As you might have learned, the government of the United States did not develop it’s heavy handed regulatory functions until the mid 20th Century (CE), so individuals with ideas were free to develop those ideas into new inventions and use those inventions to make a personal profit.
To start out, we are going to consider John Moses Browning. Born in 1855, he is responsible for some of the most famous designs in modern firearms, including some that are still in production and in the inventory of armies around the world. He didn’t have to ask anyone. He didn’t need permission, or a government permit. He set to work, solved the problems, and sold his inventions to individuals, armies, and other businesses. Browning Hi-Power, Colt Woodsman, M2 (Ma Duece), 1911, Browning Auto-5, Winchester 1897, the list goes on and on. He accomplished a great deal in his life, but he had a big head start, he lived in America.
I decided to take the gun apart, piece by piece, down to the last small screw, even though [the] parts that were mashed and twisted together. And when I did, finally finishing long after supper that night, the pieces all spread out before me on the bench, I examined each piece and discovered that there wasn’t one that I couldn’t make myself, if I had too. If I had been in school that day, I would have missed a valuable lesson.
–John Moses Browning