Here at Bison Apocalypse Studies Incorporated there are many, many questions that never get satisfactorily answered and that just kind of pisses the staff off to no end. One teaser is, how will weapons devolution work? You don’t go from squad automatic weapons and missiles one day and then to hacking at each other with broadswords the next. So what does that middle look like? It is important for the individual to think about these things ( or at least, read as I think about these things ) because it is going to affect you, and to think about how this will impact governments because if your local protectors are defeated chances are good you will soon be on an overcrowded slave ship on your way to a ritual sacrifice atop a pyramid. Let’s play pretend a second and act like all your best hopes and wishes never came true and the ammo shortage never ended but just got worse and basically what you have on hand is all that is available to you and you only have a minimum of reloading supplies. Now you are faced with surviving the initial die-off, with no resupplies EVER and as trade freezes up you won’t even get supplies for primitive alternatives. So that eliminates a last minute “save” of reloads or switching to black powder ( if you are not pre-supplied with the weapons you won’t be able to make them yourselves. The Idaho mountain man dude who smelted his own ore and made his own rifles was NOT your average survivalist, no matter how much everyone wishes they could emulate him ).
How are things going to work out? I have serious doubts that we will see scenarios as depicted by fiction, such as National Guard armories having a quabazillion rounds to stock a budding army, or masses of zombie like crazy dudes attacking with spears made from sticks and butcher knives duct taped on them, assaulting an implanted pillbox of square jawed super studs armed with plastic poodle shooters who quickly win the field. Somehow what springs to my mind are masses of armed groups spaying and praying all their cute modern semi’s in fear, bloodlust or stupidity, with the bulk of them all pretty much running out of ammunition at the same time. Then they figuratively look slack jawed at one another and wonder what the Hell they are going to do now. Those with ammunition left after that are in one of two groups. Those that then lose their remaining stockpile from besiegers using primitive weapons like fire or blocking the water supply, or those that keep their supply but only on an individual basis. What we are quickly left with is a bunch of snipers at best, a few kamikaze combatants on the other hand. Snipers, no matter how effective, don’t win wars ( they merely do much more damage with far less resources. But in essence they are only state sponsored terrorists ). The other group which somehow thinks their crap now doesn’t stink will go stupid trying to win a kingdom with superior technology and be defeated quickly.
Mass modern firepower will only win a war if the other side hasn’t changed their tactics to counter it ( the machineguns mowing down spear-chuckers was firing into a frontal charge ). Firearms didn’t exterminate the Indians, the railroad did ( of course, firearms combined with the railroad killed the food supply of the Indians, but the railroads were essential. The Apaches didn’t really even need guns themselves in their guerilla war as the Union soldiers were not as well resupplied as their Plains brothers ). Smokeless powder prevailed over black powder in Cuba, but only because we were using an antiquated weapon with conventional military fighting. And we were experiencing one of our first logistics issues of overseas resupply ( the war to Mexico had some of the same issues but that was the battle, not the war as in Cuba ). The Conquistadors didn’t kill all those Indigenous with a few swordsmen. Disease wiped out quite a few first. Moonshiners with shotguns were more than a match for Revenuers with any semi’s or machineguns ( did the Feds use Tommyguns? ). The point being that it isn’t as easy as having the best armed Infantryman. There are a lot more equations. It all comes down to logistics in who wins the war. For some time, individual homesteads, sufficiently removed from desirable areas, can enjoy the benefits of modern arms to protect their homes, needing very few rounds. Armies in the field are another matter.
The majority, from Guard units to Alphabet Soup agencies to individual shooters, mostly operate on a Just In Time Inventory basis. Even the massive buy up scandal was mostly just increased practice/training ( gotta burn a lot in practice to actually hit those pesky Constitutionalists with bursts of M4’s ). When the factories and/or transport from the factories halts, the ammo supply runs out quick. And all those fighters need weapons immediately to continue fighting for the limited spoils. Yet, as we all know, infrastructure isn’t built that quick. And if the ammo is not available, neither are other supplies to build much of anything else. You can’t just throw together a few thousand bows and a few tens of thousands of arrows, even with the know-how. You need the right kind of wood to start with. And strings a plenty, without synthetic material available. How do you suddenly get all those feathers? In short, weapons are like modern clothing. Suddenly, the old stuff wears out and no one makes the stuff anymore and the nearest factory is in China with no more boats sailing. What can you do? I didn’t mean to tease you this whole time, but I’m still pondering on this question. That will have to wait for part two, and that assumes I can come up with an answer. If I don’t, just consider this to be filed under “questions rather than answers”.
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