Personal weapons fired at short ranges are the primary weapons of the guerrilla and terrorist and of
the policeman and soldier fighting them, and the first impression gained from comparing personal
weapons is that they have changed a lot less in the last fifty years than other weapons (such as missiles,
artillery, and aircraft). They have been little affected by the great technological revolutions in nuclear,
electronic, and aerodynamic guidance and control systems. And metal has clung tenaciously to its
predominance over plastics in small arms and ammunition. As a result, the changes in such things as
weight, range, and rates of fire have not been dramatic (see Table 1).