Whilst many modern day weapons feature similar firing principles to their ancestors, there have been many notable advancements in weapons technology over the years.
Laser sights have been around for a while now but these compact attachments still present a powerful addition to a soldier’s arsenal.
A small box, usually installed on the underside of the gun, emits a laser beam parallel to the barrel of the gun which provides a number of benefits.
For instance, the laser can be used to improve the accuracy of shots by observing the location where it comes into contact with a target before pulling trigger.
Laser sights also provide tactical advantages, especially for law enforcement teams.
In situations where armed personnel are tasked with settling potentially dangerous situations peacefully, laser beams can be used to force criminals to surrender without firing a single shot.
Lasers have become widely recognised and their ability to be turned on and off allows the wielder to the use them to alert targets of their presence.
As the name suggests, this is another attachment which provides the user with increased vision during low light situations – i.e, night time.
Night vision scopes work in similar ways to digital cameras. Light enters through the glass lens in the scope and this is then captured on a surface known as a photocathode and converted into an electrical signal.
The signal is now able to be amplified artificially which allows for more data (or light) to be displayed on the screen at the user’s end of the scope.
This type of attachment is hugely beneficial, of course, for forces working during night time hours which are engaging with comparatively ill-equipped enemies.
This is because the ability to fire accurate shots in the darkness provides an uneven playing field and provides a distinct advantage to soldiers with more advanced gear.
Improvements in rail solutions have allowed the installation of more advanced attachments to weapons without the need to carry an additional, standalone firearm.
These can include items such as grenade launchers, compact shotguns, lasers sights and flashlights which all fit perfectly onto the gun’s external structure and save soldiers from the hassle of transporting multiple pieces of equipment on their person.
Not only does this provide the benefit of convenience, it also allows squads to become more versatile and creates somewhat of a grey area between different roles.
Soldiers are able to engage with enemies with new tactics and can adapt to dynamic changes in the battlefield by incorporating complimentary attachments to their primary weapon.
A somewhat unusual addition to this list, the “PHASR” Rifle is a unique, non-lethal weapon which works by firing a laser intended to temporarily blind the target.
Otherwise known as the “Personal Halting and Stimulation Response” Rifle, this gun is used as a preliminary measure to render targets out of action before they are then restrained.
Despite its unusual design, this seemingly complicated weapon is an extension to the philosophy behind the Taser pistol which is used by many enforcement organisations across the world.
Short for “Counter Defilade Target Engagement System”, the XM25 CDTE is dedicated grenade launcher weapon which uses a sophisticated range finder system to calculate the exact time to detonate its explosive rounds mid-air.
In addition, the weapon is compatible with a wide range of specialist 25mm x 40 ammunition including rounds for door breaching, training, non-lethal engagement and even ‘thermobaric’ grenades which cause the release of a high temperature, long duration explosion.
This weapon is currently scheduled to enter military circulation in early 2017 but has been used by forces during the War in Afghanistan back in 2010 for a number of operations.
These innovations have allowed for the creation of more precise, versatile and effective weapons to be created and this has changed the way both military and law enforcement teams engage with their targets.
In addition, more non-lethal weapon options are becoming available and these are helping in providing peaceful resolutions to potentially violent situations.