On the other hand, firearms design only rarely has a great leap forward, as happened when breechloader replaced muzzle loader, then repeater replaced single shot, then autoloader replaced manual operation. It usually doesn't sound like people around here think there was any advancement at all when the M16 was adopted.
Good point. Similarly, with all of the other technologic improvements and the growing concept of an less-manned military, who knows what we will have in 100 years. Perhaps the next major ground combat weapon won't be a rifle at all. Afterall, at one time a bunch of guys probably sat around talking about which type of bows and arrows the King would issue during the next war.