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The United States is the most heavily armed nation in the world, with an estimated 400 million guns in private hands. But few know that this legacy can be directly traced back to a handful of gunmakers who worked in the Springfield Armory of Massachusetts in the early 1800s. Their names became synonymous with American guns—Colt, Smith, Wesson, Winchester, and Remington among them – and they made firearms portable, powerful, rapid firing, and distinctly American. They also created the nation’s industrial base by making guns out of interchangeable parts, becoming early adopters of the assembly line process.
Today’s guest is John Bainbridge, Jr., author of Gun Barons: The Weapons That Transformed America and the Men Who Invented Them. More than just keen inventors and wily businessmen, these iconic gun barons were among the founding fathers of American industry. Their visionary work in the development of rapid-fire weaponry helped propel the U.S. into the forefront of the world’s industrial powers in the mid-nineteenth century.

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"The Arsenal of Democracy: How the Revolver and Repeating Rifle Democratized Gun Ownership and Armed the United States" History on the Net
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