Timeline of the gunpowder age
This is a timeline of the history of gunpowder and related topics such as weapons, warfare, and industrial applications. The timeline covers the history of gunpowder from the first hints of its origin as a Taoist alchemical product in China until its replacement by smokeless powder in the late 19th century.
|142||Earliest possible reference to gunpowder appears in the Cantong qi, otherwise known as the Book of the Kinship of Three, a Taoist text on the subject of alchemy by Wei Boyang, who lived in the Eastern Han dynasty.|
|300||The ingredients of gunpowder are recorded in the Baopuzi, also known as The Master Who Embraces Simplicity, by Taoist philosopher Ge Hong, who lived in the Jin dynasty (265–420).|
|492||Tao Hongjing, a Taoist alchemist, notes that saltpeter burns with a purple flame.|
|756||The Taoist Mao Kua reports in his Pinglongren (Recognition of the Recumbent Dragon) that by heating saltpeter, the yin of the air can be obtained, which combines with sulphur, carbon, and metals other than gold.|
|808||The Taoist priest Qing Xuzi mentions the gunpowder formula in his Taishang Shengzu Jindan Mijue, describing six parts sulfur to six parts saltpeter to one part birthwort herb.|
|858||The Taoist text Zhenyuan miaodao yaolüe (Classified Essentials of the Mysterious Way of the True Origin of Things) contains a warning on the dangers of gunpowder: "Some have heated together sulfur, realgar (arsenic disulphide), and saltpeter with honey; smoke [and flames] result, so that their hands and faces have been burnt, and even the whole house burned down."|
|904||Fire arrows utilizing gunpowder are used by Southern Wu troops during the siege of Yuzhang.|
|919||The gunpowder slow match appears in China (for igniting flamethrowers).|
|950||Fire lances appear in China.|
|969||Gunpowder propelled fire arrows, rocket arrows, are invented by Yue Yifang and Feng Jisheng.|
|975||The state of Wuyue sends a group of soldiers skilled in the use of fire arrows to the Song dynasty, which uses fire arrows and incendiary bombs in the same year to destroy the fleet of Southern Tang.|
|994||The Liao dynasty attacks the Song dynasty and lays siege to Zitong with 100,000 troops, but fails due to the defenders' use of fire arrows.|
|1000||Tang Fu demonstrates gunpowder pots and caltrops to the Song court and is rewarded.|
|1002||Shi Pu demonstrates fireballs utilizing gunpowder to the Song court and blueprints are created for promulgation throughout the realm.|
|1044||The chemical formula for gunpowder appears in the military manual Wujing Zongyao, also known as the Complete Essentials for the Military Classics.|
|"Thunderclap bombs" are mentioned in the Wujing Zongyao.|
|A "triple-bed-crossbow" firing fire arrows is mentioned in the Wujing Zongyao.|
|1067||Private trade of gunpowder ingredients is banned in the Song dynasty.|
|1076||Trade of gunpowder ingredients with the Liao and Western Xia dynasties is outlawed by the Song court.|
|1083||Three hundred thousand fire arrows are produced by the Song court and delivered to two garrisons.|
|1110||The Song army puts on a firework display for the emperor including a spectacle which opened with "a noise like thunder" and explosives that light up the night. Considered by some to be the first mention of gunpowder fireworks.|
|1126||February||Jingkang Incident: Thunderclap bomb as well as fire arrows and fire bombs are used by Song troops during the siege of Kaifeng by the Jin dynasty (1115–1234).|
|1127||December||"Molten metal bombs", suspected to contain gunpowder, are employed by Song troops when the Jin army returns with fire arrows and gunpowder bombs made by captured Song artisans. Kaifeng is taken.|
|1128||The earliest extant depiction of a cannon appears among the Dazu Rock Carvings, one of which is a human figure holding a gourd shaped hand cannon.|
|1129||Gunpowder weapons are applied to naval warfare as Song warships are outfitted with trebuchets and supplies of gunpowder bombs.|
|1132||Siege of De'an: Fire lances are used by Song troops.|
|Gunpowder is referred to specifically for its military applications for the first time and is known as "fire bomb medicine" rather than "fire medicine".|
|Firecrackers using gunpowder are mentioned for the first time.|
|1159||Fire arrows are employed by a Song fleet in sinking a Jin fleet off the shore of Shandong peninsula.|
|1161||26–27 November||Battle of Caishi: Thunderclap bombs are employed by Song treadmill boats in sinking a Jin fleet on the Yangtze.|
|1163||Fire lances are attached to war carts, known as "at-your-desire-war-carts", for defending Song mobile trebuchets.|
|1207||Thunderclap bombs are employed by Song forces in a sneak attack on a Jin camp, killing 2000 men and 800 horses.|
|1221||Iron casing bombs are employed by Jin troops in the siege of Qi Prefecture (Hubei).|
|1227||The Wuwei Bronze Cannon, excavated in 1980, is dated to the Western Xia (1038–1227) period. It is currently the oldest possible extant cannon, however like the Heilongjiang hand cannon it contains no inscription and dating is based on contextual evidence.|
|1230||Co-viative projectiles are added to fire lances.|
|1231||"Thunder crash bombs" are employed by Jin troops in destroying a Mongol warship.|
|1232||Reusable fire lance barrels made of durable paper are employed by Jin troops during the Mongol siege of Kaifeng.|
|1237||Large bombs requiring several hundred men to hurl using trebuchets are employed by Mongols in the siege of Anfeng (modern Shouxian, Anhui).|
|1240||The Middle East acquires knowledge of gunpowder.|
|1245||Rockets are used during a military exercise conducted by the Song navy.|
|1257||Three-hundred thirty-three "fire emitting tubes" are produced in a Song arsenal in Jiankang Prefecture (Nanjing, Jiangsu).|
|1258||In India, gunpowder is used in pyrotechnics.|
|1259||The History of Song describes a "fire-emitting lance" employing a pellet wad projectile which occludes the barrel. Some consider this to be the first bullet.|
|The city of Qingzhou produces one to two thousand iron cased bomb shells a month and sends them in deliveries of ten to twenty thousand at a time to Xiangyang and Yingzhou.|
|1264||A display of miniature rockets frightens the Song empress.|
|1267||In Europe gunpowder is mentioned in textual sources by Roger Bacon, in his Opus Majus.|
|1272||Battle of Xiangyang: Fire lances are used by a Song riverine relief force to repel boarders.|
|1276||Reusable fire lance barrels made of metal are employed by the Song army.|
|Fire lances are used by Song cavalry in combating Mongols.|
|1277||A suicide bombing occurs in China when Song garrisons set off a large bomb, killing themselves.|
|1280||"Eruptors," cannons firing co-viative projectiles, are employed in the Yuan dynasty.|
|A major accidental explosion occurs in China when a Yuan gunpowder storehouse at Weiyang, Yangzhou catches fire and explodes, killing 100 guards and hurling building materials over 5 km away.|
|The Middle East acquires fire lances and rockets. Hasan al-Rammah writes, in Arabic, recipes for gunpowder, instructions for the purification of saltpeter, and descriptions of gunpowder incendiaries.|
|Europe acquires the gunpowder formula.|
|1281||Bombs are employed by Mongols in the Mongol invasions of Japan.|
|1287||Hand cannons are employed by the troops of Yuan Jurchen commander Li Ting in putting down a rebellion by Mongol prince Nayan.|
|1288||The Heilongjiang hand cannon is dated to this year based on contextual evidence and its proximity to the rebellion by Mongol prince Nayan, although it contains no inscription.|
|1293||Cannons (pao) are used during the Mongol invasion of Java.|
|1298||The Xanadu Gun, the oldest confirmed extant hand cannon, is dated to this year based on its inscription and contextual evidence.|
|1300||In India Mongol mercenaries deploy fire arrows during a siege.|
|1307||The Armenian monk Hetoum writes about a powerful weapon having been invented in China.|
|1325||Bronze "thousand-ball thunder-cannons" on four wheeled carriages appear in the Yuan dynasty.|
|1326||In Europe the depiction of a cannon appears.|
|1330||In Andalusia cannons are mentioned in textual sources.|
|Europe's oldest extant firearm, the Loshult gun, is dated to this year.|
|1333||Earliest extant cannon arrow projectile is dated to this year. Now kept in the Eltz Castle.|
|1338||An organ gun and three pounds of gunpowder are recorded to have been in the possession of a raiding party that sacked Southampton.|
|1339||The word "cannon", derived from the Greek kanun and Latin canna, meaning "tube," is used for the first time in Europe.|
|The word "gun" is used to describe a firearm in English for the first time.|
|1340||A "watermelon bomb" containing miniature rockets known as "ground rats" is employed by Liu Bowen against rebels and pirates in Zhejiang.|
|1344||Wooden cannons appear in Europe.|
|1346||26 August||Battle of Crécy: Organ guns are used.|
|The term "bombard" is used to refer to guns of any kind.|
|1350||Cast iron technology becomes reliable enough to make one-piece iron cannons in China.|
|Flintlock and wheellock mechanisms are employed in igniting land mines and naval mines in China.|
|In China organ guns appear.|
|Two wheeled gun carriages appear in China.|
|India acquires rockets.|
|Majapahit conquest of Nusantara reached its greatest extent. Guns called cetbang are used in the campaign.|
|1352||Cannons are mentioned to have been used by the Ayutthaya Kingdom in their invasion of the Khmer Empire|
|1358||Defending garrisons fire cannons en masse at the siege of Shaoxing and defeat a Ming army.|
|1360||In the middle east guns start appearing in textual sources.|
|In Southeast Asia the presence of gunpowder is attested to.|
|Gunpowder barrels aboard a Khmer ship explode.|
|1363||30 August – 4 October||Battle of Lake Poyang: Cannons are used in ship combat and a new weapon called the "No Alternative" also appears. It consists of a reed mat bundled together with gunpowder and iron pellets hung on a pole from the foremast of a ship. When an enemy ship is within range, the fuse is lit, and the bundle falls onto the enemy ship spitting iron pellets and burning their men and sails.|
|1364||Breech loading cannons start appearing in Europe.|
|1366||Vijayanagara Empire acquires firearms.|
|1366||Two-thousand four-hundred large and small cannons are deployed by the Ming army at the siege of Suzhou.|
|India acquires firearms.|
|1368||Crouching-tiger cannons are employed by the Ming army.|
|1370||Gunpowder is corned to strengthen the explosive power of land mines in the Ming dynasty.|
|Cannon projectiles transition from stone to iron ammunition in the Ming dynasty.|
|1372||Cannons made specifically for naval usage appear in the Ming dynasty.|
|1373||The term "hand gun", also known as handgonne, gunnies, vasam scolpi, pot, capita, and testes, appears in European texts for the first time.|
|1374||Goryeo starts producing gunpowder.|
|Cannons breach a city wall for the first time in Europe.|
|1375||"Basilisk" cannons appear.|
|A 900 kg large-calibre gun is produced in Europe.|
|Flash pans are added to hand cannons.|
|European gunsmiths begin testing barrels for structural integrity, improving quality.|
|1377||Goryeo starts producing cannons and rockets.|
|1380||"Wasp nest" rocket launchers are manufactured for the Ming army.|
|24 June||Battle of Chioggia: In Europe rockets are used in battle.|
|Europeans develop the means to produce saltpeter for themselves.|
|1382||European sailing ships are equipped with cannons.|
|3 May||Battle of Beverhoutsveld: The first military conflict in Europe where cannons play a decisive role.|
|1388||Ming–Mong Mao War: Volley fire is implemented with cannons by the Ming artillery corps in the anti-insurrection war waged against the Mong Mao.|
|Saltpeter plantations start appearing in Europe.|
|1390||Đại Việt soldiers kill the king of Champa, Che Bong Nga, using hand cannons.|
|1396||In Europe mounted knights start employing fire lances.|
|1398||17 December||Delhi Sultanate uses bombs against Tamerlane.|
|1399||(Germany)'s oldest extant firearm is dated to this year.|
|1400||In Europe the gunpowder slow match appears.|
|Li Jinglong uses rocket launchers against the army of the Yongle Emperor.|
|Springalds are entirely replaced by gunpowder weapons|
|1405||Europe acquires bombs.|
|1407||Ironwood wadding is added to Ming cannons, increasing their effectiveness.|
|1409||Battle carts armed with cannons firing iron fletched darts are produced in Joseon.|
|1410||Joseon ships are equipped with cannons.|
|"Culverins" are mentioned for the first time.|
|"Saker" cannons appear.|
|1411||A "serpentine" lever is added to the stocks of hand cannons in Europe to hold matches. The resulting firearm, the hook gun, would come to be known as the arquebus.|
|1412||Shells are used as ammunition in the Ming dynasty.|
|1413||Joseon mortars capable of firing 500 meter iron shots and 600 meter stone shots are mentioned|
|1415||10,000 guns are deployed throughout Joseon|
|1419||During the Lantern Festival, the Ming imperial palace puts on a display of pyrotechnics involving rockets running along wires which light up lanterns, illuminating the palace.|
|1420||In Europe war wagons are used as mobile firearm platforms during the Hussite Wars.|
|1420||Iron shot replaces stone as the standard ammunition in Joseon|
|1425||In Europe gunpowder corning is practiced.|
|1429||Mounted infantry carrying hand cannons are employed by the Ming army.|
|1431||A 12,000 kg wrought iron large-calibre gun capable of firing 300 kg projectiles, called Dulle Griet, is produced in Europe.|
|European cannon projectiles transition from stone to iron ammunition.|
|1437||In Europe shells are used as ammunition.|
|A master gunner in Europe is forced to make a pilgrimage to Rome after scaring his fellow soldiers, who accused him of satanic devilry, with an astounding rate of fire of three rounds in one day.|
|1447||Sejong the Great of Joseon decrees that all fire-squads should carry standardized firearms.|
|1450||European walls become lower and thicker in response to cannons.|
|Trunnions appear in Europe.|
|15 April||Battle of Formigny: Marks the rapid decline of the English longbow as they prove to be inferior to cannons in both range and rate of fire.|
|1451||A type of multiple arrow rocket launcher known as the "Munjong Hwacha" is produced in Joseon.|
|1453||Modifiable two wheeled gun carts known as limbers appear, greatly improving cannon maneuverability and mobility.|
|1456||In India cannons become widespread.|
|1456||Malwa Sultanate uses cannons as siege weapons to demolish ramparts.|
|1460||3 August||James II of Scotland is killed by one of his own guns, which exploded while he was standing close to it.|
|"Mortars" are mentioned for the first time.|
|1464||A 16,800 kg cast bronze large-calibre gun known as the Great Turkish Bombard is created in the Ottoman Empire.|
|1468||A Chinese "thunderbomb" made of paper and bamboo wrapping two pounds of gunpowder and iron filings is mentioned to have been in use in Japan; Chinese style bombs are used as trebuchet shots until at least 1500|
|1470||A shoulder stock is added to hand cannons in Europe.|
|1471||Cham–Annamese War: Lê dynasty troops use cannons to blast a breach in Vijaya's fortifications prior to capturing the city|
|1472||In India land mines appear; Bahmani Sultanate utilizes them in siege warfare.|
|1475||The matchlock mechanism is added to the arquebus, making it the first firearm with a trigger.|
|1479||A four layer artillery tower is built at Querfurth in Saxony.|
|1480||Guns reach their classic form in Europe.|
|"Falconets" are mentioned for the first time.|
|"Minion" cannons appear.|
|1486||European oar ships start carrying cannons.|
|1488||Henry VII of England's ships, the Regent and Sovereign, are among the first to carry enough cannons to deliver a 'ship killing' blow at a distance.|
|1498||Specialized hunting firearms with rifled barrels appear in Europe.|
|1499||25 August||Battle of Zonchio: Breech-loading iron cannons are used in naval warfare.|
|The term musket or moschetto is used for the first time in Europe.|
|1500||India acquires matchlocks.|
|1500||India acquires matchlocks.|
|The term "artillery" solidifies as a general term for cannons, their ammunition, support equipment, and operating personnel.|
|1503||28 April||Battle of Cerignola: Marks the first military conflict where arquebusiers played a decisive role.|
|1505||The wheellock appears in Europe as an expensive alternative to the matchlock.|
|1508||India acquires Portuguese cannons.|
|The earliest extant rifles are dated to this year.|
|1510||Japan acquires cannons.|
|Portuguese "Frankish" cannons are used on Guangdong's coastline by Chinese pirates.|
|1515||A man in (Germany) accidentally shoots a prostitute in the chin with a pistol. Considered to be the earliest recorded firearm accident.|
|1516||Đại Việt and Lê dynasty produce matchlocks.|
|1521||A larger arquebus capable of penetrating plate armor known as the musket appears in Europe.|
|1523||The Ming dynasty produces breech-loading swivel guns based on Portuguese designs.|
|1526||29 August||Battle of Mohács: Volley fire is implemented with matchlocks by Ottoman Janissaries.|
|1527||"Ordnance" is used to describe artillery for the first time.|
|1530||The star fort becomes the dominant type of defensive structure in Italy.|
|Earliest dated "carbine" made in Augsburg.|
|1533||Composite metal cannons are produced in the Ming dynasty.|
|1537||Handheld breech-loading firearms start appearing in Europe.|
|Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia applies mathematical applications to artillery trajectories in his Nova Scientia.|
|1540||Cast iron cannons in Europe become reliable enough to arm sailing ships with two full broadsides.|
|In Southeast Asia matchlocks start seeing widespread use.|
|Cavalry in Europe start abandoning the lance and adopt the wheellock pistol.|
|1541||Gunpowder is used for hydraulic engineering in the Ming dynasty.|
|1543||Japan acquires knowledge of matchlocks.|
|1544||27 January||In Japan Tanegashima Tokitaka employs matchlocks in the invasion of Yakushima.|
|Wooden cannons are used for the last time in Europe.|
|Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor attempts to standardize gun types.|
|1545||Gujarat experiments with composite metal cannons.|
|Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia invents the gunner's quadrant, an instrument which calculates trajectory.|
|1548||The Ming army starts fielding matchlocks.|
|1550||The large arquebus known as the musket becomes obsolete due to lack of armor, but continues as the most widely used term for similar firearms in Europe.|
|The snaphance flintlock mechanism appears in Europe.|
|The 'flask trail' carriage replaces solid stock trail carriages in Europe.|
|1560||Qi Jiguang publishes his Jixiao Xinshu describing the musket volley fire technique and his experience training the Ming army in its use.|
|1561||The Ming dynasty starts producing handheld breech-loading firearms.|
|1563||Joseon starts producing breech-loading swivel guns.|
|1568||Calivers are mentioned for the first time in Europe.|
|1573||In Europe explosive mines are implemented by Samuel Zimmermann of Augsburg.|
|1574||In Europe designs for naval mines are completed.|
|1575||28 June||Battle of Nagashino: In Japan Oda Nobunaga's tanegashima troops employ volley fire.|
|Trigger guards start appearing on European firearms.|
|1580||Revolvers appear in Europe.|
|1594||8 December||William Louis, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg describes the countermarch volley fire technique in a letter to his cousin Maurice, Prince of Orange, and starts training the Dutch army in volley fire.|
|1598||Ming cavalry experiments with firing a three-barreled matchlock before using it as a shield while they attack with a saber using their other hand.|
|Bayonets are attached to Ottoman firearms.|
|1600||Ottoman cavalry starts carrying pistols.|
|The term "howitzer" comes to refer to the weapon.|
|1606||Ming muskets are attached with plug bayonets.|
|1607||Joseon musketeers are trained in the volley fire technique.|
|1611||Paper cartridges are introduced by Gustavus Adolphus.|
|Rifles are used in warfare by Denmark.|
|1613||In Japan Date Masamune orders the construction of the Date Maru, a ship built in the style of a Spanish galleon, capable of carrying large cannons.|
|1619||14–18 April||Battle of Sarhu: Later Jin cavalry defeats Ming and Joseon musketeers.|
|1620||Ming foundries start producing Hongyipao.|
|1627||Gunpowder is used for mining in Europe.|
|1629||Holland experiments with composite metal cannons.|
|1632||Ming defensive planners build some star forts but they don't catch on in China.|
|1633||Ming dockyards start construction of multidecked broadside sailing ships capable of holding large cannons under the supervision of Zheng Zhilong.|
|1635||Telescopes are used for aiming artillery in the Ming dynasty.|
|1636||The Dutch attempt to trade flintlock firearms with the Japanese but the new firing mechanism doesn't catch on in Japan.|
|1637||Shimabara Rebellion: In Japan the last major military engagement involving muskets, before firearm suppression policies are enacted, is conducted against an uprising of peasant-farmers and landless samurai.|
|1642||20 January||Li Zicheng's rebels manage to create a two zhang breach in Ming fortifications using cannons.|
|1643||26 July||Storming of Bristol: In Europe fire lances are used for the last time.|
|1650||Battleships carrying 60 to 120 cannons in broadside batteries appear in Europe.|
|1662||3 July||Samuel Pepys' diary mentions a mechanic who claimed to be able to make a machine-gun like pistol.|
|1671||European forces attach bayonets to their firearms.|
|1680||The snaphance goes out of fashion in favor of the "true" flintlock in Europe.|
|1694||India acquires flintlocks; Mughal Empire uses them in limited quantities.|
|1702||In Europe telescopes are used to aid in the aiming of artillery.|
|1715||Jean Maritz introduces the horizontal drilling technique for casting cannons, increasing their reliability and accuracy while reducing the amount of metal needed for the barrel.|
|1718||James Puckle invents the Puckle gun, a breech loading flintlock with a revolving set of chambers capable of firing 63 shots in seven minutes.|
|1720||France establishes Europe's first national artillery school.|
|1725||Flintlock firearms completely displace matchlocks in Europe.|
|1742||Benjamin Robins invents the ballistic pendulum, which provides the first way to accurately measure the velocity of a bullet.|
|1750||Firearms overtake the composite bow in cost, ease of use, range, and rate of fire, making mounted horse archers completely obsolete.|
|A detent is added to flintlocks to prevent the sear from catching in the half-cock notch.|
|1755||Naval guns are outfitted with flintlocks|
|1770||A roller bearing is added to flintlocks to reduce friction and produce more sparks.|
|1780||A waterproof pan is added to flintlocks.|
|1783||Sir William Congreve, 1st Baronet improves gunpowder production by constructing dedicated testing ranges, new saltpeter refineries, and special proving houses. He also discovers "cylinder powder", gunpowder produced using charcoal sealed in iron cylinders, which is twice as powerful as traditional gunpowder and less likely to spoil, giving British gunpowder a reputation as best in the world.|
|1790||England begins fielding block trail carriages, invented by Sir William Congreve, 1st Baronet, the most advanced artillery transport of the time.|
|1799||22 April||Iron-cased Mysorean rockets are deployed by the Kingdom of Mysore against the East India Company.|
|1803||England starts producing shrapnel shells.|
|1804||Sir William Congreve, 2nd Baronet starts experimenting extensively with rockets based on Mysorean rockets.|
|1805||Congreve rockets are produced in Britain.|
|1807||British forces successfully deploy 40,000 rockets and ignite devastating fires in Copenhagen|
|1812||Jean Samuel Pauly invents a cartridge containing a primer, making it the first self-contained cartridge.|
|Joseph Manton patents the gravitating lock, which prevents muzzle loaders from accidentally firing while the muzzle is held upward.|
|1815||Joshua Shaw invents percussion caps.|
|1820||British guns are manufactured with bouched vents.|
|1825||The percussion cap mechanism starts replacing flintlocks in Europe.|
|1829||Rocket programs in continental Europe fizzle out as poor performance lead to their rejection until the 20th century.|
|1830||The percussion cap becomes the most widely accepted firing mechanism in Europe.|
|1831||William Bickford invents the safety fuse.|
|1835||Casimir Lefaucheux invents the first practical breech loading firearm with a cartridge.|
|1836||Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse invents the Dreyse needle gun, a breech loading rifle, increasing the rate of fire to six times that of muzzle loading weapons.|
|1837||Edward Alfred Cowper uses gunpowder explosions as railway fog-signals to alert the locomotive crew of danger.|
|1841||Wei Yuan recommends the incorporation of flintlock firearms into the Qing army but matchlocks continue to be used.|
|1845||Gong Zhenlin invents cast iron molds for the casting of iron cannons.|
|1849||Claude-Étienne Minié invents the Minié ball and makes the rifle a viable military firearm, ending the smoothbore musket era.|
|1854||Rifles are deployed during the Crimean War with resounding success, proving to be vastly superior to smoothbore muskets.|
|Volcanic Repeating Arms produces a rifle with a self-contained cartridge.|
|1855||The Elswick Ordnance Company starts producing the Armstrong Gun.|
|Edward Boxer uses rockets for throwing life-lines to shipwrecked sailors.|
|1860||Benjamin Tyler Henry invents the Henry rifle, the first reliable repeating rifle.|
|1861||Richard Jordan Gatling invents the Gatling gun, capable of firing 200 gunpowder cartridges in a minute.|
|1862||The Qing dynasty starts production of percussion caps for rifles.|
|Li Xiucheng of the Taiping army equips his army with foreign rifles.|
|1863||Alfred Nobel invents dynamite, the first stable explosive stronger than gunpowder.|
|1864||Li Hongzhang of the Qing dynasty equips his army with 15,000 foreign rifles.|
|1873||Winchester Repeating Arms Company introduces the Model 1873 Winchester rifle.|
|In Europe cast iron molds are utilized in casting cannons.|
|1877||20 July – 10 December||Siege of Plevna: The first time metallic cartridge repeating rifles have a large impact in battle.|
|1880||Smokeless powder is invented and starts replacing gunpowder, also known as black powder.|
|1884||Hiram Maxim invents the Maxim gun, the first single-barreled machine gun.|
|1886||A safer and more stable form of smokeless powder is invented in France.|
|1890||European countries transition to smokeless powder, which is referred to as "gunpowder", whereas the old mixture is known as "black powder".|
|1902||Smokeless powder is adopted nearly everywhere in the world and "black powder" is relegated to hobbyist usage. So ends the Gunpowder Age.|
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