During the Collapse, self-defense became a necessity. There were no cops, no courts, not even an army to impose martial law. Firearms were a prerequisite for survival, and in the 24 years since, that hasn’t changed.
The contract with China allowed Browning to begin manufacturing Type 56 rifles in large quantities. In addition to private citizens, Browning sold many to private security companies, Guns, and military forces throughout the Outlaw, including the State of Utah.
Browning introduced their own variant of the Type 56 in 2022 (2 years after the trade deal was signed). This was the famed Kalashnikov-Browning 2022, popularly known as the KBR. The KBR sold in great numbers, and continues to sell to this day.
Essentially every Utah home has a KBR (all Utah males serve in the state military, and all keep their rifles after mustering out). And KBRs are bought and sold in arms markets across the Fed and across the continent. The 7.62mm shell is the most common barter commodity on the continent, and can be found almost everywhere.
The only Fed polity which doesn’t use the KBR as its main weapon is the Federal District of Manhattan (the Fed capital). Fed soldiers use the AR platform instead (itself an evolution of the M-16). This forces them to locally source their ammo, which has to be made by hand. Consequently, it is very expensive. (Lacking the deep pockets of the Fed, the city government of Manhattan outfits its police and security forces with KBRs.)
After the Emergence, massive and malevolent creatures became commonplace, and people began to demand a weapon with greater stopping power. In 2035, Browning selected a 10mm round for use in their new assault rifle, and designed a rechambered KBR around the bullet. The new weapon — the KB-35 — had the same benefits as an AK (rugged design, cheap manufacture) but simply did more damage, while maintaining penetration. This made it especially effective against Emerged monsters.
The same year, they introduced a Colt 1911A1 pistol variant — the CB-35 — that used the same 10mm shells. The pistol took a small hit to its stopping power, but could hold an extra round in the standard size clip.
The pistol and rifle were designed to use the same round, to allow people to use the same ammo for both, simplifying logistics (a critical advantage to people who spend a lot of time in the Outlaw). No longer did people have to haul around different calibers of ammo for their rifle and sidearm.
Though not yet common, the “twin 35’s” are seeing a sharp uptick in sales, as they have proven very useful in fighting Emergences and for extended forays into the wild. Both the BP and Texas Rangers have begun an aggressive purchasing program, hoping to arm their forces completely in 3-5 years. Guns are also avid buyers of “2 35’s”, but the relative scarcity and high price of 10mm, in comparison to the ubiquitous 7.62, has slowed adoption.
Survival in the Outlaw requires that people be willing to defend themselves, and be capable of doing so. Familiarity with firearms is a simple necessity, and the better your gun, and the better you are with it, the greater chance you have of living until you die of old age.