To be honest our current guns are usually very bland and differ little. Generic guns are ironically much more distinct in a way that Shotgun With Name #12432 simply can’t be.
For example, Mossberg 500, Remington 870 and L12 Defender all have stats so similar that just calling them all “pump action shotgun” wouldn’t make them any less distinct and any more bland.
Generic Guns was an answer to all those “9mm pistol but with 5 dispersion less”, “small pistol with stats nearly identical to 9mm ones but incompatible ammo”, “different ammo type that only forces you to move gunmods between your guns” etc.
Having few distinct types with name describing their function is so much more elegant and well designed than what we have in the base game.
The problem is that as a complete replacement of all the gun set in the game it requires a lot of maintenance that it isn’t getting.[/quote]
I’d argue that a lot of their appeal comes from their cultural associations. For example, the Steyr Aug has somewhat underwhelming stats in cataclysm (a full five points of damage less than the AR-15, for some reason, despite using the same ammo), but I like using it primarily because it’s what my country’s military uses. If it was just “bullpup .223 assault rifle” it wouldn’t be the same. Similarly, the Franchi SPAS-12 the Terminator uses would just become “pump action shotgun”, Dirty Harry’s S&W 629 would just be “.44 Revolver” etc.
Even if the game itself doesn’t give them a lot of personality, the names allow them to benefit from the personality given elsewhere.
That’s my view on the matter anyway.