Henry Shrapnel: The Famous Ammo Innovator You’ve Heard of But Don’t Know
We have the Browning Hi-Power, the Maxim machine gun, and the Colt Peacemaker. Famous guns named after famous people. But...
We have the Browning Hi-Power, the Maxim machine gun, and the Colt Peacemaker. Famous guns named after famous people.
But why no love for the ammo and projectile innovators who make the stuff that actually goes bang? Bet you’ve never heard of Harry Grenade, Henry Shrapnel, Renee Flechette, or Dick Slug, have you?
Of course not. Because none of them are real people. Except for one: Henry Shrapnel.
Shrapnel was a British Army officer who spent his own time and money to figure out a better way to blow his Majesty’s foes to smithereens.
As a plucky lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1784, Shrapnel developed a way to hollow out a cannonball, fill it with lead shot, and get it to burst in the air showering all kinds of bad news on the poor blighters in the blast zone.
The concept proved itself in short order on the field of battle, and as a result Shrapnel’s name worked its way into the English language, even though Henry Shrapnel the person is, at this point, a forgotten side note in the history of arms and armament.