“Deeply researched, rich in insight, Gun Barons  widens our understanding of our peculiar American heritage even as it enchants us with its masterful prose.”

—Jim Rasenberger, author of Revolver: Sam Colt and the Six-Shooter That Changed America


About John Bainbridge, Jr.

John Bainbridge, Jr. is a freelance writer and former reporter for The Baltimore Sun and Legal Affairs Editor for The Daily Record in Maryland. He coauthored the nonfiction book, American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill President Truman and the Shoot-out That Stopped It. Bainbridge has also written for magazines, including Smithsonian and Audubon. He practiced law in the private sector, served as a law clerk for judges on Maryland’s highest court, and worked as a Maryland Assistant Attorney General.

About Gun Barons

Love them or hate them, guns are woven deeply into the American soul. Names like Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, and Remington are legendary. Yet few people are aware of the roles these men played at a crucial time in United States history, from westward expansion in the 1840s, through the Civil War, and into the dawn of the Gilded Age. Through personal drive and fueled by bloodshed, they helped propel the young country into the forefront of the world's industrial powers.


“Rarely do vivid writing, brisk narrative and in-depth new research co-exist within the same set of covers, but that is the happy reality of John Bainbridge's superb Gun Barons…”

—Stephen Hunter, author of Targeted and Game of Snipers

“A dazzling epic of inventors, wars, arms, and men.”

—Daniel Mark Epstein, author of The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage

“John Bainbridge’s fast-paced history of American firearms is a compelling tale of action and ingenuity.”

—James Grant, author of John Adams: Party of One

“With skill and flair, John Bainbridge, Jr., cuts through the myths, romance, and propaganda to deliver true accounts of inspired drive and monomania, of catastrophic mistakes and vaults of genius.”

—Doug J. Swanson, author of Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers

“An informative, fascinating look at the inventors and businessmen who made America the arsenal of the world…”

—Stephen Coonts, bestselling author
of The Art of War

“This book is a great read for everyone, and you don’t have to like guns to appreciate the historical facts.”

—Howard Wasdin, author of SEAL Team Six


John talked about the inventors who started Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, and Remington, and the role their firearms played in U.S. westward expansion and the Civil War on C-SPAN.

Also by John Bainbridge, Jr.

American Gunfight

A fast-paced, definitive, and breathtakingly suspenseful account of an extraordinary historical event—the attempted assassination of President Harry Truman in 1950 by two Puerto Rican Nationalists and the bloody shoot-out in the streets of Washington, DC, that saved the president's life.