There are links above to other pages detailing various bullets and iconic firearms
1. Select Fire Innovations
Below I have listed various weapons that can switch between single, burst or automatic fire (select fire) with their innovations and influential aspects. These are firearms that were ahead of their time.
2. Comparison of Automatic Weapon Effectiveness
The following attempts to show how effective various automatic weapons are by comparing their "Effective Range", their Calibres and their Rate of Fire.
There are several points to note about the graphs and figures present in this next image.
Since most automatic weapons exhaust their magazine within 3 seconds of constant fire, I have detailed how many rounds they can put downrange in that 3-second burst.
The thickness (height) of the Pink bar indicates how much metal each weapon can put downrange, as a total weight in kgs of all the bullets fired in a 3 second burst. The efective range of each weapon is indicated by how long the Pink bar is.
The Green bar gives a relative indication of the weight of each weapon.
Here is an indication of what those numbers of bullets looks like:
3. Comparison of Pistol Effectiveness
The following image shows various pistols and the potential magazine loads they can deliver. There is no formula or comparative indicator to say one pistol calibre is more lethal than another.
Note: I have included only a subset of pistols with different calibres which have the highest number of rounds for each calibre in their standard magazine.
Additionally, this link is a great read if you want to learn about 'The Mechanics of Terminal Ballistics'
4. Pistol Timeline
The pistols I have are shown here by date of manufacture on a timeline of the last 100 years (or thereabouts) mapped against dates of some major conflicts happening at the time.
Interestingly the M1911 is the basis for the majority of modern pistols and that same basic design is in use by Police, Military and civilian around the world today, despite being over 100 years old.
Most modern pistols differ in weight from earlier models due to advancements in polymers. They also tend to be more ergonomic and compact, with rails for attachment options like torches and laser sights. 9mm pistols are the most common today although many makes and models are also chambered for more recent and powerful calibres than the 9x19mm Parabellum round, which is now over 110 years old .
5. Bullpup and Traditional Configurations
So many modern assault rifles are taking on a bullpup configuration for the sake of a shorter weapon that it raises several questions about the future of traditional configurations. Why do modern armies, such as the US forces, continue to use traditional weapon configurations?
The conclusion would appear to be that bullpups are only advantageous in situations where the length of a weapon is critical, such as being carried or fired from the inside of a vehicle or in very close quarter battles. In both these situations a traditional weapon may not be feasible or be so awkward as to put the operators at high risk.
From this (short) list of bullpups, only the FN P90 has been designed to avoid many of the pitfalls that bullpups often fall into. It was originally meant to be used as a Personal Defence Weapon (PDW) but its design advantages led to its use in other roles by Special Forces and Police Forces.