The Increasing Safety of Firearms
It seems that ever since the modern era began (whenever it could be said that it did), guns have been in the eye of an intensely fierce hurricane of rhetoric. Passion for their construction, anger at their misuse, respect for their power, wonder at their legacy, joy from their operation, excitement for each new model — all these emotions tumble and swirl around one another within the hearts and minds of those who live in a world where guns are available to purchase and collect and use. With the feelings come a deluge of intensely hot debate, usually surrounding one overarching idea: how can firearms be made safer and find their way into the hands of those who will practice safe habits?
For their part, the makers of guns and gun accessories likely think on those questions more than anyone else and look for ways to expand their product’s safety features any chance they get. This isn’t to say that they look for ways to hamstring the gun’s effectiveness. After all, in moments of competition or self-defense, you want a tool that will function perfectly and that has the potential to put down assailants as needed. Instead, gun manufacturers must get creative to answer the question of safety.
Guns for Today and Tomorrow
Much like how the car industry relies on new models to get released each year, the gun industry must keep innovating. This is for a number of reasons, including driving sales, improving performance, using more cost-effective materials, and making the firearm more safe. This iterative process has a direct impact on people today and can also shape the type of future they’ll be living in as well.
In the drive to make meaningful innovations in safety, accessory manufacturers like 45 Blast and the gun makers themselves consider a few relevant questions:
- How do accidental fatalities happen?
- What methods were tried in the past?
- How can technology be utilized to make guns safer?
In the case of accidental deaths, the cause usually falls into two camps: either the machinery malfunctioned or the operator wasn’t following the best safety practices. Just as the Department of Transportation will carry the motto “Zero Fatalities: The Only Acceptable Goal,” gun makers hold themselves to a similar standard.
Efforts of the Past
When it came to gun safety in the past even a hundred years ago, the focus really centered around two ideas: first, to create a “childproof” firearm, and second, to make better gun accessories. For the latter’s sake, companies like 45 Blast were created to make attachments that not only made weapons safer to shoot but safer to store and transport. This included:
- Compensators, which improved recoil and made it so the next bullets did fire erratically.
- Better sights, which improved aiming, making it easier for the shooter to put the shot exactly where it was intended.
- More secure holsters and gun cases, complete with locks and padding to keep the gun from sliding around during transit.
For the former idea, the “childproofing” of firearms, famous manufacturers like Smith & Wesson were innovating safety features as early as the 1880s, with their grip safety that must be squeezed simultaneously with the trigger. The idea was that children with small hands or minimal grip strength wouldn’t be able to activate both levers at the same time. Other safety features that came around included:
- Firing pin/hammer blocks, which kept live rounds from being ignited unless the block was removed by the trigger, intentionally.
- Drop blocks, designed to keep the gun from firing if dropped or handled too roughly.
- Trigger safety, which looks like a second lever coming out of the trigger face. It must be depressed completely in order for the real trigger to move.
- A magazine disconnect mechanism that won’t allow the gun to fire without the magazine being fully locked into the gun.
- A loaded chamber indicator that pops up a button or flashes a light to tell the gun handler that there is a round in the chamber.
Leveraging Technology for the Future
Today, some of our most frequently used technologies require ever more advanced microchips and computers to operate. Cars, televisions, and even our watches are each able to utilize the internet and employ some sort of password protection in order to be turned on and used. It wasn’t going to be long before the manufacturers of gun accessories and the firearms themselves put technology through its paces to make guns safer.
Experimenting with touch technology, radio frequencies, and other innovations, gun makers have been hard at work making the next “gun of tomorrow,” that will only operate for the registered owner. Efforts include:
- Fingerprint technology, to be activated much like getting into a cell phone.
- Gun-activated watches which emit a signal that must be within 10 inches of the gun in order for it to fire.
- Magnetic encoding, activated by a ring that disengages safely locks on the trigger.
The Best Gun Accessories Today
As mentioned before, sometimes the best type of safety is in making the gun more “intentional,” meaning that the operator is given more direct control over the firearm so that accidents don’t happen. 45 Blast is in the business of making better attachments for guns that make it easier for the shooter to place their shot purposefully. Browse our store today to find a whole new line of accessories, like our world-famous Canik compensator. With the right tools, the gun enthusiast can be the driver for safety that they want to see in the world.