German Gunmaking Centers
Introduction to German and European Gunmaking Centers
By Dietrich Apel
Certain cities and towns or districts in Germany became known for their gun making capability. Practically all of them were at times suppliers of military guns to the armies of the various principalities and later of Prussia and a united Germany. Since the fortunes of these centers were closely linked to the need of guns for the many wars, hard times many times came in the years following such wars and the making of hunting and sporting guns moved ever more to the foreground.
The industrial revolution brought many changes in gun making. Modern machines, gages and fixtures made it possible to produce accurate interchangeable parts. This lead to the establishment of Arsenals to produc military rifles the armies of the many European countries. The established gun makers in centers like Suhl and Zella-Mehlis gradually had to concentrate their efforts ever more to the making of hunting and sporting guns. As the different countries in central Europe became part of Prussia and eventually a united Germany, some of the arsenals were no longer needed and closed down. The remaining gun makers also had to find other work or had to making of hunting guns.