The Civilian Arms Market and Military Small Arms Innovation


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CmdrSlander
March 30, 2013, 03:31 PM
I believe that without civilian enthusiasts as a testing bed/fallback market, innovation in the small arms industry would be severely hampered, especially with regard to AR15/M16/M4 accessories. Companies like LaRue and Magpul have developed superb products which see wide military use but civilian sales are their bread and butter, without the civilian modern sporting rifle market, such companies would be in serious trouble. Thus, those who seek to ban modern sporting rifles threaten our military innovation and readiness.

Discuss...

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BryanDavis
March 30, 2013, 04:11 PM
I hope someone with ties to companies like H&K that sometimes sell only to LE and military sees this. Even companies like Colt, makers of the 6920 LE Carbine, a very popular model among civilians, seem to lose track of the civilian markets once they get their hands on those big military contracts.

Using civilian markets, (mostly in the US) to experiment with new models and ideas seems to be very constructive.

As long as we're wishing, I want to see Colt start making (modern) revolvers again.

taliv
March 30, 2013, 04:15 PM
don't know if you've noticed, but those who wish to ban rifles also want to disband our military. i don't think they care about our innovation or readiness.

BryanDavis
March 30, 2013, 04:24 PM
don't know if you've noticed, but those who wish to ban rifles also want to disband our military. i don't think they care about our innovation or readiness.

Meh. Make them say it, I'm sure it'll lose them a number of votes if even some Democrats come out and say "I want to disband the military".

kwguy
March 30, 2013, 07:25 PM
Not to stray too far OT, but it's ironic that the same people that want to disarm us, also want to disarm and weaken our military. The founders were not too fond of a standing army, which is why they wanted the militia (whatever form that is). These 'modern geniuses' of social engineering want NEITHER of those apparently. Just shows they they're nut cases.

Weapons development in their minds is a single shot nerf rifle. With no grips or shoulder things that go up.

junyo
March 30, 2013, 11:10 PM
don't know if you've noticed, but those who wish to ban rifles also want to disband our military.Considering everytime you mention guns as a hedge against governmental tyranny they got wood describing just how quickly the military would wipe out gun owners, I'm pretty sure they want to keep some Storm Troopers around.

kwguy
March 31, 2013, 07:02 AM
I'm pretty sure they want to keep some Storm Troopers around.

THAT'S for sure. Weakening the military just makes that task easier...

Zoogster
March 31, 2013, 08:06 AM
A minimally restricted civilian market is very important for innovation. It allows firearms designs to be created and sold in small numbers. While big contracts alone either happen or the product is a loss to a company.

The civilian market also refines a lot of things. If you look to the least restricted parts of the civilian market, things like optics, mounts, stocks, various accessories etc you will often find innovation the military later adopts.

The less restricted the more sources venture into new areas, create, improve, and adapt designs.


A civilian market allows innovation and small sales to offset R&D and production costs while testing a variety of products. Focusing purely on big contracts often means great success sometimes, and bankruptcy others when not awarded or cancelled unexpectedly.

SlamFire1
March 31, 2013, 09:19 AM
The US Army is about the least innovative organization around. It is incredibly conservative towards equipment. It likes what it has, it wants something better but only a little different, and totally rejects revolutionary change. Sticking something like a pistol grip on a stock was too much for the Army to stomach in the 50’s.

Another issue is that the Army likes dealing with the same big established companies and in time the hiearchy represents the financial interests of their contractors. The Army does not like changing vendors and product changes require changing vendors or dealing with new one. Retired Generals are guaranteed a Corporate paycheck as long as their loyal Deputies keep funneling money to the company that hired their Ex-Boss. General/President Eisenhower called it the Military Industrial Complex for good reason. Once the Army is locked into perpetual sole source you find it is not in the interest of the Army or the Corporation to introduce change.

Large corporations, as it has been noticed, are not good at innovation. They are good at stealing good ideas, but not so good at internal innovation:http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/09/why_big_companies_cant_innovate.html

As you all have noticed, the good ideas in firearms all come from individuals and small businesses.

As you have noticed, in your lifetime, the software and electronic industries were built up by entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, guys who started these mega industries from their garages. In time the entrepreneurs will leave, the “suits” take over, and the big corporations stagnate, but as long as they are propped up by taxpayer subsidies, they never go away.

InkEd
March 31, 2013, 02:12 PM
That's a pretty good explanation.

HorseSoldier
April 1, 2013, 05:47 AM
I believe that without civilian enthusiasts as a testing bed/fallback market, innovation in the small arms industry would be severely hampered, especially with regard to AR15/M16/M4 accessories.

There's a confluence of several streams coming together which does make this true.

First and foremost, we've spent a decade fighting a war that is very small unit/infantry-centric where things like a slight improvement or optimization in a rifle or carbine means something. If we'd spent the last decade still ramping up to smash the 3rd Shock Army in Central Europe money and interest in individual small arms would be comparatively lacking.

Second, SOCOM showed up on scene with even further interest in refining individual kit and weapons, and with streamlined procurement (though that's getting less lean and mean as time goes on) as well as a lot of unit discretion on optics and other accessories all the way down to the small unit level.

Third, the commercial market boomed somewhere between the AWB and 9/11, and three gun competition started popping up as a game replicating the sort of shooting the SOCOM kids did professionally and, in the war we're in, the dinosaurs in Big Army/Big USMC/Big Etc started realizing they needed to master, too. Consumer market + lots of little military purchases from the SOCOM sector means that small innovators can find niches rather than the big all-or-nothing multi-gazillion dollar contracts that the usual players in the military industrial complex are used to playing for and screwing up once they win.

Domina
April 1, 2013, 08:50 AM
Civilian marksmanship competition and other uses are to firearms as NASCAR is to the automotive industry. Designs are tested and refined and technology advances and new products are introduced due to the private market demand and use.

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