Pistols first appeared in the 15th century, and revolvers some 400 years later, while submachine guns were developed in the early 1900s. At this point the pace of weapons development really took off, with new technology, materials and manufacturing methods to speed it on. Guns of all types played an important part in world events throughout the 20th century. With two world wars, plus 18 major conflicts including the Korean War, Vietnam and Afghanistan, and many struggles that have continued into the 21st century, enormous efforts have gone into military firearms development. Parallel to that, police firepower has developed substantially in urban areas, and the police and military now have access to an incredible range of weapons.
This book provides a clear and concise breakdown of 486 handguns and submachine guns from all over the world, including early designs and those being deployed today. The weapons are grouped into two separate directories: first the pistols and revolvers are listed, then the submachine guns. Both are grouped into country of manufacture, from China to Czech Republic and the USA to Egypt.
Handguns featured include the bizarre-looking but technically brilliant Borchardt 1893; the personal defence classic Glock 36; and the Royal Irish Constabulary’s Webley RIC 1872. Famous submachine guns include the Colt, Twin Villar Perosa and Sten Mark 1. For each weapon, there is an expert summary of the gun’s development, its use in battle or defence, and its subsequent popularity or phasing out.
Each entry has a quick-glance statistics box, showing the gun's weight, length, magazine capacity and action, along with its flag of nationality and manufacturer. After the directory is a list of the featured manufacturers, with a brief note about each one, from Canada’s Para Ordnance to Japan’s Kokura Arsenal.
Anthony North has worked for many years at the Victoria & Albert Museum, giving him a wide knowledge of public and private collections of firearms. He enjoys unique access to historic weapons. Anthony has written and lectured about arms, metalwork and antiques since the 1970s.
William Fowler has worked in journalism and publishing since 1972, specialising in military history, current affairs and defence technology. He is the author of over 30 books covering military technology and conflicts from the 19th century to the Second Gulf War. He has reported for defence magazines around the world and broadcast frequently on historical and defence related topics on radio and television. He has served for nearly 30 years in the British Territorial Army.
Charles Stronge is an experienced editor and writer who works primarily in the fields of politics, international affairs and military history. He also worked as an Editor for Jane’s Information Group. He served for six years in the British Territorial Army.