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The problem with reproducing modern firearms in pre-industrial civilizations would be:

  • steel of inadequate quality
  • lack of precision tools
  • lack of an industry capable of manufacturing smokeless gunpowder.
  • severely limited possibilities for economics of scale.

The cause why people in the middle ages didn't make cartridge-based automatic firearms wasn't because the idea didn't occur to them. The reason why many inventions weren't "discovered" much sooner was that they lacked the economical and industrial base to manufacture them efficiently and economically.

Actually, some repeating firearm designs already emerged around the 16th-17th century, but they were so impractical that repeaters didn't get useful and widespread until the late 19th century. Those early designs were so expensive to make and so difficult to maintain, that they never saw widespread use.

Even if, with a lot of handwaving and a lot of luck you managed to replicate a modern firearm in a pre-industrial age, it would be of questionable quality and reliability, and as cartridges have to be manufactured at an extremely high level of precision, you would basically require the most experienced master jeweler to manufacture each and every cartridge by hand, possibly requiring most of a day just to make a single one. And then you would have a "modern" firearm of extremely poor reliability with a high likelihood to jam, break, or explode in your face after every shot, with ammunition so expensive that for the cost to make one full magazine you could hire a whole army of mercenaries.

This is why those early repeaters, made many centuries before repeating firearms became commonplace, didn't have cartridges. They had a reservoir of loose gunpowder and loose lead balls, and an intricate clockwork mechanism driven by a had-crank which performed the motions of loading a traditional muzzle-loader. Yes, they had, for their time, an amazing and unparalleled rate of fire! Still, they were too expensive and too difficult to maintain to see any widespread use. Every single part needed to be made individually, and you couldn't use spare parts from one gun to repair another one. An army requires weapons they can maintain and repair in the field, you can't drag your kingdom's most experienced master smith and his whole workshop with you wherever you go. And even if you do, he alone couldn't maintain the guns of a whole army of tens of thousands. This was one of the reasons why the Girandoli air rifle failed so miserably. I recommend to watch the linked video, because it explains well why extremely powerful but expensive and complicated weapon systems often fail against less powerful but cheaper mass produced ones. For a complex piece of equipment you need a complex infrastructure to keep it in working order. You can't just put it into a soldier's hands and hope you've done all the work.

So, the highest level of weapons technology you could ever hope to replicate (requiring a lot of effortand use in an effective and luckefficient way) in pre-industrial times, would be muskets with Minié balls, and cap-and-ball revolvers. They became obsolete 150 years ago, and even they would be just on the very verge of possibility. Anything newer, you can forget about it.

The problem with reproducing modern firearms in pre-industrial civilizations would be:

  • steel of inadequate quality
  • lack of precision tools
  • lack of an industry capable of manufacturing smokeless gunpowder.
  • severely limited possibilities for economics of scale.

The cause why people in the middle ages didn't make cartridge-based automatic firearms wasn't because the idea didn't occur to them. The reason why many inventions weren't "discovered" much sooner was that they lacked the economical and industrial base to manufacture them efficiently and economically.

Actually, some repeating firearm designs already emerged around the 16th-17th century, but they were so impractical that repeaters didn't get useful and widespread until the late 19th century. Those early designs were so expensive to make and so difficult to maintain, that they never saw widespread use.

Even if, with a lot of handwaving and a lot of luck you managed to replicate a modern firearm in a pre-industrial age, it would be of questionable quality and reliability, and as cartridges have to be manufactured at an extremely high level of precision, you would basically require the most experienced master jeweler to manufacture each and every cartridge by hand, possibly requiring most of a day just to make a single one. And then you would have a "modern" firearm of extremely poor reliability with a high likelihood to jam, break, or explode in your face after every shot, with ammunition so expensive that for the cost to make one full magazine you could hire a whole army of mercenaries.

This is why those early repeaters, made many centuries before repeating firearms became commonplace, didn't have cartridges. They had a reservoir of loose gunpowder and loose lead balls, and an intricate clockwork mechanism driven by a had-crank which performed the motions of loading a traditional muzzle-loader. Yes, they had, for their time, an amazing and unparalleled rate of fire! Still, they were too expensive and too difficult to maintain to see any widespread use. Every single part needed to be made individually, and you couldn't use spare parts from one gun to repair another one. An army requires weapons they can maintain and repair in the field, you can't drag your kingdom's most experienced master smith and his whole workshop with you wherever you go. And even if you do, he alone couldn't maintain the guns of a whole army of tens of thousands. This was one of the reasons why the Girandoli air rifle failed so miserably. I recommend to watch the linked video, because it explains well why extremely powerful but expensive and complicated weapon systems often fail against less powerful but cheaper mass produced ones. For a complex piece of equipment you need a complex infrastructure to keep it in working order. You can't just put it into a soldier's hands and hope you've done all the work.

So, the highest level of weapons technology you could ever hope to replicate (requiring a lot of effort and luck) in pre-industrial times, would be muskets with Minié balls, and cap-and-ball revolvers. They became obsolete 150 years ago, and even they would be just on the very verge of possibility. Anything newer, you can forget about it.

The problem with reproducing modern firearms in pre-industrial civilizations would be:

  • steel of inadequate quality
  • lack of precision tools
  • lack of an industry capable of manufacturing smokeless gunpowder.
  • severely limited possibilities for economics of scale.

The cause why people in the middle ages didn't make cartridge-based automatic firearms wasn't because the idea didn't occur to them. The reason why many inventions weren't "discovered" much sooner was that they lacked the economical and industrial base to manufacture them efficiently and economically.

Actually, some repeating firearm designs already emerged around the 16th-17th century, but they were so impractical that repeaters didn't get useful and widespread until the late 19th century. Those early designs were so expensive to make and so difficult to maintain, that they never saw widespread use.

Even if, with a lot of handwaving and a lot of luck you managed to replicate a modern firearm in a pre-industrial age, it would be of questionable quality and reliability, and as cartridges have to be manufactured at an extremely high level of precision, you would basically require the most experienced master jeweler to manufacture each and every cartridge by hand, possibly requiring most of a day just to make a single one. And then you would have a "modern" firearm of extremely poor reliability with a high likelihood to jam, break, or explode in your face after every shot, with ammunition so expensive that for the cost to make one full magazine you could hire a whole army of mercenaries.

This is why those early repeaters, made many centuries before repeating firearms became commonplace, didn't have cartridges. They had a reservoir of loose gunpowder and loose lead balls, and an intricate clockwork mechanism driven by a had-crank which performed the motions of loading a traditional muzzle-loader. Yes, they had, for their time, an amazing and unparalleled rate of fire! Still, they were too expensive and too difficult to maintain to see any widespread use. Every single part needed to be made individually, and you couldn't use spare parts from one gun to repair another one. An army requires weapons they can maintain and repair in the field, you can't drag your kingdom's most experienced master smith and his whole workshop with you wherever you go. And even if you do, he alone couldn't maintain the guns of a whole army of tens of thousands. This was one of the reasons why the Girandoli air rifle failed so miserably. I recommend to watch the linked video, because it explains well why extremely powerful but expensive and complicated weapon systems often fail against less powerful but cheaper mass produced ones. For a complex piece of equipment you need a complex infrastructure to keep it in working order. You can't just put it into a soldier's hands and hope you've done all the work.

So, the highest level of weapons technology you could ever hope to replicate (and use in an effective and efficient way) in pre-industrial times, would be muskets with Minié balls, and cap-and-ball revolvers. They became obsolete 150 years ago, and even they would be just on the very verge of possibility. Anything newer, you can forget about it.

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The problem with reproducing modern firearms in pre-industrial civilizations would be:

  • steel of inadequate quality
  • lack of precision tools
  • lack of an industry capable of manufacturing smokeless gunpowder.
  • severely limited possibilities for economics of scale.

The cause why people in the middle ages didn't make cartridge-based automatic firearms wasn't because the idea didn't occur to them. The reason why many inventions weren't "discovered" much sooner was that they lacked the economical and industrial base to manufacture them efficiently and economically.

Actually, some repeating firearm designs already emerged around the 16th-17th century, but they were so impractical that repeaters didn't get useful and widespread until the late 19th century. Those early designs were so expensive to make and so difficult to maintain, that they never saw widespread use.

Even if, with a lot of handwaving and a lot of luck you managed to replicate a modern firearm in a pre-industrial age, it would be of questionable quality and reliability, and as cartridges have to be manufactured at an extremely high level of precision, you would basically require the most experienced master jeweler to manufacture each and every cartridge by hand, possibly requiring most of a day just to make a single one. And then you would have a "modern" firearm of extremely poor reliability with a high likelihood to jam, break, or explode in your face after every shot, with ammunition so expensive that for the cost to make one full magazine you could hire a whole army of mercenaries.

This is why those early repeaters, made many centuries before repeating firearms became commonplace, didn't have cartridges. They had a reservoir of loose gunpowder and loose lead balls, and an intricate clockwork mechanism driven by a had-crank which performed the motions of loading a traditional muzzle-loader. Yes, they had, for their time, an amazing and unparalleled rate of fire! Still, they were too expensive and too difficult to maintain to see any widespread use. Every single part needed to be made individually, and you couldn't use spare parts from one gun to repair another one. An army requires weapons they can maintain and repair in the field, you can't drag your kingdom's most experienced master smith and his whole workshop with you wherever you go. And even if you do, he alone couldn't maintain the guns of a whole army of tens of thousands. This was one of the reasons why the Girandoli air rifle failed so miserably. I recommend to watch the linked video, because it explains well why extremely powerful but expensive and complicated weapon systems often fail against less powerful but cheaper mass produced ones. For a complex piece of equipment you need a complex infrastructure to keep it in working order. You can't just put it into a soldier's hands and hope you've done all the work.

So, the highest level of weapons technology you could ever hope to replicate (requiring a lot of effort and luck) in pre-industrial times, would be muskets with Minié balls, and cap-and-ball revolvers. They became obsolete 150 years ago, and even they would be just on the very verge of possibility. Anything newer, you can forget about it.