The origins of rifling are difficult to trace, but some of the earliest practical experiments seem to have been carried out in Europe during the 15th century. Archers had long realized that a twist added to the tail feathers of their arrows gave them greater accuracy. Early muskets produced large quantities of smoke and soot, which had to be cleaned from the action and bore of the musket frequently, either through the action of repeated bore scrubbing, or a deliberate attempt to create “soot grooves” that would allow for more shots to be fired from the firearm. This might also have led to a perceived increase in accuracy, although no one knows for sure. The grooved gun barrel is considered by many to have been invented as early as 1440 and further developed by Gaspard Kollner of Vienna, Austria, circa 1498. The spirally grooved gun barrel is considered German in origin, invented by Augustus Kotter of Nuremberg circa 1520. Military commanders preferred smooth bore weapons for infantry use because rifles were much more prone to problems due to powder fouling the barrel and because they took longer to reload and fire than muskets

Gun Regulations in the US

Throughout the history of the United States, laws to regulate the firearm industry have lagged behind the growth and innovation of that industry. The first major federal law in the United States regulating guns was not enacted until 1934—despite the presence of a robust industry in firearms in this country for more than a century prior. This law, the National Firearms Act (NFA), was a relatively narrow measure primarily designed as a response to a dramatic increase in organized violent crime during the Prohibition era, particularly the use of machine guns. The law didn’t change again until 1968, when the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy Jr., and Robert Kennedy served as the catalyst for a major piece of legislation, the Gun Control Act of 1968.This new law for the first time established a framework for the lawful commerce in firearms that included a system of federal regulatory oversight of gun and ammunition manufacturers, importers, and dealers that required these businesses to become licensed by the federal government and subject themselves to oversight in the form of inspections and mandatory record keeping.

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