The early years of the 19th century heralded an industrial age the like of which had never before been witnessed and an extraordinarily rapid advance in weapons technology, which continues to this day.
Formerly a labour-intensive and expensive industry, by the late 1850s the mass production of military firearms had become mechanised, using technology perfected in the United States by a number gunmakers including Whitney, North, Colt and Robbins & Lawrence and others and which was first adopted in Britain by the Royal Small Arms Manufactory at Enfield.
Designed by Samuel Colt, this .44 calibre pistol was an immensely powerful handgun.
Dates from 1850 | Object number: XII.908
The Gatling machine gun on display in the War Gallery at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
Dates from 1873 | Object number: XII.1804
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