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The future of smallarms?

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by von Poop, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    It struck me recently, that current smallarms are really relatively archaic.
    Powder. Case. Primer. Bullet. Barrel. Effective, refined in some cases, but been around for so long - what comes next?

    Guided bullets? Caseless. Completely new approaches. Star wars style lasers? Sticks and stones after the balloon goes up...

    Forgive my late night musing - just thought it might be an interesting thread on potential future developments in man-portable weapons.

    ~A
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Metal storm tech is coming along...caseless and capable of many rounds per...Laser/high energy rifles are being experimented with, but still have limits...
    This is a personal bee in my bonnet...I complain how we still use internal combustion engines...and rockets to fly through space...its all 19/20th century stuff...the allies still used the Lee Enfield in WW2...that was first introduced in the 1800s!
    There is a plethora of non-lethal weapons available and still under design...but these don't have the impact one might need in an emergency, so they (police) will carry a taser for example, but still retain their 9mm...
    We still use many old technologies simply because they still do the job as well as we want them to...and at a price that is reachable. A real solid projectile has and will always have the advantage of being difficult to stop with energy...force fields, lasers etc etc have to be very strong and robust to defend against them...And sci fi has shown that it might be capable of hurting aliens who are so advanced their defences are all about energy absorbtion or deflection...of other energy weapons...the primitive bullet can still make a point. I don't think we'll see much difference in the next hundred years...the munitions may vary, but it will still be a projectile with a rocket (one bang or a thruster) behind it...
     
  3. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I believe caseless ammunition has been in trials for sometimes by many different countries. It's effectiveness escapes me, I simply do not know. Guided munitions are in a similar state . Nano technology is rapidly advancing. we might see a expansion in diameter for awhile then smaller. Lasers are being developed. The application is unclear but advances are always coming. . In the US Army we have seem .79 to .58, to .45 to .30 to .22'[s with a 6mm thrown in. The Brits are experimenting with a .17 . But these are all case, primer, powder, projectile and in spite of advances seem old technology. the M16/M4's look pretty high tech but are they really more effective than the now old AK47 and it's child, the AK74 in close quarter combat. It does seem strange that a whole new type of personal women has not emerged, separating the first world countries from the 3rd. I know we have drones, etc. but still foot soldiers carrying rifles as well.

    Military's seem to be evolutionary wioth an occasional exception but then even's out. Of course an M11 would take out a guy with a light saber if only a few feet away !!
     
  4. Pacifist

    Pacifist Active Member

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    The issue of price for effect is preventing more modern weapons. Simply put the human body save with expensive body armor is as susceptible to a bullet as it was back in the 1700's. With Rate of Fire having maxed out in terms of ammo usage and carrying capacity.

    The new innovations are with improving the weapon carrying chassis now. The drone will be the driving force which allows the small arms to be modernized.
     
  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    It makes sense, but im not sure small arms and drones will go together...the weight of weapon and ammunition precludes anything small...and larger drones will still want largish calibres to have any effect...Sure the usual weapons would need some R&D to fit properly on a drone, but not different from what we will be doing anyway.
    Just remembered in terms of my Sci Fi comment above...recent story has come out of the only pilot to shoot at and hit a UFO! Large silver object at the end of the run way...he scrambles in a MiG22? and made a run at it...he fired his cannon and observed some hits...the object just shot straight up...he followed, didn't see any damage in terms of flight or on the surface of the object...the object kept dodging him and gaining height...the pilot eventually broke off well above his safe altitude...
     
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I could see miniature drones coming on in this field, some amazingly fast and agile small drones about, though the delivery of a lethal hit might remain the same - unless some sort of taser comes into it.
    But... you can stop a drone in ways you cannot stop a 4000 feet per second piece of metal.

    I suppose one ongoing thing that addresses the core technology of delivering a projectile is rail guns, but they're still the size of a truck. Miniaturisation seems possible eventually, but you're still left with an electrical weapon. Something that needs charging is currently useless, though if batteries/fuel cells come on who knows. Hints out there of power sources that might give more 'shots' than a man can carry now.

    Lots of things about for improving accuracy, range etc. But usually still based around powder and bullet. Addendums rather than replacements.
    http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2015smallarms/17351_Rice.pdf
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Didn't we have a discussion on exactly this topic a year or so ago?

    The advancement in modern fire arms seams more focused on refining them and accessories like aiming devices. I've seen it mentioned for instance that automatic fire is not used all that much by US forces due to both training and aiming devices. The smart grenades that burst above targets are a significant advance and the launchers are being carried as individual weapons. Likewise I've seen reports (and I think there's a thread or two here) on bullets that will correct mid course. The question is what characteristics would you want in an improved personal weapon? If it's not lighter I'm not sure it's "improved". If it's not as reliable then it's got to have some huge advantage elsewhere to qualify as "improved". I don't see many technologies that are more leathal than current firearms so not much room for improvement there.

    Theoretically a personal rail gun for instance might be possible but power requirements and RAM make it rather problematic in the near future.
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    There was a serious attempt by an Austrian company fifteen or twenty years ago to introduce caseless ammo. Potentially, it could solve a lot of problems - mainly no extraction so fewer chances of a mechanical malfunction, thus enhanced reliability. The ammo worked fine in tests, but nobody bought off on the concept. In some ways it just traded feed/extraction problems for other problems. The ammo itself was claimed to be waterproof, but was it really? Then, you had ignition through a battery powered spark at the rear and anything with a battery is prone to malfunction. You might trust a red dot scope because if it fails you can remove it and use the iron sights, but a battery powered firing "pin" is something else again - a loose wire, a dead battery, a little corrosion and your rifle becomes a club.

    Maybe I'm a dinosaur but I go with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought.
     
  9. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    Stacked cartridges might have an application in the army or navy but not as small arms. Maybe as close-in weapons that need a very high rate of fire in less than a second. For small arms, it's hard to make stacked cartridges of 5.56mm or 7.62mm NATO specs. The foremost slug will travel slower than the last and will be less accurate. Also, carry pare ammo will be akward: like carry long plastic candy pellet containers.
     
  10. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Look up "Project SALVO". Single cartridges with multiple bullets ("Duplex" and "Triplex" loadings with 2 and 3 bullets, respectively) were tested in the late 1950s. Rock Island Auction sold a M1 Garand converted to the experimental .22-06 Duplex cartridge last year.
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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  12. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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  13. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Well, there is quite some... errr... 'tripod', maybe, here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHOEijQUmmo
     
  14. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    General Patton was wise when he declared that there will be no heroes any more in future wars, only victims.
     
  15. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I think it comes down to reliability as well. The current bullets rarely jam. They can be fired when wet. You don't want to rely on a system that is, say, battery powered - more parts that could fail and eventually you'll run out of the electric charge. And then what do you do? Bring a knife to a gun fight?

    I think there will always be improvements in ballistics and the guns that fire them, but I don't think we'll see 'Star Wars' style lazer fights ever.

    For stationary guns, sure, but those aren't small arms. I know I've seen a gun that uses electro-magnets to fire a million rounds a minute, the rounds loaded into the gun in tubes. The electro-magnetic pulse essentially fires the one at the end first, in rapid succession. Good way to mow down a human charge, like we saw in WW2, but not so practical today.
     
  16. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Personal weapons? Eco-friendly, Non-lead, Flechette firing guns. Ammo weighs less.
     
  17. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Michael Moorcock had his eternal champion - reincarnate as Jerry Cornelius- carry a needle gun. That was in1965.
    MM has got to be my most favourite author.
    Wonder if they will eventually make a hand held rail gun.
     
  18. the_diego

    the_diego Member

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    Before you even adopt caseless or stacked systems, you'll probably get rid of the lead first. Jacketed steel will have great penetration but will shed its velocity down range much faster than a lead slug. So conversion from lead to steel will mean:

    1. bigger bores to compensate for the reduced weight
    2. longer slugs
    3. faster burning propellants, given the lighter slug (for a given caliber)
    4. overall you'll probably get a smaller, lighter cartridge (for a given caliber)
    5. less recoil meaning a lighter weapon
    6. more expensive bullets for anything that can't be cast and fabricated as easily as lead
     
  19. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Yes but as long as it has a bayonet lug, you're still in business.
     
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  20. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    And business will be good
     

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