Smith and Wesson's "smart" gun.


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PinnedAndRecessed
June 16, 2006, 12:52 AM
I was told that Smith and Wesson had developed a handgun that uses a computer chip to recognize the fingerprint of the owner.

I said, "You mean 'smart' gun technology?"

He said, "Yes."

I said, "They're a long way from that."

He said, "No. Smith and Wesson already has one and Ruger is developing one."

I didn't want to rebut him in front of others, but, has Smith developed a "smart" gun?

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Chrontius
June 16, 2006, 03:28 AM
In a word, vaporware.

Prototypes exist, but their reliability is crap. They won't release them until they're supposedly as reliable as the rest of the gun.

While technically it's been done, it'll probably be a decade until it's ready for the mainstream. Minimum.

Maser
June 16, 2006, 03:33 AM
I'm assuming that is to keep your gun safe from other people firing it. Kind of a weird idea because then you can't let any of your shooting buddies shoot it without first programming the chip with their prints too.

leadcounsel
June 16, 2006, 03:34 AM
Buy up dumb guns while you can!

griz
June 16, 2006, 08:15 AM
I saw a video of one of these prototypes. The manufactuer was going to demonstrate it for the press. That sounds like a best case scenerio for the product, but they could not get it to fire. Some may argue that the gun was then "safe", not me.

dfaugh
June 16, 2006, 08:41 AM
As mentioned, there've been prototypes, using various technologies aroung for several years. The one I saw something about on TV, several years ago, was geared towards law enforcement, and had chip that responded to a wristband or something that the user wore. If the gun was more than a few inches away from the wristband (e.g. the "perp" got ahold of the cops gun) it wouldn't fire....'course it also didn't work with the other hand, without another wristband!

Maser
June 16, 2006, 08:44 AM
As mentioned, there've been prototypes, using various technologies aroung for several years. The one I saw something about on TV, several years ago, was geared towards law enforcement, and had chip that responded to a wristband or something that the user wore. If the gun was more than a few inches away from the wristband (e.g. the "perp" got ahold of the cops gun) it wouldn't fire....'course it also didn't work with the other hand, without another wristband!

Yeah, I saw something like that too, but it wasn't a wristband. It was a ring worn on the finger and the ring had to be pressed against the grip the right way or the gun still wouldn't fire.

Don't Tread On Me
June 16, 2006, 09:04 AM
Yeah...certain people in our society will find a way to reconcile the "RKBA" which they despise with modern technology.

Can anyone say RFID? Some sort of cellular or RF tech could be used to "turn off" all the guns in a city block. Would be great news ya know - would protect police during raids and all that stuff will be the justification, as well as the classic "it's for the children" ...I wouldn't worry. First they have to perfect it, then they have to try and pass a bill to make it mandatory. Then they have to ban all the "dumb guns"...This stuff doesn't have to happen if we don't want it to happen.


Well, to get back on subject..I too have heard of prototypes, and the only people hyping it up in such a way where you'd think it would be available in a couple of years are the anti's. Makes you wonder WHY eh? I doubt we'll see any smart gun tech in the next 10 years at least.


I don't trust my PC to do anything remotely serious, you think I'm going to trust my firearm when it will be full of electronics that WILL break, fail, or deteriorate over time? No way. The design of the firearm is such that it can serve mankind for another 500 years if need be, without any electronic nonsense. Just like a shovel, hammer, pickaxe have served mankind for thousands of years without needing microchips.

Maser
June 16, 2006, 09:15 AM
Yeah...certain people in our society will find a way to reconcile the "RKBA" which they despise with modern technology.

Can anyone say RFID? Some sort of cellular or RF tech could be used to "turn off" all the guns in a city block. Would be great news ya know - would protect police during raids and all that stuff will be the justification, as well as the classic "it's for the children" ...I wouldn't worry. First they have to perfect it, then they have to try and pass a bill to make it mandatory. Then they have to ban all the "dumb guns"...This stuff doesn't have to happen if we don't want it to happen.


Well, to get back on subject..I too have heard of prototypes, and the only people hyping it up in such a way where you'd think it would be available in a couple of years are the anti's. Makes you wonder WHY eh? I doubt we'll see any smart gun tech in the next 10 years at least.


I don't trust my PC to do anything remotely serious, you think I'm going to trust my firearm when it will be full of electronics that WILL break, fail, or deteriorate over time? No way. The design of the firearm is such that it can serve mankind for another 500 years if need be, without any electronic nonsense. Just like a shovel, hammer, pickaxe have served mankind for thousands of years without needing microchips.

+1

I don't even trust my own laptop let alone having microchip technology in a gun that I would use as an HD weapon. Say for instance my house was broken into and the intruder had a gun and I had my "chipped" gun and then for some reason there was a virus or something on the network of chipped guns and my gun would be completly useless. It's a nice concept and everything, but will NEVER be perfected at least in my lifetime and i'm only 16!!

BigG
June 16, 2006, 09:23 AM
This thing has gone full-circle; do you recall that fixed ammunition became the norm around 1880 or so, then they spent 30 - 50 years making sure it was reliable and the guns could go bang every time. Now they are trying to make it so the guns are unreliable. :rolleyes: :fire: :scrutiny: :cuss:

Zrex
June 16, 2006, 10:32 AM
I want to get one of these setups on a fire extinguisher. That would definitely make my house safer.

OH25shooter
June 16, 2006, 10:43 AM
Sounds like the "attorneys" (once again) are telling S&W what to build. What's next, a tiny personal ID card that has to be swiped into a channel on the slide? :banghead:

PinnedAndRecessed
June 16, 2006, 11:40 AM
Yeah, I saw something like that too, but it wasn't a wristband. It was a ring worn on the finger and the ring had to be pressed against the grip the right way or the gun still wouldn't fire.


I remember something like that. Only it wasn't a computer chip. It was a magnet.

Massad Ayoob was writing about it in the late 1970s. He had installed in a Model 66, IIRC. And he wore a ring, which was the magnet. Only when he was wearing the ring could he shoot the gun.

Anybody else remember that? He nicknamed the gun "Fluffy."

mp510
June 16, 2006, 11:54 AM
Baikal developed a proto-type smart gun Makarov several years ago for the IWA(?) show. It worked off a ring system, however I haven't seen any mention of the piece since.

Boom-stick
June 16, 2006, 01:50 PM
If you've ever used finger print recognition software on a PDA you'll know that this is just another bad idea waiting to happen, it'll unlock in ya pocket and won't unlock when you really, really need it. Not so bad with a PDA but with ya gun????

nbkky71
June 16, 2006, 02:38 PM
Unless they've somehow revolutionized biometric fingerprint reading technology, the verification time is around 1-2 seconds.

Draw & present your pistol, then count off 1-2 seconds, then fire. Would that be acceptable for a duty or self-defence pistol?

And that assumes a best case scenario. Add on extra time for the reader to reset if you don't press your finger fully on the reader, or keep it stationary, or bungle your draw, etc.

If a smart-gun ever does come around, RF will probably be the prefered authentication method.

benEzra
June 16, 2006, 04:41 PM
I've seen no reports of an S&W electronically locked gun. New S&W's do have an integral key lock that can be used to disable the gun, but that's about it.

Taurus has reportedly been experimenting (somebody probably paid them to do so), and New Jersey has been hyping its imaginary Metal Storm kludge for, oh, half a decade or so, but I've never seen anything from S&W.

cbsbyte
June 16, 2006, 04:48 PM
One day there will be smart guns, that use biometrics to identify the shooter and bullets that can find their own way to the target. This is called progress. Until that day comes, where the technology is refined enough that it will work, we are all better off with dumb guns.

drclark
June 16, 2006, 05:14 PM
I would not trust my life on a gun that incorporated any electronics. Chances are, "smart" guns meant for the civilian market will not have the electronics hardened against an EMP event. Most likely due to the cost involved.

That is also why I believe that all military, law-enforcement, and all other .gov agencies will not be required to use "smart gun" technology.

drc

Guy B. Meredith
June 16, 2006, 08:03 PM
See signature

NukemJim
June 16, 2006, 08:10 PM
Massad Ayoob was writing about it in the late 1970s. He had installed in a Model 66, IIRC. And he wore a ring, which was the magnet. Only when he was wearing the ring could he shoot the gun.

I believe Magna Trigger is what you are referring to. Here try this link ( I hope it works )

http://www.tarnhelm.com/magna-trigger/gun/safety/magna1.html

Hope this helps

NukemJim

CajunBass
June 16, 2006, 10:27 PM
I remember reading about the Smith & Wesson with the ring modification. I think it was in Gun Digest or something about 20 years ago. IIRC, there was an incident where a perp did get a revolver with the device from the cop carrying it, and tried to shoot the cop. When the gun didn't work, he ran off with the pistol.

Later he turned up at a gunsmith's complaining that his gun didn't work. As soon as the gunsmith took the grips off, he realized what it was and called the cops. "I'll have your gun for a in a few minutes. Have a seat, and make yourself at home."

I have no idea if the story is true, but it should be.

Saevar
June 17, 2006, 01:13 PM
I'm not really worried about having my "smart gun" disabled by EMP. Given the sources of EMP, if my gun is disabled in such a fashion I'll more likely be concerned with the outbreak of nuclear war and the lethal exposure of radiation I'm taking.

Of course the far more likely disabling factors of smart guns are: 1) loss of battery power, 2) inherent flaws in the technology, or 3) craptastic implementation.

All of which will keep me out of the smart gun camp.

I am curious as to how easily the smart gun 'feature' can be disabled and removed from a gun, though..

kansas45
June 17, 2006, 02:45 PM
Sound's useless to me! Wait a minuet BG, My wepon has to indetify me before I can defend myself!:cuss: :banghead: :o :(

mrmeval
June 17, 2006, 04:39 PM
I think the old and unlamented Blitish owners were heavily invested in the not-so-smart gun and in non-lethal weapons. It was the NextBigThing at that time.

I'm hoping they took their pablum with them.

G36-UK
June 17, 2006, 09:24 PM
I agree with the statements above. I doubt that S&W have made a fully "reliable" system, maybe a few prototypes. About the only "good" one I saw was the Metal Storm one, and that's a good few years off being practical.

This has probably been said before, but IMHO, the only good "smart gun" comes on a Steadicam Harness.:evil:

saddenedcitizen
June 18, 2006, 03:48 PM
Lightning produces EMP ( the closer to the 'bolt' the stronger the EMP) and yes, I have had SEVERAL things, um, disabled due to the EMP discharges in thunderstorms.
Depending on the shielding, this things could be totally lobotmized by a variety of natural or man-made causes rendering them entirely useles, except perhaps as an elaborate rock !!!
This is another 'gee, I wonder if we could use microprocessors in these ??'.
Ranks right up there with the microprocessor
controlled coatrack !!!
Anyone here remember 'digital levels' ?
Another case of taking something REAL simple and complicating the h*** out of it for no good reason.

nadeem
June 18, 2006, 04:21 PM
if you ask me smart guns just are just another thing to go wrong or change the battteries for. the trick is keep the gun locked to your wrist forever

mrmeval
June 18, 2006, 04:27 PM
Lightning, HERF (http://www.freeinfosociety.com/science/herf.html) devices, RFI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_frequency_interference)

HERF High Energy Radio Frequency, a device made out of a microwave can temporarily render electronics useless. I've seen no credible reports of permanent damage but not getting that daily dose of BLAM while one is pointed at you would be disturbing.

Radio Frequency Interference a strong enough radio source including the one above can do the same and lightning can also be a source of RFI but it can do worse as you said.

Heck you could even work the electronics so the gun can be remotely disabled. It will, of course, be hacked 76ms after someone steals one and used to turn all of them off at the next riot. Have a nice day.

It's hard to jam or interfere with a brainless, inanimate object. :evil:
I mean the gun not the cops dangit. :neener:

I'm what you'd call a technophile and *I* dislike the idea of these. On bigger guns with a crew to keep it maintained, yea. Not on something small that won't get that constant maintainence and that an individuals life is dependant on. Even a mil-spec with a biomedical add on for reliability would not convice me. In 50 years maybe, but not now. :fire:

benEzra
June 18, 2006, 05:38 PM
I'm not really worried about having my "smart gun" disabled by EMP. Given the sources of EMP, if my gun is disabled in such a fashion I'll more likely be concerned with the outbreak of nuclear war and the lethal exposure of radiation I'm taking.
Actually, it doesn't take a nuclear weapon to cause an electronics-disabling ESD. I fried the electronics in an LED flashlight once, while pouring the styrofoam peanuts out of a beanbag chair into a plastic garbage bag in the garage, while holding said flashlight in the same hand holding the plastic bag. The humidity was low enough that the styrofoam built up quite a static charge, and it was enough to fry something inside the flashlight. I've also seen a photographic lightmeter disabled by a static discharge.

The last thing you want is a gun that you can permanently disable simply by picking it up after walking across the floor in wool socks...

geekWithA.45
June 18, 2006, 06:13 PM
In a word, vaporware.

Actually, the word is vaporGEAR. :neener:

If you poke around the archive, you'll find my analysis of the academy of engineering's assessment of the technology.

Summary:
----------

It's a long way off.

Interesting Dark Twist:
-----------------------

They acknowledge that there are two standards of reliability, based on how to bias failures. "Fail deadly" (ie, "go bang") is for police & military, "fail safe" (ie, "go click") is for civilians.

Owen
June 18, 2006, 09:59 PM
The National Institute of Justice is throwing around a pile of money on this stuff. AFAIK, the big grant winners have been FNM and S&W.

Most of the guns produced have been demonstraters. FN has produced about 4 different technologies for implementation. I haven't checked on the S&W technologies in 4 or 5 years.

The guns I seen at FN seem to work fairly well, but they haven't really been abused yet.

mrmeval
June 18, 2006, 10:10 PM
The white LED in those flashlights is VERY sensitive to "ESD" electrostatic discharge. In the cheap ones there's maybe a diode on the really good ones there is a current limiter for the LED which can fry. Sealed aluminum tubes work better. :)

There is a company that has a wonderful device that uses a similar system but it's all grown up and discharges enough power to kill an IED.

For every layer of protection from all these ills the cost goes up and taxpayers still have some say about costs.

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