It is not known when the first gunpowder charge exploded, sending a projectile down a barrel, to a distant target. Since then, firearm designers and manufacturers have been driven to make guns more accurate, improve reliability, extend their range, and ultimately make guns more alluring. Nearly 400 years has passed since European settlers traveled across the Atlantic, carrying a wheel-lock carbine single-shot musket, now known as the Mayflower Gun, to the new world. From that moment on, guns and America would be forever linked. This 13-part series explores the history of firearms - which began as a survival tool and became part of the American experience. This documentary chronicles how American firearms innovation propelled the nation to the pinnacle of the industrialized world while designing and manufacturing the most effective and beautiful guns the world had ever seen.
S01:E01 - The Kentucky Long Rifle and the Revolutionary War
Take a look at the Kentucky Long Rifle and it's use during the Revolutionary War.
S01:E02 - U.S. Armories and the War of 1812
See how early US arms manufacturing relied heavily on federal funding and armories as customers.
S01:E03 - Breechloaders and Jacksonian Democracy
See how under Andrew Jackson, the gun became an essential tool for settlers.
S01:E04 - Trouble in Texas and Samuel Colt
The Battle of the Alamo, the weapons used and Samuel Colt's rise as a titan in the gun industry.
S01:E05 - Prelude to War and Increased Fire Power
As the Civil War was imminent, American Guns became more powerful, accurate and easier to reload.
S01:E06 - Guns of the American Civil War
With the Civil War came the Gatling Gun and Sharps Rifle; after came the introduction of revolvers.
S01:E07 - The Six Shooter and America's New Industrial Age
Smith and Wesson, Remington, Colt, Winchester and Parker Bros experience a manufacturing golden age.
S01:E08 - The Long Gun
See how the spirit of innovation kept major gun manufacturers trying to outgun one another.
S01:E09 - Dawn of Modern Firearms: Browning and the Spanish-American War
See when modern style hand guns and semi automatic rifles entered production.
S01:E10 - Guns of World War I and Gangsters
Bolt actions, repeaters and machine guns take center stage during the war to end all wars.
S01:E11 - Guns of World War II
The American guns doing the heaving lifting during WWII were the M1 rifle and M1 Carbine.
S01:E12 - Guns of Korea, Vietnam and 21st Century Warfare
Explore the M1 Garand, Browning Automatic Rifle, fully automatics and advanced sniper rifles.
S01:E13 - Guns for Hunters, Sport and Protection
See how ownership of guns in America for hunters and enthusiasts has been a long standing tradition.