“Weapon System” – Gun Folk Nomenclature

Josh and Henry are back with another video, this one covering some of the methodology they use and help making the effort to help you, the view/reader, get more from the data the present.

In this short they do a fantastic job of defining an often overused and loosely used term, Weapon System.

But first, let’s define weapon.

a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage.
a means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in a conflict or contest.

So one can have a physical weapon, like a club, a knife, or a firearm, or it can mean having a more abstract advantage like a piece of information held in reserve or a person with a highly advantageous skillset.

In this context we are addressing our discussion around the first definition, a physical object. In most cases this will be a firearm and attached components which fill out the ‘system’. Henry points out the three critical or core parts of the systems they most often push data on (firearm, ammunition, and optic) but you can break it down further if you’re looking for a more specific answer.

The question is do you need that more specific answer and if so for what reason(s)?

This isn’t a dig, per se, against asking detailed questions. It’s a comment on getting wrapped up around the details when the answer someone needs is rather more general. In many cases the answer they are looking for can be justifying a decision they made prior to more information coming into their possession and they might be looking to save face. People are still catching onto the fact you are allowed to buy things ‘just because’ and not everything has a super tactical reason for it. Also ‘best you could get’ is a real situation too, especially now.

What I’m getting at is the minutiae. Whether the AK-74 variant or the M4 Clone has a slight edge and for what reasons are gun academic discussions and they can be fun. However if the base question is, ‘Will X rifle serve as a good home defense weapon under basic circumstances’ then the minutiae remains purely academic, unless that individual asking is choosing between a Brown Bess musket and a BCM Carbine.

Weapons of near parity are peers in this context. My tricked to the nines FN SCAR and a completely slick Century Draco pistol could both be an equivalent value answer to the question. But they could also be completely right or wrong answers to the question.

If the base question requires specificity, then those details will matter quite a bit. If you look at something like the NGSW it has a list of very specific requirements it is asking of the system. Weight, muzzle velocity, caliber, terminal ballistics, accessory compatibility, detection mitigation, heat mitigation, maintenance and replacement cycle, and so on down the list. As the questions get more detailed the details do matter, but for all of us sitting in the individual disorganized end user slot this is almost never the case. We are simply too low volume and general purpose of a user for it to be critical (beyond academic) knowledge.

So will that bare bones AK pistol with iron sights work as a defensive gun? Yes. Is it better/worse than my SCAR with LPVO, offset RMR, Surefire light, and D60?


This is where we circle back into the ‘system’ and building it to fit your want and/or need.

The base rifle reliably goes bang when you pull the trigger and hits what you put the sights on? Yes? Good you’ve got the base of your system. You select an ammo that keeps it going bang when you pull the trigger and hitting what you aim at and you’ve got 2 of 3 parts of most systems right there. If that ammo has the added bonus of improved terminal ballistics for your application, good. This is why departments and the military have specific ammo selections.

Now the last part was ‘Optics‘ or more broadly ‘Accessories’, the ancillary additions that enhance what you can do with the base rifle and ammunition combination. This will be the optic, light, laser sight, grips, higher capacity magazines, slings, extra buttons, etc. that all make ‘doing the pew thing’ easier. If one of those doesn’t make it easier, you don’t need it.

And remember… You. Are. Part. Of. The. System. So be sure that you’re keeping in working order too.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.