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Sunday Gunday: Top 7 Gun Inventors Ahead of Their Times

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Gun inventors have arguably changed the course of history.

Some of the most forward thinking gun inventors were above all the rest. These are the top seven inventors will always be remembered as an integral part of firearms history.

Firearms quickly replaced all other weapons of war once the idea became reality. Breech-loading rifles then gave way to automatic weapons for military use. Each massive step in the process involved individuals who set their minds to solving the issues of their day.

We owe these inventors our gratitude, otherwise the firearms we have today may never have been invented.

1. Samuel Colt

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Samuel Colt was the original designer of the repeating revolver. He founded Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company and was the maker of the Paterson Revolver (made famous by the Texas Rangers).

He also is reputed to have sold weapons to both the North and the South during the American Civil War.

His gun smithing knowledge and influence can be carried on to this day in single action six guns, and he's known as the grandfather of the modern revolver. 

2. John Moses Browning

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Browning was born to make guns. From machine guns, to semi-automatic pistols, to semi-automatic rifles, to shotguns, this firearms designer truly made a name for himself.

He literally changed the firearms industry, making just the right firearms for all applications. Nobody told Browning to keep his finger off the trigger.

3. Oliver Winchester

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Mr. Winchester took a liking to the old Volcanic Repeating Arms Rifle and redesigned it into the Winchester Rifle. His colleague, engineer Benjamin Tyler Henry, came up with the all brass Henry .44 caliber rimfire cartridges. Together, those two things propelled the Winchester Company with the new Henry Rifle to continue improving on that design. As a result, the Model 1866 Rifle was born.

4. Eli Whitney

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Eli Whitney might be famous for the cotton gin, but he did a lot for the firearms world, too.

Interchangeable parts made the muskets he produced for the U.S. Government vastly superior. Instead of hand-fitting parts to each weapon, all the parts created were to the exact same specifications, making repair and maintenance far easier. This quickly became the norm for quality firearms manufacturing.

5. Eliphalet Remington

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Born into a gunsmithing family, Mr. Remington had a name to live up to. He formed E. Remington and Sons, and the Remington name continues to be a big business despite its modernday bankruptcy.

6. Daniel Baird Wesson

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Partnering with Horace Smith, gunsmith Daniel Wesson formed the firm Smith & Wesson. In 1856 they released their first revolver chambered for the then new .22 short cartridge.

It was the first commercially produced, self contained cartridge. This propelled them into the world of revolvers and other firearms, and set Smith & Wesson on a course for historic firearm legitimacy.

7. Hiram Maxim

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Sir Hiram Maxim was born in America but became a British inventor of many items. Most notable was indeed the Maxim Gun. This belt fed machine gun was far faster than the hand crank Gatling Guns invented many years before by Richard Gatling. The automatic weapon became one of many new modern weapons that changed military tactics forever and caused trench warfare in the First World's War.

Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram.  You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.  

NEXT: FIREARM REVIEW: HENRY REPEATING ARMS BIG BOY COLOR CASE HARDENED LEVER ACTION RIFLE

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Sunday Gunday: Top 7 Gun Inventors Ahead of Their Times