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Posted: 10/14/2002 6:39:24 AM EDT
Right now we are on the brink of a major shift in firearms. IMHO we are at the end of the cartridge period and about to shift to some newer paradigm. Most likely, the handguns of the near future will incorporate more and more electronic components. Like fly by wire there will be lots of resistence at first, but soon it will become the norm.

What got me thinking about this was two different things. The first was the thread about LEs dumping the 9mm for other calibers. The second was the report that microwave weapons are nearing the stage of actual deployment.

Right now new calibers seem to come along about once or twice per decade. Most make initial inroads but then they fade away and become cult rounds, like 10mm or the TSW attempts.

Stop and think a second though about how quickly things change in the world of electronics. Look at what happens in computers. Look a digital cameras. If the same thing happens in handguns, and I see no reason it wouldn't, then the life of a handgun or projectile will be measured in months. I can see it now.

Officer Brown picks up his new Microlink Super Zapper on monday. Wednesday he finds a note to stop by the armory before hitting the street to get the upgrade to OS Firestorm SP1 and the patch for random long word overload. Friday he has to stop in and have SP1 rolled back because it made his gun vulnerable to the Liquor Store virus. The next week he will see SP1b applied and a security update to protect against Trojan Horses.

It's gonna get interesting.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 11:41:37 AM EDT
Looks like good job prospects for new generation programmer/armorers!
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 2:37:57 PM EDT
Then officer Brown takes aim and fires a quick burst...presto his coffee is warmed to piping hot and is he now in the "dunking" mode...the future is interesting, indeed!
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 2:42:24 PM EDT
I wouldn't hold your breath- 9mm, .40, and .45 ain't going anywhere in my lifetime at least.

Not to mention .223

Too many reasons that civilians will be keeping our current weapons- mostly legal reasons.

Also, you fail to mention the caseless cartridge invention, and how this would likely come before any kind of space-man gun such as a microwave zapper.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 3:05:11 PM EDT
It will be a dark, but interesting note in history when the first human is killed by a laser.

I always figured they would explode from the water in their body turning to steam instantly, not burn up. Dark thought, but that's my guess.

I've seen a Humvee sized laser prototype, those would be interesting, but they have to get over the power storage problems before it could be practically fielded.

I always thought a man portable magnetic railgun would be cool, just a hopper full of plastic pellets to hose down an area with.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 5:39:47 PM EDT
Although a self proclaimed fan of technology, I would be fearful of that type of future. The more moving parts and complex functions, the more likely something is to fail. Anything man made, can, and WILL fail/break. The more complex, the more likely to fail. I like my computers high speed/low drag, keep my equipment that my life depends on simple please.

"Right now new calibers seem to come along about once or twice per decade. Most make initial inroads but then they fade away and become cult rounds, like 10mm or the TSW attempts."

True, IMHO.

Art in KY
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 5:55:30 PM EDT
I'll let them work all the bugs out before I go Star Trek if thats ok.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 6:27:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/14/2002 6:29:02 PM EDT by Aces-and-Eights]

Originally Posted By sig_230:
It's gonna get interesting.



The anti's think the same thing about "smart gun" technology. If that's what it's going to come down to or a trade-off, I'll switch to carrying a flintlock and powder horn.

Edited to add: Who remembers caseless ammunition?
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 6:59:52 PM EDT
A buddy ofmine brought over a police scanner this weekend. First thing we heard that day was a cop asking for the address of a nearby bagel shop.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 7:16:50 PM EDT
Ohh one day when "smart guns" become the norm it won't matter. Knowing people now there will be a way to reprogram it to a normal gun in a few months. Think about it, look at what people these days do with the electronics and programming on computers and cars. Who would have dreamed of a civic beating a corvette, recently its become a possibility. I have faith in Americas criminal nerds to over ride smart gun programming. Even if you don't reprogram it, I'm sure the first wave or so of them can easily be gutted out so they are purely mechanical.
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