Metal storm pistol for concealed carry


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Zoogster
October 19, 2007, 02:43 AM
I was thinking about metal storm and how the technology could be applied to CCW.
I know the main selling point for the system is rate of fire, and I am aware of all the logistical issues and nightmares of it as a combat weapon. I like traditional setups for combat. But lets think of the civilian market for a minute.

If one was intentionaly designed to fire 1 round per pull of the trigger, the way the bullets are stacked in the barrel could make CCW smaller than ever.
Basicly all that is required is the barrel and the electrical system. The electrical system can be smaller than a single round of ammunition.
Many people use 5-10 round guns for CCW already, so capacity is not an issue, and reloading is not usualy necessary in civilian defensive situations, especialy considering you would already have double the rounds of a revolver.
I think it could revolutionalize CCW. No slide, no extra bulk, no wheel, just a barrel and the bare minimum of a grip to hold it, perhaps even a collapsible or foldout grip that locks into place! It wouldn't have to be much bigger than a mini mag light and could still fire rounds equal in energy with all our standard defensive rounds.
You could even make a streamlined deringer version as small as existing deringers but with 10-15+ defensive round capacity!

The only handgun version I see they have already designed has lots of unnecessary bulk to give it a familiar shape, extra barrels, and is full auto and not suitable for the civilian market. So I am obviously not talking about an existing firearm, just the metal storm technology used to create the smallest most compact high capacity CCW weapon!

I know we usualy dismiss metal storm, but for this purpose I think it could excel. You really don't need anything more than the barrel and a small area to hold enough juice and electrical components to fire a relatively small number of rounds.
Picture a mini mag light, where the end with the light is the slightly bulked part to hold the electrical components, and then a handle that folds out alongside it. You can add safety disconnects so it will only fire when the handle is extended etc of course. Or have a permanent handle, giving up some of its compactness, but still being smaller than any existing firearm, especialy onces chambered in defensive calibers.
There you have it, a firearm that will hold about as many rounds as your current firearm and is no bigger than the barrel of your current firearm.

Now of course I think it would be very difficult to get ATF approval for such a weapon since with an electrical ignition system it could be easily modified to full auto, but legality aside, what do people think about the concept?

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Kaeto
October 19, 2007, 03:33 AM
It's horrible. Accuracy would be lousy due to changing barrel length during use.

Recoil on the first few rounds would be horrendous due to needing heavier powder charges to get same ft. lbs. impact as you would get from later rounds due to barrel length.

Do you really want to base your self defence ability on weither or not a battery still has enough charge to fire the weapon?

Mandirigma
October 19, 2007, 03:40 AM
I'm on the fence with this one.

Somebody's Sig says it best imho : 1 smart gun + 3 wires = 1 dumb gun

yes I understand that metalstorm isn't developed as a "smart gun" but as with lasik I'll wait until its proven itself in my eyes.

Zoogster
October 19, 2007, 04:01 AM
Somebody's Sig says it best imho : 1 smart gun + 3 wires = 1 dumb gun

It is not a smart gun though until some stupid politician decides to mandate the addition of a fingerprint scanner, a breathalyzer, and whatever else on it, and put your life at risk by adding more links in the chain to break down, and powering it all on the battery power your life depends on to ignite the rounds.

They are already doing that with normal firearms though. In CA you now need a magazine disconnect (another link in the chain to not work and keep an otherwise functional firearm from working when you need it) and a chamber indicator. Starting 2010 microstamping, which will slightly reduce the reliability of the feeding by having surfaces with raised symbols (nevermind all the other drawbacks, but that is a different topic.)

However modern battery technology is advanced. The amount of electrical current necessary to ignite the charge is very low. If the stupid politicly mandated additions are kept at bay then it is very reliable. In fact it can easily be completely air and watertight, sealed as there is no moving parts. Since it is for defense and not combat you are not going to need to fire it often. It needs to work when you need it on rare occasions, not frequently all the time.


It's horrible. Accuracy would be lousy due to changing barrel length during use.

Recoil on the first few rounds would be horrendous due to needing heavier powder charges to get same ft. lbs. impact as you would get from later rounds due to barrel length Or it could just be setup to give about the same recoil impulse the entire time as it would already do, and you could just live with the loss of a few foot pounds? The foot pound difference between a 2 inch barrel and a 5 inch barrel is not great enough to change the effectiveness of most defensive rounds. So yes there would be some slight difference in foot pounds because the later rounds would travel more barrel, but it is an insignificant factor at civilian defensive distances.

Everything has pros and cons. I think for CCW this has more pros than cons.

Kaeto
October 19, 2007, 04:10 AM
And the creator of the metal storm technology wants every handgun made with it to have a fingerprint reader to control who can use it. He is VERY pro "Smart Gun".

I just call him an idiot.

Zoogster
October 19, 2007, 04:16 AM
And the creator of the metal storm technology wants every handgun made with it to have a fingerprint reader to control who can use it. He is VERY pro "Smart Gun"
I was not aware of that and am sorry to hear it :mad:

However I am talking about the technology, not necessarily the existing company. Though I can definately see politicians and sheeple calling for the inclusion of such things especialy if they already exist on similar products by another manufacturer.

But if politics did not ruin it, it could work wonders.
I would definately not want my life to depend on reading my fingerprint, or on a battery that frequently wasted juice reading a fingerprint. What happens when you have a dirty hand, or your grip is slightly off, or the battery required for firing is drained from reading your print thousands of times each time you hold it. And that is if all goes works properly, nevermind if it has other issues.

So lets imagine it without such dangerous additions.

Soybomb
October 19, 2007, 05:50 AM
Remember that the size, mass, and motion of handguns are part of what makes them easier to shoot. The super-light super-small gun sounds great but will you be able to take a follow up shot? Can you make this something that fires a respectable projectile in a managable way with a form factor smaller than a kel-tec?

Finally of course I work with technology all day, the last place I want it is in a gun. I know how it is ;)

Owen
October 19, 2007, 08:04 AM
changing barrel length shouldn't be a problem, because the charge for each projectile will be different, to acheive consistent velocity. In addition, at SD distances, I'm perfectly happy with a 1" group at a range of 2 feet.

Ron_Miami
October 21, 2007, 09:39 PM
Metal Storm reminds me of the Gyrojet (now I'm aging myself!). A nifty idea that will never amount to much.

RNB65
October 21, 2007, 11:37 PM
Naw, forget Metal Storm. Let's go with a CCW rail gun. The rail handgun will be very, very small and completely recoil free. Unfortunately, you have to wear a 75lb battery pack on your back to fire 10 rounds, but oh well...

:p

RyanM
October 22, 2007, 01:14 AM
Main problem with the changing barrel length is the muzzle flash. Imagine it like this. You've got a 6 shot pepperbox revolver. The first shot is fired from a 1" barrel, with 10 grains of powder. The second is a 2" barrel with 8 grains of powder, and so on, so that each successive shot is fired at the same velocity. Either that first shot would be absolutely blinding and deafening, or the power of the gun is going to need to be extremely limited. And it wouldn't make much sense to have the first round weak for the sake of reducing flash, as the first shot or two are likely to be the decisive ones.

And that pretty much eliminates the single advantage the design has - long barrel length for a given overall length. Sure, you could have a 7" long barrel in a gun the size of a full size Glock. But assuming you're using the same bullets, let's see... .40 cal, 180 grain bullet is about 0.60" long. Powder charge, say 0.35" on average, since that's the approximate amount of room left in a .40 S&W case. So round it up to 1" height per round, since you need sabots, and you can have an absolute maximum of 7 shots per barrel, in a G22 sized package, and that's if the first shot is flush with the muzzle. So realistically, 6 shots per barrel. 1" barrel for the first one, 2" for the second, etc. You've just completely lost the barrel length advantage, except for the bottom two shots.

You could probably have two barrels, over and under, to have a total of 12 shots. But, they'd need to be .45 caliber (sabots, again), so the resulting firearm would have a "slide" much taller than that of a Glock. Bore axis would be nice and low for the first 6 shots, but then the last 6 would be terrible.

So what have you gained over a Glock 22?

1. The potential to have 3 fewer shots, which would need to be lower power because of the 1" barrel for the first one. Or you could reduce the number of shots and increase the power, or have consecutive shots increase in power (but then shot #7 is weak again!). If you want all the shots to be the same power, it basically works out that you can have 12 weaker shots, 8 equal power shots, or 4 greater power shots (assuming you're sticking within SAAMI limits for .40 S&W).
2. The potential to have a lower bore axis for the first 6 shots, but a higher bore axis for the last 6.
3. The potential for a failure of some sort to make you unable to fire the rest of the ammo in that tube, even if the other shots are fine.
4. And the best part, a design where the only way to visually check if the gun is loaded is to look down the barrel! :eek: I really can't see any physical LCI design working, since it would need to cut into the barrel itself, and I would not trust any electronic system to tell me if the gun is loaded. You could stick something down the barrel, I suppose, but then you risk blasting your fingers off every time you do a chamber check. Especially given the difference between mechanical and electronic systems. A properly designed, safe firearm, must shear through a significant amount of steel to fire without the trigger being pulled. An electronic system, all that has to happen is some tiny little electrons have to go where they shouldn't. And given that cosmic rays will flip a bit about... what is it, once a month? Once a week? Yeah, I'm not going to trust an electronic fire control system to the same extent I trust a mechanical one.

Comparisons against compact pistols turn out just as bad. You can about break even with a small gun's capacity, but the first shot will have almost no barrel. The only way to make use of that extra barrel length is to have a maximum of two shots per tube. At that point, you may as well have a multi barrel cartridge derringer. Those can have longer barrels for a given size, too, with none of the drawbacks of the Metalstorm system.

Very impractical.

Caimlas
October 22, 2007, 02:12 AM
Bad idea. Not only would it be pretty inaccurate and unreliable (batteries/electricity near your body = bad idea) and require recharging regularly (batteries 'bleed' power), but it would need regular battery replacement as well (6 months)?

Oh yeah and it would be damn heavy. Not only would it weight as much as the bullets, but you'd have at least that weight over again in lithium and/or lead for the batteries - if you could get the battery pack into a small enough package to launch 5 200 grain projectiles at 900 feet per second.

RyanM
October 22, 2007, 02:17 AM
Oh yeah and it would be damn heavy. Not only would it weight as much as the bullets, but you'd have at least that weight over again in lithium and/or lead for the batteries - if you could get the battery pack into a small enough package to launch 5 200 grain projectiles at 900 feet per second.

That's completely not how Metalstorm works at all. It uses plain old gunpowder, which is electrically ignited. If the battery runs out, there's a backup piezoelectric ignition system, like a propane grill lighter.

PaladinX13
October 22, 2007, 10:27 AM
The biggest issue I see with this is one of the greatest weakness of CCW regardless of the choice of arm... that is the handgun as a talisman.

No matter how comfortable the carry or reliable the mechanism, one needs to train. An exotic ammo, uncomfortable to shoot, short [barrel] life gun is a poor choice for getting people to actually practice and get consistent results. If the technology relies upon "spray-n-pray" and the end users aren't training, this weapon looks like tragedy in the making.

I still believe, regardless of the platform, timely precision is the everything. A folding gun is not going to be timely... a minimal grip will not be precise either because of design or because of lack of training.

I'm curious as to the fragility of the- essentially- caseless rounds as well. If they get banged around- as might occur during a defense situation- how will they hold up? For most guns, MetalStorm or not, failures tend to be on the ammunition end not mechanical. What provisions would such a gun have for a misfire or dud?

Finally, I'd want to know if the ammo could be ignited accidentally in any way.

mekender
October 24, 2007, 12:39 AM
the only viable "smart gun" technology ive ever heard of was the idea of police carry guns that were linked to a transmitter on the cops person that wouldnt allow the gun to fire unless it was pointed away from the cop...

but even that could be subject to failure and result in unintended deaths

Novus Collectus
October 24, 2007, 01:46 AM
And the creator of the metal storm technology wants every handgun made with it to have a fingerprint reader to control who can use it. He is VERY pro "Smart Gun".

I just call him an idiot. The good news is that his patents will run out eventually and the copies won't have to have his "smart" technology in it.

Also, doesn't the patent only apply to commercial production or use? Couldn't someone copy his invention for personal use and make their own?

gandog56
October 24, 2007, 08:16 AM
I just can't put my trust in a gun that the batteries could run out on at a bad time.

brickeyee
October 24, 2007, 06:52 PM
Metalstorm is an area denial weapon, not a discrete fire weapon.
unless your self defense requirements extend to trying to protect an area, pass it up.

Elm Creek Smith
October 25, 2007, 12:16 AM
Every time they "upgrade" our call-handling computer system at work, it slows down. I don't want my life or the lives of my family depending on anything electronic. I've got flashlights, but I also have kerosene lanterns and lamps with strike anywhere matches. And, no, I don't wear a belt and suspenders.

Pull trigger, parts move, gun goes, "Bang." Chemistry and physics don't fail.

ECS

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