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makowolf96 submitted:

One of my favorite sci-fi takes on a modern weapon that I thought you might appreciate, the modified AK-47/AKM in the movie Elysium .

The modified AK-47/AKM takes inspiration from the XM-25 experimental airburst grenade launcher. It has a fictional attachment that combines a holosight, targeting laser, and rangefinder into an advanced targeting system. This targeting system links up with fictional airburst ammunition, programming the distance at which the round will detonate based on the range from the target. Each round has a kill radius of 5 meters, giving each about the equivalent explosive force of your average modern day 40mm grenade round. As demonstrated in the gif, this enables the modified AK-47/AKM to tear enemies apart, whether organic or robotic.

I’m not a huge fan of the AK, but this is perhaps one of my top favorite ballistic science fiction weapons, because it takes an already iconic rifle, and turns it into an absolute monster in an time setting where it is probably almost 200 years old, but without dramatically leaving the realm of realistic possibility in my opinion.

Such an interesting concept, and so easily overlooked during the film itself!

The Old Iron: The M1 Garand - .30-06 Springfield

Wars are a gruesome affair, this is a fact known to most people. Blood, sweat and gore accompany a conflict, and if one wishes to win it, they must first have necessary manpower, supplies and arms. And an icon of that is the M1 Garand. This WWII-era battlerifle has managed to become an icon of America, both of the war effort and far past it. 

The Garand begins life with it’s Canadian-American designer, Jean Cantius Garand, more commonly just called John C. Garand. A fan of machining and target shooting, this melded into firearm design and Garand’s first design was a light machine gun developed in 1918. While it lost out to other designs, his work soon caught attention of Springfield Armory, and they hired him.

By the 1930′s, there was a craze in the world for a semi-automatic battle rifle to replace older bolt actions. These led to a flurry for new designs, many of which ended in development limbo excluding a few like the SVT-40, G41 and Ljungman. In America, the trials boiled down to two main designs, the Garand rifle and the Pedersen rifle.

The Pedersen rifle was developed by Remington’s main designer John Pedersen, relying on a toggle-lock action and waxed ammunition. Garand’s rifle was a gas-operated rotating bolt. Both chambered in the prototype .276 Pedersen cartridge, concern began to brew on the logistics of the new ammo. Seeing an opportunity, Garand managed to work his rifle to use standard .30-06, something that Pedersen could not. This led to Garand and his rifle winning the trials.

And just at the right time, as the Second World War soon began and the US entered it with the Garand.

The M1 Garand was the US Armed Forces rifle of choice alongside the older M1903 Springfield. And while the rest of the world used bolt-actions or had semi-automatics in low production, the Garand was standard issue and gave US soldiers a giant fire power advantage in the field. 

However the Garand was not without flaws, the loading mechanism used metal en-bloc clips and used a spring meaning the clip would be flung out of the gun when empty, famously making a metallic “ping”. While its actual impact on the battlefield is fairly limited, it showed many flaws with the Garand design and the rifle was not due long in the ever advancing Cold War years.

Despite its age, the Garand lasted fairly long after the war. The rifle served into Korea and even the early days of Vietnam, though many had been replaced by that point by the later M14 and M16 rifles. Many nations both inside and outside of NATO used them, some still using the Garand today for ceremonial purposes. 

The IRA were famous for using Garands, even well past the introduction of AR’s and AK’s, many police departments used them after the war and even to this day, the Garand is a favorite in both 1st, 2nd and 3rd world.

And with over 70 long years of use, many Garands are still in operation across the world. Many countries still use them for ceremonies such as Veteran Parades, Honor Guard and Volley salutes. The gun’s age makes it common to find in many gunshops across the world and even still, militias still use Garands to fight their foes.

With the rifle’s fame in the world, it is no wonder the Garand is a very common sight in movies. Everyone from Dean Martin and Don Haggerty to Heath Ledger and Clint Eastwood have wielded the Garand. Almost every movie set within World War II or Korea features it, many movies in Vietnam feature it as a throwback and modern movies tie it in. Nothing quite says “Get off my lawn!” than an M1 Garand.

And it is these same WWII themed movies that help begin the FPS genre. Films such as Saving Private Ryan and more had a wide impact in the media at large, and video games are no exception. Many series began with WWII and this massive influx of 1940′s combat games lead to many portrayals of the arsenal of the era, Garand included.

Call of Duty, Brother in Arms, Battlefield and many other franchises began with simple WWII first-person shooters, and these helped propel the Garand to fame on the computer screen. But as the WWII-era game faded away, the Garand seemed to disappear. But the rifle was not done yet, as many games still feature the rifle. Some use it as a throwback to their earlier games, others attempt to paint forgotten areas like Korea and Vietnam,  even some set in a world inspired by the 1950′s and 1960′s feature the rifle. The Garand seems to deal just as well on the computer screen as it does on the silver screen. Where there is video games, there will be a Garand.

And that is the long history of the M1 Garand, the warhorse. Despite being out of service since the early 1960′s, the Garand is still famous. While it has some flaws, the gun is simply unstoppable. From the seas of France to the jungle of Vietnam, the Garand has kept on going and going far past any expectation. When you need a gun that could work in anything, you go for the Garand.