Are guns the final evolution of standard battlefield weapons?

Oct 2019
15
Malabo Accra Kumasi Port Au Prince Carrefour
From fists, to rocks, to sharp stones, to daggers, Bows, Knives, Blades, Spears, Swords of varying types, over the years we have seen the primary battle field weapon change across generations up until the gun.

My question is, is the gun the final stop for weapons evolution?

Grenades, mines, bombs, missiles, complement the gun, but the gun is still the primary offensive weapon on the battle field.

Some geeks say that in the futures we'll use lasers but that's still a type of gun, and it just changes out physical ammunition with condensed heat. Is man even rcapable of thinking up a successor to the gun? Or will we just continue to produce similar variants to the guns we have now until the end of time?

When you look back in recorded history, the Gun has lasted longer as the primary weapon on the battle field than any other weapon before.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,461
Dispargum
Guns have a few short comings which we haven't been able to solve yet. They can't shoot around corners. They are dependent upon finite amounts of ammo which must be constantly resupplied. They have moving parts which wear out and occasionally malfunction. If anyone can solve these problems with a new type of weapon, guns will eventually disappear.

There are certain trends in warfare which will probably continue: combatants are moving farther apart as range and lethality increase. High technology is getting smaller, lighter, and cheaper so that even sub-national groups can now access some pretty powerful weapons.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,747
Australia
You have to define "guns". Right now we use guns to throw solid projectiles. Future possibilities could include laser, sonic, chemical, biological, and nanotech payloads.
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,747
Australia
When you look back in recorded history, the Gun has lasted longer as the primary weapon on the battle field than any other weapon before.
The spear was the primary weapon on the battlefield for at last three thousand years. It is still used today in the form of the bayonet, though it is no longer the primary weapon.
 
Oct 2012
794
Who knows, probably. Considering the general technological advancement during the last 100 years or so, nothing major has happened with handguns.
 
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Mar 2018
783
UK
I wouldn't underestimate the human capability to innovate, especially in warfare. People who have declared "The End of History" in the past have always been embarrassed by it.

Someone mentioned we should define what a gun is, I think this is uncontroversial:
A weapon which uses fast combustion to accelerate a projectile which then travels ballistically

This should cover handguns, rifles, mortars, artillery and the like; but not bombs dropped from planes, self propelled rockets/missiles, mines/booby traps and the like. Considering everything in the last category has been growing in importance in symmetric and asymmetric warfare for decades, I'm not sure why OP is so confident that the gun will be around forever.
 
Oct 2019
15
Malabo Accra Kumasi Port Au Prince Carrefour
I wouldn't underestimate the human capability to innovate, especially in warfare. People who have declared "The End of History" in the past have always been embarrassed by it.

Someone mentioned we should define what a gun is, I think this is uncontroversial:
A weapon which uses fast combustion to accelerate a projectile which then travels ballistically

This should cover handguns, rifles, mortars, artillery and the like; but not bombs dropped from planes, self propelled rockets/missiles, mines/booby traps and the like. Considering everything in the last category has been growing in importance in symmetric and asymmetric warfare for decades, I'm not sure why OP is so confident that the gun will be around forever.
Because on the battlefield missiles and mines (which are already in rare use) aren't going to be the primary way to attack, let alone resistance movements in increasing urban environments.

With the highest amount a stability and cross-country protection agreements, there is not likely to be another major war that would create a need for further innovation than the gun. Right now nearly every new weapon release, and the prototypes soon to come, are all forms of guns, the only other thing being worked on are new types of missiles and drones, although I would say we are already at diminishing returns on missiles.