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Old 02-06-2014, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default When does a rifle become obsolete???

I have heard several time that a rifle is "obsolete".But in what occation it is really "too obsolete" to be used effectively on the field?

I have heard it about the AK, the M14, the Fal, the G3 and even about the AR platform.I have never really understand it.The AK and AR platforms can be upgraded to such levels and performace that you cannot call them "Obsolete", since they both prooved to be extremely effective and reliable on the field.You cannot call the M14/FAL/G3 platform "obsolete", since they are (at least) still great marksman rifles and still they let you get the "job done" with success(If we don't take take in consideration they derivarives...like the M1A, the DSA FAL, the MP5, PSG1, etc.

Is it only a matter of production costs, platform impossibility to be upgraded more than it has been upgraded till now or...something else?

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Old 02-06-2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mark_Van_Goth View Post
I have heard several time that a rifle is "obsolete".But in what occation it is really "too obsolete" to be used effectively on the field?

I have heard it about the AK, the M14, the Fal, the G3 and even about the AR platform.I have never really understand it.The AK and AR platforms can be upgraded to such levels and performace that you cannot call them "Obsolete", since they both prooved to be extremely effective and reliable on the field.You cannot call the M14/FAL/G3 platform "obsolete", since they are (at least) still great marksman rifles and still they let you get the "job done" with success(If we don't take take in consideration they derivarives...like the M1A, the DSA FAL, the MP5, PSG1, etc.

Is it only a matter of production costs, platform impossibility to be upgraded more than it has been upgraded till now or...something else?
I think any of the modern rifles are only "obsolete" if you're trying to sell someone on a new rifle?
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:59 PM   #3
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I think any of the modern rifles are only "obsolete" if you're trying to sell someone on a new rifle?
Or when you are trying to convince your wife why you need a new one.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:02 PM   #4
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The best machine in the World...MG42.....has been in military service for over 70 years in the Bundeswehr. Not a rifle, but it helps to prove a point.

Some German troops prefer the G3 over the G36.

The AK12 still only fires 600 rounds a minute and is not being adopted by the Russian military. Milled receiver AKs have better reliability and longevity then the stamped receivers. Lighter is not always better.

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Old 02-06-2014, 08:16 PM   #5
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Any rifle that meets your needs is not obsolete for as long as you can still get ammo for it. Sure, there may be something that comes along that could meet your needs better, but if the old one still does the job it's not obsolete. The Ithaca single shot .22 lever action I had 50 years ago would still do the job when teaching other young people how to shoot.

What many people mention when talking about something being obsolete is a performance or cost edge. In the case of a military weapon, does it give you an edge over your enemy? Will sticking with it give your enemy the edge? Is it too expensive to keep it in inventory? To us we're talking about the cost of one firearm. Imagine the cost to the military for all the firearms they have in use. For them even a dollar a month extra per rifle adds up to a pile of money, while it means next to nothing for us.

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Old 02-06-2014, 09:55 PM   #6
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when you can no longer get ammo or parts, and your smith refuses to make any more parts.

There are Trapdoor Springfields and muzzle loading flintlocks still in use. But .32 Long Rimfire ammo is getting REAL hard to find nowdays, along with 16 g pinfire shotgun shells, and .35 S&W Auto ammo.

One of my .22 revolvers is so old it is marked .22 RF. Because it is older than the .22 LR cartridge. Obsolete? Hah! Shoots just fine with Shorts!

However, if you have a Daisy VL 22 that shoots caseless ammo, you got a problem!

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:29 PM   #7
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When it is outclassed by the adversary or competition.

Example: the Mosin. In some ways it was obsolete when it first went into production. The rimmed cartridge, the need for an "interrupter", the safety system, the bolt handle, the unattached "needle" bayonet were all behind the Enfield, Springfield, and Mauser.

Then all bolt action rifles became obsolete as the main infantry rifles. But the Mosin has enjoyed the highest popularity among civilians because of its cheap price. So obsolete does not mean useless. It is more like retired from the original purpose.

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:36 PM   #8
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I will agree with C3, when replacement parts, ammo and magazines are no longer readily available, obsolete.

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:57 PM   #9
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Obsolete: If you were given the weapons system free. Its weight, training requirement and maintenance requirement would not be worth the combat power you gain from it.

Obsolescent: A rifles design is such that no major military would order it built like that nowadays, because for the same amount of resources you can get a more advanced weapons system.

Examples:

1)A WW1 battleship.. it is obsolete no navy would operate it ,even if give free, too many men, too much coal for very little combat power.
A 1979 FFG7 Frigate: Its obsolescent but not obsolete as many Navies happily field existing stocks of FFG7.

2) A musket. Its obsolete the combat power from it is not worth fielding it with a trained man
A StGw 44: Obsolescent: Too expensive to make new for military use and lacking some modern features but some militias would happily use them if given for free. Serb and Iraq and others forces used them until very recently for reserve units.

3) A 1980 Mercedes Benz 450 SEL. Obsolescent. No one would make and sell/buy this design at todays S Class prices as its room/features/speed are overmatched by much cheaper modern cars. But if you were given a free one or near free one in good shape, you would gladly use it.
A 1900 Mercedes Benz. It is obsolete and outside of museum use no one would use it as daily driver since it does not work well enough to keep uo with modern traffic etc and takes a lot of maintenance etc

So an early model AK, a G3 and M14 , a FN FAL are not obsolete, they are obsolescent.
They will be obsolete when their combat power is not worth using when you already have them.
In other words it will be a very long time because something much much more advanced personal firearm needs to be in general issue, maybe the self aiming over the wall shooting w/ advanced ammo rifles or some such are needed to make those listed rifles truly obsolete.

people use the term "obsolete" way too freely in this country and often really mean "obsolescent".

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Old 02-06-2014, 11:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
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When it is outclassed by the adversary or competition.

Example: the Mosin. In some ways it was obsolete when it first went into production. The rimmed cartridge, the need for an "interrupter", the safety system, the bolt handle, the unattached "needle" bayonet were all behind the Enfield, Springfield, and Mauser.

Then all bolt action rifles became obsolete as the main infantry rifles. But the Mosin has enjoyed the highest popularity among civilians because of its cheap price. So obsolete does not mean useless. It is more like retired from the original purpose.
In 1891, The M91 was actually cutting edge. The cartridge was designed by... are you ready.... Remington. The Czar wanted a cartridge that no other rifle could be modified easily to chamber. Beveled rim, not easy. Spike bayonets have been around since the 1500's. The last service rifle to use one was the M44, the No4 Enfield is just behind. Strait bolts were the norm on Military rifles in 1891 and well afterwards, M93, M95, and M98 (or GEW98) Mauser were the 1st to copy it. The Last was the FR8 Spanish 7.62x51. You need to get your facts strait. BTW, ask anyone that served in the middle east if they have seen Enfields, 91/30, etc.



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