Historical Firearm Features
The Model of 1919 Thompson submachine guns were the first of their breed, but they were more of an evolutionary series than a “model.” With names like “Persuader” and “Annihilator,” these prototypes were the foundation of an American legend.
During World War I, production shortages and equipment shortages placed a large burden on the manufacture of arms in the United States. This included M1911 pistol production by Colt, which developed an interesting hybrid with Springfield Armory to alleviate shortages.
Colt’s Model 1877 Lightning revolver (occasionally confused with its 1884 Lightning pump-action rifle) was the company’s first double-action handgun, brought out to compete with the double-action British bulldog revolvers gaining in popularity at the time.
During World War II, Brazilian troops fought as part of the U.S. Fifth Army in Italy. Although they mostly used American military arms, the men of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force also brought along Colt pistols and Smith & Wesson revolvers from home.
Christian Sharps is probably best remembered for his famous Sharps falling-block, breechloading, single-shot rifle, which he patented on Sept. 12, 1848. But a little more than a year later, on Dec. 18, 1849, he also patented an equally innovative four-barreled derringer.
The Ruger Blackhawk single-action revolver made its debut in 1955, and 50 years later, Ruger paid tribute to those first “flattop” guns with a production run reminiscent of the originals—and some very special engraved flattops from The Ruger Studio of Art & Decoration.