Guns that Pass Through Metal Detectors--Possible?


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Skunkabilly
October 24, 2003, 02:20 AM
For academic purposes only, are they even physically possible?

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TheeBadOne
October 24, 2003, 02:27 AM
Just watch "In the line of fire" :D

Orthonym
October 24, 2003, 02:33 AM
General Motors got a patent a few years back for some resilient, strong, non-brittle ceramics, intending to use them for exhaust valves in car engines. The story had it that the .gov classified and suppressed the invention because of its usability in magnetometer-indetectible firearms. Who knows?

Brian Dale
October 24, 2003, 02:54 AM
Ceramics & other composites.

Seems almost certain that it's possible. Prohibitively expensive to make, for anybody but a major industrial corporation, and there's no large market (being prohibited in this country, IIRC). People tease Glock owners enough for carrying "Combat Tupperware," and their barrels are steel. Joe Average won't buy a gun of composites and ceramics and couldn't afford one, even if they were legal. Sorry, Skunk! We all KNOW you're not "average!" :D Call me an example, though I hope to become a "Joe Above-Average" as I keep practicing. I hope to gather a large collection of walnut and blued steel in my lifetime. Stainless and polymer guns are wonderful, but they just don't get to the top of my gotta-have-it list as often.

That leaves the military as a first market (of course), and they just might not be interested, at present. They have to justify their purchases to Congress, after all, and the Kennedy-Schumer-Feinstein Axis has already made its opposition known.

Skunkabilly
October 24, 2003, 03:24 AM
How strong is carbon fiber?

Brian Dale
October 24, 2003, 04:19 AM
I don't know, but I'm sure it's been investigated. The matrix it's in will have a lot to do with its characteristics, too: strength, stiffness, durability, resilience in the presence of shock. The only current high-pressure app for CF that I can think of, off the top of my head, is in pressure cylinders for compressed breathing air, at a static pressure of about 4500 psi.

But to be the first guy on your block with a 100% carbon fiber pistol -- does it get any cooler than that? :D

CWL
October 24, 2003, 05:06 AM
I think that single-shot (or multibarrel) devices similiar to muzzle loaders can be manufactured out of non-metallic materials. The propellant is packed in the firing tube/barrel and fired by means of integral primer cap(perhaps battery-fired?). Probably needs to be a smoothbore barrel, but the projectile can be a self-stabilizing dart with frangible properties to maximize damage after penetration. 2-stage projectiles might work best out of a non-metallic tube -something like an updated gyrojet bullet.

Probably only worthwhile for spy v. spy applications.

Joe Demko
October 24, 2003, 08:56 AM
Very limited use would make regular production, at best, unprofitable. One-offs, on as-needed basis more likely. Probably also disposable rather than reloadable. Remeber that all sorts of more conventional weaponry can be moved across borders w/ no fuss just by putting it in diplomatic pouches.

bogie
October 24, 2003, 09:19 AM
Personally, I'd guess that you'd end up with something VERY bulky.

Art Eatman
October 24, 2003, 09:32 AM
Given the sensitivity of detectors, how do any springs escape being found? If an electronic system of igniting the primer is to be used, it seems to me that the metals of the circuitry compound the problem.

Art

Joe Demko
October 24, 2003, 09:38 AM
I can envision a single-shot system that uses something on the order of one of those pull-string "burglar alarms" novelty shops used to sell as ignition. You could monkey it up to work in a more trigger-like fashion if yanking a string seems to lack a certain drama.

semf
October 24, 2003, 10:23 AM
I heard that baggage thieves are carrying special made Glocks with ceramic barrels that pass thru airport detectors

George Hill
October 24, 2003, 10:29 AM
Guns go through all the time...
On the hips of LEO's.
They are there to protect us, right? :rolleyes:

tiberius
October 24, 2003, 10:31 AM
I heard that baggage thieves are carrying special made Glocks with ceramic barrels that pass thru airport detectors

LMAO :D

AJ Dual
October 24, 2003, 10:32 AM
Almost any non-ferrous materials strong enough to be used as a firearm chamber and barrel and still defeat a magnetometer would invariably be dense enough to show up easily on X-ray.

They the new low-power backscatter X-rays that pass through clothes and reflect off anything denser like skin, belt buckle, knife etc. and gives that "naked mannequin look on the monitor" and a "Ceramic Glock-7 that costs more than you make in a year" would certainly show up... :rolleyes:

I suppose an all-composite multi-barrel derringer like that used by John Malkovitch's assasin character in "In The Line of Fire" isn't impossible, but incredibly unlikely.

It would have to be in pieces that could pass as innocuous items, Bullets would need to be wad-cutter in profile, preferably caseless so they looked like batteries etc. on X-ray. I could see fiberglass leaf-springs being used to power a hammer or striker.

clipse
October 24, 2003, 10:36 AM
I have carried my Leatherman Micra through several Metal detectors and the detectors have never gone off. (actually done this twice, once at a court house and once that the gateway arch in St. Louis) I don't suppose springs would have enough magnetic draw (or what have you) to set the detectors off unless you had some ungodly amount of springs. Of course I could and most likely am wrong. But that is my thought anyway.


clipse

tiberius
October 24, 2003, 10:39 AM
The iron in my blood sets them off at DFW.

geekWithA.45
October 24, 2003, 10:44 AM
Prior to 9/11, I had a pocket knife that travelled the world with me, on any airplane, in my pocket.

It never set off so much as a twinge from anyone's detector.

I never tested it scientifically, but I had accidentally magnetized it by leaving it stuck to a speaker magnet overnight. (I was cutting speaker wire, stuck it to the magnet, and forgot about it)

I've always wondered if that had anything to do with it.

These days, it travels in checked baggage.

Which reminds me to intone my daily ritual mantra:

"Until every commercial cargo and passenger plane takes off with at least one trustworthy armed American on board, domestic anti terror initiatives are bull????, posturing and pretense."

Waitone
October 24, 2003, 10:44 AM
Seems I recently read the usual suspects in congress have sponsoreda bill that would outlaw non-detectible guns.

I just chalked it up to swatting boogie men.

Brian Dale
October 24, 2003, 10:57 AM
Waitone, that's here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=46157

They've been generating publicity and keeping their names in the news, "Doing Something about the Scourge of GUNS, for the Chilllll-drenn," with this particular boogeyman since 1988. This foolishness is a renewal of an existing law which is expiring after 15 years.

Which could have been Skunky's reason for beginning this thread with For academic purposes only, are they even physically possible?

0007
October 24, 2003, 12:53 PM
Trust me, it depends on who last adjusted the walk-thru metal detector (NOT X-RAY). Those can be set to go off when you try to carry a large safety-pin through. Or the rivets and the zipper on your Levies. X-ray is a different beast altogether. Much more subjective - reading the display as it scans.

Mute
October 24, 2003, 02:33 PM
For a Glock at least, the most difficult part would be the slide and barrel. I think it's just a matter of disassembling and scattering all the metal parts throughout your carry-on luggage in a way that the average security personnel won't be able to detect it in the x-ray machine. I doub that this would be a supremely difficult task for ayone who is motivated to do so.

dhoomonyou
October 24, 2003, 02:51 PM
There was a movie starring gene hackman a few years ago where he is a thief who gets a KELTEC in a ziploc bag past security by hiding it in his coffee cup.
If they can make ceramic tiles for the shuttle a gun barrel should be no problem. spys might even have them already. bond...james bond..

tiberius
October 24, 2003, 02:57 PM
Didn't the KGB supposedly have some hand cycled 3 shot disposible plastic rimfire they used for this sort of thing? Maybe not, but I thought I remember some non-fictional account of these.

Black Snowman
October 24, 2003, 03:37 PM
The tiles on the shuttle are actually extremely brittle. Wouldn't work well in a "containment" scenario. The nose is quite solid but it's a block of carbon. Most ceramics will have excelent compression strength but the tenstile strength needed to contain a propellent charge isn't really viable.

Carbon fiber is highly conductive and at high temperatures even flamable (depending on the resin) so I would count it out for a barrel or chamber.

Best bet for getting past a metal detector would be titanium. It's strong enough and non-ferrous. If it's a simple enough gun so that ferrous metals could be kept to a minimum it should get past a metal detector, but an x-ray would catch it just fine.

Newton
October 24, 2003, 03:50 PM
Just turn up in a wheelchair and your leg in plaster, gun, ammunition, boxcutters, etc all secreted within.

Sound far fetched, well I bet if 10 people tried it at 10 different airports, at least half would make it through with their weapons.

As for ceramics, I see no reason as to why a fully functioning gun could be made of such materials, as with most things it just needs a little time and money.

The de-magnetizing issue is more interesting, as is the use of non-ferrous metals. My knowledge of metallurgy does not allow me to state if Titanium and Scandium would work, but they would be interesting starting points.

I see a revolver made of carbon fiber, with a ceramic cylinder and barrel, bullets made out of a super heavy plastic maybe, and ceramic cartridges. It would all be heavy and ungainly, but I have no doubt that someone could make it work.

Black Snowman
October 24, 2003, 04:26 PM
Don't have to worry about ammo. Brass, copper, tin and lead are all non-ferrous.

Come to think of it brass has been a viable frame matterial in low-pressure cartridges.

Brigrat
October 24, 2003, 05:00 PM
Standard walk through metal detectors are in fact designed to detect very small quantities of non ferous metals. I know at nuclear plants (this is what I do for aliving), we test our machines all of the time to detect very small quantities of all sorts of non-ferous metals. X-Ray machines are better, but I can guarantee, if the settings on the machine are set right, anything made of any type of metal product will be detected. As for X-ray type machines, they measure density, not metal, so they should be able to easily see composits, and ceramics. If you put a Glock from in your pocket, and go through a metal detector, the springs, and other metal parts will still set it off. I know, because I have tried. I am sure sneaking things through is possible, but it is going to be human error, not the fault of the machine. I can elaborate if you like, but I think this about somes up what I know off the top of my head about metal detectors and X-rays.

Penforhire
October 24, 2003, 07:14 PM
My understanding of traditional metal detector technology is that a known (created) electro-magnetic field (pulsing in some fashion) interacts with "conductive" materials and the change to the field is detected. Sounds to me like it doesn't need to be ferrous at all, merely electrically conductive. Maybe the system is most sensitive to ferrous metals? But brass and lead should be detected. Anyone know more about state-of-the-art metal detectors?

If true then non-conductive materials like ceramic or glass are probably the best bet. Good thing that materials technology is not mature. Like others have said, it seems too easy now to slip something past security that gets hand-inspected, like one of those gun-in-a-pager (or cell phone) things.

Chris Rhines
October 24, 2003, 07:37 PM
Penforhire is right; magnometers work by inducing eddy currents in a conductive material that passes through them. Just about anything conductive will set off a metal detector (with the exception of carbon fiber and some conductive plastics, AFAIK.)

As for all-composite guns, they can be built. I know this for a fact. I think that it would be a federal crime to construct such a gun, so be careful!

- Chris

Zundfolge
October 24, 2003, 07:45 PM
Don't have to worry about ammo. Brass, copper, tin and lead are all non-ferrous.
Then why can't I walk through a metal detector with a large ring of keys ... most keys are brass.

I still bet if you threw 5 9mm cartridges in your pocket you'd probably set off most airport metal detectors.

ChickenHawk
October 24, 2003, 08:08 PM
Oh, Please. The Glock thing is a myth that just won't die as is every other iteration of this topic.

All the "I once heard" posts have their roots in a movie script. :banghead:

ChickenHawk

semf
October 24, 2003, 08:23 PM
All the "I once heard" posts have their roots in a movie script.


Yes Chicken it was a joke. The reference to baggage theives was meant to give that away. Not every thing said here can be taken literally. It was meant to poke fun at Hollywood's lack of firearm knowledge. Or the fact that they never let the truth get in the way of a good story line.

Standing Wolf
October 24, 2003, 08:54 PM
Frankly, I think our elected misrepresentatives ought to get busy and outlaw unicorns and snow snakes for the sake of the children.

jacketch
October 24, 2003, 09:00 PM
Next they will want to outlaw all the guns that haven't been invented yet.

Brian Dale
October 24, 2003, 09:20 PM
jacketch, they're workin' on it.

ChickenHawk
October 24, 2003, 09:31 PM
Thanks for the reality check semf.

I had just scanned the postings and was shaking my head. :rolleyes:

I'm better now. ;)

Cheers,
ChickenHawk

semf
October 24, 2003, 09:38 PM
That's alright Chicken I have a habit of shooting myself in the foot around here anyway.

280PLUS
October 24, 2003, 10:10 PM
a magazine, some match heads, some plastic buttons,,,

well, at the very least the idea might make them ban those lame advertising magazines that are always on flights,,,

whatever you do, don't try to check your bic lighter though,,,

darn, i can never remember, is it the red ink or the black ink on playing cards that explodes?

:rolleyes:

Penforhire
October 25, 2003, 12:37 AM
The one that has me a touch worried is the fuel cell. Now THAT is maturing rapidly, as in laptop computers or cell phones might have an alcohol or butane fuel cell in the next year or two. Too easy to make it into an explosive device more powerful than a shorted lithium battery.

Orthonym
October 25, 2003, 05:07 PM
Howzabout the inevitably dense, steel parts of the piece being cast into a statuette made of some brittle material (low melting point, we don't want to draw the temper) with lots of barium salts mixed into it? (Oh, put lots of iron filings in there too:) )

Kentucky Rifle
October 26, 2003, 09:13 AM
I hate it but I fly commercial 2 or 3 times per year. Ya' see, I'm 6'3" and weigh in at 224 lbs. Plus, I have a 38" waist. I KNOW those airline seats are smaller with less leg-room to boot.:mad: It's like paying to sit in a torture chamber. I go stand in the restroom a lot~~just to be alone.
Anyway, way before 9/11, I was in the "line" and the fellow in front of me had on a belt buckle with a NAA Mini Revolver IN the buckle. The woman who was working the machine told him to "Just put your arm over that big buckle and you'll pass through just fine". He did. Maybe the metal detectors have changed now, I'm not sure. However, I did see a guy get on a plane with a Mini in his belt buckle with my own eyes.

KR

Orthonym
October 27, 2003, 07:47 PM
My sweetie has threatened to cut me loose if I don't ease up on the alcohol.



Edit: About, oh, half joking here. It is very depressing to read about awful things happening to one's country and know one can do nothing about them.

Edit^2: Changed "he" to "one".

Denver
October 27, 2003, 08:02 PM
Does my spud gun count? PVC pipe barrel, tuber for projectile, compressed air for propellant. I sure the heck would not want to be downrange of a gizmo that can throw a good-sized potato 4-500 ft!

Trick is, how would I get it through the checkpoints without raising an agricultural concern?:p

Orthonym
October 27, 2003, 08:12 PM
Vegetable Defamation is a serious crime in this State. Y'know, I think I'll commit that particular crime right here and now!

Florida tomatoes taste like cardboard!

Florida oranges are watery and lacking in flavor!:neener: :neener: :neener:

N.B. This is a real statutory crime I've just committed. You can look it up.

twoblink
October 27, 2003, 09:06 PM
Sometime with Boron in it's composite will make it fairly strong..

Art, as far as "springs".. no need for springs.. Single shots.. Or else the springs can be made from carbon strands..

Tommy Gunn
October 28, 2003, 02:07 PM
I always wondered if those brass .31 caliber vest pocket derringers would go through.

I was thinking that they might be very good protection against terrorist hijackers armed with box cutters.

Sunray
October 28, 2003, 02:37 PM
"...I heard that baggage thieves are carrying special made Glocks with ceramic barrels that pass thru(sic) airport detectors..." That is absolute nonsense. It came right out of one of the Die Hard movies. Willis' character actually says something about ceramic guns. There are no ceramic barrels. There is no real firearm that cannot be detected by the scanners. It's ALL BS from the anti-firearm plugs.

Joe Demko
October 28, 2003, 02:43 PM
It came right out of one of the Die Hard movies.

No kidding.:rolleyes:

cameroneod
October 28, 2003, 02:55 PM
Iv got a knife that is completely non mag. (issued item) Its made from high density ceramic. Sucker is sharp and tough. Itll actually shave metal off of my M9 bayonette. Im sure you could make a firearm out of that.

semf
October 28, 2003, 06:59 PM
"...I heard that baggage thieves are carrying special made Glocks with ceramic barrels that pass thru(sic) airport detectors..." That is absolute nonsense. It came right out of one of the Die Hard movies. Willis' character actually says something about ceramic guns. There are no ceramic barrels. There is no real firearm that cannot be detected by the scanners. It's ALL BS from the anti-firearm plugs.

Yes Chicken it was a joke. The reference to baggage theives was meant to give that away. Not every thing said here can be taken literally. It was meant to poke fun at Hollywood's lack of firearm knowledge. Or the fact that they never let the truth get in the way of a good story line.

I know, I know. No one here believes they were common baggage thieves, they had to be terrorists. Well funded terrorists because a gun like that would cost more than you make in a year.

Jeff OTMG
October 28, 2003, 09:01 PM
Back in the mid 80's a company in Atlanta, no not SWD or Cobray, had built a plastic and ceramic pistol. The only metal in it was the springs, though it was only a .22. It look much like the single shot 'Deer Gun' or shrunk Ruger MkI with a short tapered barrel.

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