As with all the G&A lists on our wonderful site, this one is a daunting task. My charge here is to come up with eight of the most influential personages in firearms history. Well, considering that guns go back about 700 years, narrowing down the candidates is nothing less than challenging. But we’ll give this old college try. Aren’t we doing this just for the engaging debate, anyway?
When one realizes that the originators of such things as gunpowder, the first firearms and different firing mechanisms were mostly anonymous, we are, of necessity, limited to more recent history. Below you’ll find my particular heroes, in chronological order. Please feel free to add your own in the comments.
- (1768–1843) British Rev. Forsyth was an avid wingshooter, who was disconcerted by his flintlock shotgun’s ignition lag time, especially on damp days. Caused him to miss too many birds. Using fulminates (which had been around for a number of years, but were thought to be too unstable and powerful to be used in firearms) he came up with a viable system that solved the problem. It was later refined, led to the development of the percussion cap and ultimately to the self-contained cartridge.