The evolution of firearms has been quite spectacular and has taken many twists and turns as inventors worked on previous models to create a more efficient unit. A look at the history of guns will show the early beginnings of the weapon and how it has progressed to the modern guns of war that are highly effective in their job. Although many of the early versions are no longer available, the guns collector industry is quite strong, with an international presence and regular appearances of treasured firearms showing up at notable auction houses.

In the beginning, there was gunpowder. It was this critical ingredient that made the firing of antique guns possible. The oldest records of gunpowder show that it was invented sometime in the 9th century in China. However, it would be another 300 years before the practical application of gunpowder in firearms became part of the overall history of guns in the world. From China, these new guns of war moved west through the Middle East and into Europe where they were popularized.

In the United States, the history of guns followed the same route as the European history until the grand battles of the Civil War. During this times, firearms manufacturers and the military worked to create new weapons, including a number of gun models that advanced the technological expertise of the devices. The biggest advancement that was made occurred in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the breech loading rifles were invented. With this new step, a person would not need a lot of time to load a round after firing. Instead, premade ammunition could simply be inserted into the gun and reloading took only a few seconds. This change greatly influenced the history of guns and all of the following Civil War guns used this format to achieve rapid firing.