Brief history lessons on some of the most known firearms
Guns have existed for a very long time. The first documented use of a firearm had happened in the 14th century. Since then, they became more advanced and more deadly. From small pocket pistols to high-powered sniper rifles, there are many guns to choose from, all made for different purposes and different scenarios. So let's dive deeper into the topic and learn more about the most common firearms.

It is World War 2. Nazi Germany has begun a war with Soviet Russia. A hospitalized tank commander named Mikhail Kalashnikov is thinking about creating his own automatic weapon. He went on to create several different prototypes: one of them being his Kalashnikov Submachine-gun. It was not accepted into service, however, his talent as a weapons designer was noted. One of his prototypes was the AK-47. It was inspired by many different weapons. Some of them were captured from German troops, some were supplied by the United States and others were weapons created by other Russian designers. The prototype passed the military trials, and in 1949 it was accepted into service.

The first AK's had many issues. They were hard to produce and were heavy, but in the 1950s an improvement was made: the AKM. It was a direct upgrade to the first design, decreasing both its weight and recoil, while also making it cheaper and easier to produce. The AKM saw way more users across the globe than the AK-47, and soon after other countries began creating their own AK derivatives. They improved on the design of the weapon and changed it so that it would fit their country's standards. Mikhail Kalashnikov has successfully begun a revolution in the firearm industry, and his weapon would become one of the most common ones in modern history.
The Austrian armed forces, the Bundesheer, have announced that they were looking for a new handgun for their soldiers to use. They used outdated Walther P38's, and a replacement was obviously needed. Gaston Glock was the founder of a company called Glock. Glock was a manufacturer of polymer knives and curtain rods. After finding out about Bundesheer's need for a new pistol Gaston assembled a team of Europe's most popular handgun experts to create a new weapon prototype. It was supposed to be made out of synthetic polymers to reduce weight and cost.

Due to its reliability, low cost and light-weight design, Glock's 17th patent, named the Glock 17 passed the military trials and became the standard handgun of the Bundesheer and the Austrian police. Other countries saw the results of the Austrian military trials and were interested in the Glock handgun. The pistol began spreading across the globe. More and more countries adopted the handgun, and as such, the company began offering new Glock variants, which came in many different sizes and calibers. It saw widespread use in games, movies and other forms of media. To this day the Glock variants remain as the standard handgun for the militaries and police forces all around the globe.
Franchi was an Italian firearms manufacturer, known for their sporting shotguns. They have made several attempts to create new types of weapons: mostly rifles. However, none of these new weapons saw wide-spread use. They developed the SPAS-12: a combat shotgun. It was bulky and heavy, but its most unique feature was the dual-mode operation. It was capable of firing in both semi-automatic and pump-action modes. The shooter was able to easily and quickly switching between the two in the middle of combat. The issue with the semi-automatic mode is that it used a gas operation system which could only fire buckshot and slug shotgun shells, so the pump-action mode was used for everything else.

However, Franchi faced a problem. In 1994, the SPAS-12 was banned from import to the United States. If you wanted to go big, you went to America. The ban was seen as unjustified by many: it didn't chamber big drum magazines or fire in full auto. It is pretty safe to say that it was only banned for its dangerous and mean look. Regardless, it saw very widespread use in many different forms of media. It was frequently seen in movies and even more frequently seen in videogames. The production of the SPAS-12 stopped in 2000 so that Franchi could instead focus on the SPAS-15. The SPAS-15 had the same dual-mode operation as the SPAS-12, but looked differently and fed from box magazines. It was not as widely used as its big brother but was definitely not a failure.
Heckler and Koch were encouraged by the success of their G3 battle rifle, creating 4 more variants for it, all of them chambered in different calibers. One of the four variants was chambered in 9x19mm, initially called the HK54. It had a different design from the current MP5, having a different handguard and a straight magazine, instead of the curved one that it currently uses. Soon after, it was adopted by the German police, border guards and the army.

The submachine gun acquired worldwide recognition after being used in Operation Nimrod, where the SAS assaulted the Iranian embassy in London to save the hostages inside. Many police forces worldwide began using the MP5 as a result of this, and the rifle was now frequently seen in movies, TV shows, and videogames. Although the MP5 is slowly being phased out due to its low armor penetration capabilities, it still remains an iconic and popular weapon.
The US Army needed a rifle that could replace the now-outdated M1 Garand. As powerful as the Garand could be, it was outdated. One of the candidates was the AR-10, made by Eugene Stoner. The AR-10 looked more modern than most other guns of that era. However, it had one problem. It fired the .308 Winchester cartridge, and even though the rifle did a lot of things to prevent the recoil from overwhelming the shooter, it was too lightweight to fire such caliber in full auto.

Eugene Stoner developed an upgrade to the AR-10: it was called the AR-15. It fired a lighter 5.56x45mm caliber. Although 5.56x45 was lighter than the previously used .308, it had good armor-penetrating and fragmentation capabilities. Over the years, the AR-15 platform was improved. Several modifications were made for it, including the M203 grenade launcher which was mounted on the rifle. Just like the other weapons on this list, it achieved worldwide recognition. It was used by many law enforcement agencies and militaries all around the world, due to its lightweight design and the advanced 5.56 caliber. To this day it remains in widespread use and is constantly being improved on.
The topic of firearms is a big one, and there are many more things to be discussed. What I've said here is only a small portion of what can be said about guns, and I will gladly make more posts like this. I really hope that you will not mind if I begin making longer posts like this one.

As always, thanks for coming to my TED talk.
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