How Long Did It Take For Europeans To Arm Themselves?

A pwerson with a Yankton, South Dakota URL asks how long it took Europeans to arm themselves.

That is a problem. When Duke Eberaard I banned guns from the Ducy of Wurttemburg, there are indications that the ban covered exactlyi one gun. Given that gun barrels were going from the relatively weak cast and bored bronze rod to a variety of Damascus steel made of worn out horsweshoe nails, it is easy to see why welding up a barrel, boring it to something approaching a straight bore, and then hook rifleing that barrel could easily take a week of backbreaking and highly skilled labor. The lockmaker took almost as much time and labor to make a practical flintlock using files and cast iron or bronze blanks, and the the stokmaker had to rough out the inletting, finish the exterior,and then final fit the action, with draw knives and rasps.

A gun was an expensive rarity because it took up to 16 days of skilled labor to make, and the skilled artisans who made practical guns were rare and theredore expensive.

In 1500, the records suggest approsximatly one gun per 10,000 male adults was normal production. A century later, better techniques produced an estimated one gun per 110 adult males.

Austrian records suggst there was one gun for every 90 adult and 1 gun for every 35 adult males in 1700. Part of Germany were better armed, as was much of France and all of England, (Neither Scotland nor Ireland were well armed.

So the bottom line is that exact numbers are lacking,but for the Continent excluding the Ottoman Empire in….

1500, one man in 1400 possessed at least one gun, most with cast bronze barrels and fittings.

1600 saw on Christian European in 145 owned at least one gun.

1700m 1 adult male in 55 owned at least one gun.

1800, one adult European in 12 owned a gun.

1860, 1 adult European male in 2 owned a gun of some sort, and usually more than one.

1900, restrictions on European gun owners began, and gun ownership began to decline as crime rates began to ris, particularly after WWI. The murder rates associated with higher or lower rates of gun ownership can be read off the chart 0 but pay attention to the scale!!!

As of 2010, one adult male resident of Christian Euorpe in 65 owned a gun, many “battlefield pickups” carefully hidden away against need.

STranger

About Stranger

A collaborative effort, Extranos Alley is primarily concerned with providing up to date data on the relationships between privately woned firearms and crime, violence, and politics. The site is maintained by nine volunteers who have given up their identity that the work here may be considered without regard to the individual data. The contributors are a diverse group, ranging from a retired physicist to a board certified psychologist.

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