Early in October, I was fortunate enough to have enough time to visit Rock Island Arsenal Museum and see their small arms collection. I can say that I was not disappointed with the collection on display. There were firearms that I had both never heard of nor seen and firearms that I have always dreamed of seeing. Among these were some Special Purpose Individual Weapons (SPIW) Program firearms and the Cadillac Gage Stoner-63 machine guns, respectively. There are over 1,000 firearms on display. Unfortunately, a couple of years ago, the number of displayed pieces was cut drastically, and those firearms were stored in Alabama.
Firearms technology has evolved heavily, since the end of World War II, across all platforms. It is debatable on whether the modernization of firearms became simpler or more complex over time. The materials have certainly changed but, due to optimizations for many different end-user aspects, it seems as if modern designs are more complex by comparison to the preceding models. The 9×18 Makarov handgun has an uncanny beauty about it and is very specifically tailored.