Detail of a 16th century painting of the Battle of Pavia

16th Century

By the early 16th century hand-held firearms were being used in battles. They were basic, heavy to carry, slow to load, fired only short distances and were largely inaccurate.

Battle of Pavia

This battle was the first battle in which infantry armed with firearms (harquebusiers) were victorious over fully armoured knights. Metal plate armour proved no defence against bullets.



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Did you know?

Stainless Steel

Harry Brearley, chief metallurgist, of Thomas Firth & Sons of Sheffield, England, discovers martensitic chromium stainless steel in 1913 while seeking a corrosion-resistant alloy for gun barrels for the British Government.