February 24, 2011, 09:32 PM
Okay, so this has really been getting to me recently and I was wondering what others think of it.

I can not stand it when people refer to a gun as a weapon system. In the Marines it gets thrown out a lot in reference to individual small arms like the M-16A4 or M4. "Clear that malfunction and get your weapon-system back in the fight." or "Transition to another weapon-system." I've also seen civilian shooters refer to a rifle or pistol as such.

Weapon-system doesn't have to be thrown out all willy-nilly like this. It could mean a weapons family like the AR family or the AK family. It could also refer to a firearm that is composed of two different weapons like the M4/M203. That's fine, and accurately describes the subject, but when did we start tacking "system" onto the end of things to make it seem like we're thinking of things in such different terms? That's a pistol, call it one. Weapon I can live with, but hey, isn't a knife a weapon too? Why can't a gun be called a gun anymore?

Anyway, I usually try try to correct people (who I'm on friendly terms with) by asking to borrow a pen-system.

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February 24, 2011, 09:52 PM
I consider any gun that is modular, can be made in different configurations and has many available accessories a system.

A revolver, is a revolver... an M9 is a pistol...

A 1911 is a system. You can have different length barrels with the same frame, you can add rails, change calibers, etc... but all with the same core elements....

Same for long guns...

That's my take on it. A Savage Bolt action is a rifle, an AR-15 is a system.

February 24, 2011, 09:57 PM
It's like the whole clip v. magazine argument....and I certainly don't mean any offense by this to the OP, but it's just something you'll have to get over. Personally, being a LEO I refer to the full compliment of my sidearm, baton, taser, pepper spray, AR, and shotgun as my weapon system, and I can certainly understand your angst with this but hey....what can you do, right?

February 24, 2011, 10:46 PM
Tomato, tomahtoe. Different people call things by different names. As Franconia said, you'r probably just going to have to get over it or deal with it.

February 24, 2011, 11:02 PM
For whatever its worth I have to agree with the OP to much military jargon has found its way into normal civilian speak. What’s next, your car is a transportation system, your clothing is a wardrobe system, and is dinner your mess system? :what:

February 24, 2011, 11:05 PM

Whenever I'm leaving the house, I run through the following checklist.

Keys... check
Wallet... check
Cellphone... check
Blinky-joint... check

A buddy of mine borrowed that term, "blinky-joint" from a street urchin.
Just stuck with me.

I don't do systems.
Except when my "system" is out of whack, which usually means I have lots of gas.

February 24, 2011, 11:17 PM
Actually my car is a POV (personally owned vehicle) unless I'm filling out a travel voucher, then it's a POC (personally owned conveyance). A weapon comes in primary or secondary form or crew served. Primary is shoulder fired, secondary is a sidearm, crew serve is mounted on something. This avoids having to refer to a "primary" as a; m-249, m-16a2, m-16a4, m-4, m-4 with a m-203 attached blah blah blah... It started with instructors needing a universal term. What I can't figure out is how (or why) my "gear" has transformed into "kit".

February 24, 2011, 11:21 PM
Well, if you can convert something from a rifle to a grenade launcher in under 30 seconds, from a semi-auto shoulder-fired rifle to a full-auto bipod-mounted unit in a similar time frame then, yeah, okay, I'm fine with "system."

If you have to tear it down, install a bunch of parts, reassemble it, and it's several minutes, I'm less inclined to say "system" about it. Now it's more like a "convertible" pistol or rifle.

A "system," in my eyes, is epitomized by the Zorg Industries ZF-1.
http://www.studiocreations.com/images/ebayimages/zf-1_side.jpg . . . http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID16753/images/ZF-1_500x340.jpg

Now that's a system!

Of course, that's just me.

I could be wrong.

February 24, 2011, 11:24 PM
+1 for the Zorg ZF-1

And here I thought it was just a term the mall ninjas borrowed from the military which of course has to have a big dramatic name for everything. Trust me, I hear someone say, "weapon system" and they aren't wearing a military uniform my immediate reaction is, "mall ninja, stay away." I then back slowly away avoiding eye contact, but never taking my eyes off them.

February 25, 2011, 02:14 AM
+2 on the Zorg ZF-1.

It shoots - gun.

It shoots, stabs, lights things up with lights and lasers, has an incorporated variable zoom parallax free quick target acquisition sight, and a bipod that shoots out of a vertical foregrip that latches onto a rail - weapon system.

Grunt Medic TXARNG
February 25, 2011, 02:41 AM
An M4 is a rifle. An M4 with rails, CCO red dot, ACOG scope, laser(s), flashlight, and thermal sights is a system, due to its multiple configurations. Hence the official nomenclature when outfitted with rails - "M4 MWS - Modular Weapons System".


February 25, 2011, 09:43 AM
Military terminology just doesn't fit right into civilian speak. Just like most criminal terminology doesn't fit into my vernacular, I've left behind the vast majority of mil-speak after I re-entered civilian life. I can tacticool as many of my guns as I want, but my 'tricked out' 12 gauge is still just a shotgun, not a weapon-system. I never liked the term when I wore the uniform, I certainly won't use it now.

February 25, 2011, 11:13 AM
An individual rifle is a weapon. A family of rifles can be considered a weapons system or a platform.

It would sound weird to refer to an individual AR or M16/M4 as a "weapons system", but it makes sense to refer to "the AR-15 platform" or similar when discussing the whole family of AR-15 type rifles.

rocky branch
February 25, 2011, 11:33 AM
I carried a M2 Carbine and a Car 15 in RVN.
Pretty straightforward pieces, except the telescoping stock-suspicious precurssor...

Todays stuff looks more like a system than a piece.
Add ons, combos, ad nauseum.
If it works, though, I don't care what they call it.

As a paratrooper i was always amused by stiff necked references to "the aircraft"
In briefings, training, etc.
The AF giys, including pilots always said "airplane."

February 25, 2011, 11:38 AM
Back in my military aircraft maintainer and flight student days, we would refer to things like the F-18's vulcan cannon, the AH-1's 20mm cannon, and various missiles/rockets as weapon systems. I've also heard tankers refer to their main gun and associated components as a weapon system, and submarine guys refer to their Tridents as weapon systems. To me, that makes sense, as it's a large, complicated collection of different devices that work in unison towards firing something.

Most of the time, we never used the term weapon system to refer to anything like individual small arms or crew served weapons. Rifles were always rifles, pistols were always pistols, unless they were referred to as 'the weapon'. Automatic weapons we always referred to by nomenclature, or their nicknames, like The Pig.

In fact, the only time I generally heard things referred to as a weapon system was when someone who thought too highly of themselves was involved.

Personally, I like to be specific when referring to arms, and I typically stick with 'rifle' and 'pistol'.

February 25, 2011, 11:42 AM
love that zorg. lingo is lingo guys. military is a little different than cops and cops are a little different than civilians. just let it go and worry about shooting. I say clip because I always have and its easier to say than magazine. Just like when reading I prefer magazine over periodical. all that concerns me as far as guns is my shooting ability, ammo supply and my second amendment rights.

Vern Humphrey
February 25, 2011, 11:51 AM
It stems from something called the Systems Approach. A long time ago, the services realized that the cost of a new item -- weapon, vehicle, or what-have-you -- had to include many other things. Spare parts, training, accessories, maintenance elements and so on. To determine what a new rifle, helicopter, etc., would cost, it had to be considered as a system -- with everything accounted for and costed out.

Now the term "system" has become a buzzword.

February 25, 2011, 12:10 PM
For reasons that have not yet revealed themselves to me it has become the fashion for even the Bubba Bob's who, above all others, should know better, to speak like technocrats. To grab and use any piece of jargon that sounds smarter and more complicated than what you presently use because if you sound smart and complicated you are. Excuse me now, I have go apply a boundry layer anti-friction polyfilm to my platform.

February 25, 2011, 01:05 PM
Excuse me now, I have go apply a boundry layer anti-friction polyfilm to my platform.

I think you meant to say "weapon-system". ;)

February 25, 2011, 01:12 PM
I put "hook-pile" tape on my "weapons system":D

February 25, 2011, 01:55 PM
Now the term "system" has become a buzzword.

And buzzwords are all about marketing. Just like everything nowadays is 'tactical' this or 'mil-spec' that. Ad execs everywhere are some of the smartest people, getting the general public hooked on their buzzwords and jargon helps sell products. Doesn't matter if it's guns or blue jeans.

February 25, 2011, 03:56 PM
Probably the term "weapon system" and "mil-spec" are into more popular usage, is in the fact that we have more veterans [THANK YOU VETS] coming home, and they are still using the terms and the "mall ninja" types are playing too many vid games.

February 25, 2011, 05:26 PM
I understand if the person was in the service, but when a life-long civilian says "weapons system" excessively, to me it sounds like someone who fantsizes about being an "operator".

February 25, 2011, 05:49 PM
All I could think of when I saw this thread's title was..... Nutnfancy:evil:

Shadow 7D
February 25, 2011, 05:55 PM
Oh, gees, can we leave him out of it
I mean yeah, he has good information, but the black uber tackikool stuff, just gets in the way....

Vern Humphrey
February 25, 2011, 07:11 PM
Reminds me of a corporal I had in basic training, who explained, "In your fragmentation order, be sure to tell your aromatic rifleman to wrap aluminous tape around the front sight."

February 26, 2011, 01:17 AM
Ha! Don't get me started on "mil-spec!" Don't you people know that us military guys would LOVE to trade our issued colt/FN's for ANYTHING that doesn't have ridiculous upper/lower receiver wobble?!?!?! My current gun has a purple upper receiver from being dunked in the solvent tank a couple of times.

Every time I go home and handle my S&W AR-15 I think to myself "Man, if only my issue M4A1 was this nice" and it's hardly top of the line!

Trust me, "good enough for the Army/Marines/SOCOM" isn't really all that great.

February 26, 2011, 04:03 AM
I understand if the person was in the service, but when a life-long civilian says "weapons system" excessively, to me it sounds like someone who fantsizes about being an "operator".
I feel the same way, kind of mildly amused when people use the word 'running'. As in, "I'm running a vertical foregrip on my AR15", or, "I'm running a strip of skateboard tape on my revolver grip". What's wrong with "using", or "attaching"?

February 26, 2011, 04:36 AM
System encompasses multiple components. You aim a rifle. You assemble or modify a system.

Guns are crew-served weapons, by the way. Since they will include major components such as T&E and optics, in addition to the barrel and firing mechanism, it would be correct to refer to a gun as a "weapons system": your M252 Mortar System includes the M253 cannon, M177 mount, M64a1 sight, and M3a1 baseplate. The necessity of describing the collection of components as a system becomes clearer with something like the M224 60mm mortar system, which can be fired using three types of sighting and two different baseplates, depending on mission.

You might have been a SEAL using the Stoner 63 Weapons System, but only used the machine gun or assault rifle at a time. ;)


February 26, 2011, 04:48 AM
For those against military speak, I understand. Calling a firearm a "weapon system" is meant to show it for what it is a tool. In the mind it dehuminizes it, so that you can't place blame on those evil black assault rifles.
When you combine shooter, firearm, and area of opperation civilians call it "war" the armed forces call it "combat". Then the media turns it into something its not, like the war on drugs etc...
People will always have opinions and see things differently. The term weapon system, I like, because to me its all encompassing from the MK 101s to the type of projectile that is launched.

February 26, 2011, 10:40 AM
I'm with rugerdude on this. In my Military days, if you got caught in the field without your M16A1 by your side (usually always by TOP) he would simply ask, Soldier where's your weapon? I am a Electronic Technician by trade and have been for well over twenty years since my Military days. This means I Troubleshoot, Diagnose AND Repair electronic equipment down to component level. A stereo or TV in itself is not an A/V system although each consist of many different components and to some in this thread, would classify as a system. Today, out of the blue, everybody is some sort of Technician:confused::rolleyes: Thank God a Gunsmith is still a Gunsmith. I am studying this craft to supplement my income and into retirement. WHAT IS A GLASS TECHNICIAN?
I have never seen a glass technician repair a shattered car window. That is a part swapper! A true Gunsmith is a Craftsmen. If they ever start calling them Gun technicians I'm throwing in the hat.

To Vern: Did you ever find that HSMG (high speed missle grease) down at the Motor Pool?

February 26, 2011, 10:53 AM
BTW I discovered that I had "kit" when I worked with Brit, Aussie and Kiwi blokes!

February 27, 2011, 09:32 PM
One fallacy I see a lot of among gun collectors is collecting the guns themselves without reference to the entire set of equipment that the gun was supposed to be a part of. For example, an '03 Springfield rifle makes a lot more sense if it's in the context of a complete set of M1910 web gear, including the ammo belt, bayonet, pack, e-tool, canteen, etc. This is what I would call a "weapons system." Reenactors have a lot more appreciation of this than straight gun collectors do.

February 27, 2011, 09:50 PM
I think it is better to use the word "gun" instead of "weapon." I believe using the word "weapon" should only be used if you are in the military or law enforcement.

February 27, 2011, 09:56 PM
Is a knife an edged weapon system, if it has a compass in the handle? :D

February 27, 2011, 10:28 PM
I always thought that saying started with the AR since you can build it like a barbie doll.:D

You certainly don't call a real rifle you know an M1A, Garand, or Fn49 a "weapon system". They are simply rifles, or if out of ammo "war clubs".:D

Shawn Dodson
February 28, 2011, 11:23 AM
Humans are an essential part of any weapon "system".

An individual weapon isn't a "system". Likewise a human isn't a "system". Put weapon and human together and you have a weapon system.

A system is comprised of two or more subsystems.

fallout mike
February 28, 2011, 11:29 AM
I did not read all this. I have no military or law enforcement training. But on the show top sniper the US military sniper school instructors use the the words weapon system on occasion.

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