a reply to: thebozeian
So, yeah a 40 or oh idk (heh) a 45 on up to even a 76mm round could be developed these days that's substantially better than an old school 57 for sure
I know you stopped at 40 but there's multiple reasons I went higher than that (as well as very specific reasons why I threw out those 45 & 76
I'll try and throw together a qd answer set to the questions you've asked even though you've inadvertently covered a massive amount of ground.
So first off, one of the gun technologies that have went kinda pretty quiet other than some infographics in dtic presentations is RAVEN gun
technology which is basically an extremely souped up fully automatic very high velocity possibly very high fire rate recoilless rifle offshoot. One
would think that this wouldn't have aviation applications if you weren't one of the people who knows that multishot recoilless rifles and even a 30mm
recoilless autocannon have just about wound up on aircraft before (Piper pa-48 enforcer test rigs, LARA competitors, and the rheinmetal rmk-30
autocannon which was supposed to go on West German attack helos and Wiesel mini AFV's)
What's interesting too though is where the test guns for both this and Cased Telescoped ammo cannon research are coming from and how much both
technologies dovetail together remarkably well. These test guns are being pulled out and modified from old existing AAI and Ares CT test guns which
were made in a lot of calibers and designs and in the case of their 76mm autocannon especially but really across the board, the initial performance is
still classified. though it's been strongly suggested that the 76mm CT autocannon could lay down just as much hate and discontent as the 105mm smooth
bore in the abrams at the time. The problem with the CT and semi CT weapons is they were all barrel burning way overpowered monsters to the point that
as of 1996 CT weapons research was basically refunded and abandoned even though it was the requirements at the time that made them this way.
The big deal with RAVEN btw that I alluded to above but didn't outright say is that they've basically figured out a cheat to the recoilless thing
which will allow fast cycle times, MASSIVELY reduced recoils (think abrams class gun on 8 ton platforms without flippy Smashy gi brain injuring
consequences, sounds like something they're interested in right now right?), and finally 80%+ of the velocity to propellant load ratio of a standard
closed breech gun! Traditional recoilless rifles are hilariously inefficient requiring massive propellant charges to get really mediocre velocity.
These guns....weeelll combine a few little things etc and they could do some really neat stuff at some pretty freakishly low system and ammunition
Plus, like I said, they and CT have a bunch in common. So yeah, from these perspectives alone we could and should and hopefully will have better
cannons really soon.
Now though onto my other comment about the various versions of the 30mm Hughes chain guns in 30x103. What if I told you that we had something better,
lighter, cheaper, simpler, lower recoiling, and with 250% the fire rate of rounds that were actually more powerful on a one for one basis?
You could literally drop this system in on any mount rated for a .50 m2 browning no less with it weighing less than 150 pounds and being able to fire
at 500 rpm without stressing the mount more than an m2 firing at around the same rpm!
It was called the Colt CR26. It fired a 26.5mm shell. It was built using standard small arms production techniques and technology and all steel,
meaning it didn't get it's lightness like the $20,000+ each titanium m240 L (hey good news they're going to do this same trick to m2 Browning's too
which will likely get the weight ALMOST down to where the dual feed .50 caliber but hot swappable to up to 20mm Vulcan in under 15 minutes m2
replacement we could have had would've weighed! That gun btw would've cost literally less than 20% of what an all steel m2 browning cost at the
Now I bring in cost here because these 30mm chain guns run well over $100k a pop before feed system and mount, whereas the cr-26 would have been more
in line with the prices of m2's (at worst double)
We can definitely do better though, because we already have... That's why I'm so confident!
P.s. Even if CT and CT adjacent ammunition technologies still want to eat the throats etc out of their barrels we're also closing in on being able to
recondition the damaged insides of the barrels and chambers back to factory new condition! This along with a few other things, as well as new
threats/the reemerging of old ones should be making for an exciting time in gun technology shortly as we see several decades worth of shelved advances
suddenly become worth pursuing.