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kuhla

Future Weapon Technologies

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kuhla   

So, partially for fun, I thought I would compile a list of futuristic or at least new small-arms technologies that are showing up. I'm not making this to highlight what future weapons will be like but more for the fun of "what would be possible" but not necessarily practical. I don't know how practical any of these technologies would really be since I am no professional. So here goes....

 

Forward-Ejection

It has happened to me personally when someone next to me was firing their rifle that the hot brass being ejected from the rifle landed on my neck and then rolled down through the back of my shirt. That was quite uncomfortable as you can imagine. I also imagine that if you were firing a rifle in an enclosed space that the violent ejection (

) would cause stuff to be flying all around you. The idea behind having spent shells ejecting forward is that they are going in a direction where hopefully none of you or your friends is in. That puts them out of the way. It is usually done via a tube running parallel to the barrel. I've read on militaryphotos of tests done with mud and/or snow packed into the ejection tube on the FN F2000 and it was able to push it all out without jamming so I guess that isn't an issue. EDIT: This also essentially makes the brass ejection system ambidextrous too unlike the Steyr AUG (and others) that need a minor internal modification done to eject casings to the other side.

 

Video Examples:

KEL-TEC RFB =

FN F2000 =

 

Fully Ambidextrous Controls

For the longest time I didn't understand the point in this since well over 70% of the world's population is right handed, so why care about the small percentage left that is left-handed? Long story short I think I can understand the usefulness in being able to switch your rifle to the other hand in weird situations. The controls I'm talking about are: (1) fire selector, (2) magazine release, (3) cocking handle, (4) bolt release (if the rifle has one), (5) bolt catch (if the rifle has one).

 

Video Examples:

XM8 =

G36 =

Giat FAMAS =

 

Higher Capacity Magazines

I think the title is description enough. More rounds is nice. Probably makes the rifle a lot heavier but maybe if the number of carried magazines go down, it isn't so big a deal? I dunno. One thing I keep reading is that a lot of high capacity magazines have problems with durability and reliability due to the increase complexity. Stuff like beta c-mags ( example ) are made up of lots of plastic, big springs, etc. which seem to give them not so good reputations. Everyone seems to want to fix these problems but hasn't done it good enough for any military to really adopt it. On the Steyr Aug at least it is just a normal box magazine made longer. The AK-74 quad stacked magazine linked below is apparently supposed to have been the AN-94's stock magazine but was not. FN's P90 has the most interesting approach in my opinion with it's patented rotating feed.

 

Picture & Video Examples:

Steyr AUG 42 round magazine = http://www.doppeladler.com/downloads/stg77A2c.jpg

AK-74 60 round magazine = http://www.avtomats-in-action.com/media3/84AKSU202.jpg and http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b24/hybe...G/881234nn2.jpg

FN P90 50 round magazine =

 

Caseless Ammunition and Other Calibers

I grouped these together because the major rifle cartridges of the world haven't changed in many decades so I guess both of these techs have about an even chance of going mainstream. Caseless ammunition is the more innovative of the two which would eliminate casings, ejection systems and a number of other bits from current small arms. If it has no case then there is nothing to get rid of. There were many growing pains initially but most seem to have been solved. The idea still lives on in the LSAT program. The other, more traditional, idea being thrown around is just moving to different calibers of the existing technology. The two calibers that are getting a lot of press are the 6.5x39mm and the 6.8x43mm. The argument seems to be that the current 5.56x45mm is just not good enough for modern western armies. This is in comparison to the 7.62x39mm which is used by much of the rest of the world via the AK-47 out of Russia. The issue is not the lethality of the cartridge (they both kill, imagine that!) but in the penetration. In one of the video linked below you can see that the slower and heavier 7.62x39mm bullet penetrates a brick wall while the lighter and faster 5.56x45mm does not.

 

Video Examples:

B.U.S.T.: Basic Urban Skills Training = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKhMOfaYwvE (part 2 is cool too)

LSAT Video = http://www.americanrifleman.org/rifles_mil...lsat_video.html

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

I hope this was interesting! The end!

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kuhla   

Higher Capacity Magazines

I think the title is description enough. More rounds is nice. Probably makes the rifle a lot heavier but maybe if the number of carried magazines go down, it isn't so big a deal? I dunno. One thing I keep reading is that a lot of high capacity magazines have problems with durability and reliability due to the increase complexity. Stuff like beta c-mags ( example ) are made up of lots of plastic, big springs, etc. which seem to give them not so good reputations. Everyone seems to want to fix these problems but hasn't done it good enough for any military to really adopt it. On the Steyr Aug at least it is just a normal box magazine made longer. The AK-74 quad stacked magazine linked below is apparently supposed to have been the AN-94's stock magazine but was not. FN's P90 has the most interesting approach in my opinion with it's patented rotating feed.

 

Picture & Video Examples:

Steyr AUG 42 round magazine = http://www.doppeladler.com/downloads/stg77A2c.jpg

AK-74 60 round magazine = http://www.avtomats-in-action.com/media3/84AKSU202.jpg and http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b24/hybe...G/881234nn2.jpg

FN P90 50 round magazine =

AR series now gets a quad-stacked magazine too! Behold the Surefire HCM 100 round magazine!:

 

Posted Image

 

....and the 60 round version, not as badassrediculous:

 

Posted Image

 

more info: http://www.downrange.tv/blog/new-surefire%...in-combat/7639/

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Jedi2155   

The issue is not the lethality of the cartridge (they both kill, imagine that!) but in the penetration. In one of the video linked below you can see that the slower and heavier 7.62x39mm bullet penetrates a brick wall while the lighter and faster 5.56x45mm does not.

I thought it was more about the kinetic energy of the bullet being able to knock a person down?

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kuhla   

I thought it was more about the kinetic energy of the bullet being able to knock a person down?

"knockdown power" or "stopping power" is a myth. 3rd law of newtonian physics among other problems.

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Jedi2155   

I don't see any reason why Newton's 3rd law would discredit it but rather reinforce the idea.

 

Hypothetical situation would be a 70 KG person (154 lbs), getting hit with a 7.62x39 mm (~2000 joules of energy), now I don't have any ballistics tales to back me up, but lets assume there is still 25% of the energy left in the bullet at certain range around (typical battlefield encounters in Afghanistan where most of the complaints are occurring are probably more than 300 meters), it would still be around 500 joules.

 

1 joule = 1 kg*meter / s^2 of acceleration, so 500 joule bullet can still knock back a 70 kg person with an acceleration equivalent to 7 m/s^2 which is over nearly 1g or something causing you to go from 0 to 15 mph in 1 second.

 

All this is assuming that there both objects are perfectly efficient at transferring the energy to each other. In either case I'd like to see the reasoning behind why stopping power is a myth as I don't see anything wrong with it without a more detailed analysis of the issue.

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Malaphax   

There's the fact that the bullet is not perfect at transferring energy, it's not a rubber ball hitting a flat surface. It's a pointed round piercing through armor and flesh. Stopping power is something I'm not so sure about, but causing shock I could understand. If you get shot with a higher caliber round and somehow survive the immediate injury, the shock of that damage to your system may at least incapacitate you. As far as can understand it doesn't matter if the bullet transfers massive energy into you or passes through as long as it either: a) hits a vital organ and kills you, or B) does enough damage to send you into shock/incapacitates you or c) hits nothing important and does minimal damage. I would assume 1-2 rounds hitting anyone will more than likely do a or b. So in that case I would want a round/weapon capable of hitting targets not only exposed but also behind cover. So why not take a heavier round or at least a round with more penetration capabilities, besides most conflicts the best cover a person will have is a stone/brick wall a few inches thick or some sandbags (or in the case of our current conflict, mud huts). If you can start hitting people through those objects than why would you give a shit if it has less "stopping power"

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kuhla   

All this is assuming that there both objects are perfectly efficient at transferring the energy to each other. In either case I'd like to see the reasoning behind why stopping power is a myth as I don't see anything wrong with it without a more detailed analysis of the issue.

Everything you have typed up looks at it from the perspective of the person getting hit with the bullet. What about the person firing? Let's consider a bolt action rifle so that it has no recoil buffer system or spring from the semi action, etc.. The bullet's full energy is imparted on the person firing. Newton's 3rd law would, very simplified, equal and opposite, mean that the firing of the bullet to have the power to literally knock the target over, it would have to knock the person firing over too. Let's look at an example....

 

 

That is a Yugoslavian M24 firing the huge 7.92x57mm Mauser round. The lowest loading of that round is measured to impart 3934 J of energy (wiki). All of that energy (well nearly all) should be getting imparted on the shooter after each shot. I don't think I need to do any math since you can clearly see the shooter is not being flung over after each shot. There is another video somewhere, wish I could find it, with a guy firing a G3 fully automatic while standing on one leg. Not only did it not knock him over but he was able to stay on that leg, however precarious it must have felt, while emptying the magazine. What causes someone to fall down, get knocked down, "stopped" is neurological trauma which has a lot more to do with where they are hit and how they react to it than what they are hit with.

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Jedi2155   

Thinking about this some more, I don't fully agree, but I don't have a fully thought out counter-argument to it yet but I can think of a number of situations where I can further discuss this.

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kuhla   

Caseless Ammunition and Other Calibers

I grouped these together because the major rifle cartridges of the world haven't changed in many decades so I guess both of these techs have about an even chance of going mainstream. Caseless ammunition is the more innovative of the two which would eliminate casings, ejection systems and a number of other bits from current small arms. If it has no case then there is nothing to get rid of. There were many growing pains initially but most seem to have been solved. The idea still lives on in the LSAT program. The other, more traditional, idea being thrown around is just moving to different calibers of the existing technology. The two calibers that are getting a lot of press are the 6.5x39mm and the 6.8x43mm. The argument seems to be that the current 5.56x45mm is just not good enough for modern western armies. This is in comparison to the 7.62x39mm which is used by much of the rest of the world via the AK-47 out of Russia. The issue is not the lethality of the cartridge (they both kill, imagine that!) but in the penetration. In one of the video linked below you can see that the slower and heavier 7.62x39mm bullet penetrates a brick wall while the lighter and faster 5.56x45mm does not.

 

Video Examples:

B.U.S.T.: Basic Urban Skills Training = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKhMOfaYwvE (part 2 is cool too)

LSAT Video = http://www.americanrifleman.org/rifles_mil...lsat_video.html

Update on LSAT. Not that exciting but shows a nice animation of the blot action system.

 

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Jedi2155   

That looks really cool, but it seems still like a very limited evolutionary change as pure caseless is still beyond our reach technologically. TRL level 7...haha, my systems engineering courses are starting to be useful in the real world woooo.

 

This was cool

http://green.autoblog.com/2012/02/17/us-army-cerv/

 

Posted Image

With a top speed of 80 miles per hour and a "run-silent" range of eight miles (we assume this means all-electric range?), the CERV prototype can produce over 5,000 foot-pounds of torque and go up hills will up to 60 percent grades. It does all this while using 25 percent less fuel

CERV consumes up to 25 percent less fuel compared with conventional vehicles of comparable size. A recent Army Energy Security Task Force report states that a 1 percent improvement in fuel economy results in 6,444 fewer Soldier trips on fuel convoys.

I don't know how many of you guys played single player games back in the day but I would say 40% of my missions in those days were "Escort convey to point A,B C etc." Lots of benefits to be had from improved logistics.

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Jedi2155   

With all the new advances in recoiless shotgun technology (AA12), combine that with this Japanese UAV Helo....we got some real fun in the future...

 

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kuhla   

This isn't new but I just became aware of this yesterday so I'm sorry if you have seen this before.

 

If you remember the Kriss smg with the fancy recoil reduction system, the same company actually made a prototype pistol with the same system. Looks pretty futuristic although a tad bulky.

 

pictures, more info - http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/04...istol-from-tdi/ EDIT: You really should read that if you have a passing interest in firearms. There are quite a few changes from a traditional pistol's system.

 

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Malaphax   

I know this isn't new, I was seeing posts about it a couple of months ago. Here's a nice link from NPR:

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/05/15/184223110/new-rifle-on-sale

 

I like how some people are worried about selling this to the general public because of how easy it is to use. I honestly hope the military uses this or something similar in the future, I can only imagine if they manage to shrink this down to a more reasonable size they might consider put this on every designated marksman in a squad.

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Malaphax   

Here's a nice article to go along with your post:

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/04/foghorn/first-impressions-sig-sauers-mcx-rifle/

 

Keep in mind that uses the 300 aac blackout round. Another point of mention is that they'll probably be sold as "pistols" instead of short barrels rifles if you're not aware of the recent trend on how that works, I'll give you a great example of a "pistol"

yIr24f3.jpg

 

Another cool item from Sig is their push for a very modular pistol, the Sig P320. You can swap parts to change barrel length, caliber, grips and even trigger assembly.

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/04/foghorn/first-impressions-sig-sauer-p320/

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