The ceremonial handguns carried by Sentinel NCOs at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are highly unique and customized SIG SAUER M17s of which 4 exist. Made with nods to history such as grips made from wood off the USS Olympia, the ship that transported the original Unknown back in 1921.
A group of British schoolchildren ran their own international arms dealership during their lunch break. They bought and sold military weaponry to armies and militias around the world. This was 100% legal. The students focused on brokerage, which is basically acting as a middleman. For example, someone in the UK could broker AK-47s direct from China to Chad and the guns would not touch British soil. No government controls would have applied before 2004.
On a visit to Constantinople, Samuel Colt gave a custom gold inlaid revolver to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and informed him that the Russians were buying his pistols. The Turkish ordered 5,000 pistols. Colt neglected to tell the Sultan that he had used the same tactic with the Russians.
In the Wild West, it was most common for 6-shot revolvers to only be loaded with 5 rounds (the ‘Cowboy Load’). A live bullet in the chamber below the hammer of a 19th century single-action revolver can be set off with a sharp knock, hence it was not desirable to carry one fully loaded.
According to secret service agents, Ronald Reagan carried a pistol in his briefcase when he was president, “just in case you guys can’t do the job, I can help out”. Reagan acquired a pocket sized pistol after college in the 1930s “and kept it lovingly the rest of his life”.
According to Texas Bankruptcy laws, you can keep 1 house, 1 car, 1k use limit in bank account, a bible or other religious text, and 2 guns.
David “Carbine” Williams, who helped invent the M1 Carbine, was a convicted murderer and created innovative gun ideas while in jail. He was convicted of the shooting of a sheriff who busted his illegal moonshine still. He was released after his family argued his inventions could help America.
The CIA has a “Heart Attack Gun”. The gun would shoot a dissolving dart that would cause what appeared to be a natural heart attack. The dart would only leave a small red dot and the poison would denature so quickly, it would unlikely be discovered in autopsy.
In the civil war, the commander of the Union “lightning brigade” personally took out a loan to buy his soldiers advanced new repeating rifles because the government would not supply them. Using the firepower advantage afforded by the new rifles, his brigade proved extremely effective in combat.
The WWII era B-29 bomber didn’t require fighter escorts because it had a computer aided gunnery systems that allowed incredible firing accuracy against attackers. One B-29 was attacked by 79 fighters at once, but was able to fight them off and down 7 of them in the process.