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Posted: 3/1/2002 1:53:38 PM EDT
a friend of mine is a star trek freak. he believes that in about 100 years, we'll have phasers or laser guns. I disagree, I believe we'll still use bullets or some projectile fired by something like gunpowder. I don't think it would be economically feesable to develop a phaser-like gun, when will would certainly be much cheaper to use projectile fired guns. Just as cars in the future will always use wheels and not be like Luke skywalker's speeder. What do you think small arms(rifles, handguns) will be like 100 years from now?


Link Posted: 3/1/2002 3:09:25 PM EDT
Certainly it would be far more economically feasible to use muskets, or even edged weapons, yet we do not. Technology will push forward, and in no endeavor is there more R&D than in weapons. Consider an energy weapon. Slap a battery pak in and have almost unlimited firepower. I'll take one over projectile weapons gladly.
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 3:46:25 PM EDT
What makes you think we'll be "allowed" to have guns a 100 years from now?

BrenLover
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 3:50:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 7:04:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Troy:
Battery technology is being developted for thousands (millions?) of other applications. Energy is the primary limitation to the laser/phaser-type weaponry at the moment. So, once a major breakthrough happens in that area, it won't take too long to incorporate it into weapons.

-Troy



Im quite happy with my 7mm magnum remington 700's (One inch group at about 50-75 yards (not so sure)) but my shoulder isnt real happy.... I used some remanfactured ammo with black bullet (not black tipped, the bullet itself is BLACK... what gives??) I just dont feel right shooting a gun that doesnt recoil, it just doesnt feel like a gun....
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 1:47:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By drjarhead:
Certainly it would be far more economically feasible to use muskets, or even edged weapons, yet we do not. Technology will push forward, and in no endeavor is there more R&D than in weapons. Consider an energy weapon. Slap a battery pak in and have almost unlimited firepower. I'll take one over projectile weapons gladly.



I doubt it would cost any less to make a musket or sword of the same quality as an M16 or AR15. Now, if you're talking about STEN analogs, then I'd agree. But a good sword that's meant to be used and not just worn for looks is going to be rather costly to make since it can't just be stamped out of old truck springs. Same goes for muskets - I doubt a muzzleloader could be made and assembled that much faster or cheaper than an M16 can.

As far as there being more R&D done on weapons, I'd say 99.999% of it is spent on things like tanks, missiles, aircraft, etc. A soldier from 100 years ago would most likely be able to operate and understand the functioning of any small arm issued today with very little training.

I have mental images of tens of thousands of Chinese tanks - polished to a mirror finish - deflecting our "high tech advanced weapons systems" laser beams off their hulls and rolling over our no-explosive-weapons-having troops. A high-capacity liquid-air heat exchanger should be able to absorb the energy imparted to the hulls by the lasers. Microwaves, etc, should be just as easy to stop. No, I think the chemical projectile firearm will be the soldier's weapon for at least the remainder of MY lifetime (40 years, I hope.)
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 1:59:02 PM EDT
Unless they can make a laser that can't be absorbed or deflected, I think small arms will be projectile based but fired with magnets and electricity over chemicals. The military is making great strides with rail guns. Velocities impossible with gunpowder and no barrel wear or throat erosion like high velocity gunpowder rounds. Technology has always been able to downsize itself based on demand. Look at a cellphone from 3 years ago.
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 2:24:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2002 2:26:16 PM EDT by natez]
I think that if they manage to make a reliable, "stunner"-type weapon, current personal protection firearms will be rendered obsolete. In order for this to work, it will have to have the following characteristics:
1) First-shot "stops" in the 50 percentile or higher;
2) Accurate to 25 yards under controlled conditions;
3) Ergonomics on par with today's handguns;
4) Multile shot capability;
5) Price range comparable to current handguns;
6) Little or no injury of death or permanent injuries;
7) Capable of penetrating light cover (sheetrock walls, doors, common autobody materials).

If such a weapon is commonly available, police agencies will be forced to start using it because of liability concerns and lawsuits; case law will undermine police authority to use deadly force in many cases because they could have reasonably used non-deadly force. This will eventually transfer to non-law enforcement deadly force cases, and citizens who could have reasonably used such a weapon for self-defense will be held to similar standards when using firearms for self-defense. Firearms will become a back-up or special application weapon for law-enforcement, and a collector/target shooter for the general public, unless a sucessful counter to "stunner" technology is developed. Stunning will become SOP for LE ( I forsee t-shirts that say "stun 'em all and let God sort 'em out.").

At least that's my view. Current tech isn't there, yet, but there are already lots of lawsuits against LE in the pipe for shootings when an agency "should" have used some of the availble "less-lethal" technologies. When a truly effective, real "non-lethal" technology becomes available, we will see a major paradigm shift in use of force case law and public expectations.

BTW, to my knowledge, there are no restrictions specifically aimed at possession, sale or use of directed energy weapons, except for federal technology export limitations.
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 2:38:09 PM EDT
Hearing about how Star Trek stuff will make firearms obsolete makes me think of a scene from Star Trek: First Contact. The Borg had invaded the Enterprise and the crew's phasers were useless. However the captain was able to kill his Borg pursuers by grabbing a Tommy Gun and go full auto on them with a Chicago typewriter.
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 2:47:12 PM EDT
Warfighting:

It's hard to beat a projectile for killing people and things. There's a lot to be said for the physical disruption of matter.

Chemicals will get this done in the near future, eventually being replaced by other forms of energy (Magnetic, etc.)

I believe that what we'll see is dramatic improvements in the integration of weapons systems. Guns will be "tied" together to leverage massing of firepower, when desired. For example when a high priority target is ID'd. The operator will retain the ability to direct his weapon when needed, instantly.

Weapons systems will be completely integrated into a user/commander targeting system leveraging NOD, THERMAL, etc.

Smart projectiles will have the ability to go "dumb" when jammed etc, using last known good data.

Our advantage on the modern battlefield is C3I integration. This will eventually filter to the operator level. The key will be to institute systems that provide a clear vision of the battlefield to the CDR while still allowing the fighter a degree of autonomy. C3I helps win battles and Wars. Guts and killer instinct win fights. Always.
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 2:49:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2002 3:24:03 PM EDT by car0003]
desktop gauss rifles are perfect for office fun!

scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/magnets/gauss.html
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 5:36:57 AM EDT
An incremental improvement is Metal Storm's technology:

http://www.metalstorm.com/10_technology/technology.html

http://www.metalstorm.com

Advantages:
Caseless ammunition already stacked in barrels
No moving parts
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 6:20:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NH2112:

Originally Posted By drjarhead:
Certainly it would be far more economically feasible to use muskets, or even edged weapons, yet we do not. Technology will push forward, and in no endeavor is there more R&D than in weapons. Consider an energy weapon. Slap a battery pak in and have almost unlimited firepower. I'll take one over projectile weapons gladly.



I doubt it would cost any less to make a musket or sword of the same quality as an M16 or AR15. Now, if you're talking about STEN analogs, then I'd agree. But a good sword that's meant to be used and not just worn for looks is going to be rather costly to make since it can't just be stamped out of old truck springs. Same goes for muskets - I doubt a muzzleloader could be made and assembled that much faster or cheaper than an M16 can.

As far as there being more R&D done on weapons, I'd say 99.999% of it is spent on things like tanks, missiles, aircraft, etc. A soldier from 100 years ago would most likely be able to operate and understand the functioning of any small arm issued today with very little training.

I have mental images of tens of thousands of Chinese tanks - polished to a mirror finish - deflecting our "high tech advanced weapons systems" laser beams off their hulls and rolling over our no-explosive-weapons-having troops. A high-capacity liquid-air heat exchanger should be able to absorb the energy imparted to the hulls by the lasers. Microwaves, etc, should be just as easy to stop. No, I think the chemical projectile firearm will be the soldier's weapon for at least the remainder of MY lifetime (40 years, I hope.)



You're kidding, right?
Muzzleloaders are availabe for far less than ARs, etc. Were they to be mass produced in very large quantities they would sell for under $100, easily. Likewise with swords. Why not just use bolt action Mausers? Look at the prices on them. Would you go into combat with a Mauser?
As for R&D, there is a huge amount of effort going into particle beam and other energy weapons currently.
Could they be shielded against? I suppose but we can also use armor to protect against projectiles. Why doesn't everyone wear it? Because it to damn heavy. Especially the armor that would be effective against against high powered rifle ammo.
Energy weapons WILL be developed and when they are cost effective, lightweight and with appropriate energy source they WILL be used on the battlefield. To ignore this is to ignore the history of warfare. The more technologically advanced society almost always wins.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 6:25:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SMProud:
Hearing about how Star Trek stuff will make firearms obsolete makes me think of a scene from Star Trek: First Contact. The Borg had invaded the Enterprise and the crew's phasers were useless. However the captain was able to kill his Borg pursuers by grabbing a Tommy Gun and go full auto on them with a Chicago typewriter.



yes they can adapt to all forms of energy weapons it seems (which would inlude the holodeck(as the bullets were energy, Picard : i disengaged the safties, without them even a holographic bullet can kill.) but they didnt get the chance as picard enhanced their ventilation..) but ever notice they havent ever ever adapted to gettin the tar beat out of them physically? or send more than one ship to invade earth? the feds always beat back one.... why did the borg never smarten up and send two to wipe out the feds? cuz they arnt as bright as they claim.... we already have laser weapons. but the powerpacks are HUGH. i forsee the powerpacks will shrink into a backpack sized unit first, use as a riot control weapon. stun the hole lot of them. then down to belt sized, hand sized. eventully they will end up similer to the klingon or romulan disruptors in shape. still looks like a gun not a remote control.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 11:54:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By drjarhead:


You're kidding, right?
Muzzleloaders are availabe for far less than ARs, etc. Were they to be mass produced in very large quantities they would sell for under $100, easily. Likewise with swords. Why not just use bolt action Mausers? Look at the prices on them. Would you go into combat with a Mauser?



No, I'm not kidding. I don't think a muzzleloader made to the same quality standards as an M16 can be produced for $100. Swords? As I've said before, a sword that's just meant to be worn can be made for next to nothing, but one that's actually meant to be smashed into another one time and again without breaking and still be capable of slicing off a head or arm would require a lot more than $100 worth of materials and labor. A bolt-action Mauser is can definitely be had for less than $100, but how much a 60-to-100-year-old used and abused rifle costs has no bearing on how much a new one can be produced for.


As for R&D, there is a huge amount of effort going into particle beam and other energy weapons currently.


Not infantry weapons, but anti-missile weapons for the most part.




Energy weapons WILL be developed and when they are cost effective, lightweight and with appropriate energy source they WILL be used on the battlefield. To ignore this is to ignore the history of warfare. The more technologically advanced society almost always wins.


In the 50-odd years that lasers have been around there hasn't been any real miniaturization taking place, at least not without power levels dropping off into the "barely harmful to the human eye" range.
It'd be stupid to say that if & when reliable, lightweight, adequate power supplies and recharging systems have been sufficiently miniaturized, they won't be used in individual weapons. I just don't see the gigantic power supplies used today being reduced to AA battery size any time in the near future....or the next 100 years, for that matter. Physics, not innovation, appears to be the limit for how much power a battery can put out. At this time, we don't have the ability to shrink power supplies smaller than they are, and they really haven't gotten any smaller for a long time (in technological terms, 5 years is a long time.) I don't think they CAN get much smaller.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 12:24:18 PM EDT
100 years is almost an eternity with regards to current rate of technological advancement. I guess only time will tell but for now I'll have to dump you into the same category as those who said man would never fly, nuclear weapons were not possible and that we could not land a man on the moon.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 12:45:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:
What makes you think we'll be "allowed" to have guns a 100 years from now?

BrenLover



I won't be alive to care!
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 6:41:26 PM EDT
I don't think the bullet will be replaced in a LLOONNGG time. Think about the power requirement to make a laser that will do more than blind or slightly singe a human, moving target at any kind of range. Not to mention that it and the power supply have to be man portable and rugged enough to have GI Joe carry it, assemble it, and drop it with great frequency. Conventional firearms are almost identical to what we had in the 1500s, explosive powder pushes a metal bullet out of a long tube. I think electric ignition systems and caseless ammo will see practical use, but a purely energy based offensive system won't happen. There may be vehicle based anti-missle lasers though. Besides, Murphy's Law dictates that it will rain, snow, or be foggy for every engagement, and those conditions will deteriorate an energy weapon a lot worse than a kinetic one. It would be nice to have a phaser-type device for personal defense, but I think the amount of energy required to effectively and quickly incapacitate big doped thugs comes real close to the energy threshold able to kill said thug, not to mention the rest of us. The "phaser" then becomes a "less-than-lethal" device like most pistols and requires the same responsibility and caution. Might as well stick to guns and pepper spray. LAter.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 8:58:22 PM EDT
Guess what Blackrifle -- Phaser already developed (prototype anyway). The thing fires an IR laser which (I dont get the science here so bear with me) ionizes the air in the path of the laser and allows an electrical charge to be sent through the path of the beam to the target... sorta like a Taser without the wires. I don't recall the range. The fella that made the thing patented it... Ill see if I can find it tomorrow and will post a link.

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