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Ask Ian: “Last Ditch” Rifles for World War III?

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From Thunderchild on Patreon:

“How would you see a modern major nation (US, USSR/Russia, China, etc) simplify their small arms in a large scale war, WW3 or Cold War gone hot? You’ve mentioned in the past how most nations end up having to simplify to meet demands, so why not start simplified?”

The reason for simplified small arms is to increase production speed. During peacetime deployment of new arms, it generally doesn’t really matter how long manufacturing takes, and enough rifles will be built for the standing army and some predetermined number of reserve weapons. Last-ditch guns become a necessity when battlefield wastage and increased conscription combine to demand arms well beyond the production capacity of a country’s industrial base. The only solution is to simplify the design to decrease production time – and the simplifications can’t hinder the effectiveness or safety of the weapon, or else there is no point in producing them in the first place.

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