technically we don't need the powder anymore, as caseless ammunition is a thing.
Things will change when there is demand for it.
Remember how computers became a thing because of war?
building on >>609, we won't even need chemically propelled ammunition anymore if weapons relying on electromagnetism to propel ammunition become more readily available and more powerful. I'm sure you've heard of a railgun, in some capacity?
That exists along with the gauss rifle, even in pistol form, but it's highly inefficient compared to the conventional firearms. Unless we figure out a better way to convert energy, caseless ammunition is the closer step.
effeciency, that's another problem we've yet to solve and/or bother solving. it's a real shame, those two and the coil gun are all really cool theoretical weapons that could very well become real with the proper development.
Hold on, I found something while trying to look for the pistol I mentioned. Something new and shocking.https://newatlas.com/personalised-electronic-handgun-headed-for-commercialisation/2376/
But, then I found it was quite old. Since 2005.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91PcRli231U
I still can't find the pistol I was looking for. It was an electric one, and it was used for a sporting event. Competitive shooting. No results come from searching "electric gun." Probably too on the nose.
dang, these links still look quite interesting though. I'll look at them.
okay, that's a somewhat interesting idea but I can still see at least one way it can go wrong.