Hugo Schmeisser: The Godfather of the assault rifle?
Most Americans, to say nothing of firearms aficionados, are familiar with well-known gun makers such as John Moses Browning and Samuel Colt, yet few gun nuts know the role that Hugo Schmeisser had in firearms development. To put it in perspective, Hugo was to battle carbines and submachine guns, what John Browning was to handguns and machine guns.
Hugo Schmeisser was born in 1884 into a family legacy of arms designers. His father helped develop the Dreyse 1907 pistol while his brother had a hand in early machine gun research. The family name Schmeisser translated from German to English means, appropriately enough, “thrower.” Soon enough he began to work alongside his brother in the factory town of Suhl, long the home of German armament works.
The inventor went on to produce both the first practical submachinegun and frist assauult rifle used in combat, among other things….
Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com