Guns That Changed History

Cash My Guns gets excited when historically significant firearms come through our facility doors. What can we say? We’re history buffs. At a fundamental level, guns are simple machines; they fire projectiles when the trigger is pulled. So, it’s amazing to think that a machine operated by an index finger can have such a lasting effect on the course of history. Here is Cash My Guns’ quick dissection of influential guns from times past:

  1. Flintlock Musket: (1660) Shooting round lead balls from a smooth bore, flintlock muskets had an effective range of around 100 meters. The flintlock mechanism consisted of a sparking piece of flint that struck and ignited a black powder primer, which in turn caused the projectile to exit the barrel. Drawbacks included frequent misfires, the inability to operate the guns in the rain, and accidental discharge. Despite this, variations of the flintlock dominated the landscape of the Western World for nearly 200 years.
  2. American Long Rifle: (1700) This single shot rifle was one of the first widely-used firearms for hunting and military applications. The distinctly long barrel is believed to be an American design iteration, hence its name. Containing rifling grooves, it shot more accurately than its predecessors. Gaining notoriety in the French and Indian War as well as the American Revolutionary War, there is no doubt that it contributed to the events leading up to, and during, our nation’s inception.
  3. Spencer Repeating Rifle: (1860) Taking its namesake from designer Christopher Spencer, the Spencer was the first repeating rifle to be adopted by any world military. Most notably, it was used during the American Civil War by Union soldiers. The Confederate Army captured numerous Spencer rifles, but had difficulty reproducing the gun’s ammunition due to copper shortages. This, along with the rifle’s proven reliability, played a helping role in the Union’s victory over the Confederacy.
  4. Colt Single Action Army: (1873) Known as the “Gun That Won the West”, the SAA saw action in many military encounters and civilian applications. It was most notably used in the “Old West” and favored for its ability to shoot off six rounds quickly. The outlaws involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral carried this revolver and bolstered the gun’s reputation as being a frontier shooter.
  5. Springfield Rifle: (1903) This bolt-action rifle was adopted by the U.S. Military and quickly earned a reputation for its reliability and power. It was heavily used in U.S. conflicts in South and Central America and even saw action in WWII even though it was replaced as the standard-issue rifle by that time. This gun was a great advancement in magazine-fed rifles that paved the way for modern firearms.
  6. M1911 Pistol: (1911) The 1911 was the standard-issue pistol of the US Armed Forces until 1986. The design was ahead of its time and was widely copied by other manufacturers. It saw action in numerous conflicts, including both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Iraq War. The 1911 cemented itself in history and set the standard for firearms that proceeded it.
  7. Thompson Submachine Gun: (1917) Colloquially known as the “Tommy Gun”, this semiauto rifle came to fame during America’s Prohibition era. It was favored by gangsters and police alike due to its extremely high rate of fire. It also saw action in military exchanges, being used during WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and beyond. Without a doubt, it played a role in mowing down enemies in armed conflicts throughout history.
  8. M1 Garand: (1936) Over 5 million of these semiautomatic rifles have been produced over the course of history for U.S. forces and foreign American allies. Deemed, “The greatest battle implement ever devised” by General George S. Patton, the M1 Garand was relied upon by soldiers in numerous conflicts past and even some present-day. The effective firing range of 457 meters and rapid-fire rate made it a vital element in any nation’s arsenal.
  9. AK 47: (1949) In the last year of WWII, designs for the AK-47 were being drafted. What came out of the Soviet Union was a dependable assault rifle that was soon to become the most popular in the world. Over 75 million AK-47’s have been produced over almost seven decades.
  10. M16 Rifle: (1964) After WWII, the US Armed Forces were looking for a replacement of the M1 Garand rifle. Although the design did have some growing pains, the M16 became very popular among foreign and domestic armies. The gun was widely used in the jungles of Vietnam and is still in use today by some militaries.

These guns influenced how our world operates today. Cash My Guns is a federally licensed gun buyer, and we have been lucky to buy varying models from this list. When we do, we are always curious what role the model we are holding may have had in history. If you have one of these influential guns, let us give you an honest appraisal and safe transaction experience. Your historical gun may have a brilliant past, and we’re here to ensure that it keeps its legacy into the future.