XCR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I like myself a bit of history, and guns have certainly had an interesting progression. From the 1400's to the 1630's the gun didn't really change all that much. That's over 200 years of it being pretty much the same with the exception of how the powder was ignited. Even then the change wasn't really all that big, being the introduction of percussion caps to ignite the powder instead of flints. And that went on until the early 1800's. I don't think it was until like the 1840's that we actually had pin fired cartridges. From then on though guns pretty much took off. If you look at the last 150 years compared to the first 400 years the progress is amazing. We go to repeating rifles, revolving pistols, gatling, and then semi auto's machine guns automatic rifles. Fire arms technology really exploded. But in just the passed 60 years fire arms don't seem to have changed very much. So I was wondering. Where do you guys think fire arms will be in the next 150 years? You think the fire arms tech has passed its revolutionary period and well go back to the slow and steady advancement it started with, or do you think we are just around the corner from another technological leap in fire arms tech. And if so what do you think that leap will be? (The XCR although impressive is not the answer I'm looking for :p )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
We really don't have that 150 years since the end of the world in going to be in 2012, but I think that it will be a steady advancement to new and improved weapons. May see things like rail gun on large scale weapon systems and maybe some squad type systems as well. Case less ammo fired by magnets... wait they have that already, hum who knows we may have lasers/phasers in the next 150 years. Be me up Scotty. Damn it we need a beam up smilely
 
G

·
There has been significant development in the Arms area. look at the developments in non lethal technology alone.

much of future arms development is waiting for a break thru in power cell technology. when that happens you will see a significant jump in new weaponry available.

As to firearms, there is only so far that you can go with chemical propellants, and we have about maxed that out. At this point firearms are ancient technology. future development in that area is moot for the most part, and will be limited to reliability, form factor and projectile improvements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hope we don't have to wait for man portable laser systems for the next big development in firearms tech, because that will be a looooong wait. I do believe large scale direct energy systems will be possible within the next 100 years, as we have a strong technology base for that already. We've seen systems like the THEL and the MHEL and the airborn laser is suppose to have its first live fire in flight test this year. Unfortunately to get something like that man portable would require some very expensive and unhealthy chemicals that wouldn't be easy to produce in mass. Free electron lasers are alot more promising for smaller applications but then like you mentioned power becomes a problem. Although they have had a recent development in the way of a high temperature superconductor, I believe it was superconductive at -50 C if I remember correctly, which is amazing.

But anyway. So you don't think the chemical powered rifle has much further to go then. I would be surprised if the soldier of 150 years from now didn't have a rifle still powered by chemical propellants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,339 Posts
It may be a minor point, but I disagree that firearms development had a revolutionary period. Instead, I concur with the US Army's Small Arms Master Plan that it was evolutionary development, a series of incremental changes that built upon preceding improvements. Conventional firearms technology reached its peak during WWII; recent designs like the XCR, SCAR, etc, have been no more than refinements of the German Sturmgewehr.

The closest to revolutionary change that has occurred is the Army's objective family of small arms. The XM29 individual weapon fires high-explosive warheads programmed by the fire control system for an airburst near the target.

I imagine that if technology in general keeps advancing, sometime in the next 150 years there will be a revolutionary leap in small arms. Precisely what it would be, I haven't a clue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd call the last half of the 19th century a revolutionary period in when compared to the 4 hundred years before it. I would agree that the devlopments that took place before and since have been evolutionary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,339 Posts
The second half of the 19th Century was indeed a period of rapid progress, but I don't know of any developments I'd consider revolutionary.

The paper cartridges that had been used for 200 years to load muskets evolved into self-contained paper and linen cartridges, which were superseded by self-contained metallic cartridges.

The Gatling gun was no more than a cluster of percussion musket barrels mounted on a rotating mechanism.

Etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,362 Posts
My guess is that the technology is here now but is cost prohibitive and until costs come down it won't be adopted. It makes me mad to think the government will never allow the next big advancement to be readily available to the masses. Think of all of the civilians that have ar15s, I don't think we will see that with the next advance in firearms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,339 Posts
It makes me mad to think the government will never allow the next big advancement to be readily available to the masses.
You may be right, although I'd say it depends upon what the next advance is.

For example, a "Star Trek phaser" probably wouldn't be available to civilians, at least with lethal/disintegration capability. However, a politically correct, "stun only" version might very well be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
WHO CARES???

Lasers, Phasers, Rail guns, etc:

NOTHING BEATS THE XCR ;)

Well, except maybe this and that is a close maybe:

This Rifle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dunno, that rifle doesn't seem very practical. Bet its heavy as hell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
i think the next logical step for a "firearm" is reliable case-less ammunition. Think about how much that would change everything. Magazines would either be much smaller or carry many more rounds. You'd obviously be able to carry a lot more ammo overall. As far as I know, HK is the only company that's made real progress here but i'm sure there are engineers and chemists all over the world trying to figure it out.

Another logical step that we've seen before is more efficient powder for cartridges. Maybe more explosive per grain, or burns cleaner/quicker...who knows.

I think that the firearm will have realized its full potential once these two items have been addressed. That's when you can start looking towards infantry with lasers. But who know, maybe laser tech. will advance faster than case-less ammunition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
I've always been of the opinion that human conflict / wars and the needs associated with them are what spawns advances in firearms development and overall weapons technology.

Mans quest to conquer his enemy in ways that inflict massive casualties with minimal exertion are generally what brings forth these efforts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
i agree.
I think many modes of transportation have been adapted for warfare after the fact, but actual tech. advancements in weaponry itself happens mid-conflict. This is usually due to evolution of theory and tactics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,528 Posts
I suspect the next big thing will be caseless ammo. Then perhaps rail guns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Being a machine gun guy myself I am a big fan of the idea of promoting casless ammunition. Seeing as the casing is a huge portion of the ammo weight itself. Ever carried 1200 rounds of 556? Not Light. Bullets themselves on the other hand not all that heavy. I've actually toyed with the idea of going back to no cartridge and separating the propellant from the bullets and using a liquid based propellent instead of powder. I drew up a few schematics of how I'd have such a thing work and crunched numbers for using diesel of all things as a projectile but thats where I ended with that idea. It started getting kinda complicated.

HK's caseless ammo seemed promising but if I'm not mistaken they had some problems with the propellent being brittle.

I wonder if it would be possible to create a round where the propellent was inside the projectile itself and ignited without a contact primer, like maybe by a current. HK definitely had the right idea I think with there caseless ammo rifle. Save weight and cut out the entire ejection phase of the weapons cycle =more ammo in your pocket and more rounds down range. That makes happy grunts and home defense enthusiasts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
whatever happened to the army program that was testing liquid propelants in artillery systems? depending on what range was needed, the system would inject different volumes of the propellant. never saw anything further on it or its results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I suspect the next big thing will be caseless ammo. Then perhaps rail guns.
Like I said before I'd be really shocked if you saw one man portable, practical, repeating rail or coil guns in the next century. Cannons and fire support on the other hand are probably not that fare off. A year ago the Navy fired off a 10 and a half mega joule rail gun. Thats no small potatoes. Really the only thing holding them back now is the whole hear issue on the rails.
whatever happened to the army program that was testing liquid propelants in artillery systems? depending on what range was needed, the system would inject different volumes of the propellant. never saw anything further on it or its results.
Thats a really good idea.... never heard of it before think I'll do a little research. It be sweet if they could have a cannon run on JP8, then it truly would be a one fuel battlefield!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,339 Posts
i think the next logical step for a "firearm" is reliable case-less ammunition.
Agreed, but such would be another incremental, evolutionary step, not a revolutionary advance.
Think about how much that would change everything. Magazines would either be much smaller or carry many more rounds. You'd obviously be able to carry a lot more ammo overall.
I dunno if it'd change everything. I'd expect tactics and marksmanship to remain the same, as well as weapon effectiveness.

While cartridge weight and length would be reduced, caseless rounds are typically fatter than metallic cartridges (using the same bullet). That means for magazines of the same length, capacity would be less; like the difference between 5.56 (30-rd) and 6.8 SPC (25-rd) mags.
As far as I know, HK is the only company that's made real progress here but i'm sure there are engineers and chemists all over the world trying to figure it out.
IIRC, the US Army acquired the caseless technology from HK, so as to continue development here.
 
1 - 20 of 55 Posts
Top