1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Do firearms ever become obsolete?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Vegaslaith, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Vegaslaith

    Vegaslaith Well-Known Member

    Horse and carriage;obsolete. Catapult;obsolete. While both of the above have modern descendants--cars and artillery respectively--they are in fact useless in modern times. A recent thread about a pistol's effectivness against a modern military got my wheels turnng. Some say bolt guns are over and done with.(not that I'm saying that.) Swords saw thousands of years of use, only to devolve into bayonets and combat knives.

    So my question is twofold: Can a firearm (or guns in general) become obsolete; and if so what makes it so? Lack of available ammo? Parts?

    Take your best shot:D
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  2. cslinger

    cslinger Well-Known Member

    Obsolescent, maybe...obsolete, not likely.

    I personally feel that one day we(humanity) will go to the stars. I also feel that the venerable 12 gauge shotgun will go with us.

  3. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Well, I have 2 definitions of obsolescence.

    One is based on sustainability: if critical parts, ammo, etc are no longer commonly available, it's fair to label a device obsolete.

    The more useful definition is based on the firearm's fitness for a particular niche in the purpose driven gun ecology. A firearm is rendered obsolete when it is displaced from its niche by something that offers a superior fit to that niche.

    For example, in the wide ranging ammunition niche, the brass cartridge rendered cap and ball entirely obsolete.

    In the small, concealable defensive handgun niche, the snub nose revolver displaced the derringer. Some would argue that the snub is in turn displaced by the compact 9mm autoloader, but that's a topic of debate, with no clear winner at this time.

    In the service rifle niche, the muzzle loader was displaced by the breechloader, which was in turn displaced by the lever, which was then displaced by the bolt, which was then displaced by the autoloader, which was then displaced by the assault rifle.

    Examples abound.
  4. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    All 1911 platform pistols are definitely obsolete. PM me and I'll give you my address, so you can send them to me for proper disposal. No charge!
  5. siglite

    siglite Well-Known Member

    I like the "functional niche" angle. And if we boil it down for our purposes, it's the functional niche as the man portable combat arm.

    The M16 was an (arguable) improvement on the M14. Which was an improvement on the M1. Which was an improvement on.... etc...

    At some point back in the past, deeper under the pile of improvements, modifications, and outright radical changes, there's true obsolescence for that niche.

    Very well put geekwitha.45.

    Maybe in 50 years, the 40 megawatt plasma rifle and the 10 megawatt plasma pistol will render firearms obsolete.

    Or we'll be walking around with force-fields rendering all projectile weapons useless. Who knows.

    But there's one thing I'm certain of. Humans have an incredible aptitude for developing creative and effective ways to kill each other. This aptitude dictates that something, one day, will come along and render firearms obsolete.
  6. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    You know that certain firearms are obsolete when they give the hunters that are burdened with their use a separate hunting season. :D
  7. SapperMapper

    SapperMapper Well-Known Member

    Caseless ammo (now in testing) may soon prompt complete redesigns of current weapons.

    The great, intuitive, genius, revolutionary breakthroughs are wonderful when it comes to coffee table books, but it's really the incremental and evolutionary changes that advance technology. That applies to a lot more than just firearms, but stories like, "The first modern machine gun" are much more dramatic than "Ruger engineers develop a pistol that is 80% lighter (or smaller, shorter, more accurate, etc.) than last years model."
  8. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member

    I'd say the duckfoot and pepperbox are examples of being obsolete. Sure, they're still around here and there, but improvements in reloading techniques, revolvers, and on have pushed them into a 'curiosity' status.

    A magazine recently had an example of a powder tester...you put a known type of powder in, pull the trigger to set it off, and it would measure the reaction. You would them put a sample of the powder you were considering in and repeat the process to see how it compared. Improvements in powder manufacturing rendered THAT type of test obsolete...so it seems when something is so cumbersome, or simply not needed any more, it heads that direction.

    One we get affordable directed energy weapons, or decent caseless ammunition, our current stuff will probably become obsolete within a few centuries too.
  9. Big45

    Big45 member

    All weapons became obsolete the instant Chuck Norris was born. (Someone had to)
  10. Monkeybear

    Monkeybear Well-Known Member

    Not guns, just the ammo. As the projectile improves new guns we be developed to launch said projectiles.
  11. Wildfire

    Wildfire Well-Known Member


    Hey There;
    We have come a long ways from chasing big critters with pointed sticks to the gun.
    How knows ?
    We still have Horse and Buggies on the roads. Atleast in some parts of the country.
    Some have even gone back to chasing big critters with pointed sticks.
  12. brigadier

    brigadier Well-Known Member

    A weapon that could kill a man 3000 years ago can still kill a man today. Allot of things change with time. The laws of physics is not one of them.
  13. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

    What about Tacticality?? :)

    What was effective against body armor at Agincourt would be highly effective against body armor, now. But there are better ways. Note that many of the archers in that battle had backup hatchets.

    Frankly, GeekWithA.45 gave a superb answer.
  14. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    The laws of physics may not have changed but you try bringing a pointed stick to a gunfight and see how long you survive.

    I have no doubt that at some point energy weapons will render projectiles obsolete. Quite possibly within my lifetime
  15. Wildfire

    Wildfire Well-Known Member

    21 foot rule.

    Hey again.
    We should have by now all been aware of the 21 foot rule.

    Man with knife at 21' / Man with gun. ??????????

    In a demo years ago. I was not a believer. Now I am.

    Pointed stick at a gun fight could be a draw.
  16. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    There I fixed that
  17. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    I'm confident that firearms will become obsolete once we invent a better battery. Why use a rifle when you can use a frickin' laser that'll cut down your enemy while requiring no ballistics chart?
  18. Wildfire

    Wildfire Well-Known Member

    Laser ?

    Hey :
    My laser don't work like that.
  19. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    eventually it will
  20. brigadier

    brigadier Well-Known Member

    We already have the means to do that.
    There is a serious reason why we are using bullets over lasers despite the availability of the technology. For a good start at why, point a laser pointer at a mirror and see what happens.
    Any army who decides to resort to laser warfare is going to really have their day ruined when their enemies show up with all kinds of reflective armor and tools.

Share This Page