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Future Weapon Technology; Caseless Ammo, Railgun Sidearm, Handheld Laser & More

Ever wonder what the future will bring in firearms and personal weapons? Will the day we show up at the range with a blaster ever be here? One of the technologies on the horizon is caseless ammo, at least for the military. The discarded brass of current ammunition is a waste as far as the military is concerned. At training facilities, the brass must be polished or cleaned up and then discarded or sold. In military operations all that ammo is transported at great expense and effort, and the military does that by the ton, not round, only to leave a significant amount of the that weight on the ground as waste. If a lighter caseless round could be issued the entire weight would contribute to the effectiveness of the round. More rounds carried for the same weight. H&K experimented with a caseless round in their G11 rifle. The bullet was in the .17 caliber range though various calibers were tested. Various problems where encountered.

Pros of Shooting Cased Ammo

Cased ammo serves multiple purposes in a modern combat weapon. The case acts as a heatsink in a military full or semi-auto firearm. On loading in acts as a buffer to the hot chamber, discouraging ‘cook off’ or premature ignition of the ammunition due to a heated chamber, a situation not unknow to the M2 heavy machinegun in .50 caliber. Obturation is the sealing of the chamber to prevent hot gases from escaping the chamber and blowing back into the shooter face. The cartridge case in small arms is the primary obturation component and on firing expands outward contacting the chamber walls and sealing the chamber. Obturation is a major hurdle when discussing caseless ammunition. The case also aids in cooling a gun. Ever feel how hot a case is after firing and ejection. That represents heat removed from the gun, the case actually aids in cooling the weapon.

Railguns or Magnetically Accelerated Projectile Sidearms?

The railgun or MAG gun is no longer science fiction, at least in ships and perhaps a tank. But as a sidearm not so much. It takes a lot of electrical energy to fire sequential magnets to accelerate a projectile. Energy density in batteries is not high enough to make a man carried MAG gun practical. The Navy is considering putting them on some ships, but they have a surplus of electrical power to operate these weapons. Unless there are tremendous advances in battery technology the sidearm or even longarm MAG is significantly far in the future. Why bother? It is difficult to exceed about 5,000 fps with conventional propellants. A MAG weapon should be able to push a projectile to 10,000 fps or more. The projectile will probably have to be a steel core surrounded by a ceramic shell as the friction at those velocities could burn up a conventional projectile. So, unless you have a two-ton 600-watt generator with you a MAG gun is not in your immediate future. Ships and tanks would be the only practical mounts for such weapons.

Laser Weapons Technology

Laser are rated in wattage. To be a practical weapon they would have to generate sufficient wattage to pump ample energy into a target to neutralize it. The problem with man or animal they have a lot of water in their bodies, that serves to dissipate heat. Putting enough wattage on a target to sufficiently debilitate or mortally damage a living target takes a lot of watts or long exposures. Again, the energy density potential of batteries hinders the potential of such weapons. Packing around that two-ton generator would be the pits.

Particle Beam Projector Blaster

The last choice would be a particle beam projector. Probably a blaster. Take about a gram of highly excited protons, magnetically project them at very high, near light speed velocities, the particles would be fast moving clouds of sub-atomic matter that would impart very high heat into a target because of the high kinetic energy. A proton beamer or blaster would super heat the target, melting through metal and causing the flash steamed water in a body to explode. Though tackled in the past, Los Alamos Labs did some experimentation. It worked in space, but no practical weapon application has been developed, again a high output power source is needed. However, that cloud would cool rapidly in an atmosphere affecting the effective range of the weapon.

Custom Shooting Ranges Designed & Manufactured in Las Vegas, Nevada

In consideration of the difficulties involved the only viable potential for personal arms is caseless ammo. May be Buck Rogers in the 24th century, but MAGs, lasers and beamers are not happening anytime soon, except in heavy platforms like ships and tanks. You and your .270 have a bright future. Shooting Range Industries designs and manufactures custom technologically advanced shooting ranges. We look forward to incorporating new advances and developments to future ranges. Contact us to learn more today!

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