In my book “The Shooter’s Guide To Handguns” is a short chapter on famous (and some not-so-famous) handguns and their designers. Once you get beyond Colt and Browning, most people’s knowledge ends, and that’s a shame; there’s more to life than just those two!
As Americans we tend to believe that all of the great gun inventors were American, but that’s simply not true. From the earliest firearms history to today, there are great – and important – designers who were born and did their business well away from the United States. Some of them even worked for “the other side”.
While my knowledge base is a little larger than most, I still don’t claim to be an authority on gun designers. I may know a few more of them than the average person, but there are many even I’ve never heard of. Take, for instance, Arkady Shipunov. He was the chief designer at Russia’s Tula arsenal for decades, and apparently produced a very wide range of firearm designs. My interest in him is because of a rather intriguing polymer pistol called the GSh-18.
If there’s one guy I can point you to who knows about obscure designers, it would be Ian at Forgotten Weapons. He knows all about Shipunov, of course, and has a good article on this unusual pistol. It’s one I’d like to see in person!
-=[ Grant ]=-