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

Are we responsible for the lack of advancement in firearms?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by twoblink, Mar 17, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. twoblink

    twoblink Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,736
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    <Flame Suit on>

    I was wondering, cell phones, digital cameras etc... a new generation of design etc.. every 6 months. guns?? nope.

    Are we responsible?

    So let's say I'm a gun maker, and I want to design a new gun. It costs R&D money, and everybody will poopoo all over it... Why bother when I have people who are STILL buying 1911's and won't buy anything else? Why bother with new designs and inventions if the market never forces me to?

    So... are we responsible for the lack of gun evolution?? Specifically those who buy guns of very very old design and claim they are still are the best.

    The other side of the coin is that, guns aren't something like cell phones, you can't just design one, and if it's a bad design, say oh well... Because lives depend on the quality of guns made...

    I happen to think that with markets like 1911 etc.. I don't think there is incentive to make newer guns...
     
  2. Handy

    Handy Guest

    This sounds familiar....

    I of course agree wholeheartedly. Just look at the bicycle industry. Another "sporting goods" industry working in the same materials on mechanical devices sold in the same price range for the same profit margin. No one would think of racing a 1960's era bicycle, let alone one from 1910. And while some older designs (the classic steel frame bicycle) will always have a following, new stuff comes out constantly.

    The firearms industry and its consumers are not forward thinking.
     
  3. waynzwld

    waynzwld Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    KasMo
    The UNCONSTITUTIONAL gun laws in this country stifle any innovations in firearms design. All the great gun designs of the past were invented by individuals, not corporations.
     
  4. Jesse H

    Jesse H Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    633
    Location:
    The Great State of Texas
    Cell phones, digital cameras, computers, etc, are all based on electronics. These things seem to constantly be updated and become obsolete in 6 months since the technology is still growing as things get smaller and more powerful. Still alot of untapped resources there.

    Firearms aren't based on technology that spawned in the past 50? years, thus hard to improve on. I'm a relative noob to the hobby, but I'm sure a 1911 and its ammo of today is more reliable and accurate compared to a typical .45 back in the early 1900's.

    Similar to automotive engines. I remember 10 years ago when 200 crank horsepower from a 3.0 liter was impressive. Today, I can easily hit 200 wheel horsepower from my naturally aspirated 1.8 liter. I don't think it'd be possible to generate twice the power with almost half the displacement 10 years from now when it comes to gasoline engines.
     
  5. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Mr. Jefferson's country
    Guns for the civilian market are no longer on the forefront of technological development. The government has seen to that with the NFA rules. Innovation in civilian guns is like innovation in cord phones. It's interesting, but not that exciting or profitable, relative to the profits from military or government sales.
     
  6. Dorrin79

    Dorrin79 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    883
    Location:
    Central Texas
    I wouldn't say that we are responsible. It's not the sort of thing where one assigns blame. It's called a "market reality"

    The reason there have not been a lot of major changes in firearm design is simple - most of the major discoveries were made 50-100 years ago. Everything since has been miniaturization (see, KelTecs, Kahrs, airweight revolvers) materials (Glocks, USPs) and new calibers (most of which have been commercial failures, in both long and hand guns).

    The process is complicated even more by legislation and regulation, which have kept the civilian market from enjoying many of the new advances in materials/action design, which have been for military apllications only, sadly.

    I think a better way to state the issue wouldn't be "Why do people keep buying 1911's?" but rather "Why hasn't anything provably superior to the 1911 been developed in the last 100 years?" the answer may be that, given our technology level, the 1911 is simply the best we can do.

    That said, I also think you are ignoring a lot of innovation that has been going on in the firearms industry. High capacity handguns, new high-powered rifle cartridges (and handgun cartridges, for that matter) tiny full-power handguns, greater and greater reliability...

    you get the idea. In short, I think that there is still a lot of innovation in the industry, and that whatever deficit of innovation there may be compared to, for example, the computer industry, can be traced to the fact that we have pretty much maximized our utilization of the technologies and materiels available to designers at this time.
     
  7. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,724
    There IS the Glock 37.... :D
     
  8. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,085
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    No, as wayn sez it is the NFA, the SSA, etc., et al that provides the "barriers to entry" to every would-be John Moses. Why bother when faced with a blizzard of forms and costs associated to do things legally?
     
  9. Dorrin79

    Dorrin79 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    883
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Jesse H - you are correct.

    that phenomenon is called "low-hanging fruit" in R&D. It refers to the fact that the more you develop and improve on a product, the harder it becomes to make each marginal improvement in the future.

    I think that all the low-hanging fruit in the firearms industry was used up post-WWII. Since then we've been reaching higher and higher, for diminishing returns.
     
  10. Handy

    Handy Guest

    The NFA does not prevent you from building any firearm you want, as long as the barrel is of appropriate length, and it's not silenced or full auto.

    If a private citizen had come up with the FN Five-seven, they could have built it.

    The basic mechanisms that a firearms developer would want to work with have little to do with the NFA.

    Handguns especially are no more accurate than they were in 1900. Unique powder, also approaching the 100 year mark, is almost as effective a handgun propellant as any other. Current service pistols are barely more reliable than the 1911's they were tested against. There is plenty of room for progress, and you are welcome to do it.
     
  11. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,245
    Location:
    High up in the Rockies
    Yes, we are responsible!

    As long as we are willing to buy bolt, pump and lever action rifles, single barrel, double barrel and pump shotguns, revolvers and 1911s, there will be no incentive for newer innovative design.

    Wouldn't it be grand if the buying public would demand an all plastic and ceramic auto pistol the size of a Beretta .25 auto with a 10+1 capacity and the stopping power of a .30-06?

    Believe me, if enough pholks were willing to pay big bucks for it, someone would solve the techno problems and develop it.

    But as long as we, the shooting public, continue to worship Jeff Cooper, Wiley Clapp, Jack O'Connor and the other 19th century dinosaurs, it will never happen.
     
  12. TallPine

    TallPine Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    7,734
    Location:
    somewhere in the middle of Montana
    I still don't trust percussion caps - especially when I can just go out and pick up my own flints.

    :D
     
  13. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,245
    Location:
    High up in the Rockies
    Tallpine,

    LOL<LOL<LOL< ROTFLMAO

    Good one, my friend!
     
  14. D.W. Drang

    D.W. Drang Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Pacific Northwet
    Most developments in firearms design have come from people designing them for military applications. AsI read someone from Natick Aberdeen say once, "There hasn't been a substantial change in the way we launch a bullet in over 100 years." Materials change, but the real developments have been in machining, CAD/CAM, being able to design and build to tolerances that will allow full-auto, and so forth.
    At the risk of turning this into a religious debate, John Moses Browning did allthe work, with some help from John Garand. :evil:
     
  15. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,724
    Come on. We DO have spaceage-technopolymers now. Isn't that advancement? :D
     
  16. cordex

    cordex Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Indiana
    Not sure if the comparison with electronics is accurate.

    Six months or a year from now, I will be able to buy a computer twice as fast, twice the hard drive capacity, twice the memory and in a smaller package and spend just as much money as I would a computer today.

    Not a chance of being able to go out and buy a new production weapon that is twice as accurate, weighs half as much, hits twice as hard with half the recoil, has the pre-built phaser mount and will cost as much as the current model. And it ain't because I carry a 1911 either.

    Seriously ... show me developments in the firearms industry that parallel those of the electronics industry.
     
  17. dongun

    dongun Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    I agree that there have not been many changes recently in basic firearms design. I guess there are only so many different ways to get a shell from the magazine to the chamber, only so many ways to build a trigger/sear mechanism, and only so many ways to drive a firing pin into a primer.

    However, there have been advancements in materials, such as titanium, carbon fiber, etc. There have also been several recent improvements in ammo - new bullet/shot designs, new cartridges, etc.

    No radical new designs, but constant improvements.
     
  18. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    10,648
    Location:
    SLC
    Ok wannabe gun inventors (which I happen to be one, so don't take this personal).

    You want a better gun?

    Build it.

    It is that simple.

    Put your money where your mouth is. Put it on the line. Grab that plasma cutter. Rent machine time. Do it.

    If your design is honestly better then it will have a market.

    If it doesn't sell it isn't the markets fault. It isn't the fault of people who love Glocks or 1911s or Sigs or HKs or Berettas.

    That has nothing to do with it. Product loyalty has nothing to do with it. Blaming the market for your idea not turning into a massive cash cow is a cheap cop out.

    I know a ton of folks who have great ideas. You know what. Ideas don't mean squat. Only results. Ideas are easy, steel is hard.

    I have a pile of gun ideas. I've been working really hard on making one a reality. I've invested my time, I've invested my own money, I've had to put aside my ego, I've had to scrap it multiple times to learn from others. It has been a big process.

    And you know what, if it fails then it is MY FAULT. Not the market, not 1911 fans. The fault is my own, because I didn't give the people what they wanted. Because you know what? If your idea really is as good as you think it is then people will begin to want it, regardless of what is in their holster right now.

    In the world of art/music/literature there is always that starving "artist" who can't sell anything because nobody UNDERSTANDS his work. That is utter crap, it is his job as the creator to make us understand, if he fails it is his fault. And honestly most of the time his art/music/writing sucks, that is why it won't sell, but it sure is easier on his self esteem to say that he is misunderstood. Therefore it is our fault, not his.

    Same thing applies. If your ideas are so good. MAKE THEM.

    I've seen folks with a pet idea bash other people's products. So what. What does that prove? Nada, zip, zero.

    If you have a design that costs less, shoots better, looks better, is more reliable, and more accurate, build the damn thing. If it as good as you think it is then it will fly off the shelves.
     
  19. Kharn

    Kharn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,999
    Location:
    Maryland
    The NFA and MG ban are the main reasons for little advancement.

    But another reason is nature: Bambi hasnt grown an armor-plated hide, and probably wont grow one for a long time, Bambi also hasnt learned how to duck a supersonic bullet during the past century. A hit from a .30-06 makes Bambi just as dead as a hit from the latest Oober Wunder Magnum Wildcat round, so the big companies like Remington and Winchester have little incentive to make advances (beyond developing their own cartridges in an attempt to sell rifles to people that wouldnt buy a second rifle in a single caliber).

    Kharn
     
  20. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,749
    Location:
    The Last Homely House
    Bravo Correia!! :D

    I agree the market's not an issue. It's not like the public was screaming for semi-autos back in 1870. No, they were happily carrying around their war surplus cap-and-ball revolvers, thinking they were the bees knees. And when better products came along, they were in time adapted.

    I do think it's a combination of the "low hanging fruit" concept Dorrin referred to, and the cultural/legal environment weapons R&D and factory financing has to be conducted in these days. Bankers just aren't as eager to back businesses that can get sued or legislated into oblivion ten tears down the line.

    All that said.. I tend to think we've just about reached the evolutionary end of weapons employing cartridges. Just like side-lock muzzle-loaders, there's only so far you can take the idea. The next round of substansive changes I think will have to come from a new platform.

    -K
     
  21. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,233
    Location:
    Central IN
    Hey... my two favorite handguns date back to 1911 or so. My favorite rifles are the Ruger Model 77s which fairly directly date back to the Mausers.

    I guess I'm just an old timer when it comes to yer plastic gizamaboppers and 9mm whodoyadodits.
     
  22. faustulus

    faustulus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Correia

    BetaMax
     
  23. Topgun

    Topgun member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,011
    Location:
    Anywhere necessary
    It is HIGH TIME.....

    for the 1912 !!!!!
     
  24. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    10,648
    Location:
    SLC
    :D BetaMax :D

    Part II: Effective Marketing. ;)

    Seriously though, the world of guns is vastly different from the world of consumer electronics, but I see your point.

    My point remains though. If their idea is good, the burden of proof is on them, not on the consumer.
     
  25. QuarterBoreGunner

    QuarterBoreGunner Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    1,932
    Location:
    West Oakland
    I'm still waiting for my-

    <arnold> phased plasma pulse-laser in the forty watt range... </arnold>
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page