This is an illustrated historical reference guide to military, law enforcement and antique firearms from around the globe. It contains the world's most important small guns from the medieval hand cannon and the matchlock handgun to the Luger P08 and today's FN P90. It features famous small arms including the Colt.45, the Browning High-Power M1935, the Smith & Wesson and the Sten submachine gun. It incorporates 180 specially commissioned photographs and artworks, including cutaway diagrams to show internal components and gun operation. Expertly written by leading professionals in their field, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of small arms, gun manufacture and war. This comprehensive encyclopedia of small arms is both an authoritative reference work and a stunning visual directory. This book, illustrated with 180 photographs and diagrams, looks at early weapons, then brings readers up to date with the arms that have shaped the conflicts of the last 150 years. Old weapons are often objects of beautiful craftsmanship, both in their workings and their ornate inlay, carvings or metalwork. Just as impressive are the sleek, light and efficient modern designs.