"Thank You. Though I should point out, I was in the air-force reserve. The only weapons I was allowed to touch were the kinds that blow up a tank, or building. Usually multiple tanks and buildings. Small arms were not really part of the training. No drone operators would get within 500 kilometers of the target area."
"You seem pretty proficient with them anyway - I've seen you get head shots, at half a mile or so."
"The army might not have taught me to shoot, but Pappa did, with zeal."
"Any interesting stores about going out with your dad?
Diego hit the mute button. "I would rather not discuss my relationship with pappa, why we had several dozen guns in our home, nor how we could afford so many.""So, Mr. Zúñiga, enlighten our listeners on modern small arms"
"Oh, oh..." the color drained from Thomas's face "I see. I'm sorry, you never mentioned him before and I was... I'll drop it."
"The first thing to know goes all the way back to the bible. "There is nothing new under the sun. That pretty much sums up all the kinds of firearms you're going to find. Not all that much has changed in the world of handguns.
There were futurists and firearm makers who thought that by now caseless firearms would be the mainstay. The bullets would be lighter, cheaper, a higher rate of fire with no extraction, and shaped to allow more rounds in the same sized clip. However, these never came into widespread use. The problems of propellant shattering and waterproofing were never fully fixed. More importantly, brass serves an important function in guns - it acts as a heat-sink, so the rate of fire would probably be lower than the proven tech. Furthermore, keeping the cases allows for hand-loading. This both saves money for the consumers, and many types of new cartridges began their lives as so called "wildcat cartridges" - including the famous .357 magnum, which began as a plus powered .38 special.
Similarly, polymer and steal continue to be the materials of choice for the frames and barrels. Nano-breed diamond alloys and nano-tube composites are simply too expensive to replace the old standbys, and a number of these materials don't handle high heat so well anyway.
Although some militaries, including our own, adopted electromagnetic guns in the forties, Gauss rifles have a host of limitations. I believe KC brought those up one of the times he was here.
"We're still getting letters about that episode."
"Speaking of which, we've gotten a lot of mail from hopeful inventors who want us to tell the wasteland about their new zombie killer. Now neither I nor Mister Hobbes want to discourage feedback - or limit people's defenses - but please! Some of these inventions have been downright dangerous to the user, and effective by blind luck alone. We don't need any more blueprints for a saw blade cannon - those blades are more valuable as tools. Most of the pneumatic guns leaked, or failed to get sufficient pressure, and were far to bulky compared to normal stuff - never mind the difficulty in finding parts."
"All too true, Diego. And another thing -we are Not - I repeat - Not - going to broadcast recipes for explosives or toxins. Some might be effective, but they are far too dangerous for our untrained listeners."