It was how guns worked for hundreds of years. Uncovering arms before that would have been something sharp or pointy.
Don't see to may people with poleaxes these days
Fixed that for you...
“The whole idea of god is absurd. If anything, '2001' shows that what some people call 'god' is simply an acceptable term for their ignorance. What they don't understand, they call 'god'. . .” — Stanley Kubrick