We have been taking a look at the military gear of the future. In the first installment we focused on flying machines of the future, while in the second we looked at the future of robotics on the battlefield. While experts could argue that the most important war weapons have been anything from the sword to the airplane, few would argue that guns have changed the way modern day wars are fought. They have increased the distance from which the enemy can be targeted, while providing more accurate and lethal force than its forerunner, the bow and arrow.
The history of guns in warfare goes back hundreds of years. They played pivotal roles in the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and have seen action in conflicts and wars around the world. But it was not until the 20th Century that the gun was finally figured out. Problems such as reloading, magazine capacity, jamming, accuracy, and even size of the arm have all been improved over the last hundred or so years. The gun of today is only a distant relative of the gun that won America’s independence. But, gun makers are not finished by a long shot (pun intended.) In this article we will take a look at some of the guns of the future.
Shoot From A Mile Away
Discussing the future of guns is really exciting, but let’s start out light. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to put a computer into a gun, and do it right. The CheyTac Intervention M-200 is just such a gun. The gun has been called the longest shooting gun in history, with a range of up to 2,500 yards of accurate shooting. To put that into perspective, that is equivalent to being able to shot a target from a distance of almost a mile and a half away. This amazing feat is achieved by an onboard computer, which calculates different factors including wind speed, muzzle power, and even the earth’s rotation – all to make the shot as accurate as possible. This amazing weapon is truly of the future, but is actually being carried by Turkish troops today.
Shoot Around Corners
Need something a little more futuristic? I would guess that practically every soldier who has done battle in an urban combat situation has found themselves wishing that they had a way to see around corners, without sticking their head out to take a look. The Corner Shot gun does one better, it’s a gun that can not only show what is around the nearest corner – but can actually shoot around corners as well. The front part of the gun can swivel by 60 degrees in either direction, in order to be able to take a shot around a corner. The gun can also be used in a normal straight configuration. A flashlight and camera are located in the bayonet position of the gun. A screen on the side of the gun shows the user whatever the camera captures – effectively allowing the user to look around the corner.
Shoot A Round At Mach 8
he next gun is not a gun in the traditional sense of the word – but we will include it here anyways. The U.S. Navy is said to be developing an Electromagnetic Railgun. A railgun uses electrical energy – generated in high voltage – to launch a projectile at incredible speeds. In the case of the railgun the Navy is said to be testing out, the speeds are in the neighborhood of Mach 8, or 8 times the speed of sound. This is in excess of 5,000 miles per hour. The gun is so powerful that the energy of the projectile alone is used to destroy a target, meaning that the projectile will theoretically not carry any warhead. This makes the projectile more of a giant bullet than a bomb, though the force of impact would probably be comparable to striking the enemy with a missile. These guns are expected to become operational in the 2017 to 2020 timeframe.
Shoot 16,000 Rounds Per Second
Metal Storm is a future weapon which has caused a lot of excitement in the military community in recent years, and for good reason. Though the gun is still in the evaluation phase, the gun’s awesome speed has made it all but certain that Metal Storm will be seen on the battlefield sometime in the near future. Metal Storm is the fastest automatic weapon in the world because it does not use a traditional firing mechanism. Instead, when the trigger is pulled, electronic impulses ignite the rounds in rapid succession. Developers claim that Metal Storm can fire 16,000 rounds per second from multiple barrels. It is also said that another configuration of Metal Storm can launch half a million grenades per minute. How is that for speed?
You Shoot – They Shut Up
The last entry in this list is truly an unusual gun. Though it remains to be seen if the gun will be used in combat, Japanese researchers have actually made a gun which makes a person shut up, and not for fear of losing their life. The gun uses delayed audio feedback. When the gun is pointed at someone who is talking, an attached microphone picks up what the speaker has said. Speakers play back the speech .2 seconds later, causing the brain of the speaker to become confused. The gun effectively tricks the brain into shutting up. Not sure how this will be used on the battlefield, but surely there must be some application just waiting to be discovered.
Guns have come a long way since the muzzle loaded guns of the Colonial Period. The guns of those days could only fire one at a time. Now, mankind is on the verge of deploying guns that can fire thousands of rounds per minute. One could only wonder what the Founding Fathers would think when seeing the firing of a 5,000 mile per hour round, which is the size of a sofa.