Emerging advances in technology have pushed the firearms manufacturing industry to create weapons that are more affordable and more exact faster than ever before. Not only are they being made with precision as a key function, but they’re lighter, collapsible and modular. All of these changes, although they’ve been in the works for years, are developed through fine-tuned processes that are continuing to get better. Here’s a look at some of today’s latest firearms advances.
With modern-day technology, new polymer composite tests are examining how to make a firearm lighter, more durable, able to limit recoil and handle a wider range of temperatures.
Polymers are able to bind different ceramics and nanoparticles that enable these features. Advancements in the field have led scientists to find ways to connect continuous fibers that can disperse the shock of a round throughout the weapon, rather than the firer’s hand. Because durability of the polymers is stronger, the industry is closer than ever to finding ways to make a completely plastic weapon. Until now, barrels were kept as metal, but that could change in the near future. Polymers that can handle the pressure and heat are being tested daily and will make their way to the market soon.
Although they’re perfect for making models and concept designs, the abilities of 3D printers don’t stop there. Using whatever material the printer is capable of processing, firearms can also be designed and developed.
Texas-based company Solid Concepts proved that these firearms can be easily printed and put together. With a 1911 as a base model, the company used an industrial-scale printer to forge the weapon from scratch. They sought to prove a 3D-printed firearm can be strong and accurate, and successfully changed perspectives in the process.
Personalization is an enormous concept used in marketing of all types, but firearms manufactures have found a way to capitalize on the same trend with modular weapons.
The Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) has the ability to serve as a Close Quarters Battle (CQB) rifle, but if you swap the barrel and a few attachments, it becomes a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR), capable of reaching farther ranges.
While the AR15 and similar models have been capable of adjustments for years, the firearms industry has made these changes faster and more efficient. Turning the SCAR from CQB to DMR takes less than five minutes and can be done in the field. Militaries have started mass purchasing these firearms as they can teach one weapons system to their soldiers, but maintain the capabilities of multiple.
Even pistols that — just two generations ago — had nothing but the capability to fire bullets are now outfitted with changeable optics, lasers, flashlights and magazines.
The personalization of firearms means that along with new weapons will come a wide range of attachments and products all designed to help you create the firearm you want.
Today’s Guns Tomorrow
Years from now, the market will be saturated with high-tech firearms that are more diverse and more capable than anything on shelves today. As new technology continues to improve weapons of the future, the firearms of today will be for sale second-hand at affordable prices sooner than later. The lower price allows you to save money for things like attachments and ammunition while the advancements in technology let you know the quality of the firearm will be maintained.