The Future Of Gun Technology

Posted: Feb 17 2017, 2:56pm CST | by , in News | Technology News

The Future of Gun Technology
image: WSJ

With guns constantly in the news, what's next for the future of gun technology?

The world of technology delivers considerable advances each and every day. Who would have thought just a decade ago that we would be able to carry powerful, compact computers in our pockets on a daily basis? Now, that technology is being made even smaller in the form of wearables.

But one industry that hasn’t evolved much is the firearms and gun industry. Or has it?

Conventional guns are constantly being improved with new materials, designs and gear to boost their efficiency and lethality. This is not just because people want even more efficient death-dealing equipment. A lot of it is warranted, because even reliable weapons have common problems that require fixing.

But much of it seems stale. Many weapons seem “old-fashioned” in terms of their physical designs, giving the appearance that gun-makers are set in their ways. But while it may seem that way, it’s not actually true.

Believe it or not, there are quite a few “sci-fi”-type weapons that could fuel the future of war. Interested to know what some of them are? Let’s take a closer look.

The Future of Gun Technology

Modern warfare will be fueled by a variety of advanced technologies, many of which wouldn’t be out of place in your favorite sci-fi flick. Think portable cameras that can see through walls or exo-suits that afford the wearer superhuman strength. And it’s not just tactical equipment and armor getting the upgrades, either — guns and firearms are also being evolved.

Boeing is currently working on a weapon called the Laser Avenger that uses a high-powered laser to transmit heat and take down targets. More specifically, it shoots a one-kilowatt solid-state beam that can be used to knock rogue drones out of the sky or even detonate explosives from a great distance.

This is just the start, too. Someday we may have more sci-fi-like laser guns, though it likely won’t be the kind you can lug around on your person. The Boeing Laser Avenger, for instance, is pretty bulky.

DARPA is creating trackable bullets that can change trajectory in mid-air. The .50 caliber shells have an embedded computer guidance system that can direct commands to small fins on the bullet’s outer shell. In this way, the bullet can change course during flight to account for environmental factors like strong wind. The real benefit of bullets like this is they can also be used to track and home in on moving targets. It’s a scary thing to watch, honestly.

While both of these weapons could ultimately be used to maim or kill, that’s not the only focus for guns of the future. New technologies allow us to create effective, non-lethal weaponry too, like the Thunder Generator currently in use by the Israeli military. They’ve actually been using it for years.

The Thunder Generator is essentially a large and very powerful air gun. It’s so powerful that it can kill at a range of 10 feet or less.

The gun uses something called pulse detonation technology, where an explosion is funneled into a barrel, strong enough to produce a high-velocity shockwave. The shockwave will knock back nearby targets and disorient them by causing temporary deafness. All this is possible up to 100 feet away from a target. The Israeli military uses it for crowd control and it’s proven remarkably effective. It’s not hard to see why, either.

So, what’s the point to all of this? What do we do with all of these dangerous, yet powerful, weapons we just discussed?

The Future of Guns Is Entirely up in the Air

From centrifugal guns to undetectable 3D-printed guns, the arms industry is clearly evolving. While many would claim the technology poses new threats, that’s not necessarily the full truth. Some technologies — like Jonathan Mossberg’s iGun Tech, for example — can be used to improve weapon safety.

One thing is certain: true “smart” technology is taking hold in the firearms market and we’re sure to see a lot of amazing stuff come of it. And not all of it lethal. In fact, some may even help stem the flow of gun problems we see and hear about so often.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.




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