This book provides a general summary of the history of European firearms, from the earliest designs which appeared during the Middle Ages through to the mechanised weapon production of the Industrial Revolution. Covering the dual inventions of gunpowder and the gun, the development of reliable firing mechanisms, improvements in accuracy and rate of fire and the revolutionary changes brought about by the application of scientific and industrial processes, Michael Spencer explains the technical evolution of the firearm and analyses what drove these changes. Built around an accurate dating framework, this is an invaluable resource for both military historians and firearms collectors, and includes an array of illustrations of rare firearms, difficult to find elsewhere in print.
Michael Spencer was educated at the John Lyon School and Oxford University and is a medical consultant. He has been interested in firearms all his adult life and is co-author of Early European Hand-Firearms in Liverpool Museum, along with a number of articles and papers on the subject of early firearms. He lives in Chester.