Tools and history

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by WestKentucky, Oct 19, 2021.

  1. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I just read a few posts on an older thread about having swords at hand in the event of an attack. As I was thinking about the various tools used and how they have progressed through time it seems like everything boils down essentially to energy.

    Let’s oversimplify and lump things into categories. Ever since the dawn of mankind people have used tools to do things.

    Cutting down a tree presumably would start with not cutting but rather breaking a tree down bare handed. Using a club of some sort to break the tree seems a logical next step, it could at least break branches to use for various purposes. Some sort of axe would come along next followed by simple saws, then in very recent times crosscut saws and chainsaws. Each step seems to trade in some physical labor for efficiency by using energy more precisely until we hit a practical limit and then we switch to using technology to provide the bulk of the energy in the form of a gasoline chainsaw.

    In a meat gathering scenario it seems that we start as scavengers finding our food then progress to driving animals to their death, then on to clubs then knives then spears, atlatl, vertical bow, crossbow, then again to technology providing the bulk of the energy when we get firearms.

    Defensive weapons seem to follow a very utilitarian trend as people simply used what tools they had available, but again in the specific purpose built defense tool we start with fists, then clubs, on to blades and eventually firearms using gunpowder to provide the bulk of the energy. Since then the trend is to smaller tools and more capacity.

    So there’s a general trend that all things seem to follow. We have hit a point in history where suddenly we are using technology for more things than not. Realistically everything about firearms is highly antiquated technology because the major breakthroughs all happened a hundred years ago or more. The common trends we see in other tools in life seem likely to be applied to firearms. So where do we go from here? Energy weapons are a thing of science fiction but are also becoming real life stuff. Where else do we go? We have pretty well gotten the potential out of guns as we know them.
     
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  2. Howland937

    Howland937 Member

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    It's a scary thought, but the next step may be the one that renders firearms obsolete. It seems that the historic trends seemed to last several hundred years (or more) before they were improved to their technological limit. Granted, weapons of all types from throughout history have benefited from today's technology be it modern materials or improved production techniques.

    With these advancements, and the push from certain segments to supplant the "gun culture", perhaps something old becomes new again?
     
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  3. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Howland937 writes:

    Starship Troopers took place sometime in the 23rd century, which places it between 2201-2300AD. Cartridge firearms were still the staple of small-arms weaponry even then, so I think we're good for a while. ;)
     
  4. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    If we are going that route then the aliens in Halo had energy swords that were pretty impressive. Not at all unlike a light saber. I don’t expect that to become reality.
     
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  5. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    If you follow Gordon Dickson's thinking, technologically advanced weaponry becomes more vulnerable to countermeasures at a certain point, especially when it becomes dependent on a power source or networked communications. The Dorsai troops used "spring rifles" constructed of a minimal number of moving parts largely made of inert polymers.
     
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  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I’m not familiar with that, but it sounds like a military unit outfitted with a bunch of Red Ryder BB guns. Thanks for the thought because that made me chuckle.
     
  7. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Another thought on futuristic weaponry would be along the lines of a paintball gun. We have plenty PCP guns going well into the lethal range on power. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider something along the lines of a Volcanic Rocketball bullet combined with a high pressure gas tank.
     
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  8. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Firearms are unique compared to other items because first reliability is of the upmost importance, and second there's a perceived (and also real) fear of control from the government, and 3rd the good ol' boy "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mantra.

    I say this because in most other common items we've seen electronics play a pivotal role in "upgrading" them from 20th century tech to the 21st century, be it our cars, refrigerators, chainsaws or even doorbells and door locks. But every time someone has tried to introduce electronics into firearms it's been loudly shot down due to either reliability, fear of government force, or fear of change.

    I'm thinking of things like Remington's electronic primers, proximity sensors that act as safety devices, and smart guns. Some of these ideas might be stupid, but the gun world reaction is often so strong that it scares innovators from pursuing other ideas that might actually be good ideas. At the very least I think it's encouraging that electronic optics like the small red dots have finally reached a point where they're reliable enough with long enough battery life to be daily carried.
     
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  9. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Price is also a factor, the really good electronic devices are often too spendy for the average consumer.

    Current gen night vision would be an example, easy for the gov't, but at $3-5K per, a little much for the limited use of most people.
     
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  10. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    I don't think we will ever move away from cartridge firearms, even if a superior form of weapon is invented.

    One reason is reliability. Mechanical reliability is not beatable by electronics, especially under less than ideal circumstances.

    And given the progression let me pose a question, how many here have a knife that's partly if not entirely for the purpose of self defense? I have a boot knife, and several single blade folders.

    While a knives primary role is not defense anymore, they still play a secondary role. If guns ever evolve past what we know them as, the old guns will still play a secondary role.

    Likely, if a new form or gun is invented, it will be expensive, complex, and will only be privvy to the government. Thus, we will be stuck with the obsolete weaponry.

    It might be a form of non lethal weapon that renders the opponent unconscience. Imagine a siege where the gov sets off a weapon and it causes all the occupants, bad guys and hostages alike to become unconscience. Then the gov can go in and clean up with no loss of life. A scary thought for free America.
     
  11. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    The Great War from the Fallout universe happens in 2077. So in 56 years we have to go through an apocalypse before we get beam weapons.

    I think there is more to be developed in the self contained cartridge arena before we get into directed energy weapons. Paper was the first "case" used to combine a projectile and propellant together. Then brass. Now we use mostly brass but also steel and aluminum. For the past couple decades there have experimentation with using plastic cases, most recently the next gen Army weapon prototypes using plastic cases to cut weight.
     
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  12. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Never talk in absolutes. Who here really wants to give up the reliability of electronically controlled fuel injection and electronic ignition and go back to carburetors and points ignition? The same type of innovations could happen in the firearms world someday.
     
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  13. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Only after nuclear exchange with EMP.
     
  14. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Not I, but I think there's probably a few automotive mechanics around that would. I know one of them personally. He just replaced all 4 axel seals and 2 axel bearings in my wife's Jeep Wrangler. He did a great job, and only charged us about a fourth of what the dealer bid.
    But here's the thing: naturally I asked around about what kind of work I could expect from that mechanic if I took my wife's Jeep to him, and 2 different people told me he was great for the kind of work (axle bearings and seals) we needed done. But those people also told me they'd never take a vehicle to him if it needed work on anything that was electronically controlled - like fuel and/or ignition on modern day automobiles.
    Just to keep this slightly gun related though - that mechanic (Jack) couldn't work on my wife's Jeep the week before last because his garage was closed while he was elk hunting.:D
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  15. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    Most of the normal common folk I know don't care what kind of ignition their car has long as it runs when they hit the key. The electronic ignition and computer controlled car is fine, as long as it works. But as soon as it breaks (depending on what it is of course) you need specialized gear and training to repair it. There is a heap of folks that hotrod cars both the old type, as well as the new type. The point is, the new technology while "better" hasn't displaced the old except for cost of manufacture and government regulation forcing implementation.

    While new technology has many advantages "on paper", in the real world there often is no major advantage and many disadvantages.

    The same can be said for guns. Cartridge arms like we use now, are likely at the apex of their development. Further development will likely include technologies that will only serve to complicate their use or maintenance, with little benefit to the end user.

    There is a lot of value in being able to repair ones own car or make ones own ammo, or do a simple repair on a gun. That will never be lost on a portion of the population.

    An example might be all the short and super short rifle cartridges. They are way better on paper than the 30-06, but realistically they offer no advantage to most shooters or hunters. They have several disadvantages, cost and availability.

    Another example might be the use of kydex as a holster material vs leather. Leather is not in any danger of being replaced at preset.
     
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  16. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Re: automobiles, the new technology is completely electric vehicles. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of resistance to giving up the oil burners.

    On the other hand, the EV's might as well have bumper stickers saying "powered by coal", because a lot of electricity still comes from that.
     
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  17. gobsauce

    gobsauce Member

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    I think electronic primers have a place. Just primers, mind you. The reason being is digital controls would make any firearm have a hair trigger, for example. (digital as in 1's and 0's, impossible to hack ). A single click, and it all goes off. This would be the lightest trigger possible. Or you could have a pot, and have it go off at exactly the weight you want.
     
  18. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Regarding the last part, I believe Auric Goldfinger tried a similar thing to raid Fort Knox :).

    Stay safe.
     
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  19. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I think the most entertaining way is still explosives.

    Of course age and weather or even good old fire turns them back into dust. We are just impatient as humans.
     
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  20. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
    That's funny! I never thought of that, but now I think I'll point it out to the next smug Prius owner I run across.;)
     
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    IME most problems with things these days is because of the amount of electronics used. Many complex enough the components are throw away and replace vs identify and repair problem components.

    We have and use tractors often that are ‘40’s-‘50’s that keep on going and I have seen more than a few “modern” machines that are obsolete as far as sourcing electronic components from the MFG in 10-20 years.

    It doesn’t take much to diagnose why an engine using only points and a carburetor will not run.

    Sometimes even a $10,000 diagnostic computer designed for the system can’t tell you what is causing the problem. With more than a few, you can’t even swap some components from a functional vehicle to the dead one to see if that is a fix. They are “so smart” that the can network, recognizes the swapped part does not match the VIN # of the problem vehicle and thinks something nefarious is going on. If you are lucky enough to have something like GM Onstar, and it’s outside where is has sat signal, they will lock the vehicle down completely when you turn on the ignition.

    The worst part about points, other than the rub blocks these days being made from plastic vs phenolic, is from not using them.

    This little trick, using AC power to clean the oxidation from them, takes most all the work out of points engines that sit.

     
  22. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    You confuse reliability with ease of repair. Modern cars can easily go 100k+ miles without anything more than oil changes and air filters, but sure, once they need repairs sometimes they're more difficult. I HIGHLY doubt many vehicles from the 70's and older could make it that long without any repairs.

    For something I'd depend on to save my life, I'd rather have a gun that's dead reliable for a given amount of time over a gun that's easy to repair myself, but needs constant adjustment like how some people claim Colt revolvers went out of time more often. If you NEED a gun to defend yourself and it's not working, it doesn't much matter at that point if the gun needs a new motherboard or just needs the magazine springs replaced.
     
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  23. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    The time honored and correct definition of "arms" does not restrict itself to firearms only. If need be we can move to edged and blunt trauma weapons, what many now call "melee" weapons. Those were actually carried more often in 1776 - not a long rifle. Clasp knife, dagger, and "hangers" were much more common, and longer swords if traveling roads between towns as "highwaymen" weren't uncommon. There wasn't a Highway Patrol or police officer on the beat then, and the first were only armed with whistles to call the citizens together to chase and detain thugs and pickpockets.

    WE enforced the law in the beginning, and WE carried "arms" as needed to protect ourselves. It's taken about 85 years to regain ground after the push to disarm us of all handguns with the 1934 NFA - the original intent was a ban on firearms possessed by the general public entirely. Backdoor socialism failed and we got out with the skin on our nose, the important takeaway is that most of the agencies and Department of WAR said as long as they got their cut out and weren't inconvenienced, they cared less about raping our 2A rights.

    So much for patriots in Government covering our backs. This fight has been ongoing for much longer than Chipman running for Agency Director.

    It's arms as in any device you can carry, and some needing a team of horses or orcs to pull and we shouldn't limit our imagination what that encompasses. Our enemies won't.

    Im just trying to figure out if a hanger needs to be under 26" or 16" to conceal. But a tomahawk normally is. For those with more interest, look at a CV shaft and see what I can see.

    Mace? Sho nuff. Arms.
     
  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yeah, the ability to be able to keep on using something over the years/decades.

    I suppose if we had to upgrade/update our firearms, like our phones, computers and vehicles, we wouldn’t ever reach round counts to the point they are useless.

    FWIW I have been looking for a Kricotronic rifle for several decades. It was a unique use of electronics back in the mid ‘80’s. Unlike the Remington EtronX rifle they didn’t require special primers, that when unavailable render the firearm useless. They were also not just electronic triggers activating a part to impact the primer, like some others.
     
  25. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    We also get screwed with low cost consumer electronics so we expect it to die. The stuff running in manufacturing plants that's buzzing 24/7 is built to a much higher standard because it has to be reliable for years on end.
     
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