for Smith and Wesson, which filled their order book. In 1870, Smith and Wesson developed the first large caliber revolver, the Model 3 American. In 1899, the company developed its Model 10, firing the .38 special cartridge, another caliber invented by Smith and Wesson. Smith and Wesson created many different munitions, including the .22 Long Rifle, the .32 Smith and Wesson, the .32 Gallery, the .32 Long, .35 Automatic, the .38 Colt New Police, the .38 Special, the .357 Magnum, the .40 Smith and Wwesson, the .44 (American, Special and Russian), the .45 Schofield, the .460 Magnum and the .500 Magnum. In 2003, Smith and Wesson developed its own version of the mythical Model 1911, chambered in .45 ACP, called the SW1911.


Wilhelm (1834) and Paul (1838) Mauser, sons in a large family experiencing hard times, succeed with hard work, technical skills and business acumen in founding the Mauser weapons factory, which later attains worldwide renown. The brothers begin to work as children, as did their father, in the royal weapons factory in Oberndorf/Neckar. Following the death of his brother Wilhelm, January 13 1882, Paul Mauser takes over sole leadership of the expanding company. In the later years of his life, Paul Mauser is awarded numerous honors. In 1898, he is elected in the Reichstag as Royal Commerce Councilor. In 1912, he receives the Grashof Commemorative Medal of the Association of German Engineers, although he has never been an engineer. In the same year, he is ennobled with the Grand Cross of the Royal Württemberg Order. Paul Mauser dies May 29, 1914 at the age of 76 of an embolism. The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 quickly leads to increased production of the "98 Rifle"; research takes a back seat. By the end of 1916, employee numbers have risen to approx. 7,000. In 1954, after rearrangement and reconstruction of the company, developments in the weapons sector get up and running again. Along with hunting and sport guns, anti-aircraft guns and aircraft weaponry is also produced. The civilian production segment incorporates measuring machinery, tool-making machinery and special apprenticeship programs. Munitions test instruments and gas pressure measuring instruments are built according to the most modern technological know-how and receive international recognition, from NATO forces, among others. In 1998, big game hunters in India and Africa help the 98 Rifle to attain its legendary status, not the battle fields of the world wars.

Sig Sauer

In 1853, Friedrich Peyer im Hof, Heinrich Moser and Conrad Neger established a company called the Swiss Wagon Factory for the purpose of manufacturing railway cars. Seven years later, the three associates participated in a call for bids to supply a rifle to the Swiss Federal Ministry of Defense. In 1864, they won the contract, thanks to the Prelaz-Burnand rifle, a muzzled-loaded rifle with primer. They received an order for 30,000 Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft (SIG). In the 20th century, the SIG P49 was developed for the Swiss Army. Next came the P220 at the beginning of the 1970s and the P230 in 1977, designed to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies. These guns were very innovative and demonstrated reliability that was unrivaled at the time. In 1999, SIG distributed across the entire USA, a revolutionary range of rifles called Blaser R93, developed in Isny in Germany.


Hugo Schmeisser was born in Germany on September 24, 1884. He can be considered as the John Browning of Germany. In order to stop the heavy losses resulting from trench warfare (1915-1917), the German High Command decided to design an easy to handle weapon capable of rapid fire. In 1918, Hugo Schmiesser and the Bergmann Company released the MP18/1 (Maschinenpistole 18/1), of which some of 35,000 units were produced. Despite the German capitulation and the restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, Hugo Schmeisser secretly developed the MP28, MP34, MP36. This work led to the famous MP40. Hugo Schmeisser was also responsible for the Sturmgewehr 44. He was forcibly recruited by the Red Army from 1946 to 1952 to participate in the development of arms. He died on December 9, 1953.


DPMS was founded in April 1986 by Randy Luth to act as consultants for government contracts. Very rapidly, the company decided to product parts for the M-16, M-14 and the M-203 grenade launcher. In 1990, DPMS concentrated on the manufacture of the AR-15, kits and accessories for this weapon. DPMS became the third largest manufacturer of the AR-15 in the world, and has registered its own patents for components. DPMS models can be found in different law enforcement agencies around the world as well as in the Jordanian army. The Panther range goes from the .204 Urge to the .308 Winchester, and includes the 5.56 mm and the 7.62 mm. For the military, DPMS developed the Kitty-Kat, and ultra short version of the AR-15. DPMS is greatly appreciated for the numerous accessories available in its range.

Swiss Arms

The company Swiss Arms AG, successor of the SIG Arms AG, is the oldest arms manufacturer in Switzerland. More than 140 years of precision gun manufacturing constitute their solid foundation of experience. The company’s name changed in the year 2000, when it was acquired by two German investors, both weapon enthusiasts. Now competitively sized and employee driven, Swiss Arms continues to build on tried and true designs, while setting new standards in dynamic product development worldwide.

Desert Eagle

Israel Military Industries (IMI) Ltd was established in 1933 and is a multinational company specialized in the arms sector. It's activities are far ranging, comprising land and air defense systems, heavy artillery, personal arms, various types of munitions, rockets and artillery munitions, systems for individual protection and territorial security... On the international stage, IMI is principally known as a manufacturer of good quality personal arms such as the Desert Eagle (one of the only handguns in .50 AE) and Jericho semi-automatic pistols, as well as the UZI, Micro-UZI, and Mini-UZI submachine guns.


Established in 1919, O.F. Mossberg and Sons Inc. is an American company specialized in the production of shotguns and pump-action rifles of a revolutionary design. The quality of Mossberg pump-action rifles is such that they are the only rifles bought by the American government. The strategy chosen by Mossberg is to constantly improve its designs and the quality of its models. This strategy has paid off, since it has changed the way owners use their equipment. The steady goal of Mossberg is permanent search for innovation, safety and quality in its products thanks to the partnerships it builds with its employees, its customers and its suppliers. The company was ISO 9001 certified in 2001. Mossberg became very well known for its low cost shotgun model Maverick (which became a brand name later). They produce the famous M500 and M590 shotgun.


Forjas Taurus was established at Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1939. In the beginning, the company produced kitchen utensils and tools. Taurus made its first revolver in 1941. When developing this handgun, Taurus took its inspiration from many different products of the day, including those designed by Colt and Smith and Wesson. In 1974, the Italian arms manufacturer, Beretta, won a major contract to supply the Brazilian army with handguns. In 1980, at the conclusion of this contract, Beretta sold its factory in Sao Paulo to Taurus, along with the technical plans, tools, machines and a highly skilled workforce. From this point on, Taurus developed the 9 mm caliber PT92 and PT99 pistols. In 1984, during the S.H.O.T. Show in Dallas, Taurus inaugurated its after-sales service policy of "lifetime repairs," which drew the publics attention to the quality of Taurus products.


Shortly after WWII, the Tanfoglio company was founded in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy. In the 1980's, Tanfoglio focused on sporting pistols and the "Team Tanfoglio" has won hundreds of competitions worldwide with the help of their products and specialized technicians. They offer the largest selection of sporting pistols and personal defense guns. In 2007, Eric Grauffel won the IPSC Open Class European Championship for the fourth time with a Tanfoglio Gold Custom.


The Industrial Group of Ground-based Armaments (GIAT) was created in 1971 in order to provide arms systems required by the French and foreign armies. It also was able to meet the needs of the Air Force, the Navy, and the Gendarmerie, as well as the police. The products developed by GIAT Industries are very diverse, ranging from the Leclerc main battle tank to the VAB armored personnel carrier and the FRF2 precision rifle and artillery pieces, not to mention the FAMAS assault rifle. In 2006, the company was renamed NEXTER. In 1977, the French Army adopted the FAMAS rifle to replace the MAS 46/56, the MAT 49 submachine gun and the MAC 29 machine gun. It is the only ambidextrous assault rifle and can fire grenades.


Israel Military Industries (IMI) Ltd was established in 1933 and is a multinational company specialized in the arms sector. It's activities are far ranging, comprising land and air defense systems, heavy artillery, personal arms, various types of munitions, rockets and artillery munitions, systems for individual protection and territorial security... On the international stage, IMI is principally known as a manufacturer of good quality personal arms such as the Desert Eagle (one of the only handguns in .50 AE) and Jericho semi-automatic pistols, as well as the UZI, Micro-UZI, and Mini-UZI submachine guns.


John T. Thompson was born on December 31, 1860 in Newport, Kentucky. In 1916, with financial assistance from Thomas Ryan, he created the Auto-Ordinance Corporation in order to put into practice his vision of modern arms. In 1919, the company put out its first model of a "Submachine gun," The Thompson Model 1919. Many versions of the Thompson followed. The Model M1921, known as the "Tommy Gun," was succeeded by the models of 1923 and 1927. After conducting its own tests, the US Navy asked that the rate of fire be reduced to 700 rounds per minute and that the vertical fore grip be eliminated. This version was designated the Model 1928. John Taliaferro Thompson died on June 21, 1940 at the age of 80. During the Second World War, Thompson manufactured 1.4 million submachine guns.


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