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So my wife has a co-worker that is writing a book that takes place roughly around 2150. He's aware I'm a big SciFi fan, firearm enthusiast, and a bit of a historian. He asked me if I could envision what a firearm might look like at that time, and what kind of advances in technology we might have made that would transfer to firearms. I have to admit, I was a tad at a loss because looking that far ahead gets awfully blurry. While technology has made many fields go leaps and bounds from where they were 100 to 200 years ago, the firearm has basically remained the same. A controlled explosion to propel a projectile. Feeding has changed, ammunition has changed, but the concept is largely the same and there haven't been many major breakthroughs.

I suspect that will most certainly change, but to what degree, and how quickly? When people think future guns, most minds go to energy based weapons, like "ray" guns, lasers, plasma. While I have no doubt you will see vehicles armed with such weapons (as to some degree you do now), I think the energy requirements, even that far off might not be something that's possible, outside of a something akin to what a squad armed machine gun equates to now. One guy armed with something capable of more firepower, but issuing that out to every soldier just wouldn't make sense. Granted much of that isn't in regards to cost (although that's certainly a factor), but also load. However, exoskeletons capable of making soldiers carry more weight, and reduced weight of ammo based off of energy as opposed to what we currently have would also reduce loads.

I think stronger materials will be a factor. I also think caseless ammo will certainly be a thing allowing for greater velocities with more powerful propellants, less weight, and less potential malfunctions. I think electronics will also factor hugely into firearms, with some form of AI capable of giving you info on ammo count, and doing instant calculations on distance, Coriolis effect, windage, temperature, all factors on where a projectile is going to go. Hell we're already working on self guiding ammo that micro stabilizing fins will help guide to the target much like "smart" bombs do now via GPS. I also think much of the mechanics in a firearm right now will be replaced by electronics, like a firing pin for instance. No need to have and move a pin repeatedly when you can just hit the propellant with an electric charge and off it goes. This would also allow for greater fire rates.

Optics would have changed dramatically by then as well. Mind you we will probably always have the post iron sights for when we might need them, but optics will have reduced in size and be much more powerful that far into the future, much of the info being fed right to the user via some form of HUD. So at this point what I'm envisioning is something roughly the size of a P90, perhaps firing ammo roughly the size of a 5.7×28mm but capable of twice the range and kinetic energy of a what is currently possible, containing at a minimum of 50 rounds, with AI and optics assist allowing for shooting from behind cover and being extremely, perhaps even pin point accurate.

Please share your thoughts. I'm very interested to know where folks think the future of small arms is going.
 

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Projectiles will be simple aluminum cylinders; lighter weight for hypervelocity, so they punch a perfectly round hole in the target. Think wadcutter impacts. Still spin stabilized with rifling.

The projectiles and powder will be loaded separately into the firearm. The simple, cylindrical projectiles will be in something like a magazine, but the powder will be loaded in bulk into a reservoir that feeds the chamber. Most firearms will still be manufactured for advanced versions of today's powders (principal advances will be in burn cleanliness and in grain shapes that lend themselves well to in-gun metering). There will be some, however, that will use radically different powders that generate higher velocities with virtually no wear of the mechanical components. But you've gotta be a bit of a daredevil to use them; rumors about occasional reservoir detonation persist, especially in the crater where Waco, Texas used to be. The more risk averse technology leaders are getting into one-handed railgun weapons.

Naturally, the 1911 in .45ACP will still be superior to all of these.
 

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I figure that mass driver tech will be ironed out and anything still propellant based is gonna be purely caseless or the only 'case' will be a puck like cartridge base that holds the 'primer' for the electronic primer system.

Either way, super light, extremely small bore projectiles traveling extremely fast. For close range guns like handguns, the projectile will probably be something simple like a full wadcutter shaped cylinder or even just a round ball.
 
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Hand held rail guns , using smart sabots as ammunition. Integrated smart sights , that see through structures with ranges close to a mile. The rail pistol will probably have adaptive ergo's and be made from ultra light ceramic/carbon alloys. Mag capacity will be huge with the small smart projectiles, I am esitmating 50+ rounds per mag, except in California, where capacity will be down to a single shot.
 

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So my wife has a co-worker that is writing a book that takes place roughly around 2150. He's aware I'm a big SciFi fan, firearm enthusiast, and a bit of a historian. He asked me if I could envision what a firearm might look like at that time, and what kind of advances in technology we might have made that would transfer to firearms. I have to admit, I was a tad at a loss because looking that far ahead gets awfully blurry. .
Hits knot rilly thet blurry!!!
here is my latest idea.
it uses sound waves to incapacitate and disable.
 

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Hits knot rilly thet blurry!!!
here is my latest idea.
it uses sound waves to incapacitate and disable.


I believe that was a very early engineering prototype built during research into a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range. It turned out to be a sonic weapon, instead. (Comes from the designer having minored in music.)
 

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Guided projectiles, either active (projectile emits a signal and homes on it), semi-active (something else designates the target and the projectile homes on the designating energy) or passive (projectile homes on energy emitted by the target).

Projectiles composed of layered materials which detonate when crushed by the target with the result of either functioning as a shaped charge, or impelling a sabot into the target.

I would go for rail gun for heavier weapons, caseless ammo or separate projectile/energy source.

Possibly, weapons mounted on a vest or backpack, ammunition selection/aiming/target designating done through a helmet-mounted sight.

That's all the off-the-cuff I can think of, more after the afternoon toddy.
 

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Smart bullets coupled to the aiming mechanism much like HUD's in our war aircraft. Look through the 'sites' - how ever they may be implemented in future firearms - and that information is relayed to the projectile that now has the capability to retain that information. Once fired, the projectile has the ability to maneuver its own trajectory to track the target and impact it. Point and shoot, bang you're dead.
 
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Guided projectiles, either active (projectile emits a signal and homes on it), semi-active (something else designates the target and the projectile homes on the designating energy) or passive (projectile homes on energy emitted by the target).
Were you ADA?
 
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1911, AK47 and some rail gun designs.
 
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It only take one small discovery to make a tremendous change,ask Japan.
Ain't gotta go that far.

Look at what happened with the percussion cap's invention. Firearms design really hadn't changed since the 1600's as far as the action used. There had been refinements, but no real innovative leaps forward to speak of. The whole 19th Century was the firearms world's equivalent of the computer revolution of the late 80's and 90's. In 1800, the infantry standard was flintlock front stuffers shooting round ball. In 1900, it was magazine fed smokeless repeaters shooting high velocity jacketed bullets. About 50 years after percussion cap's appearance, the first self contained cartridges appeared (the Volcanic among others). 50 years after that, you have the first smokeless powder cartridge guns, self loaders and machineguns appearing.

Those last 50 years of the 19th Century were so much like the computer revolution of the '90's it's ridiculous. Firearm designs were obsolete months after their introduction because there was something newer, more innovative just a couple months behind it in the development and production pipeline. Breechloading alone is amazing to research. If you can think of a dozen ways to open the back of a chamber to load it, there's a couple dozen more ways you didn't think of to do it. And all of them were tried by some firearms inventor. Several of them multiple times by different people doing it in slightly different ways.

Priming systems are the same. Pin fire, center fire (in a myriad of different different ways like Boxer, Berdan, Benet just to name a few), rimfire, etc... Those roll caps for the cap gun you played with as a kid? That was a priming system used in the Civil War.
 

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Smart bullets coupled to the aiming mechanism much like HUD's in our war aircraft. Look through the 'sites' - how ever they may be implemented in future firearms - and that information is relayed to the projectile that now has the capability to retain that information. Once fired, the projectile has the ability to maneuver its own trajectory to track the target and impact it. Point and shoot, bang you're dead.
This is very similar to my line of thought.

Think Bionic eye contact that feeds target data to projectile.
The ability to zoom in on target at long range, with smart projectile to adjust course in flight.
 

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Hmm, this thread is starting to give me ideas... :cool:
 

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This is very similar to my line of thought.

Think Bionic eye contact that feeds target data to projectile.
The ability to zoom in on target at long range, with smart projectile to adjust course in flight.
Great minds.... :)
 
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