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Old 10-11-2020, 07:01 PM
Whit Whit is offline
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Default How Did Firearms Become Platforms??

Got to thinking the other day, a dangerous thing for a brain as small as mine to engage in. How we begin talking about firearms as a platform? For example the AR platform or the 1911 platform. When I was a young lad in school my teachers always encouraged us to use the dictionary, especially if you didn’t know how to spell a word, which made no sense to me. So I went to my Funk and Wagnalls to look up platform. For the sake of transparency, I shamelessly copied from the internet (which knows all things) definitions for platform, of which there are several:

1. a raised level surface on which people or things can stand.

2. a raised floor or stage used by public speakers or performers so that they can be seen by their audience.

3. a raised structure along the side of a railroad track where passengers get on and off trains at a station.

4. a raised structure standing in the sea from which oil or gas wells can be drilled or regulated.

5. a raised structure or orbiting satellite from which rockets or missiles may be launched.

6. a standard for the hardware of a computer system, determining what kinds of software it can run.

7. the declared policy of a political party or group.

8. a shoe with very thick soles.

Admittedly I am not a linguist, however with careful reading I can usually understand definitions of words and apply them properly (most of the time) in writing or speaking. Based on the definition(s) above of platform, how does the word become applicable to firearms?

It is with bated breath that I await the explanations the learned members of this forum will provide. Based on previous readings on this scholarly site, there will probably be some humor in what follows...that is if anything follows. This thread may die right here on the platform from which it was attempted to be launched!

Be safe and blessed.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:15 PM
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As one of the "learned members of this
forum," I've always referred to a gun as
a bullet launching acceleration device.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:16 PM
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This has also befuddled/amused me and I think of it as a gun to which multiple "mods" can be applied. I don't own any of those. My Model 14 sure ain't a "platform."

To answer your question, it appears that #6 could be adaptable: a hardware standard. This seems to apply to your examples because the AR and 1911 are standardized in a way that they can be modified with drop in parts.

This is not a platform:
How Did Firearms Become Platforms??-p1011574-jpg
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:22 PM
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It's probably crept over from military usage. Planes, ships and tanks are different "platforms".



From your original list #6 could be stretched to guns by saying "platform" relates to a particular operating mode or collection of features.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:24 PM
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.....it just means the basis. Most modern firearms are modularized and components and equipment can be added or removed at a whim unlike the rifles and handguns of a few years ago.

It applies mostly to AR-15 style, Glock, and SIG firearms but more are added to this list daily.

I believe in the KISS principle at all times instead of turning my Smith and Wesson into something that looks like it was created by Vader and Spock.

(yes, I know....cymbals crashing)
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:38 PM
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Peaks53, your Model 14 is a prime example of a “non platform”. And a nice looking example.

Number 6 is a stretch since the definition applies specifically to computers. Now if we had “smart” guns like some folks want then number 6 might be applicable. Be safe and blessed.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whit View Post
Got to thinking the other day, a dangerous thing for a brain as small as mine to engage in. How we begin talking about firearms as a platform? For example the AR platform or the 1911 platform. When I was a young lad in school my teachers always encouraged us to use the dictionary, especially if you didn’t know how to spell a word, which made no sense to me. So I went to my Funk and Wagnalls to look up platform. For the sake of transparency, I shamelessly copied from the internet (which knows all things) definitions for platform, of which there are several:

1. a raised level surface on which people or things can stand.

2. a raised floor or stage used by public speakers or performers so that they can be seen by their audience.

3. a raised structure along the side of a railroad track where passengers get on and off trains at a station.

4. a raised structure standing in the sea from which oil or gas wells can be drilled or regulated.

5. a raised structure or orbiting satellite from which rockets or missiles may be launched.

6. a standard for the hardware of a computer system, determining what kinds of software it can run.

7. the declared policy of a political party or group.

8. a shoe with very thick soles.

Admittedly I am not a linguist, however with careful reading I can usually understand definitions of words and apply them properly (most of the time) in writing or speaking. Based on the definition(s) above of platform, how does the word become applicable to firearms?

It is with bated breath that I await the explanations the learned members of this forum will provide. Based on previous readings on this scholarly site, there will probably be some humor in what follows...that is if anything follows. This thread may die right here on the platform from which it was attempted to be launched!

Be safe and blessed.
I've wondered the same thing. Maybe "platform" in reference to guns was created by the semi-gun enthusiast gadgeteers. I have a feeling they might be the same folks that created "chassis", too. They probably "run" both.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:40 PM
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When I am considering acquiring a new (or new to me) firearm it is the base or platform on which I want to add other items for. Ammunition, more magazines, holsters, sights, availability of spare parts are just some of the items that are important and can be as important as the gun itself. The lack of these items have caused me to pass on firearms that were in good condition.

Since you mention the AR-15 the basic gun can be modified many different ways. Stock, grip, handguard, barrel, sights, optics, laser, a light are just some of the items that are commonly installed or changed on the gun. The Lower Receiver is the platform on which all of the other parts are installed on.

I prefer to use the word “system” as it conveys the message.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:42 PM
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I've never shot a platform before. Just a bunch of REAL guns......From the old school. Never shot an "assault rifle ether. But I do own AR15's. Never saw an assaultler for sale.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:49 PM
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About two thousand four hundred years ago, a gentleman by the name
of Hippocrates said: "The chief virtue that language can have is clearness,
and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words."

If he were around today I believe he would agree that platform is one of
those unfamiliar words. I'm a simple guy. If it's a handgun, I will call
it either a revolver or a pistol depending on what it is. If a long gun,
it's either a rifle or shotgun. The Glock is a pistol. The AR15 is a rifle.
That should be clear enough even for old Hippocrates.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:53 PM
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It most likely came from a gun writer who didn't actually know beans about any firearm! They fill pages with nonsense dredged from their fountain of ignorance. The old terms of "Thunder Stick" or "Smoke Pole" were much the same thing 150 years ago, so the tradition continues.

As to specific usage: The "Platform" you use is of great importance when your "CQB" drills involve a "Perp" in a specific "Target Rich Environment"!

Ivan

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Old 10-11-2020, 07:56 PM
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#4 is sorta it. A 1911 is a platform for launching projectiles.

So, what “platform” do you “run” and in what holster do you “rock” it?
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:58 PM
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crazyphil - yesbut...
While not an aficionado of platforms, I am an aficionado of the English language, which is infinitely adaptable. We have words based in Old English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin and others. We even adopt new words on a regular basis depending on their usage. Think of the word "hugely" which may show up in the Oxford Dictionary any day. Still makes me cringe.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:59 PM
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Do you cringe bigly?
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:59 PM
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Well 4-6 and 8 are relatively new definitions so what’s to say in 10 years another definition will be added that pertains to firearms.


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Old 10-11-2020, 08:22 PM
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I don't need a Rosetta Stone. I understand what folks here mean.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVSteve View Post
It's probably crept over from military usage. Planes, ships and tanks are different "platforms".



From your original list #6 could be stretched to guns by saying "platform" relates to a particular operating mode or collection of features.
This post is not too far from an actual commercial manufacturing reference to a "Platform." I just looked this up to support my old memory of this reference, and I was able to confirm that for quite a few years the Ford Motor Company referred to its big V-8 cars (Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Mercury Marauder and Lincoln Town Car) as being built on Ford's "Panther Platform." This occurred between 1978 and 2012.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:52 PM
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Firearms as platforms snuck into the vernacular around the same time that members on gun forums became tiered operators.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:02 PM
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I’m not a fan of fancy modern gunspeak which is just meant to sound knowledgeable and identify the speaker as a member of the tactical in-group.

But platform as a descriptor of a basic operating system which has been expanded, adapted, improved (or not) by brilliant and less brilliant innovators, customized almost beyond recognition, and hung with more stuff than a Christmas tree, seems a practical term.

A platform is something you build on. That can certainly be applied to the basic AR-15/M-16 system just like the 1911. It should also be applied to older examples, though; the Mauser 98 system certainly qualifies as a platform too, although it appears that folks interested in those aren’t that much into the terminology
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:30 PM
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If a Mauser 98 is a "platform," I hereby resign all further discussion
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Old 10-11-2020, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
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If a Mauser 98 is a "platform," I hereby resign all further discussion
Too late

This from a 2006 promotional text by Remington:

“A survivor of two world wars and over one hundred years of service, the widely popular, classic Model 98 Mauser action has served faithfully as the platform of choice for many successful bolt action rifles and is sought after by today’s hunters and shooters.”

And an 1999 Mitchell’s manual:

“So, your rifle was recently ‘honorably discharged’ from the military and is now a civilian! The Model 48 rifle is a very strong rifle, originally designed for the rigors of combat. As such it provides you with an excellent platform for sporterizing or you can use it for hunting just as it is (but please leave the bayonet at home).”
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:55 AM
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Both of those are using platform as a starting point to build on. It’s used differently today. I think it snuck into the gun vernacular from the computer world. It’s not a word I’ve ever used in a gun conversation.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:35 AM
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I guess you could call frames or receivers platforms.

A AR lower is the platform on which I can attach a variety of other parts to make it a 5,56, a 6.5 Grenel, a pistol a carbine or a rifle.

I bought a beat up Mohawk 600 in 308 and used it as a "platform" to built a bull barreled 6.5 Creedmoore on a thumb hole stock

I have ordered 4 model 10s missing barrels from J&G sales as gunsmith specials. One was the "platform" which I attached a 4" heavy barrel to make a nice 38 special, another got a nickel model 13 barrel and recessed cylinder to become a 357. The 3rd "platform" has a 4" Python barrel screwed into it as itt is on its way to becoming a Smolt 357. The parts are on their way to make the 4th "platform" into a 327 Federal.

Mostly I call my "platforms" receivers or frame. But, when I built something I usually do start out with a foundation or "platform"

Just another interesting word usage built off the "platform" we call the English language

You guys need to get more like operators

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Old 10-12-2020, 07:51 AM
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I wouldn't use "Platform" to describe our firearms generally, perhaps with the exception of firearms with integral mounting rails or specific D&T locations. Those might fit a "Platform" category, as a platform for mounting optics or illumination.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:01 AM
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As a group we seem obsessed with correct terminology. Call a magazine a clip, or a cartridge a bullet, and all heck breaks loose. But when a firearm is called a platform it's just the evolution of language?
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:27 AM
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Does a tree stand count as a platform? Kinda like a diving platform, only there's no water to break your sudden downward motion. Just rocks, dirt, roots, and, if you're lucky about 3 feet of snow. If you're South of the Mason-Dixon Line, no 3' of snow.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:20 AM
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Thumbs down Platforms?

A tacticool operator that writes articles for firearms magazines decided that to be tactical a firearm had to have a platform.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:45 AM
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It aggravates me to engage in conversation with anybody who is into tactical, platforms, cans,ect. The worst is the “build”, baby talk and cute nick names.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:02 AM
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I always have found the term “ platform “ annoying when used in reference to firearms. Probably started by someone in a firearms marketing department trying to sound “ cool “ in an ad or sales presentation. What’s wrong with just saying “ system” ?

“ Gifted “ is another one. Too cutsie for me.
What’s wrong with just saying “ gave “?

Some of you guys here that use “ gifted “ explain why the more commonly used “ gave “ doesn’t get the point across?
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:10 AM
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Have you noticed - The Platform people usually wear those Tactical Pants,
Sometimes Camo.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:24 AM
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So use of the word "platform" seems
to be controversial.

Be that as it may, it's important to know
what the date of birth is for the "platform."
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:25 AM
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For me the AR-15, the Glock 19, and 1911s meet the definition of a platform.

They provide a functional foundation to build out a more sophisticated (or not) weapon. RDS, light/laser, aftermarket sights, triggers, etc. For the Glock and 1911, aftermarket sights, slides, and barrels.

That seems pretty platform'ish.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
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...
Some of you guys here that use “ gifted “ explain why the more commonly used “ gave “ doesn’t get the point across?
"Gifted" implies a value to the thing given. The word "gave" may not. I've seen and have used the phrase "This soldier gifted his life to his country and his fellow soldiers."

In that context, I think the word "gifted" expresses the sentiment better than the word "gave."
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:12 AM
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As a group we seem obsessed with correct terminology. Call a magazine a clip, or a cartridge a bullet, and all heck breaks loose. But when a firearm is called a platform it's just the evolution of language?
Maybe some get a bit “obsessed”. But all areas of specialization develop their own vocabulary to talk about the whatchamacallits that are their focus.

Most of that language is useful and generally accepted, some isn’t, so we discuss it. That can get contentious.

There are issues with precision and definitions. Some people use the terminology to sound more knowledgeable than they are, others to identify themselves as members of the in-group. Specialty businesses push “cool” terms to sell stuff. Some words even have political implications. And old guys just complain about words they didn’t use to use back whenever.

But since there is no “gun language pope”, we’ll have to live with gun terms we’d rather not hear.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:49 PM
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"Gifted" implies a value to the thing given. The word "gave" may not. I've seen and have used the phrase "This soldier gifted his life to his country and his fellow soldiers."

In that context, I think the word "gifted" expresses the sentiment better than the word "gave."

"Gifted" is an abominable non-word, an affront to the English language used by the lazy. JMNSHO.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:55 PM
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"Gifted" is an abominable non-word, an affront to the English language used by the lazy. JMNSHO.
A very professorial, very elitist view of the English language.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:55 PM
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I don't refer to guns as "platforms", nor do I know anyone who does so.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:57 PM
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I hate when people call firearms "platforms". Other terms that irritate me are "minty" and "price point". Oh yeah, and "prolly" when trying to spell "probably". Those people are really idiots.
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:29 PM
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Words, as with all symbols, have no inherent meaning. Thus, any current meaning was derived from a process of negotiation via human interaction. As the meaning of symbols comes from a process of negotiation, meaning is also subject to a continual process of renegotiation through the aggregate of our interactions. Dictionaries provide us with a great reference to current and past meanings of words, but may eventually be out of date by the continuing evolution of meaning.

The term platform is an excellent example to illustrate shifts in meaning. Another is the term decimate. Previous and current dictionaries define decimate as "reducing by 10 percent". However, this term is now often used as a synonym for devastate, which is why some dictionaries have started including this new definition.
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:02 PM
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Furniture on the platform��
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:02 PM
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I think the OP is a cunning linguist. Nothing dirty about what I posted...it's all in your dirty minds.
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:06 PM
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Words, as with all symbols, have no inherent meaning. Thus, any current meaning was derived from a process of negotiation via human interaction. As the meaning of symbols comes from a process of negotiation, meaning is also subject to a continual process of renegotiation through the aggregate of our interactions. Dictionaries provide us with a great reference to current and past meanings of words, but may eventually be out of date by the continuing evolution of meaning.

The term platform is an excellent example to illustrate shifts in meaning. Another is the term decimate. Previous and current dictionaries define decimate as "reducing by 10 percent". However, this term is now often used as a synonym for devastate, which is why some dictionaries have started including this new definition.
In the same vein, people also ignore a byproduct of most technology industries is mainstreaming new words in English by converting nouns to verbs. Mechanize, atomize, projectize...
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:14 PM
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Most recently heard many folks using “mansplain”. Was put in Oxford dictionary last year. Can’t believe a made up, blended, slang word such as this is put in a dictionary. My college English professor would red line and take off points.

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Old 10-12-2020, 04:47 PM
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There is a department in the pentagon which creates acronyms , or words like tier one operators instead of special forces soldiers. Tasked is a noun repurposed as a verb, so much easier than being given a task. Weapons platforms sounds so cool, have I mansplained this for all of you Karens?
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:28 PM
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Call 'em what you want. They still won't come.
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:28 PM
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What is an "operator"?
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:36 PM
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There is a department in the pentagon which creates acronyms , or words like tier one operators instead of special forces soldiers. Tasked is a noun repurposed as a verb, so much easier than being given a task.
And can we mention artificial copspeak?

“The suspect exited his vehicle”, when he got out out of his car

I remember a particular example from a book about Newhall because I actually discussed this with a friend with 25 years LE experience:

“The officers acquired a visual on the suspects’ vehicle.”

My friend said that one year out of the academy he’d have written that too. Ten years later he’d just have put that they saw the car.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:42 PM
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And can we mention artificial copspeak?

“The suspect exited his vehicle”, when he got out out of his car

I remember a particular example from a book about Newhall because I actually discussed this with a friend with 25 years LE experience:

“The officers acquired a visual on the suspects’ vehicle.”

My friend said that one year out of the academy he’d have written that too. Ten years later he’d just have put that they saw the car.
Here is another. When describing (in court) an intoxicated college student who had been arrested for public intoxication the officer testified that he smelled alchol "on or about his person". Defense attorney seized on it and told how beer was often spilled on each other at crowded fraternity parties, etc. Judge dismissed the case. All the officer had to say was I smelled alcoholic beverage on the persons breath>
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:06 PM
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Firearms as platforms snuck into the vernacular around the same time that members on gun forums became tiered operators.
With manbuns.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:20 PM
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I am a long way from the language police and although I don't use platform myself it doesn't really bug me. I can manage to see minty without to much heartburn. Grips, clips, and "long" colt don't make me even blink.

But, it is a revolver not a ******* "wheelie"

Last edited by steelslaver; 10-12-2020 at 08:23 PM.
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