How a pistol was created?
Pistol is one of most popular kind of weapon. Lightweight, handy and efficient – there are the parameters decisive in its common usage. How do we define the pistol? It is a short gun (excluding revolvers) used on short distances – up to fifty meters. It can be used to attack or defend. Also it serves to so-called “extortion”.
Pistol stands for am universal weapon, which is the best of its attributes. Used commonly on the battlefield by Police and in case of self-defense. It’s an easy to use weapon, which is using bullets of different calibers, amongst which most usually ten millimeters. Usually it’s a self-loading weapon. Although emergent pistols are much more accurate and lightweight than their predecessors, the mechanism stays the same.
How pistols were created? It started with cannons. For a long time, heavy, massive cannons were commonly used in combat. Initially it wasn’t obvious, that the same mechanism could be miniaturized to such extend. Quickly, as a need emerged – efficiency motivated to work on the smaller versions of cannons.
First pistols were created in 14th century. Arquebuses were more similar to rifles, which was limiting their possibilities, but it was a huge step in development of gunnery. The humanity did a first step into mobile weaponry, the common equipment of today's armies.
Finally in 15th century in Germany, first pistols arrived. Although such weapon was not perfect, it’s appearance was a true revolution. Most importantly, because of the kind of lock that was used as it eliminated the necessity of fuse, which till that day was a basic element of such weaponry. However, the kinds of bullets from those times were not the same we know today.
In 16th century, pistols were improved with the arrival of flintlock. How did it work? After pressing the trigger, pyrite was impacting with metallic sheet and created spark resulting in explosion, which detonated the gunpowder and gave the speed to the bullet.
Till 19th century, nothing significant was achieved in that field, until Alexander Forsyth developed a new method to detonate a charge. In 30s of 19th century, rounds with built-on detonator emerged and contained their own gunpowder and bullet, therefore being the very first predecessors of those used today. From that moment, there was no chance, someone would go back to traditional, lead bullets, flintlocks. Obviously, perfecting and further developing the subject of rounds last for many another years. After the careful studies, bullets with cone endings were used and they are used nowadays as well. Next step of improving pistols reduced the amount of smoke to an absolute minimum we can provide.
During the whole 19th century, many countries were working in developing their own solutions in creations of the pistol guns. Many other types of rifles were created as well. It is also a time, when famous engineer – Samuel Colt, patented his revolver. Round clip was a true revolution of gunnery and a whole new chapter of history in this matter of industry. But that is a wholeother history for another time.
To be honest, when speaking about the pistols we know and understand now, that 19th century is the fundamental time of their evolution. The pistols known today are using a lot of knowledge gained from great minds of that time.