Arms of all sorts were in high demand at the onset of the Great War, including a new type of close-quarters combat firearm: the repeating shotgun. Though several designs were explored, only a few made it into the trenches before the Armistice was signed.
Most who are familiar of the U.S. Model 1917 have heard the story of how it was used as a substitute for the Model 1903 during World War I, but few have heard of the efforts of John T. Thompson and his band of rifle demonstrators that evaluated, taught and trained American soldiers on the new rifle for U.S. Ordnance.
While there are many military rifles that have seen extensive service, the Italian M1870/87/15 Vetterli-Vitali stands out as one of the longest-serving military rifles in any guise.