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onzaman's picture
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Future guns!

Here's a short video of a new gun they call Metal Storm, first time I ever saw this. I't's kinda wild .

http://www.metalstorm.com/release/future-weapons-400k.html

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Location: Bronx, NY
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Re: Future guns!

That is crazy. The fact that it basically renders body armor obsolete is kind of scary though if you think about it.

expatriate's picture
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Re: Future guns!
STK1200 wrote:
That is crazy. The fact that it basically renders body armor obsolete is kind of scary though if you think about it.

That's what people said about the matchlock, too. For thousands of years, technological advances revolutionized warfare and shaped society. The fact that this forum is in English is largely due to the Normans using stirrups in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. That addition enabled cavalrymen to use a lance with much greater force and still stay in the saddle, which completely changed warfare. The stirrup, the longbow, the crossbow, firearms, rifling, repeating firearms, automatic firearms, railroads, mechanized armor, aircraft...history is full of examples of technological advances that changed everything. But although advances in weaponry may transform warfare, the advantages have always been temporary. New tools, techniques and procedures eventually erode the advantage, and thus there's always competition to find better ways of killing one another.

The good news is that as weaponry has become far more advanced and destructive, the number of casualities in warfare has, ironically, gone down considerably.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: Future guns!

You have to keep in mind that this thing isn't likely even being ordered by anyone yet. I suspect it's still in developement. The whole video is made to serve for one purpose only - as a big "selling point" to wet the lips of potential buyers. I'm always suspicious of "selling points" while a product is still under development.

An example of "selling-points" is: Aircraft manufacurers do it all the time. Everytime they intorduce a new large jumbo jet they advertise it as having a lounge and a swimming pool and plenty of space for it's passengers. It's all B.S., because you know that the end customer (airlines) have no interest in that luxury for it's passengers. They want to cram as many bodies in there as they can to make money.

The developers for Denver International Airport did the same thing in the early 1990's. Tooting it as an ALL weather airport, and the public swooned and fell for it. As a pilot I can assure you that there is no such thing as an ALL weather airplane, so who cares if you build an ALL weather airport!

I'm also suspicious of the statement General Downing makes on that video - "With and all electronic weapon you'll have a higher degree of reliability than with a mechanical system". Laugh Ya really think so? Wonder what the makers of Toyota's excellerator pedals have to say about that? Whistling I've seen too many fly-by-wire systems be just a faulty and fail just as often as cable/linkage systems in airplanes. I think you really have to be cautious about people who make statements about electronic being more reliable than mechanical. Sometimes electronic is better, but it's not always as true a people are led to believe.

expatriate's picture
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Re: Future guns!

Ditto, WH. Electronic devices are just as prone to failure as mechanical ones -- they just fail in different ways. Electrical contacts in the barrels can corrode or get contaminated by propellant residue, for one. Electronically-fired rocket pods on combat aircraft are notoriously prone to failure. Electronic devices also fail for shorts across circuit cards, broken solder joints, broken wires, corroded contacts, etc.

One thing they don't talk about is how long such high rates of fire can be sustained. What do they do with all the heat? If you're weapon is spent in a fraction of a second, it seems to me you spend all your time reloading. How much ammunition would you have to carry to keep the thing fed? And if the rate of fire is so high that multiple rounds all go to the same place, you're negating the advantage of automatic fire. What you have is essentially a glorified single shot. Personally, if I was in combat I'd prefer a sidearm that gave me 15 rounds to work with over one that gave me five three-round bursts that happened so fast they were basically single rounds.

Interesting concept, but there are still a lot of practical issues the video doesn't address.

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Location: Bronx, NY
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Re: Future guns!

I was by no means saying that this is the be-all end-all of firearm technology, it will probably just spawn new technology in the body armor category. But who knows how long before that happens? Although it may be temporary, it still will most likely render body armor ineffective for most of my lifetime if it is implemented with any haste (I am 20).

expatriate's picture
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Re: Future guns!

Don't get me wrong -- it's fascinating technology and I agree it'll spin off a lot of things. But I think it's greatest potential is in heavier applications like anti-armor weapons. For example, this would be just the ticket for defeating reactive armor on tanks.

But as for body armor, that's all relative anyway. People brag about the 5.7 defeating body armor, but it depends on what you're talking about. Not all body armor is the same. Besides, body armor is of limited use when it comes ballistic protection for heads, necks, or other vulnerable spots like brachial or femoral arteries -- which can still kill in seconds if hit.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: Future guns!

Not to mension that body armor won't protect from a direct hit against somethig like a .50 BMG or a 20mm or 40mm cannon. Some variation of that metalstorm fit into what I'd consider an artillery piece.

As far as modern body armor goes, it's a little know fact that a .22 magnum is one of the few small arms cartridges that can penetrate body armor, at least the body armor available prior to our engagaments in this war on terror. Body armor has it's achillies heel.

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Location: California
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Re: Future guns!

It's a fascinating idea but I'm skeptical how practical it is. I was fascinated by the caseless cartridge and electronic ignition guns that come out in the 80's never went anywhere. Time will tell.

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