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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Firearm:
  • Create a section to better detail the history of firearms
  • Scope, cultural issues, etc.
  • Better coverage of legal issues; e.g. licensing.

Criticism of section on Handguns[edit]

The first line is false. Handguns are NOT the smallest type of firearms. That falls to specialty guns although there is a Kolibri 2.7mm that is extremely small. In general the smallest gun using standard readily available ammunition is the Pen Gun. Some Book guns are smaller than typical handguns as well. The smallest typical Handgun that can be found in a Sporting Goods store, is a handgun which fires Tear Gas. It may not look like a classical handgun. [1]

This line gives an incorrect impression: " single-shot pistols (more common historically)."

Single Shot pistols are quite common in well equipped Sporting Goods stores. Makers include Thompson/Cengter, CVA, Wichita while there are still some Smith & Wesson and Remington in existence for which ammunition is still being made. There are also Derringer type handguns, which have two cylinders. Early repeating handguns were multiple barreled "Pepper Box" designs. These gave way to revolvers which revolved a cylinder with multiple chambers rather than have multiple barrels (saving weight).

This line is slightly incorrect and misleading: "Semi-automatic pistols have a single fixed firing chamber machined into the rear of the barrel,." It is wrong because the entire barrel of self loading handguns moves in two different planes in most actions (HK Roller locking handguns move in a single plane only). Single shot pistols fit this description precisely.

The discussion of trigger types is confused and incomplete. There are at least three trigger action types and they are used on both revolvers and self loaders.

Trigger Type How it functions Revolver Self Loader
Single Spur Hammer is cocked by hand Yes Yes
Double Hammer is cocked by trigger pull Yes Yes
Single Action/Double Action as in first two examples No Yes

Trigger action is dependent on the type of firing pin activation also. Some handguns use a Striker instead of a firing pin. Striker fired guns are also single and double action (see Sig Sauer P320)

The earliest revolving handguns were made in 1530 in Italy. [2] This makes the line "Prior to the 19th century, all handguns were single-shot muzzleloaders.[citation needed]" FALSE

The next line is also false: "With the invention of the revolver in 1818..."

The line "Certain designs of auto-loading pistol appeared beginning in the 1870s ." is also false and the words Certain Designs are without meaning. The FIRST self loading handgun to be marketed was offered in 1892 and was the SCHÖNBERGER-LAUMANN M1892 [3] [4]

This statement is untrue: "Revolvers, especially in .22 LR and 38 Special/357 Magnum, are also common concealed weapons in jurisdictions allowing this practice because their simple mechanics make them smaller than many autoloaders while remaining reliable..." The revolver is handicapped for concealed carry use due to it's excessive width (thickness). Even full sized self loaders (such as the Colt M1911A1 are thinner and easier to conceal than MOST revolvers. Smaller caliber revolvers, such as the Harrington & Richard .22 LR, have larger capacity, and thus larger cylinders than if they held fewer rounds (it holds 10). Revolvers are also notoriously unreliable. They suffer from rapid wear, and are very sensitive to dirt. Wear of the timing mechanisms in the Smith & Wesson Model 10 in .38 Smith and Wesson Special caliber was the FIRST to fail in the competition for the M9 US DOD handgun with a mean time between failures of around 410 rounds while the Beretta and Sig Sauer exceeded 5000 rounds with no failures.

Further, in close combat an antagonist can easily disable a revolver simply by grasping the cylinder. It can also have the hammer blocked. A Smith & Wesson M&P model has a shrouded hammer to make it more reliable. [5]


  1. ^ "For Sale: Rare Colt Pen Gun (.38 cal.) Tear Gas Firing". Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Repeating Rifles and Revolvers Pre 1800". Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Book of Pistols and Revolvers (7th ed.). New York: Castle Books. 1968. p. 26. 
  5. ^

Digitallymade (talk) 15:48, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

I'd quibble with your first point. My impression is that the term "handgun" covers any gun small enough to be operated one-handed, so it would include pen guns, etc. But I agree with your other points. Do you propose to fix these problems? Felsic2 (talk) 16:01, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and I was going to include pen guns as well as the ultra small Kolibri 2mm as examples.Digitallymade (talk) 16:38, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
HK never made a roller locking handgun, that is straight up fiction. Roller locking rifles and subguns, yes. The only roller locking handgun is the CZ52. Blowback pistols like the PPK and Toggle action pistols like the Luger and Lahti use a fixed barrel.There are a lot of revolvers that work well for concealed carry: NAA Minis, S&W Models 1-2, New Departures, I frames, J frames; Colt Detective Special, Cobra, etc. Hell one of the guns I'm carrying today is a Ruger SP-101 in 357 Magnum. Anyone who is willing to take the Pepsi Challenge is welcome to try to disable one of my carry guns by attempting to grab the bbl. Now what was more common was for a badguy to grab the top strap on a top break and open it, and by that I mean it happened at least twice in recorded history so that S&W released the Perfected Model, but then swing out cylinders left the top breaks in the dust for other reasons.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 17:55, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Page Organization:[edit]

It is typical to list History before discussing other details. A major test for the quality of a page is, after reading this, will I understand more, or become more confused. This page will mostly confuse people. It is illogical to start discussing types and configurations prior to the discussion of history. Facts without context have little to NO value.

Look at this index structure, It's a mass of confusion, redundancy and illogical ordering:

  • 1.2 Function
  • 1.2.1 Manual
  • 1.2.2 Semi-automatic
  • 1.2.3 Automatic
  • Machine guns
  • Submachine guns
  • Personal defense weapons
  • Automatic rifles
  • Assault rifles
  • 2 History
  • 2.1 Evolution
  • 2.1.1 Early models
  • Fire lances
  • Hand cannons
  • Muskets
  • 2.1.2 Loading techniques
  • 2.1.3 Internal magazines
  • 2.1.4 Detachable magazines
  • 2.1.5 Belt-fed weapons
  • 2.1.6 Firing mechanisms
  • Matchlock
  • Wheellock
  • Flintlock
  • Percussion cap
  • 2.1.7 Cartridges
  • 2.1.8 Repeating, semi-automatic, and automatic firearms

It's also written using an English/US context of some terms. As far at it's discussion of military weapons, I think that should be elsewhere. By combining too much varied information the page does a major disservice to a potential student.

There is also NO legitimate logic to discussing laws here. The people who write these pages cannot claim to be either licensed Attorneys or Legal Constitutional Scholars. Laws should be discussed ONLY in the context of preserving LAW & ORDER. If there was one law in the entire USA I might say that it's OK to talk about it here. There is not. Not only do all the US states and territories have varying laws there are people outside the USA who have different laws to deal with.

Neither is there any legitimate context by which the morality of the use of firearms is discussed beyond the concerns of hunters and conservators who desire as painless and quick death for animals that are killed with firearms as can be achieved.

Any discussion beyond this falls into the areas of religion, opinion, and often radical opinion. The discussion of Firearms is a discussion of the evolution of technology and relates to the Industrial Revolution and the advancement of Science and the understanding of the world, which is called Physics, which is apolitical.

Digitallymade (talk) 17:05, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

I'm sure that the article can be improved. But I don't agree with your logic of deleting all consideration of the legal and moral issues connected to firearms, since they are a big part of the history of firearms. Technology doesn't exist in a vacuum. See Nuclear weapon, where the legal and moral issues are discussed prominently and appropriately. Felsic2 (talk) 17:40, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Suggesting a New Page Name Suggestion[edit]

This topic is poorly organized and lists several military types of firearms. A Better name would be:

Sporting Firearms

I am suggesting changing this page name to Sporting Firearms.

And in that context military firearms, if they don't already have a specific page should have one created.

The Sporting Firearms industry is responsible for huge advances in the technology since the end of WWII which was greatly accelerated in recent years. Digitallymade (talk) 17:19, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

I disagree. "Civilian" might be a better juxtaposition to "military", but overall I don't see the benefit of splitting the two topics. In terms of handguns, there's no real difference. But since this is a big-topic article it should provide an overview of all firearms. Felsic2 (talk) 17:37, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Let's run down to our Civilian store and buy a new handgun? Where is that in the phone book? The industry that Cabela's, Dick's, Gander Mountain, Field and Stream, and numerous Sporting Goods stores are part of is called Leisure Sports. The products in that industry in additions to firearms are Sporting Goods. So if a total novice were to look at this page and want to know where to buy a firearm, we would have to have that as a section if the page is called Civilian. That would also imply that non-civilian needs would not be addressed (which is fine since the needs of the Police and Military are NOT generally handled through Sporting goods stores). Some are in fact. I believe that Sporting Firearms is a far better page name and that Military Firearms (and all that implies) is best dealt with on a separate page. Many of the irrational attacks on gun owners are based on distinctions such as this which open the door for deliberate obfuscation and mendacity. There are already many redundant pages that overlap some of decent scholarship of some without. Since the 1950's when I started paying attention firearms have been Sporting Goods. Before the political nonsense, hardware stores carried firearms. This changed because of the abuses of a few people who object to the basic nature of weapons and self defense. Digitallymade (talk) 23:14, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
We're not here to expedite sales. We don't classify most things by where we buy them.
We're not service ANY useful purpose by using ambiguous terms that no one would recognize. By the way, the Military version of this would likely be TWENTY times the size. Guns of the former Soviet Union and the current Russia alone would fill volumes. Beretta, Sig Sauer, and others do not sell their military versions to the civilian market. The XM17 is a perfect example.. it's NOT in the civilian market (although it probably will be in future). Digitallymade (talk) 06:34, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I could imagine having sub-articles on military and civilian firearms, or even ones devoted to hunting or target firearms. But we should still have an article like this one that provides an overview of the entire topic. I just don't see a big benefit to splitting it, as military and civilian firearms are more alike than different, and there's considerable overlap. Untold millions of AK-47s are in private hands, for example, and various handguns first designed for civilian use have been sold to military units. Felsic2 (talk) 22:02, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
If we do then it should be no more than a stub. The purpose is to provide accurate and useful knowledge. The test is, would you understand more or less from this page.. currently the answer is less. This article is written as if it was a elementary school project for a non English speaker. Digitallymade (talk) 06:34, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I am going to clarify the section on how firearms are described.Digitallymade (talk) 06:34, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
The proper name for a page on Military Firearms would be Military Small Arms. Most of the information for these weapons is available on an expensive cost only basis (which I no longer pay for). I do not subscribe to Jane's or AUSA, or NDPA neither do I see the need to discuss military systems which are in use as a need of the average person. One of my former "friends" who ripped off my statement for retiring to Montana to raise rabbits (the late Tom Clancy) was hauled in front of a Congressional Investigation Committee to state where he got all the information that he had published in the book, The Hunt for Red October (most of which he got right). Any discussion of military firearms carried a security risk. We were both doing the SAME research at the same military bases prior to his writing the book. Digitallymade (talk) 06:34, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
There are already articles on all the subtopics you mention. Many arms, like muskets, have been used by a large variety of people.
There are many fine, academic sources about firearms. Before you spend a lot of time writing material based on low quality sources, please make sure you're using only the best available references.
Also, be aware that this article covers all firearms from their origin to the present day, so an American-centric or a 21st century focus would both be inappropriate. Felsic2 (talk) 15:57, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
You've convinced me of some things here, it's not worth the effort since the product is always going to be substandard. There are dozens are worthwhile resources.. this will never :::::::::be one.
Digitallymade (talk) 23:27, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
If you want to improve the article it's not hard. Just start with a high quality source and follow what it says on the topic. But going in the opposite direction - starting with what you already know and then later trying to find sources to support it - is always going to cause problems. Felsic2 (talk) 23:46, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Sources, history, & intro[edit]

A top-level overview article like this should be based on the best quality sources. I am concerned that the recent edits have introduced material of only local interest or based on poor quality sources. There are numerous books that describe the development and variety of firearms, including many by academic publishers. This article should use those instead of self-published webpages, wikis, and other sources of limited scope or reliability. Content like The new western territories in the West were sparsely populated. There was no law or justice. To survive a person was almost certain to own a firearm. or The advent of the Colt Revolver created a new era of democracy. No longer could a larger person bully a smaller one who was armed with a Colt. is probably inappropriate for NPOV article like this with a global scope. Felsic2 (talk) 19:41, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

@Digitallymade: On further review, I question the value of the recent edits. Many of them focus on the history of firearms. However there is already an entire article on that topic: History of the firearm. This article should simply have a short summary of the material in that article. Further, the intro should be no more than four paragraphs. It now has 11. So I reluctantly propose revert most of the recent edits. If we want to improve this article, the improvements should be based on the highest quality sources available and should follow WP:SUMMARY with respect to subtopics where an article already exists. Felsic2 (talk) 19:12, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
I went ahead and reverted to the version of 01:05, 2 January 2017‎. While it may not be perfect, I believe it is better than what we had after the extensive revisions throughout January. Major revisions in a mature article that has been edited by many editors after much discussion should not be done without further discussion. Only the best quality sources should be used. All Wikipedia policies and guidelines should be followed. Felsic2 (talk) 23:30, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Agree, WP:LEADSENTENCE should not have been changed and remainder should have been added to History of the firearm. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 22:44, 9 February 2017 (UTC)