Small Arms Technology: Has It Really Plateaued?

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It’s often said that small arms technology has plateaued; that development of better kinds of weapons is essentially unfeasible for the moment, and that non-optic related small arms technology had pretty much reached its peak by 1965. It would be very difficult to cover the state of the art and how to improve it in-depth, so I won’t. Instead I want to take only a moment of our readers time to explore an often-missed element of firearms technology that is the key piece in understanding the technology “plateau” and how to end it.

That element is volume.

The single most important characteristic of any military arm – that is, anything that can be wielded in some way by a man or men – is the volume with which it can be produced. All other characteristics, while also very important, are secondary.

A rifle, musket, pike, or any other arm must be producible in large volumes – today, on the order of several hundred thousand rifles per year for rifles and billions of rounds per year for ammunition, for the United States. Any concept, regardless of its advantages, that falls significantly short of the volume its host country requires must be rejected.

When met with the fact that caseless ammunition – or any other advanced small arms concept – has been around for decades without producing a single operational infantry weapon, it’s very tempting to claim that it will never be feasible to produce caseless weapons for military use. Consider, though, that Henry VIII owned breech-loading rifles (indeed, you can still go see them at the Tower of London); why, then, didn’t these get subsequently adopted as standard issue until the late 19th Century? Even if some institutional blindness prevented the British themselves from seeing the value of the breech-loader, surely another nation – seeking a leg up on the competition – would try to make it work, if possible.

Breechloading weapons had serious technical issues starting out, which were exacerbated when the rifles were eventually mass produced, to the point that early breech-loaders were barely serviceable weapons. Eventually, though, their problems were solved, and not only were later breech-loading weapons mass-producible, but they worked a lot better than their muzzle-loading counterparts, too.

I can’t say whether the caseless ammunition concept in particular will ever come to fruition, but I think I can say how it might, if it does. The biggest problem with the concept is making the propellant blocks correctly every time. Doing so is difficult, especially when producing any sort of volume of ammunition. The caseless concept, therefore, will finally reach the end of the tunnel when it is possible to produce a billion blocks of near-perfect RDX propellant per annum.

There’s your plateau. It’s not the engineering of the small arms or their ammunition that’s holding us back. It’s the production engineering.

So who will break the stalemate? Where’s our next Dreyse? Our next Garand?



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Nicks87

    I think 3D printing will be the next logical step in small arms manufacturing technology. Why not 3D printed caseless ammo as well? Carbon fiber materials are improving too. How long until we see a totally carbon fiber AR15?

    • Mystick

      Not all components of the rifle would be viable if made of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is fine for torsion and tension, but friction wear is it’s worst enemy. And no amount of lube ever eliminates it completely.

      • Ethan

        Agreed. We’re at least couple decades away from any any complete polymer guns, but we can certainly minimize the amount of heavy metals used.

    • Zachary marrs

      Glock 7?

      You’d be surprised what i make in a month

    • Giolli Joker

      Yep, sure… another AR-15: development! 😛

  • Giolli Joker

    Uhm…
    I’d say there are many factors holding us back… and they’re all linked.
    First of all if we focus on military small arms we have to considered that any development is fueled by governments funding (taxpayers’ money) so it has to go trough a great load of bureaucracy, politics, interests… etc…
    This if the need for the development is really felt… a new Cold war could help…
    Caseless ammo or (better, from my point of view) CTA, could be already made possible, with the proper investment.
    It’s not an engineering issue, it’s basically a financial/political one.
    From the engineering standpoint, on a much broader scale, the plateau will always be our ability to generate and store energy… rail guns and laser weapons are already appearing on ships.
    On a smaller scale, on shorter term, I think the only way to see development is for big names on the market to spend more in R&D where R has to be Revolution… but it’s a huge risk and only few smaller companies have tried (and failed).
    IMHO, CTA could be relatively easily achievable and valuable on the market, for starters…
    Bottom line, in the modern world, I see more likely the military following the civilian (income generating) development than the opposite.

    @Nicks87:disqus
    3D printing is not a viable mass production process. It’s incredibly cool and constantly developing, but way far from being a mass production resource.

    • Tassiebush

      Hi Giolli Joker I think those factors you mentioned are holding things back but mostly only in western democracies. I’d say Russia and China wouldn’t be nearly so constrained by such considerations. We had a long time during the cold war to innovate with insane amounts of cash spent on various technologies resulting in moon landings etc so I think it does come down to volume as Nathaniel has suggested. Developments in volume production certainly played a big role in ww2. Imagine how different it’d be without sten guns or mg42. Both high volume arms. But then to contradict myself i guess politics must constrain it somewhat because we started 20th century with a vast array of service weapons, action types and each nation virtually had it’s own service cartridge. Nowadays the idea of one going it alone and developing heaps of unique systems is very peculiar to think of. Then again that leads us back to volume since it’s far quicker and smooth running to continue with a common package.
      It may be a moot point. I can’t help but suspect that hand held small arms will take a back seat to some new and terrible weapon that’ll make shooting at each other look as obsolete as a cavalry charge.

      • Tassiebush

        Actually I’ve changed my mind about it being a moot point. That would only apply on the battlefield. But so much of modern conflict doesn’t fit that context.

    • In the instance of caseless, there is definitely an engineering problem there. Automatic caseless weapons in the past had numerous problems with their ammunition due to inconsistencies with the propellant block and its disintegration. To solve that problem – a production engineering problem common to all small arms technology – you need to figure out how to produce a billion little perfect RDX propellant blocks per year.

      Politics and money are always factors in any endeavor, but for things like caseless rounds, flechettes, or smart grenades politics and money aren’t really alone as obstacles to their progress. There are significant hurdles in producing the kind of volume needed for a successful infantry weapon.

      • nova3930

        Don’t forget the secondary issue of durability of the caseless ammunition. You can handle metallic cartidges pretty roughly in bad conditions and they’ll still function the vast majority of the time. My understanding is that caseless ammo has issues under rough handling especially in damp conditions.
        I think the most likely innovation would be some form of semi-combustible case ammo similar to what is used in modern tank ammunition. In other words a more durable outter shell that’s still combustible with just a metallic case head. The production challenges for such a system are probably less significant than a full combustible case and primarily linked to scaling down from 120mm to 5.56mm/7.62mm…

        • Right, but I think that’s something that can be worked around, or eliminated as a serious issue via packaging, etc.

      • JoelC

        The biggest problem with the g11’s caseless ammo was heat. When the brass or steel casing is ejected it takes a lot of heat with it. However in the case where the chamber is the casing, the heat stays with the gun and leads to cookoff. This was cited by the original HK team.

        The swiss team that created the propellant actually did a remarkable job in the design, even by today’s standards.

        I have a theory on how to solve this issue, but it needs the market and technology to advance on a currently very pricey production process. The bottom line is that this technology can be looked at again in another 20-30 years. That is if the Rail-gun technology (which is power and capacitor dependent, along with the problem of it’s tendency to destroy it’s rails, based off opposing magnetic fields, after just a few shots) doesn’t reach a level to outclass a caseless rifle first.

      • Giolli Joker

        Volumes come with investment… and the one you cite isn’t the only issue of caseless rounds, nor the biggest.
        I believe you look at the issue from the wrong side based on trials done decades ago and never really finalized…

        • I am talking about the ability to create large quantities of high quality blocks of RDX propellant with little or no flaws in them, with an acceptable rate of rejection.

          Not an easy task.

          • Giolli Joker

            I understand what you’re talking about, I don’t agree and, since I’m a mechanical engineer, I find yor argument, so far, not properly substantiated.
            Could you get into further technical details to elaborate your theory?
            Even manufacturing 22LR rounds is no easy task, BTW…

          • I’m talking about the problems described in this presentation by the somewhat excitable Jim Schatz.

            When will we be able to create a billion blocks of durable propellant per year? On the day that we can do that, caseless will be practical (though not necessarily the best option). Could that be next year? Maybe, if LSAT’s progress is way better than I think it is. Most likely, though, it will be further down the line.

  • Orion Quach

    Still waiting on crew served laser cannons.

    • Grindstone50k

      Give me a good bolter anytime.

      • noob

        A semi automatic 25mm programmable grenade launcher?

        You want the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, but refined so it doesn’t blow up in your hands.

        And a tax stamp for each grenade.

  • Seburo

    Plateaued? If you’re an engineer that’s a load of bull.
    Many of the caseless programers were either abandoning during the Cold war to do a lack of money or a certain firm*coughcoltcough* that spends more on lobbying to get them canceled rather then competing fairly.

    The Lightweight Small Arms Technologies program is already at level 7 for telescoped ammunition and level 5 for caseless ammo. They might be farther along as that was in 2012.

    Army really seems to actually want it work this time as they want replace both the M240 and M249 with new machine guns.

  • echelon

    Answer: Get rid of all the Draconian gun laws and let the market breathe and speak.

    Really that’s the answer to almost all of the world’s questions…get the government to get the hell out of the way…but I digress…

    • Hardwood83

      Nailed it.

  • MIke

    Almost 0% of technology ever invented has plateaued. It was either made obsolete by other innovations/inventions or was developed further. A specific field might take a furlough of extended stagnancy, but eventually something changes when other technologies are improved. I dont know if caseless ammo, electronic integration into firearms, or replacing gunpowder with something else will be the next big step in firearms development, but im willing to bet it won’t be perfect at first. The lack of big name companies spending a decent amount of cash on R&D is slowing growth down, but the ability of small companies to prototype something quickly and share it easily makes development still feasible in the firearms world.

  • Mystick

    An argument could be made that there have been few truly new concepts in firearm technology since John Moses Browning; it’s all a variation on prior art with niche applications and/or processes. Sure, you had innovators such as Kalashnikov and Stoner, but they still used concepts based on prior art – gas-operation, with incorporated design goals of reduced ammunition encumbrance and cost of manufacturing.

    When new concepts are introduced, they usually fail to gain traction – see the HK G11 example above, as well as the Gyrojet, Rhino, and others. There are exceptions like the bullpop configuration and the incorporation of electrical devices in the phases of operation. But they are still rare, “in the wild”.

    At this point in the evolution of firearms technology, we are refining the art as opposed to coming up with truly novel technology. Reinventing the wheel, as it were.

    • hod0r

      Which of Browning’s inventions was truly new and not an improvement of existing technology?

      • Tom

        The colt 1895 Colt was based on his earlier work on self loading rifles, whilst clumsy it was an important step along the road to what we have today. Sometimes it getting people to accept that something is possible that is the biggest hurdle.

  • Rob

    The evidence for a plateau in small arms development is pretty evident. I have a Mosin Nagant that is stamped 1899 and it is as capable as any bolt action rifle made today. Cartridge technology has not advanced noticeably since then. The most prolific handgun sold today was designed in 1911. The only real advancement in the last 100 years has been self-loading arms.

    When something truly novel breaks through the log-jam, there is a real risk that it will not be available to civilians.

    • raz-0

      You left out polymer frames and a few other things. Not to mention the rate and cost of manufacturing (i.e. CNC), level of fit and finish on a cheap gun, etc. It’s less of a plateau and more of a long tail.

      What you are focusing on is more the plateau of materials technology for traditional cartridges. It’s one of the bits where you run up against physics pretty hard.

      We haven’t left the realm of powder being the power source for projectiles in small arms because one of the big problems is enough power in a small enough space without it turning into an explosion or fire when you make use of it really fast. And you have to do that at a reasonable price in a similar form factor for the weapon without a weight penalty. Lighter casings are the easiest point of that problem, and it is where we have made the most headway.

      • Jonathan Ferguson

        The polymer used to make Glock frames was available in a rifle stock in 1959 – the year after the first AR15 was built. Yes, we’ve plateaued!

  • Do small arms need to advance, though? What’s the functional difference between getting shot at by an AR15 or a Galil ACE? Why does it matter if your opponent has either if you have a Reaper drone? What I do believe will advance is small arms delivery….ground drones with guns. The future will be 100 year old firearm designs wielded by deathbots. *Terminator theme*

    • Zachary marrs

      No. Stop. We need these thing to argue over on the Internet

    • Small arms is my area. Aviation and robotics are not.

      • Giolli Joker

        So you’ve plateaued

  • dan citizen

    Plateaued?

    The gyro jet’s micro jet predecessors are due for a revamp, there are light gas guns and plasma cannon that have yielded promising results. Hyper cavitating projectiles are in their infancy.

    Small arms have plateaued, just like they did in the 1400s 1800’s and as they will be seen to plateau in the 2080s…

    Great article by the way, you always knock it out of the park.

  • nova3930

    I honestly think the biggest issue is price/performance ratio. There are advancements that could be made, but the cost to bring to them fielding is so high for marginal improvements that they won’t likely be done anytime soon. Along with manufacturability, people often forget that affordability is an issue as well. It doesn’t do us much good to develop a handheld plasma cannon if we can only afford 1 or 2….

    • roguetechie

      Nova,

      . No actually development is cheaper than it’s ever been. You can do entirely in a digital environment what would have taken:

      1. 2-5 proof of concept test jigs to be fabricated and tested hundreds of times each of which might require 2-25 rounds of test redesign, recalculate, redraft, remachine by hand and add any surface finish and heat treatments for EACH ROUND!!

      2. 2-5 batches of 3-15 hand built tool room prototypes each batch of which, like above, could go through the same process as above only with way more parts each of which could need multiple iterations to get right.

      Keep in mind all of this was done without computers or cnc. Not only that but every single one of the DOZENS of people all of this takes were paid solidly middle class wages. Hell just the extra floor space and electricity costs of paying a dozen guys versus 75-100 then are huge. Especially when you factor in that a prototype fan shop will need like a quarter the floor space it used to!

      The big names in the firearms industry have just forgotten how to develop products on their own money…

  • simon

    You said non-optic meaning to leave out Tracking Point which is an obvious game-changing real life technology that will happen. The electronic trigger necessary for that kind of advancement is part of the gun that will change and be ubiquitous soon. What will it be like when anyone can insta-kill you by waving something in your general direction? A very different world possibly.

    • iksnilol

      I think he meant the general abundance of quality optics and that most rifles nowadays come with them. Not the Trackingpoint thingy (which I loathe by the way).

      • simon

        I love high-power matches. Putting our individual tastes aside. You don’t think it will become ubiquitous in the future?

        • iksnilol

          I don’t know, if the technology becomes cheap enough it might become widespread and common. For now, looking at the price tag it is going to be out of reach for most people.

          But if it does become ubiquitous then people like us will become relics. Why bother learning to judge wind and holdover and whatnot when the gun does everything for you, even pulls the trigger for you?

    • I merely mean the weapons themselves and not their sighting systems. Those have steadily advanced over the past half-century.

      I agree Tracking Point is set to actually change the scene. How much, to what, and how fast are all more difficult questions.

  • RickH

    I like to think that in some small corner of H&K, they are still working and refining the G11. Still the most interesting small arm of the past 30 years.

  • Jay

    The procurement system is corrupt to the bone. That’s what’s stoping progress. Look how many programs were canceled after they were done, simply because the “right guys” didn’t win.
    The firearms industry got to a pathetic state, where nobody bothers to invest in new things. Everyone just makes their own flavor of AR15.
    the good thing is that, if someone will bring in something revolutionary, all this “manufacturers” who had all their collective eggs in the same basket will just die off.

    • noob

      The good thing about the ar15 is it is cnc milled. If you also build the next big thing in a cnc machine you can just give a gcode file to the ar15 mfg companies and they will make your thing.

  • Adam Skrzypczak

    It’s not volume, but it’s risk/cost vs. reward. Right now, the risk/cost in pursuing caseless or cased-telescopic ammunition outweighs the potential benefits. Why spend $5000 per rifle and $10/rd when a $400 M4A1 and $0.25/rd 5.56mm rifle does the same job almost as well.

  • CTA: Case/Caseless Telescoped Ammunition. Roughly speaking, the projectile is seated completely within the powder charge to reduce the overall cartridge length. It also allows for push-through feed designs that do not require conventional extractors. Examples include the HK G11 and the current AAI LSAT. There has also been efforts in Europe to scale up the concept for the automatic cannon armament of armored vehicles.

    http://www.cta-international.com/

    • Giolli Joker

      Considering the level of development, I’d rather say that the current tests are scaling down the 40mm approaches.
      Anyway that is… and in my opinion it is much more feasible than caseless rounds.

  • iksnilol

    The M1 if IIRC was made to be easy to manufacture.

  • Tassiebush

    Some folks have mentioned the gyrojet. I think that concept has potential to be hugely improved upon. It gives the advantages of being lightweight and the simplicity caseless ammo without fragility of caseless and it takes strain off the gun.
    If not a gyrojet approach then improvements in propellants with compactness might also enable the propellant to go back into the cartridge base like the old volcanic cartridge and the projectile would become the heat sink again.
    One thing no one has mentioned so far (unless I missed it in an acronym) is superimposed loads like with Metal Storm and countless other guns going back in time. With increasingly cheap and robust electronics it’d be easy to imagine a refinement of that tech and a sight that adjusts to the various trajectories of each round based on where it is in barrel and what barrel is being used. As far as ellectronics and guns go maybe excess heat from propellant can be used to recharge system batteries. That’d protect the bore and extend battery life. It may also enable other power intensive onboard systems like gyroscopic stabilizers or electronic feed mechanisms.
    I’m visualizing something like metal storm but with multiple dardick tround like preloaded chambers (prob lightweight steel sleeve reinforced with carbon fibre) being moved into battery and emptied while the next one goes into place as quickly as a current gun chambers it’s next round. Magnets controlled by electronics move those chambers into position eliminating mechanical feed. Those are probably all contained in a cheap removable unit.

    • noob

      Do we have smokeless gyrojet propellant yet? One problem was the smoke trail giving away the firing position.

      Metal storm will probably only take off once the original company is forced into bankruptcy and the intellectual property is bought by one of the big comapnies. Somebody who makes gun barrels cheaply.

      • Tassiebush

        I read somewhere another couple of gyrojet problems were that it was quite inacurate and that the initial velocity was very bad giving knockdown power in the area of a .25acp in close but it exceeded a .45acp after it had reached max velocity but that was only reached beyond whatever the average handgun engagement distance is.
        Don’t know what is covered by metal storm patents but superimposed loads are a very very old idea so there might be a way to work around it.

  • Zachary marrs

    Can go right through x-rays!

  • Grindstone50k

    Just what you see, pal.

  • I don’t see why carrying around a 3D printing machine is so advantageous.

    I wouldn’t take the small arms designs in video games too seriously, anyway. For example, that rifle’s barrel still has an M203 cut like an M4, but there is no practical way to mount an M203. Why is it there?

    One can argue the merits of this technology or that, but it typically a bad idea to seriously use rifle designs from fiction – especially TV, video games, and movies – as examples.

  • I agree that the loss of institutional knowledge is a huge problem. I envy the Russian system in this regard, really.

    • roguetechie

      Nathaniel,

      . I actually have a theory about the “plateau”.

      In the biological world there are times where a species’ adaptations actually makes the species less viable. In biology it’s known as an evolutionary dead end. I think that PART of what we’re seeing is an evolutionary dead end in multiple key areas of firearms technology. Another part is quite frankly the debt spiral at every level of American business and society that, even if you are debt free, makes EVERYTHING at every level cost more than it ever has while both major portions of the industry’s customer base have less and less actual resources to purchase with!

      Combine this with the gun industry stubbornly holding to pricing, corporate practices, and attitudes that new technology have long since thoroughly made obsolete…

      Gun companies act like it’s still the 70’s or 80’s where anything that’s precision manufacturing that you’re making less than 100,000 of per year

  • George Kellgren is a remarkable rifle designer. It’s a shame his company has a hard time keeping their quality standards high.

    • Exactly. Kel Tec is far and away the most innovative firearms company in the US, but their quality control is terrible.

      If they could somehow team up with an FN level manufacturer things would get pretty interesting.

      • Chase Buchanan

        They also don’t seem to ever be able to produce in the volume demanded by the US civilian market (which is the topic of Nathaniel F’s post, after all).

        • noob

          That’s a business question for keltec not a technical question. They don’t take loans.

          Now if they got a grant from crowdfunding or something maybe that might change things…

  • That’s not really so. Caseless dramatically reduces the weight, and this was the primary reason for going caseless.

    Such a high rate of fire can also be achieved with a conventional ammunition rifle, such as the AN-94.

  • The M1 was not so complicated and expensive as you suggest. John Garand put considerable effort into making the rifle suitable for mass production.

  • The Germans developed caseless ammunition despite having draconian gun laws. I don’t really see much support for your argument.

  • Go for it!

  • Tassiebush

    What if some accepted standards of decency went out the door and poisons were introduced back into ordnance?! High velocity fletchettes from a shotgun like platform might improve terminal effect, not by defeating body armour or increasing hit probabilty but by making any hit or graze potentially lethal. It’d only require cultural change and it would provide an edge to the first side to field it.
    I guess some of the more rifle like grenade launchers with electronic fuzes and range finder compensating sights have similar potential. While each round costs far more than say a 5.56 per round, the cost of rounds per enemy casualty only needs to be less than the huge number of conventional rounds per casualty for it to be cost effective.

  • Honestly going caseless doesn’t offer as much benefit as it would seem. Per the specs I was able to find, the 4.7×33 offered a 40% decrease in weight.

    Polymer cased 5.56 offers a 30% weight reduction. Combined with a slightly lighter, spoon tip projectile and you have a 40% weight reduction with far less tech hurdles.

    Meanwhile, the Steyr ACR actually worked, and offered 2200 RPM 3-Round bursts with Fletchettes at 4800fps. Far more badass than the G11.

  • bucherm

    You’re wasting your time. For people like him “the market” is the end all be all to human progress.

    If he had been in charge during the 50s and 60s the USSR would have had a monopoly on space use and exploration, because “the market” sure as hell wouldn’t have produced manned space flight or communications satellites on it’s own. Too risky of an endeavor.

    • Yellow Devil

      Unlike other forms of economic systems, Free Market is a means, not an ends.

  • Iggy

    So you’ve reinvented the shotgun? You can fire pretty much anything out of a twelve gauge and with a few tweaks to improve range, means you could theoretically fire everything from buckshot, to flechetes, to micro grenades from the same platform (already can, but I’m referring more to reliable combat use).

  • Seburo

    Read that before and it’s really recent. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the 5.56 version was more further along.

  • Seburo

    Textron really isn’t as slow like H&K and Alliant when it comes to weapons development. Since there has been no information on that front it’s hard to say where they are now.

    Telescoping and CTA bullets aren’t really that new of a technology. In this case it’s at “reinventing the wheel” and refinement at this point. This is basically 80’s era technology that has been abandoned at one point.

  • Myweaponsdon’tassault

    The issue is why? The hybrid-caliber pdw craze (4.6, 5.7) was the last real innovation, and even that’s fallen by the wayside. There are enough viable calibers and weapons these days not to need anything new. Nobody’s going to build something they can’t sell, and that means military adoption. When the need arises, the next thing will come along. Until then? Who knows.

  • Ethan

    Agreed. I think the role of small arms in combat (civilian and military) is going to change a lot more than the technology of small arms itself.

    As you pointed out – what happens when body armor advances to the point of being built into most clothes.. Or home defense systems are developed that can operate autonomously to neutralize the threat the instant a weapon is presented? At this point those are both more feasible than a quantum leap in the small arm itself.

  • Ethan

    I do think that some form of smart technology is the most likely next step – a weapon system that can analyze the environment to some degree instead of a ‘dumb’ device that only reacts to the pull of the trigger

  • Nathan Tramp

    Defense Distributed. 3D Printing technology (particularly in metals) will change every possibility when it comes to manufacturing complex components and unusual single-piece parts. They will be equal or cheaper to their subtractive-manufactured counterparts very soon.

  • Jonathan Ferguson

    Minor historical quibbles;

    -The British adopted an infantry rifle as standard in 1851 – mid-C19th, not late.

    -They (along with every other nation) didn’t just fail (or in fact choose not to) to adopt widespread rifled shoulder arms for reasons of economy or technology; let’s not forget that tactical development inevitably lags behind technological.

  • echelon

    I sincerely hope you are trolling on this. I didn’t see the /sarc tag but I’m hoping and praying I missed it…

  • echelon

    Yes but that does not mean that if the governments were not there that these things would not come to pass.

    Without Rome many of the early highways and bi-ways may not have been built but that does not mean that Rome was fit to exist. When one man or a small group can exert their will and influence with a word or a stroke of the pen of course things are going to happen. I highly doubt the Sphinx or Pyramids would’ve been built had it not been for a Pharoah there to guide the whip to the backs of the slaves…

  • Seburo

    IMO it would work better as a SAW replacement. Also to fix readability issues most of the production would have to be in the magazine

  • Mazryonh

    I would have liked to have seen modernized gyrojets (such as those proposed by the “Deathwind Project”) given a fair shake. No need for casing extraction, lighter weapons, etc. that would make them great for aircraft cannon or long-range infantry rifles.

    But how about the incremental improvements that were surprisingly not more widely adopted? The Russians have had their caseless 40mm grenades for decades, so I’m surprised that NATO forces don’t yet have a widespread equivalent. How about the FN F2000’s unique grenade launcher that electronically tells the user when the rifle is at the right angle after the inbuilt rangefinder calculates the distance to the target? That sounds like a very user-friendly system that, for some reason, wasn’t widely adopted or replicated.