Metal Storm developing "smart" gun with NIJ


Nathaniel Firethorn
January 1, 2003, 05:39 PM
Metal Storm Signs Cooperative Agreement with US National Institute of Justice for Smart Gun Project

ARLINGTON VA -- October 21, 2002 --Metal Storm Limited (ASX Code "MST" and NASDAQ ticker symbol “MTSX"), a pioneer of electronic ballistic technology, announced today that it has signed a Cooperative Agreement with the National Institute of Justice for a project to develop a plan for the development of the company’s 100% electronic handgun system into a “smart gun”. The agreement is valued at $396,000 (US$218,000), with NIJ providing $336,000 (US$185,000), and will provide the basis for the next generation of handguns incorporating ‘smart gun’ technology and will extend from the company’s successful law enforcement prototype, the O’Dwyer VLe® handgun.

The project is due for completion in the first half of 2003 and will provide in-depth analysis into the design, use, manufacturing processes and cost elements of delivering a production safe firearm to the law enforcement community of the United States and potentially other friendly police and military forces internationally. Metal Storm will lead the project serving as ‘prime’ contractor.

The NIJ’s goal for its own “smart gun” program is to develop a handgun that operates in a normal manner for authorized law enforcement users, but disables itself when in the possession of an unauthorized user. The NIJ is the research and development arm of the US Department of Justice. Since 1994 the NIJ have been working to develop, test and incorporate ‘smart gun’ technologies that will reduce deaths and injuries resulting from the use of weapons taken from law enforcement officers.

"The NIJ evaluation process is very competitive and provides recognition of the unique capabilities that the VLe ‘smart gun’ offers the law enforcement community,” said Mike O’Dwyer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “For Metal Storm this represents a significant opportunity to commercialize our technology into law enforcement markets while providing a capability that will become the weapon of the future for law enforcement communities internationally.”

“What differentiates Metal Storm technology from conventional mechanical firing systems, is that the 'smart' technology is actually embedded in our VLe and is therefore seamless and transparent to authorized users,” Mike O’Dwyer said. “This makes redundant the need for an interface between mechanical and electronic components. Future models of the VLe will incorporate layered power sources to ensure power availability in all circumstances. In addition, layered ‘smart gun’ authorization will also be included to cover the broad range of environmental circumstances in which law enforcement officers are expected to operate.”

Mr O’Dwyer added, “The next generation of ‘smart gun’ VLe handguns will also provide a unique capability of lethal and less-than-lethal rounds ensuring that ‘specialist’ law enforcement officers have an option other than lethal as a first response. In undertaking the project, Metal Storm will interact with appropriate government agencies as well as consulting with the community to ensure that the range of new capabilities that can be integrated into an electronic VLe ‘smart gun’ are beneficial, desirable and appropriate.”

About - National Institute of Justice
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research and development arm of the U.S. Department of Justice. Created by Congress in 1968, the Institute is charged with investing public funds to develop knowledge that will reduce crime, enhance public safety, and improve the administration of justice. Under its enabling legislation, NIJ is authorized to assist State and local justice systems. NIJ conducts and sponsors basic and applied research into the causes, prevention, and detection of crime by supporting research, demonstrations, and validations to develop new approaches, techniques, systems, and equipment to improve law enforcement and the administration of justice. The NIJ maintains a major, on-going research and development function, which is maintained via alliances with technologists and practitioners; Federal, State and local policymakers; and partnerships with other public and private organisations.

A review conducted in 1994 of the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Uniform Crime Report showed that of the police officers killed in the line of duty during a 10 year period, one in six were killed with their own firearm after being disarmed by a suspect. An additional 113 firearms were stolen from police officers in that same period of time. To address the growing concern for the safety of the Nation’s police officers, NIJ funded Sandia National Laboratories to study the problem of police firearm take-aways, identify the extent to which officers are assaulted and killed with their own firearms, and identify the requirements officers would want in a “smart gun.”

About - Metal Storm
Metal Storm Limited is a research and development company based in Brisbane, Australia. The Company is capturing attention from defence organisations worldwide with its revolutionary 100% electronic ballistics technology, which has no known conventional equivalent. Metal Storm currently has approximately $100 million in research and development funding in place to develop its technology from leading government defence-related agencies in Australia and the United States. Additionally, the company is well positioned to support the U.S. government's more urgent homeland defence needs. Recently, the U.S. Department of Defense has accelerated the programs under development as it strengthens its counter-terrorism capabilities.For those who don't remember, Metal Storm is the company that developed a one-million round per second gun (actually more like a Claymore mine.)

The weak point in the VLe design is the need to wear a secret decoder ring to authenticate the user.

More on the VLe prototype here:

- pdmoderator

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January 1, 2003, 06:25 PM
MetalStorm has given me many minutes of sheer joy in laughing at its designs.

With an 80% police "miss" rate, a LEO can be completely defenseless with this banger in a mere 1/215 of a second. Speed reloads? Why, just grab one of your many necessary spare VLes, of course! :rolleyes:

Horny Toad
January 1, 2003, 08:45 PM
Although this example appears to be a flaming pile of @#$%, 3 years after a "Smart Gun" is considered "viable", then all handguns sold in NJ must contain the technology if I'm not mistaken. This is just one more step toward that becoming reality. :rolleyes:

Horny Toad

January 1, 2003, 09:34 PM
On the subject of smart guns... I submitted the following to the API List in July. Seems relevant to quote it here (sarcastically, of course):

... I understand that there is under development a combined video/voice recorder which attaches to the under-frame rail of any handgun. This ingenious device is called the "Prosecutorial Record Interface Courtroom Convincer" (known, of course, by its acronym...). It will record the sequence of events of any gunfight. It takes a "fore-and-aft" picture, showing both you and the victim of your gunfire, and is designed to project this in 3-D stereo in the courtroom. An optional upgrade is the satellite tracking module, which records your GPS location, the date and time of the shooting (in Universal Standard Time and 24-hour format, of course), the current state of your biorhythms, and the planetary aspects of the Zodiac. It then imprints all this onto any frames selected for printing.

The unit also contains a cleverly concealed cellular telephone. This will automatically dial the ACLU, the NAACP, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton if your intended target registers as being darker than an arbitrary "control shade" (which is pre-set at the factory, but which - for a substantial additional fee - can be adjusted to suit the purchaser's preferences). To measure this, a laser scanning system is cleverly incorporated into the cellular phone. Of course, there was the unfortunate occasion during testing when the cellular telephone malfunctioned and connected the firearm to the 24-hour phone sex line at the Mustang Ranch... which caused spontaneous full-auto malfunctions for the next dozen or so magazines fired. The less said about that, the better!

If you need any further information about this exquisitely complex device, apply to the people who are developing the new OICW for the U.S. Army. I understand they're considering incorporating it into the fourth generation of the latter weapon... probably around 2030 or so.

January 1, 2003, 09:39 PM
The next step to me is pretty obvious. They will realize the hazards and inefficency of wearing a special "decoder" ring and will insist that the Officer have a computer chip implanted inside of them to activate the smart gun. we come.:rolleyes:

As for me I'm holding onto all my archaic manual fired weapons.

Good SHooting

January 1, 2003, 10:02 PM
Unless I'm delusional (and it won't be the first time), the voice of common sense in New Jersey is getting louder by the second. Incident after incident of blatent and shamelessly dishonorable behavior by our state leaders certainly doesn't hurt nor do these continued insults to our intelligence. I wouldn't be surprised if the people of New Jersey demand a new Governor before his first (and definitely last) term expires.
It's exciting to fast forward to a possible New Jersey where our Constitutional Rights are honored. Stranger things have happened. :neener:

January 2, 2003, 02:09 AM
Dream on ... the residents of our blasted state seem to like electing idiots. I have no doubt that they will re-elect the current idiot. Besides, if it looks like he will loose, he'll pull out with a few days to go and then they'll elect the next Dem butthead that shows up, even if they know nothing about him.


January 2, 2003, 11:49 AM
I remember reading an article on the Metalstorm pistol in some gun rag (G&A, I think). One of the features of the "smart gun " is that it can be loaded w/ "non-lethal" ammunition that can be selected instead of the "lethal" rounds. Another feature is the ability of an administrator at a command center who could, by cell phone technology, disable the lethal-force option (or the entire gun itself) if they felt that force was not justified.

My first response: :what:

My second response: Any halfway-intelligent cop will disable the override or "lose" the gun (and would have to use an "old-fashioned" backup gun).

My third response: Why can't administrators & politicians have an override that disables them? :evil:


January 2, 2003, 01:29 PM
The technology that motivates thieves to gather thumbs and eyes.

Note how the target market is law enforcement, and also note that law enforcement is specifically exempted from the NJ law.

See our press release on the topic:

Citizen’s Group Blasts New Jersey Legislation For Endangering Civilians While Exempting Police. (

January 2, 2003, 02:07 PM
Another feature is the ability of an administrator at a command center who could, by cell phone technology, disable the lethal-force option (or the entire gun itself) if they felt that force was not justified.

You guy's miss the point!! This feature is so that .gov/heimlandpolitzi/SS can disable "civilian's" gun when they decide that we are not to have them any more!!!

I can only hope that we wake up and use the second amendment in the way the founding fathers intended before this happens!!!

January 2, 2003, 03:10 PM
Now wouldn't that be an irrestible challenge for a hacker?

"Dude, watch me disable every copgun in the city. If this works maybe next time I will make them all shoot all of their bullets at the same time."

I have a hard time seeing any cop wanting to use that POS.

One upside: No one would ever mention the Glock as the ugliest pistol anymore.:D

Nathaniel Firethorn
January 2, 2003, 05:08 PM
Wrap the thing in an anti-static bag. It forms a Faraday cage around it and radio can't get through.

Or use tinfoil. :D

- pdmoderator

January 2, 2003, 05:22 PM
I guess it's time for me to start stocking up on Reynold's Wrap! :rolleyes:

January 2, 2003, 05:42 PM
A few things on Metal Storm and their small-arms concepts,

Repeatable accuracy is a joke. Each bullet travels a different length of the barrel, and would each have to have a different amount of propellant to get even reasonably similar velocities.

Reloading? Sure, just carry along spare barrels. Again with the repeatable accuracy bit.

A glitch in the gun's programming or a misfired bullet could cause the gun to fire out of order. Can we say boom?

If an administrator can broadcast a shutdown code to the gun, so can someone else.

These guns function off the principal that electricity at some point passes through two points on the barrel. Hotwiring a stolen gun to fire with external triggering mechanisms would be a profitable cottage industry. In fact, police officers themselves might pay to have control over their gun again ...

I don't believe anti-static bags act as Faraday cages.

January 2, 2003, 06:00 PM
And we expected what out of an Australian-based company?

January 2, 2003, 06:32 PM
I see a whole lot of assumptions being made here. Ill wait to either see some independant testing or handle one myself.

Are you all hip to the wall of metal....? 3rd image down...


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