From the blacking to the bluing to the bullets themselves, guns are constantly evolving. Firearms have been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that manufacturers began perfecting their craft. What do you really know about the companies that made the best guns of the past 150 years?
Everyone can name a few legendary gunmakers. Winchester. Colt. Smith & Wesson. Remington. But it’s not always easy to pair those names with the exact models they helped make famous. That’s even truer when it comes to newer guns that haven’t yet had the time to rise to the level of “iconic.” But in our quiz, you’ll try to find the right answers to guns both old and new.
Do you know the company that finally found widespread success with a lever-action rifle? Can you feel your pulse rise when you think about the Colt revolvers that helped to tame the uncertainty and terrors of the Old West?
Of course, many of the most famous firearms are inextricably linked to combat, having earned the respect of soldiers on both sides of the front line. Do you remember the powerful machine guns of the World Wars … and the companies that hastily assembled them for battles that cost millions of lives?
So lock, load and fire away. We’ll see if you have the steady aim to take down our famous gunmaker quiz!
Legendary gun maker Samuel Colt actually called this one the Ranger Revolver. But because it was engraved with the scene of a Navy battle, the "Navy" moniker soon became the gun's common name. It's one of the most famous revolvers in American history.
Designed by Army officer John T. Thompson, the Thompson machine gun (or "Tommy Gun") was an instant hit when it was produced in 1921. It became a popular weapon for both law enforcement and criminals alike and played a major role in WWII.
The M1911 is one of Colt's most notable achievements. This semi-automatic .45 became the standard sidearm for American military personnel and saw plenty of action from World War I to Vietnam.
The Ruger No. 1 single-shot rifle has an iconic name to go along with its legendary status. Unveiled in 1967, this falling-block rifle has been chambered for dozens of cartridge sizes.
John Browning pointed to the Auto-5 shotgun as one of his best creations. It was the first mass-produced semi-auto shotgun ever made and built from 1902 all the way up until 1998.
The Super Black Eagle is an enduringly popular shotgun made by Benelli. It was one of the first shotguns ever capable of firing 2.75-inch, 3-inch and 3.5-inch shells.
Winchester's Model 94 is a lever-action rifle that's been one of the most a popular deer hunting rifles for more than a century. It was also widely distributed to U.S. troops during both World Wars.
In the 1870s, the Colt Single Action Army revolver became one of the most popular handguns in America. As one of the most famous guns of the Old West, the "Peacemaker" resolved many disputes, often by intimidation alone.
The Glock G19 is one of the world's most popular semi-automatic pistols. It shoots a 9x19mm cartridge, and the gun is made from a high-strength polymer -- it's a favorite of law-enforcement personnel.
In 1853, Enfield began producing its Pattern 1853 rifle-musket. It was a favored weapon in the British army, firing a .577-caliber Minie round through a 55-inch barrel. Both the North and South used this weapon in large numbers during the American Civil War.
In the run-up to WWII, the Germans decided that the popular Luger P08 was too expensive to produce. They instead opted for the Walther P38, a 9mm that soon became the army's standard service sidearm.
The 870 shotgun is likely to appear on any short list of iconic firearms. This Remington masterpiece is renowned for its simplicity, durability, and affordability.
The Browning Hi-Power a single-action, semi-auto handgun that's been made from the mid-1930s to the present day. Its name has little to do with the cartridge it fires, rather, it references the high capacity (13 rounds) of the magazine.
"Go ahead, make my day." This is the gun that Dirty Harry (a.k.a. Clint Eastwood) wielded in grimy cop movies. When the Smith & Wesson hit the scene in 1955, its .44-caliber cartridge made it the most powerful handgun around.
The Ruger Standard, or Mark I, handgun fires .22-caliber rimfire loads. Introduced in 1949, it quickly became a favorite plinker for kids and adults alike.
Manufactured from 1959 to 1964, the M14 rifle replaced the M1 Garand as the standard service rifle in the U.S. military. It was made by several manufacturers, such as Springfield and Winchester.
Marlin's Model 1895 is a highly-sought after lever-action rifle. It uses the Model 336 receiver, and it's available in .45-.70 caliber chambers.
It's like hurling chainsaws at high-speed -- the Browning M2 (or "Ma Deuce") is one of the most fearsome machine guns ever devised. It first saw service in 1933 and still frequently sees battlefields all over the world.
As one of the best-selling semi-automatic rifles in the U.S., the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 is popular with sporting types. It is often considered a great (and less pricey) alternative to an AR-15.
It's been discontinued, but during its run (starting in 1955), the Colt .357 Magnum Python was an intimidating handgun. Colt intended this sidearm to be one of its most reputable guns ever, and it succeeded, as some gun aficionados call it one of the best handguns produced.
In 1957, a guy named Roy Weatherby set out to make an ultra-powerful luxury rifle. The result was the Mark V, a bolt-action masterpiece of engineering that's still the envy of gun lovers everywhere.
This famous six-shooter comes from Ruger, which saw a major opportunity when Colt ended its Peacemaker model. The centerfire sidearm capitalized on a huge trend for all things Old West, which was in vogue during the 1950s due to the success of Western films.
Since 1964, Ruger has built millions of its popular 10/22 semi-automatic rifles. Because it is such an affordable and fun .22, it's spawned an entire industry based on customization and aftermarket parts.
When it comes to revered shotguns, it's tough to top the Mossberg 500, one of the best-known pump-action models of all-time. Reliable and powerful, the 500 is used by service personnel and hunters all over the world.
Since 1960, Marlin has been cranking out its Model 60 rifle -- a crazy-popular .22 -- almost as fast as it can make them. The company says it has sold more than 11 million of these guns since production began.
In 2005, Smith & Wesson unveiled its M&P (Military & Police) handgun. This striker-fired semi-auto model is (obviously) aimed at service personnel, but it's also exceedingly popular with civilians.
Ruger's AR-556 is a menacing sporting rifle that's chambered in 5.56 NATO. It's currently one of the most popular rifles in America.
The Kel-Tec PMR-30 is a high-tech .22-caliber rimfire pistol that, like Glock, uses a lot of plastic in its construction. It’s a futuristic-looking weapon that features a detachable 30-round magazine.
A popular gas-operated shotgun, the Remington 1100 is widely desired among sportsmen. It emerged in the early '60s when plastic shot shells gained traction. It’s a very popular model, especially for skeet shooting.
The LCR stands for "Lightweight Compact Revolver," and it’s a very popular revolver from Ruger. First chambered in .22, the LCR is now available in everything from .38 to .327 Magnum, and more.