Who invented the first shotgun?


The first weapon known as the shotgun came into use in the late 1800s and was invented by Christopher Spencer. While Spencer is credited with inventing the first shotgun, other long gun types preceded his model and other inventors developed similar weapons around the same time.

While long guns such as the blunderbuss, arquebus and musket have been in use since the 1500's, their inventors are unknown. Although not identified as shotguns, such firearms came into popularity as fowling pieces around 1850. A fowling piece was specifically designed for purposes of shooting birds.

In 1860, Christopher Spencer patented the repeating rifle for use in the Civil War. He then went on to collaborate with Sylvester Roper and developed a revolving shotgun, which did not find commercial success. Spencer went on to create his own company, Spencer Repeating Arms Co. in 1882, during which time he patented the first pump action shotgun.

John Moses Browning received a patent for a single-shot breech-loading rifle in 1879. His designs are behind a number of the early pistol and long gun models produced by the Winchester Company. Browning went on to invent the lever-action rifle, semi-automatic shotgun, various machine gun models and the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). The BAR became one of the most popular guns used by the US military during World War I.

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