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Guns haven't changed since 1911?


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It seems to me that firearms haven't progressed nearly as rapdippidly as lots of other things have in the last 100 years. Wondering if people agree, if there is an explanation, and if its a problem.

Some things to compare it to.

100 years ago trains were the most common form of long distance travel at say 40mph, now it's jets at ten times or more that speed. The telephone was pretty rudimentary, now we carry "phones" that do things nobody had even thought possible 100 years ago. Yet automobile had just been invented, a low priced car today is amazing in all aspects compared to any car 100 years ago.

While some new technologies have been invented for guns in the last 100 years there has been little if anything revolutionary invented (perhaps the biggest changes have been in optical sights). Your average Lim or Open shooter shoots a gun invented 100 years ago. Our most common battle rifle was invented 50 years ago.

There are probably explanations having to do with ammo, mil/LE and market conditions but they aren't clear to me.

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What can you change? There have been some significant advances, but they have all been in the materials used. We now have polymers that can stand up to the stresses of combat and that is really what we have to look for. Otherwise the mechanics have not changed because the designs were right 100 years ago. Most of the things you listed have not really changed in the mechanical aspects of them the advances have been in how we control them. In my industry we are using the same principles as 500 years ago. We just have a better way to control them which makes them more efficient.

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We have had changes and innovation. Electronic ignition, caseless ammo, high density helical magazines, material and chemical science, and many other things. But firearms are an area where the raw stress of usage often means that simple, robust designs stand the tests of time where innovation falls short. Hopefully some of the innovations that have fallen by the way will come back around as the science needed to make them successful improves.

The automobile is really no different. While individual components have gotten better, the automobile itself is really no different today than it was when the Model T rolled off the line.

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In 1911, you had a choice of carrying a .45 revolver or 1911, or a .38 revolver.

Look at the choices you have now :surprise:

Double action 9mm that holds 11 rounds and fits into your front pants pocket :bow:

But, you're correct - what we really need is a phaser (Set your phasers on "stun")

and guns that are proprietary (Only one person can fire them). I'd love a phaser

the size and weight of an I5 phone that can blast a hole in a concrete wall, or

merely "stun" someone. :cheers: But, even that idea is 50 years old. :cheers:

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It could be part nostalgia, too. Firearms are a direct link to our social and rebellious past.

I know not everyone carries, but some of my firearms sit ready for action besides games. That means I want it to be workable, easy to fix, simple, and effective for as long as possible. A 1911 from back in the day will still go bang if it has been cared for with some light oil and attention. That makes me feel better. Plus I can find a pile of parts, and with some sandpaper and time make another one or fix almost anything that goes wrong. I want mine to go bang without worrying about battery ignition, weird extra moving parts, or rare and scarce ammo (present climate excluded) being factored in.

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I was told once if Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and John Browning could come back and see what has been done since they left, John Browning would be the least impressed (we are still using the last gun he worked on, pretty much like it was when he left). John Browning may feel the most pride in knowing his designs have stood the test of time, though.

Hurley

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Gun design has not changed because the design of the ammunition has not changed.

And will only really change when the nature of the projectile changes...some sort of charged particle/nano particle that will deliver the same destructive energy on target as bullets do. Say at the molecular level.

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Automobiles are fundamentally the same as they were in 1911.... They have an internal combustion engine and ride on 4 wheels, controlled by a steering wheel... The design has just been refined over the years....

Same with the 1911 handgun...

Houses are still built very much the same as they were.... just refinements in materials n such (I'm still trying to figure out why they build houses with dining rooms anymore)

Ships....

There really isn't much that is ever truly original in conception or design. There is always a foundation, or something inspiring that already existed before...

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and guns that are proprietary (Only one person can fire them).

Please tell me you don't really mean this! It is probably one of the dumbest ideas brought out by legislators ever!

Absolutely agree. The ones I've seen, the user/owner has to wear a ring or some other sort of electronic device to let the trigger activate. Do you really want to trust the electronics, with viruses, batteries, forgetting to put the activator on, etc., instead of your own finger? No, thank you...

On to why the 1911 hasn't changed.... When, if ever, has perfection been improved?

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But the 1911 HAS changed. When Browning built it, did it have a ramped barrel? Beavertail safety? Ambidextrous controls? And what about the various barrel options from the original bushing barrels to the other options we now have. These refinements have made it a bit of a different beast I would say. And to the 2011, and the other hicap frames out there, I think JMB would probably think that was a great idea and improvement on his design. When you look at firearms design though, I would say that the refinements in some systems can take decades to improve.

In the 1940s, the Germans developed a television guided air to surface missle. That type of munition would not be perfected or at least improved for it to be common for at least two decades later. Laser guided munitions and smart projectiles are starting to change how we fight now.

The thing about weapons that use light or focused energy is that you must build them to destroy things and that takes energy, which requires weight. Standard munitions still offer more bang per buck. They pack quite a bit of kinetic energy, and are man-mobile for the most part.

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I'd say the way the typical handgun is manufactured has changed dramatically. 100 years ago, they were all hand-fitted, assembled, and finished by highly skilled labor, akin the process of making fine pocket watches. Heck, S&W had a stock-making department. Even your run of the mill "cop" gun, like a S&W or Colt revolver, required a high degree of skilled labor to produce.

I'd say there's a lot less human element involved in the production of the typical handgun (Glock, S&W M&P, etc) today, probably resulting in a much lower cost product, if you were to adjust for inflation. I'd say the innovation of polymer frames has a great deal to do with enabling this change in manufacturing.

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Firearms are heavily regulated - which both inhibits people entering the market as tinkerers, and inhibits design - basic economics. There's also, I suspect, a high liability cost, and not that many customers.

I'm fairly certain that a line could developed which would produce a Glock-like design for $20-30 - but you'd need quite a production line.

Edited by Aglifter
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