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Anything really new in firearms since 1950?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bushmaster1313, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    Other than using plastic for the frame of a pistol, have there been any real innovations in firearms since 1950?
  2. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    Materials and manufacturing methods (usually as cost-cutting measures), certainly. In addition to more plastic being used, there is also investment casting and MIM instead of forging, and CNC machining instead of hand fitting. Firearm design? Very little, at least that could be considered revolutionary. A couple of things that could be considered innovations - electric primer ignition and caseless ammunition - either were unpopular in the marketplace or still have technical hurdles to overcome, respectively. And it goes back even further. Flintlock ignition was state of the art for over two centuries, and smokeless powder in a self contained cartridge didn't come along for a century after that.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  3. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    Not sure how far back you have to go to find a real design innovation.
    The 1911 and the M2 were both designed before the end of WWI, and they were not even the first of their genre.
  4. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

    Plastic parts and aluminum frames in a rifle? The AR platform comes to mind.

    IMHO, there is a heck of a difference in guns since the 50s. Even if the same gun has been continually produced for that long (1911 comes to mind) the new high quality models can be much more accurate than the 50s versions.
  5. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Well-Known Member

    Maybe not new exactly, but the newer wonder 9's and their relatives have became much less picky about what they will eat. A fair amount can be said about improvements in gas operated guns overall also.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Better bullets.
    Better powder.
    Better optics.
    Better out of the box rifle accuracy.
    More reliable affordable semi-auto gas-operated shotguns and rifles.
    The .44 Magnum revolver.
    Affordable over & under shotguns.
    Mass quantities of reloading equipment and components.
    JHP & JSP pistol bullets.
    Tritium night sights.
    9MM pistols in the USA.
    Shotgun Choke tubes.
    Pistol scopes & red-dot sights.
    Synthetic stocks.
    Weapon TACK light rails & lights.
    DA auto-pistols in the USA.
    Laser sights.
    Pillar & chassis bedding.
    Range finding & Mil-Dot scopes.
    Scopes that are 100% reliable.
    Titanium & Scandium frames & cylinders.
    LEGO Set rifle assembly & mods anyone can do.
    Fiber Optic sights.
    7 & 8 shot magnum revolvers.
    .22 Magnum revolvers.
    Really powerful auto-pistol calibers like the 10mm.

    I got to rest.

    But theres way more!

  7. russ69

    russ69 Well-Known Member

    If you like wood stocked blued hunting rifles, then no. Everything else, heck yes.
  8. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

    Rotating breech lock bolt closure on the Winchester Model 88 lever action rifle, fiberglass barrel on the Winchester Model 59 shotgun, all-load capability in modern gas operated auto shotguns, laser and red dot sights for handguns, AR platform for rifles, just to name a few.

    But realistically, most of my firearms can be dated back to the 1800's in function, caliber and design.

    Pretty amazing, really.

  9. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    In the big picture, NO. Small material changes, same design. Nothing new. I don't consider plastic frames and stocks a quantum leap.
  10. Wanderling

    Wanderling Well-Known Member

    The 1911 was adopted before WWI, in, well, 1911. The design itself dates to late 1890s or early 1900's.

    The Luger Parabellum was adopted in 1908, along with 9mm Luger / Para / NATO round still in use today (in various loads but still the same design).

    There simply isn't much room for improvement of a basic, simple, working, time proven mechanical design, it seems. Either that, or there wasn't much money put into R&D on handgun side, seems most of it went towards developing SMG's / assault rifles.
  11. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

    Seems there's been a large leap in the performance of bullets in regards to hollow points.
    Also things have been getting more compact. handguns, subguns (MP7, P90), carbines (m4 & other short intermediate caliber rifles), full power rifles (KelTec RFB, Desert Tactical SRS)
    There hasn't been the quantum leap I was expecting in the 80's when I read about things like the caseless rifles such as the HK G11.
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    JHP handgun bullets were not even widely available commercially until the late 1960's / early 1970's.
    The Super-Vel company lead the charge.

    Before then?
    If you shoot a revolver, you shot lead bullets.
    If you shoot a bottom-feeder, you shot FMJ-RN.

    Cause thats about all there was then.

  13. Stophel

    Stophel Well-Known Member

    No, not any that I care anything about. ;)
  14. exavid

    exavid Well-Known Member

    I go with the opinion that there have only been incremental improvements, no major innovations. Several ideas that were new have gone the way of all things like the Winchester 88 as already mentioned. I had one in .284. It was difficult to use in real cold weather due to the mechanical disadvantages of the action. You needed a prybar to open the action and a hammer to shut it in -20F weather. One other idea that came along in the 60s was the "Gyro Jet" pistol and rifle. It didn't pan out either. I have a fairly new model .45, a Ruger P345. Other than manufacturing technique and materials it's much the same as my old 9mm S&W model 39. Ruger is still selling basically the same MK somethingorother .22 pistol that they sold in 1950. Not all that much difference between the first MkI and the current 22/75. The Ruger 10/22 has been pretty much the same for almost 60 years now. Browning's 45 is well over 100 years old now. It's much the same in the Aircraft industry. Airliners haven't changed much other than slight improvements and size since the Boeing 707 came out in 1954. In a lot of things we're reaching the limit of our materials and technology. It's been a long time since anything really new came out in anything that isn't related to electronics which is still not a mature technology.
  15. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    RC: I think most of those things are more improvements and evolution of innovations than true innovations. The improved handgun ammunition certainly is one, though.
  16. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Well-Known Member

    Intended firearm use has changed and driven the need for new technology.....we once fought for freedom in the world using peep sights and ball ammo. Now ammo manufacturers tell us we're faced with the walking dead phenomenon....somehow I think these new threats could still be taken out with peep sights and ball ammo.
  17. d2wing

    d2wing Well-Known Member

    M16, red dot sights, night vision. More accurate ammo and generally better mass produced guns. But I cherish my old blued steel guns.
  18. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Well-Known Member

    Jeff Cooper listed the Marlin Co-Pilot (made by Wild West Guns), the Styer Scout Rifle, and the Blazer R-98 (pull straight back bolt action) as the only major advances.
  19. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Well-Known Member

    better muzzeloaders
  20. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Better metallurgy: stainless steel, stronger aluminum alloys (like scandium alloy), well machined titanium, etc.

    That has allowed more power overall, and more power in smaller packages: think S&W 500 Mag, and Boberg micro 9.

    As a result, we've learned a lot about handling big recoil: the grips available for today's hard recoiling guns are great.

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