Recently at Shot Show, a new trigger device was displayed that could not only replace the standard trigger design for most firearms, but would allow someone to customize the pressure necessary to fire a weapon.
As well as providing feedback about the many aspects of how your finger placement on the trigger may have influenced your shot. Another rifle system from a few years back can essentially allow you to lock yourself on target and then fire the weapon for you with perfect accuracy.
It could be said that these different devices served niche purposes. The adjusted firing rifle for example was too bulky, too heavy, and dramatically too expensive for widespread military use. But as the inevitable progression of science and technology marches forward, it is important to remember that eventually these sorts of things will be small, lightweight, and cheap.
Many upgrades will become standard options, and this is all with the assumption that black powder charges will remain the firearm of the day. I for one am still holding out hope for a Remington 700 Light Railgun.
There is a question that sits in the back of my mind, however. How much technology really is too much technology?
The issue can be broken down into main categories; when do too many features become obnoxious, and when do certain features become a liability?
The first Is straightforward. If you have got cables and batteries and bulky things hanging off your firearm, it is only a matter of time before that stuff gets in the way. Weight and size added would be important considerations, and with more complex systems, there can be more complex failures.
If an accessory jams or runs out of battery, they can be remediated quickly. If your super scope fails and you don’t have backup sights, you’ve now basically got a hip fire only tool.
Then there are the long-term considerations. The same super scope means that shooters don't have to retain practice with the fundamentals of marksmanship.
An over-reliance on this technology, or really any technology strapped to your weapon means that once the technology fails for whatever reason, you are back to the old school methodologies. If they have fallen out of use, it is the same as trying to reinvent them on the fly, and if the weapon can’t function without them, you essentially get an oddly shaped brick. I for one like my gun to be gun shaped.
These propositions also assume that you would be aware that your technology had failed. It may be obvious if the press pad you are using instead of a trigger mechanism fails to fire when pressed. But a more insidious sort of failure is the slow drift.
When your AI enhanced optics or fire controls become slightly uncalibrated, and then more so, until you’ve missed a half a magazine’s worth of shots and now are faced with the realization you may have to replace your sights or recalibrate them in the middle of a firefight.
At the end of the day, technological progress is always good. Technological over-reliance is not. Always make sure you op-check your equipment, but ensure that if everything else fails, you still have your fundamentals to fall back on. And your back up sights.