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When were guns invented? Guns have been a controversial topic for centuries, but the story of their invention and evolution through history is an intriguing one.

Learn more about firearms in our guns for beginners article and read along to learn about when were guns invented and the history of firearms.

We will take a look at who invented guns, when was the first gun made, and even firearms throughout history.

From the earliest matchlocks and flintlocks to more advanced, modern firearms, guns have seen many changes throughout history.

Learn when were guns invented and more about the history about guns and how they’ve changed over the years here.

When were guns invented? We answer this and many more questions about the history of firearms.

When Were Guns Invented?

Learn when were guns invented and more about the history about guns and how they’ve changed over the years here. The history of guns is a captivating one that traces back more than a thousand years.

Delving deeper into this subject, we find that the development of firearms was a gradual process, rising from crude pieces of metal to more refined weaponry as technologies advanced over time – revolutionizing the way humans live, work and fight.

Our short but fun article, When Were Guns Invented?, takes you on this journey through time, exploring the earliest pioneers in the creation of firearms technology. So get ready for an fun adventure through the ages!

Who Invented Guns

Who invented guns? We can’t discuss when were guns invented without talking about the who. The history of firearms dates all the way back to 10th century China.

It was China who created gunpowder, and the earliest known weapons of this sort were called fire lances.

By the end of the 13th century, these had turned into “true guns,” metal barrel weapons that had single projectiles that occluded inside the barrel.

From there, gun technology and gunpowder spread throughout Eurasia during the 14th century.

The Development of Gunpowder

The invention of gunpowder is a crucial part of the history of firearms and a must when thinking about when were guns invented.

Gunpowder was first invented in China during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) and was initially used for fireworks and other forms of entertainment.

However, it wasn’t long before people realized the potential military applications of gunpowder.

The Earliest Known Firearms

As we’re on the topic of when were guns invented, we must mention the earliest known firearms. By the 13th century, the Chinese had developed the first firearms, which were essentially bamboo tubes filled with gunpowder and shrapnel.

These early firearms, known as “fire lances,” were used primarily for close combat and were not very accurate.

However, they were still a significant advancement in military technology and paved the way for the development of more sophisticated firearms in the centuries that followed.

The gunpowder was ignited by a fuse and the resulting explosion propelled the shrapnel forward.

Over time, the design of firearms evolved and became more sophisticated, leading to the development of guns as we know them today.

When Were guns Invented: When was the First Gun Made

Since we’re talking about when were guns invented, we must answer the question when was the first gun made?

While the first guns or prototype guns appeared in China from around 1000 AD, the first gun that took on the shape of a gun more or less as we know it today was the Portuguese Hand Cannon in 1364.

This first firearm had all the components of modern guns – a tube-shaped barrel and a handle – but it was only capable of firing explosives and not bullets.

This gun’s design then inspired other forms of guns, like the matchlock and flintlock which were easier and more reliable to use than its predecessor.

The Evolution of Firearms Technology

Over time, firearms technology continued to evolve and improve. In the 14th century, the first true guns were developed in Europe, which used metal barrels to contain the gunpowder and projectiles.

These early guns were still relatively primitive and had limited range and accuracy.

However, they were still a significant improvement over earlier firearms and helped to establish the use of guns in warfare.

In the centuries that followed, firearms technology continued to advance, with the development of rifling, breech-loading mechanisms, and other innovations that made guns more accurate, reliable, and deadly.

Matchlocks and Introduction of Gunpowder in Europe

The matchlock, also known as a snaplock, was invented in the mid-15th century and marked a major breakthrough in gunsmithing.

It replaced the need for a lit fuse with an easier to use slow burning match cord trigger. This new technology rapidly spread throughout Europe, and by 1700 muzzle-loading firearms had become one of the most effective forms of weaponry available worldwide.

This triggered a revolution in warfare, allowing musketeers to inflict mass casualties from farther away — eliminating the need for hand-to-hand combat.

Muskets, Pistols and Rifles for the English Army

During the 18th century, technology for gunsmiths had advanced significantly. English Army muskets were guns of high quality and fired a .75 caliber round ball.

Also popular within the English infantry was flintlock pistols, which feature a mechanical firing mechanism that relied on sparks created by lightly striking a piece of flint against steel to ignite gunpowder.

Around this time period, the British military also developed rifles to use with percussion caps, which contained enough gunpowder for multiple shots without needing to be reloaded with black powder.

The advancement of guns during this era revolutionized warfare and contributed to major battles in Europe and around the world.

Technology Changes – Breech-Loading Guns and Repeaters

Breech-loading guns were developed in the late 18th century, replacing the muzzle-loading muskets of earlier years. The technology allowed for significantly quicker loading, easier maintenance and repair, a heavier projectile, and higher rate of fire.

Around the same time, repeaters were developed as well. These weapons used cartridges that contained all of the necessary components of a bullet (propellant, primer, and projectile) to be fired in rapid succession.

By 1870s breech-actions had mostly replaced muzzle loaders as the common firearm choice among militaries around the world because they were lighter and more maneuverable than before.

Modern Firearms – Semi-Automatic Weapons and Beyond

The beginning of the 20th century saw the reduction of recoil and improvement of accuracy with semi automatic weapons.

Semi automatic weapons allowed for multiple rounds to be fired quickly without having to reload each time.

In the postwar period, further developments were made in firearms engineering such as laser aiming systems, bulletproof materials and stock designs, improved muzzle brakes, ergonomic designs and more.

Today’s firearms have become increasingly advanced with a wide range of accessories and features available.

Famous Gun Designs That Changed the World

When talking about when were guns invented, we wanted to include something about the different guns throughout history.

Firearms and history about guns have an inextricable connection to the history of human civilization.

The development of gunpowder and the design of smoothbore muskets revolutionized warfare and saw widespread adoption for centuries.

In todays times we see firearms continue to evolve as technologies become more advanced, with rifles becoming increasingly complex and effective.

Exploring the long lineage of firearms and when were guns invented, it give us a fascinating glimpse into how these weapons have shaped our past and present civilizations.

Learn more about Guns today!


The musket has a long and storied history. It was first introduced in the mid 16th century and became a staple of European armies almost immediately.

It was the first gun to be widely available, making it an affordable weapon that allowed armies to arm common soldiers with guns.

Famous for its slow firing rate and requiring two hands to shoot it, the musket started a revolution in firearms technology that influenced military weapons for centuries to come.


In 1835, Samuel Colt revolutionized guns with the invention of the revolver.

This weapon featured a revolving chamber for the capsules instead of a single barrel, making it more efficient and faster to reload than its predecessors.

Military warfare was entirely changed by this advancement in firearms technology; gaining an advantage in reloading speed allowed soldiers to fight more efficiently and quickly.

The revolver remains a popular firearm used around the world today.

Recommended: Single Action vs Double Action: A Comprehensive Comparison

Automatic Pistol

Developed in the early 20th century, automatic pistols revolutionized personal defense weapons.

Historically, guns had to be reloaded after each shot was fired. Automatic pistols could fire a large number of rounds quickly with one trigger pull—allowing for a higher degree of accuracy and faster shooting time.

This advancement popularized the use of semi-automatic and automatic weapons by law enforcement and military personnel around the world.


The rifle has a long and distinguished history, with the first examples of its design appearing in the early 1500s.

Its usage became more widespread during the Revolutionary War, when muskets equipped with rifled barrels were used by both American and British forces for their superior accuracy and rate of fire.

Since then, rifles have become some of the most iconic weapons used in hunting game animals such as coyote, as well as military settings all around the world, culminating in modern magazine fed assault rifles that can rapidly fire hundreds of rounds at once.


Shotguns are a well-known weapon often used for hunting and self-defense.

Originally developed in the early 19th century, the shotgun is characterized by its ability to fire a number of shells simultaneously.

This makes it an effective tool for defending against multiple attackers or for bringing down large game animals such as deer, elk, moose, and bear. Shotguns are also used for hunting birds like wild turkey, pheasant, or even duck hunting.

Due to their versatility and simplicity of operation, shotguns are now ubiquitous around the world as popular choices for both hunting and home defense.

Also see: 5 Most Common Guns in the Civil War.


When Were Guns Invented: Conclusion

In conclusion, the development of Guns has been an interesting journey of when were guns invented throughout history stretching all the way back to the early matchlocks and flintlocks.

Today, these weapons have seen many changes that improved their accuracy and power.

Analyzing when were guns invented, who invented guns, when was the first gun made, and looking at firearms throughout history provide us with valuable insights into their evolution over time.

I hope you now have a better understanding of when were guns invented and their role in our lives today.

Now that you know more about the topic of when were guns invented, discover the different parts of a gun and parts of ammunition.

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