Washington Post and me


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Guy B. Meredith
February 20, 2014, 11:17 PM
Washington Post had an article on a smart gun available in California and I joined in the discussion.

However, it appears that the Washington Post online pulled my generalized instructions on how to outsmart the mechanisms in "smart" guns.

I expect soon to see instructions to turn "smart" guns into dumb guns all over the internet. Not to mention $2 kits to outwit the multi hundred dollar white elephant of a technology.

I can imagine that if they didn't like the comments they must have been REALLY uncomfortable about my opinion that direct electric ignition "smart" guns would probably be the best candidates for conversion to machine guns.

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JTHunter
February 20, 2014, 11:30 PM
I can't remember where or when I read this story (within the last week) about how police might be able to DISABLE "smart" guns in a similar fashion to the way they jam cellphone signals to prevent people at public protests from co-ordinating themselves with the phones. :cuss: :scrutiny:

This way, the "authorities" could disable en masse protesters "smart" phones and render them "toothless". :what:

Guy B. Meredith
February 20, 2014, 11:41 PM
I'm talking about turning them into dumb guns. My comment was:

"SMART GUNS ARE ABSOLUTELY BOGUS. ANY CRIMINAL OR INQUISITIVE 12 YEAR OLD CAN TURN ONE INTO A DUMB GUN IN 15 MINUTES WITH SIMPLE TOOLS FOUND IN ANY HARDWARE STORE..

"1. Type one "smart" gun--sensor sends electric signal to unlock nearly standard linkage.

"To outsmart, remove sensor and the blocking linkage. Gun will operate normally.

"2. Type two "smart" gun--sensor sends electric signal to activate linkage.

"To outsmart, remove sensor and install wires and battery using the trigger as a switch.

"3. Type three smart gun--sensor send electric signal to ignite round.

"Now we can have fun. This is likely to be the easiest to turn into a full machine gun. Remove sensor and run wire to ignition element and battery, using the trigger as a switch.

"It is really amazing that so many "brilliant" inventors are so short sighted. Just too dumbed out with being enthralled with the wonder of gadgetry to look at any but technological failure."

barnbwt
February 21, 2014, 09:24 AM
Probably no harder than converting something to full auto. So that'll be the trick; make the penalty so severe no one is brave enough to try, and within a generation or so, very few will remain who know how the technology works. It becomes an ancient "magic," and people make do with what they are allowed.

The bit they let slip about police wantonly deactivating guns, as well as permanent locations that would jam them (like schools, to ensure no one can defend themselves, ever) puts the lie to this being about anything but control. They claim the purpose of the tech is so that no one but the owner can fire the gun, but it is obvious they intend to go to great lengths to put the use of the firearm at the mercy of officials or clever criminals.

As if no one will figure out how to jam these things. I've always said technologies that negate superior force (bullet proof vests, jammers, missile defense) are far more dangerous than more powerful weapons. Doesn't matter how big your gun is if the other guy's can end you, but put a vest on and you are now (relatively) unassailable and have a powerful weapon. Thus it will be when someone builds a jammer and disables their smart gun electronics to do wrong --except the cops' guns won't work when they arrive, either (or will they somehow not need the 'smart' devices? ;) )

TCB

Pizzapinochle
February 21, 2014, 09:44 AM
I'm talking about turning them into dumb guns. My comment was:

"SMART GUNS ARE ABSOLUTELY BOGUS. ANY CRIMINAL OR INQUISITIVE 12 YEAR OLD CAN TURN ONE INTO A DUMB GUN IN 15 MINUTES WITH SIMPLE TOOLS FOUND IN ANY HARDWARE STORE..

"1. Type one "smart" gun--sensor sends electric signal to unlock nearly standard linkage.

"To outsmart, remove sensor and the blocking linkage. Gun will operate normally.

"2. Type two "smart" gun--sensor sends electric signal to activate linkage.

"To outsmart, remove sensor and install wires and battery using the trigger as a switch.

"3. Type three smart gun--sensor send electric signal to ignite round.

"Now we can have fun. This is likely to be the easiest to turn into a full machine gun. Remove sensor and run wire to ignition element and battery, using the trigger as a switch.

"It is really amazing that so many "brilliant" inventors are so short sighted. Just too dumbed out with being enthralled with the wonder of gadgetry to look at any but technological failure."

Have you actually done any of these, or just hypothesizing that they would work?

Ryanxia
February 21, 2014, 09:57 AM
I can't remember where or when I read this story (within the last week) about how police might be able to DISABLE "smart" guns in a similar fashion to the way they jam cellphone signals to prevent people at public protests from co-ordinating themselves with the phones. :cuss: :scrutiny:

This way, the "authorities" could disable en masse protesters "smart" phones and render them "toothless". :what:
This has always been my concern regarding "smart" guns. It is completely obvious (to me anyways) that this where it would be headed.

bobmcd
February 21, 2014, 11:08 AM
It would be great if someone could purchase one of these and figure out a way to bypass the lock. Any You-Tube gun gurus out there willing to take a stab at it?

I would bet that it takes only a few minutes with simple tools.

gunnutery
February 21, 2014, 11:43 AM
Wow, I'd thought of the standard questions like what happens when the battery dies or is taken out and such but I'd never even considered jamming them (mind blown).

Any perp could carry a localized hammer in a backpack.

My wife posed the question; what if this type of gun is the only one that someone would consider because of having kids in the house? My answer was a question; if people aren't smart enough to safely have access to and use a "dumb" gun, are they really going to be smart enough to overcome the technology issues to use a smart gun?

taliv
February 21, 2014, 12:09 PM
I can't remember where or when I read this story (within the last week) about how police might be able to DISABLE "smart" guns in a similar fashion to the way they jam cellphone signals to prevent people at public protests from co-ordinating themselves with the phones.

it's far, far more likely that hackers will disable police guns. (you know cali would require their police to start using smart guns once available)


btw, it reminds me of this www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=206908

Outlaw Man
February 21, 2014, 12:46 PM
It would be great if someone could purchase one of these and figure out a way to bypass the lock
No, it would be great if NOBODY bought one and the technology died the miserable death it deserves. Introducing something completely unnecessary and prohibitively expensive that will significantly increase the failure rate of a lifesaving tool is completely ridiculous, and that's not even considering the political concerns.

And I'm an electrical engineer who'd love to be able to use his schooling to improve firearms.

steelerdude99
February 21, 2014, 01:15 PM
No, it would be great if NOBODY bought one and the technology died the miserable death it deserves. Introducing something completely unnecessary and prohibitively expensive that will significantly increase the failure rate of a lifesaving tool is completely ridiculous, and that's not even considering the political concerns....


Another thing anti's will propose is a periodic inspection to make sure the smart gun still has its "smarts intact" and its "imprinting firing" pin's s/n # is still working and able to be read. Modified guns ... of course they'll be impounded.

chuck

Carl N. Brown
February 21, 2014, 01:40 PM
How about electronic ignition guns being vulnerable to activation by hackers?

gunnutery
February 21, 2014, 02:41 PM
I was very surprised to see this article when googling for "smart gun" considering the source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/02/20/smart-guns-new-jersey-california-washington-post-column/5610543/

Foxnews' article said the smart gun now on shelves cost $1399 and the wrist watch is sold separate for $399! Talk about cost prohibitive, especially if it's required by law!

RetiredUSNChief
February 21, 2014, 03:31 PM
How about electronic ignition guns being vulnerable to activation by hackers?

How 'bout electric ignition guns being vulnerable to random outside electromagnetic noise or signals? Turning flourescent lights on creates a pretty big one, what with their ballasts and all. High energy ignition systems in all automobiles generate electromagnetic noise. Motors kicking on and off in refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, and furnace fans create electromagnetic noise.

Might really suck going through a metal detector.

Or how 'bout those security posts at the exits of stores the send out a radio pulse to trigger merchandise security tags?

AlexanderA
February 21, 2014, 03:54 PM
This push for "smart gun" technology assumes that guns are like appliances that wear out and are replaced, so that over time the technology is updated. (Like replacing R-12 refrigerant or tungsten-filament light bulbs.) Guns are not like that. Quality guns seldom wear out. If new guns are required to have these "smart gun" features (that most users consider to be detrimental), then the effect will be that few people will buy the new guns, and prices for the old guns will escalate. But there's no shortage of the older guns.

Guy B. Meredith
February 21, 2014, 11:36 PM
No one is going to get hacked because the bad guys are going to disable the hackable component.

These are just generalized descriptions of the three possible approaches. There will be details like how tightly integrated the system is--the tighter the integration, the more tooling to carefully disassemble. Possibly a Dremel tool in some instances to create accessible terminals for the trigger to battery wiring.

My comment about direct electrical ignition making for easy conversion to machine guns was to tweak their attention enough to get them to consider actual unintended consequences.

Bottom line is no matter how the controller decides to activate the firearm it always comes down to providing a current to activate something. In all cases the trigger can be used as a switch to activate the something by putting juice into the same terminals. Just moves the decision making from the techno thingy to the user.

Guy B. Meredith
February 21, 2014, 11:40 PM
gunnutery

Like I posted after one of the articles, imagine little Dottie playing with her Mommy's jewelry and picking up the "smart" gun Mommy has left laying on the dresser confident that Dottie will be safe because she would need the ring in Mommy's jewelry to activate it. :what:

Guy B. Meredith
February 21, 2014, 11:42 PM
Outlaw Man

I expect the sweet smell of product liability suits will waft where these things are promoted or required. These things are pure snake oil and I just cannot understand how supposedly brilliant people can be so blind to the shortcoming. Guess they never heard of the Gordian knot.

Guy B. Meredith
February 21, 2014, 11:53 PM
gunnutery

Foxnews' article said the smart gun now on shelves cost $1399 and the wrist watch is sold separate for $399! Talk about cost prohibitive, especially if it's required by law!

At some point we should be able to bring suit for discrimination given the high prices are intended to deter firearms ownership. If not the actual intent, it does mean only the well off can afford firearms, discriminating against the less affluent.

This also goes for high fees on permits, taxes on ammo, registration fees, the idea of insurance requirements, etc.

HammsBeer
February 23, 2014, 11:11 PM
Legislators proposing this "smart" gun technology don't care if the guns become cost prohibitive. Or permit costs and ammo taxes for that matter. They'd rather you not have any gun in the first place.

Guy B. Meredith
February 23, 2014, 11:18 PM
Yup. That is the truth. Blatant discrimination that we should be able to make them regret with lawsuits. Support the organizations that have been behind the lawsuits.

SouthernBoy
February 25, 2014, 06:25 AM
Around here, the outer reaches of Washington, DC, the Washington Post is known as the "Washington ComPost", or 'Pravada on the Potomac". It's a rather quaint little newspaper which is not much better than serving as a liner for your cat litter box.

DT Guy
February 25, 2014, 06:42 AM
Have you actually done any of these, or just hypothesizing that they would work?

Given the mechanics of a firing pin actuated cartridge firearm, they'd essentially HAVE to work; bypass the electronics and it's still a gun, after all.


Larry

HexHead
February 25, 2014, 07:50 AM
What are they going to do about the millions of "dumb" guns out there? Assuming they could mandate all new guns be made that way, I couldn't care less about not buying new guns if that were the case.

Pizzapinochle
February 25, 2014, 08:42 AM
Given the mechanics of a firing pin actuated cartridge firearm, they'd essentially HAVE to work; bypass the electronics and it's still a gun, after all.


Larry
Not buying it at all. I'd take any bet that if Guy tried to make one of these smart guns "dumb," the best he could do in his claimed "15 MINUTES WITH SIMPLE TOOLS FOUND IN ANY HARDWARE STORE" is to have a broken gun with a voided warranty.

Guy B. Meredith
February 25, 2014, 11:01 AM
Pizzapinochle, talk with anyone with experience in working with electromechanical devices. They are all basically the same.

It is a switch that activates under given circumstances, but just a switch. The trigger is the secondary switch. Just remove the intermediary or short circuit with a wire between it's outputs and the trigger becomes the only switch.

I'm amazed at the undying faith so many people have in electronic boxes. Maybe science classes aren't teaching practical science like they did when I was in junior high school?

Carl N. Brown
February 25, 2014, 11:24 AM
The Mac10s that Australian Motorcycle Clubs ("bikies") manufacture in their garage workshops are all equiped with smart switches, microstamping firing pin tips, and are duly registered and taxed with the central government......NOT!

I believe a 07 SOT took the widely circulated "Weapons of the American Underground" and built one of the American "sten" guns described within using modified non-gun parts and components. It worked but the screws vibrated loose (it was designed to be home built with a vise, file and electric drill). He substituted tack welding and his revised example ran fine ad cost about $50 in parts to build.

This is where all this nonsense will take us: bootleg guns. Mostly going to the bad guys.

Pizzapinochle
February 25, 2014, 01:25 PM
Maybe science classes aren't teaching practical science like they did when I was in junior high school?

Or maybe technology has advanced a bit since you were in junior high school.

First, i've taken college level industrial manufacturing classes in electronic, motors and controls. Not an expert, but have some idea of the fundamentals.

Neither one of us really knows how these guns work, unless you have a a diagram or plans somewhere that are not generally available.

But, These are not simple electromechanical devices. These are digital devices, there is a computer chip in the handle. So, i am going to throw out some possible ideas that i thought of in about ten minutes of daydreaming.

The switches don't respond to a simple electric current, they respond to a digital signal that triggers them to draw a carefully regulated current to activate. Wrong current (such as from your battery short circuit) and the switch locks, rendering the gun inoperable.

You really think the electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, and computer scientist who have spent thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars developing them didn't put in a bit of thought on these issues? If I (an amateur) thought of these ideas in a few minutes, i think they will have a few stronger ideas.

I don't know for sure, but i'm pretty sure you don't really know either. Until someone has one of these and tries your ideas, it is pure speculation on your part.

RetiredUSNChief
February 25, 2014, 02:45 PM
^^^^

The same could be said about iPhones...which were unlocked by kids so they could be used on networks other than AT&T.

;)

Guy B. Meredith
February 25, 2014, 03:06 PM
So now we have yet another electronic control device requiring specific conditions before it will actuate an electromechanical link. How long is that chain going to be?

Solution? Remove THAT control device. At some point it will go from digital to analog. Providing the correct current might provide minimal challenges the first time one is converted. Or maybe a component will need to be replaced with a more standard device. After that the instructions are public domain.

Yep, generalized speculation based on the options available to the technology.

These very intelligent people often have tunnel vision. Airports are equipped with secure luggage storage using fingerprint identification. That means that many people who most need relief from toting baggage--senior citizens--are out of luck because they (I) don't have fingerprints. Duh. And no one thought to make slightly less secure and senior citizen accessible storage available.

I would be curious as to what the expectations were for ankle monitors for criminals. Then there is little Dottie and her Mommy's jewelry.

Pizzapinochle
February 25, 2014, 03:39 PM
Absolutely, if you pull out enough parts it will become analog and you can rebuild it as a dumb gun. At this point, you are way past 15 minutes and simple tools.

Regardless, that is irrelevant to the two primary purposes of smart guns: preventing accidental discharges from unauthorized users and preventing a criminal from using a gun against someone immediately after stealing it in a mugging or home invasion.

Do i think it is a great technology we should all adopt? No, not at all, but making fun of the scientist and inventors who created them is not useful. Acting like they are ultra simple devices that any kid can magically modify is blatantly misleading.

rbernie
February 25, 2014, 03:43 PM
Regardless, that is irrelevant to the two primary purposes of smart guns: preventing accidental discharges from unauthorized users and preventing a criminal from using a gun against someone immediately after stealing it in a mugging or home invasion.

Do i think it is a great technology we should all adopt? No, not at all, but making fun of the scientist and inventors who created them is not useful.Why not? They are taking a novelty and applying it in such a way as to pander to public policy makers for their own personal benefit, much as was done with microstamping. Why should we NOT mock such efforts to create a captive market and then milk it?

Would we NOT do so if the topic was not firearms-related?

Pizzapinochle
February 25, 2014, 03:55 PM
Why not? They are taking a novelty and applying it in such a way as to pander to public policy makers for their own personal benefit, much as was done with microstamping. Why should we NOT mock such efforts to create a captive market and then milk it?

Would we NOT do so if the topic was not firearms-related?

No.... The people who designed it worked their butts off to get through engineering school then landed one of very few highly enviable positions getting to design cool guns.

I imagine their views on public policy and such is rather inconsequential to doing their jobs as engineers.

Guy B. Meredith
February 25, 2014, 03:56 PM
preventing accidental discharges from unauthorized users

Dottie. Remember? I don't trust abdicating personal responsibility to digital devices.

Yes, I am using language to create a sense of urgency in taking a realistic look at the technology before agenda blinded politicians saddle us with it.

The first device may very well take more than 15 minutes to puzzle through. And conversion may very well take longer, but the devices don't prevent theft and after theft time is cheap.

I really haven't made fun of any of these people other than challenging their assumptions and those of politicians. If they cannot tolerate challenge then they merit derision. I don't care how hard they worked to get there. It doesn't give them a pass, nor make them gods. Their value is in what they accomplish.

Then there are the out and out profiteering snake oil vendors.

Pizzapinochle
February 25, 2014, 04:03 PM
"It is really amazing that so many "brilliant" inventors are so short sighted. Just too dumbed out with being enthralled with the wonder of gadgetry to look at any but technological failure."

Maybe "making fun of" was the wrong exact phrase, but general unwarranted disparagement. And again, the ppl you are talking about are just ppl doing their job, not politicians.

Guy B. Meredith
February 25, 2014, 04:18 PM
In the spirit of full disclosure, I worked in the XEROX engineering community in El Segundo at the time XEROX was giving technology away to Gates via Jobs, John Warnock and Charles Geschke walked out the door to found Adobe, and Metcalf to found 3Com. I had the pleasure to work with the PARC group that devised the first workable optical fibre network.

That job was with an IT group on the campus that supported prototype systems--mostly on the computer side--and prototype laser printers. I spent the next 20 years providing technical support for sales groups for those printers.

I refuse to buy a smartphone and fell in love with a Jeep Patriot because it had hand crank windows. I think curmudgeon is the term.

rbernie
February 25, 2014, 04:25 PM
No.... The people who designed it worked their butts off to get through engineering school then landed one of very few highly enviable positions getting to design cool guns.

I imagine their views on public policy and such is rather inconsequential to doing their jobs as engineers. I have made a living within the civilian and Defense engineering community for three decades now, two of which were spent inside the DC beltway supporting Cabinet-level folk, and during the majority of which I functioned as an engineering leader on weapons systems development efforts. I am familiar with the culture. :) I and others that surround me have all quit jobs that had us doing things that we felt were not in our best interest as a nation or when we perceived that our employer was behaving unethically. That behavior is the price of being A Rational Human Being, and (IMO) core to the personality of a true engineer - pride in the outcome of our labors. I would expect nothing less from anyone who calls themselves an engineer.

Being an engineer isn't a free pass to invent cool toys with no thought to their practical and likely application(s). Work on dumb stuff, and expect that your peers will point that out. And this is dumb stuff - not because it's not cool, but because it exists almost solely to pander to bad public policy and line the pockets of those who would lobby for its mandated use.

If you disagree with me, feel free to take the example of microstamping and explain to me how that WASN'T a boondoggle of bad engineering foisted off as public policy solely to empower the politicians that supported it and enrich the few who claimed that technology as their own.

DT Guy
February 25, 2014, 08:38 PM
Not buying it at all. I'd take any bet that if Guy tried to make one of these smart guns "dumb," the best he could do in his claimed "15 MINUTES WITH SIMPLE TOOLS FOUND IN ANY HARDWARE STORE" is to have a broken gun with a voided warranty.

Don't buy it. I could really care less.

If it's got a firing pin/striker, it will work sans electronics; if it has an electronic 'sparker' like Remington's using, it would need special ammunition.

There are quite a few of us here who, with a bit of tooling, could make a gun from scratch; many more who've made gun parts from scratch. Again, if it uses standard ammunition, it uses a firing pin or a striker; no big deal to fab an alternate method of releasing those.

Just for the record; how many guns have you built? Taken apart, even? They're pretty simple machines, regardless of the electronics they may have loaded into the front end of this one.

Larry

benEzra
February 25, 2014, 09:40 PM
The company behind the one in the news recently is German, not American (Armatix).

http://www.armatix.de/iP1-Pistol.779.0.html?&L=1

And according to this article (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2010/09/10/anschutz-sells-out/), they are in the business of lobbying governments to make electronically-hobbled guns mandatory.

And it's not just guns that can't be fired without a $400 watch on the shooting hand; their system can also make the gun to fail to fire unless it is pointed at an approved target:

http://www.armatix.de/TRS.781.0.html?&L=1

ARMATIX Target Response System (TRS)

The gun only functions if you are recognized and on target.

If you are aiming away from the target area, the pistol is immediately deactivated.
No misuse against people or objects around you.

Armatix target shooting with no compromise on safety!

I don't mind people building things they think are cool, even if they are purposely inferior to mature technologies. I have a big problem with those people trying to force me to buy their inferior product via the police power of the state, as Armatix appears to be doing.

HammsBeer
February 25, 2014, 09:59 PM
The only way you could have a tamper resistant electronic gun is if the ammo itself had an imbedded chip that required an "authorization" signal to ignite it and then banning conventional ammo. Not gonna happen.

Guy B. Meredith
February 25, 2014, 10:02 PM
And they are pushing disabling firearms for self defense? :banghead: How very European of them.

If that includes steel and cardboard silhouettes that would mean the gun could not be used for sporting competition. Wonder if they are victim to the same ignorance of the broad competition market as are our politicians. "Guns are just made for killing." Duh.

Back to the subject of the mechanism, the thought is that the striker is either disabled with a blocking link inserted/removed by an electromechanical device or driven directly by an electric device.

I can't envision right off how a striker mechanism driven electrically without the boost from a spring would be effective on battery power, but I suppose there is some way. I am wondering whether the more common scheme might be to block the linkage. This would be the simplest to disable as no battery, wires or switch would be necessary to operate the firearm--just remove the blocking piece.

And then there is the thought of reloading electrically ignited rounds...

RetiredUSNChief
February 26, 2014, 04:32 AM
OK, let's back up a little bit here.

Yeah, "15 minutes" is an obvious exaggeration. But it was an exaggeration with a point, the point being that circumventing this kind of technology very likely CAN be done. Manufacturers will do their best to prevent this, but they likely will not be 100% successful.

As a nuclear engineer who specializes in instrumentation and control systems and who has had nearly three decades of experience in the field, I've seen I&C systems come a long way. So let me give you an engineer's peek at what probably went into this:

To design an I&C system to operate a handgun the way this company has done was not possible by designing systems which would work with the existing internal components of the firearm. They first started with the basic dimensions of the handgun and said "everything we design must fit within these physical parameters".

From there, they looked at the basic mechanical function of the pistol...and by that, I mean ONLY what was required to make a bullet exit the barrel and cycle the components required to eject the spent cartridge and chamber the new one. And they likely started with the assumption that conventional rimfire ammunition would be used...i.e. no special high-tech ammunition required.

And then they set about to design a NEW firing pin mechanism as an electro-mechanical device which, when activated, would reliably cycle the firing pin with sufficient energy to properly set off the cartridge primer.

HOW THIS IS DONE IS KEY TO UNDERSTANDING HOW DIFFICULT OR EASY IT WOULD BE TO DEFEAT THE ENTIRE I&C SYSTEM FOR THE PISTOL.

If you're thinking is based solely on your knowledge of how the conventional mechanical system of a semi-automatic pistol works and that it "must work this way", then you may be barking up the wrong tree.

If I were to attempt to design such an electro-mechanical firing pin construct, I could choose to do this any number of ways. I could design it such that it's really no more than a "normal" firing pin assembly with some kind of associated electro-mechanical interlock which must be satisfied in order to allow the mechanical parts to work. This would be relatively simple to bypass. OR I could design this such that the only way it could function is by a direct power and associated electrical control signal applied to the firing pin assembly itself. In otherwords, to operate the firing pin assembly it must have a stored charge (or external power applied) which would serve as the electrical "motive" force for the mechanical function of the firing pin AND it must receive a correctly coded electrical signal in order to initiate the release of that electrical motive force.

If the such a firing pin assembly is built (like my second postulation above), it would be a sealed unit with no way to access the internal electrical components without damaging them. You would only have electrical contacts for the main power and control power.

After designing the high-tech firing pin assembly, the external I&C system would be built, to fit within the rest of the firearm. This system would require an external (battery) power supply, also designed to fit within the handgun. It would serve to provide the main power to drive the mechanical operation of the firing pin as well as the circuitry for the coded security protocols required to allow the high-tech firing pin assembly to actually operate.

In this kind of set up, it's not possible to bypass the security protocol by physically removing the intervening circuitry and directly power the firing pin assembly. You still require the proper security code to be transmitted to the firing pin assembly to make it use the main power to operate the firing pin.


The company that makes this firearm very likely had a bunch of people sitting down in their think-tank trying to figure out how people could bypass this physically and what they could to to either prevent it or make it as difficult as possible.

One such way is how the gun is physically built. We, who own semi-automatic firearms, know that such mechanical devices are finely crafted and tuned pieces of equpment. Get them too dirty, don't replace worn springs, use the wrong ammunition, have something come into contact with the mechanical movement of the slide on the frame, and the gun ceases to operate properly or reliably. Very likely this was a consideration in their designs and they may have built the gun such that physical alterations on a level required to possibly defeat their security features would result in a gun that physically will not operate or not operate reliably.

It is also possible to build these things with all the essential electrical components entirely sealed...meaning no screws or panels can be removed to access them. Even an internal battery can be designed to be wirelessly charged, necessitating factory replacement of major components in order to replace them.

All this discussion involves what it takes to design and built a secure system which works to make the gun go "BANG" when you press the trigger.


The flip side of this is any possible security protocol built into the gun which an outside agency (such as the police or other government agency, or criminals) could activate to render the gun non-functional. To electronically "jam" the gun, in other words.


Given all this, the weak link in how to make this gun work all the time may be the interface between the watch and the gun itself...in other words, how would you design a security transmitting system that does not require the watch? Given the size of the components involved (the coded security transmitter must be small enough to fit within a wrist watch), perhaps the best way would be to design a coded security chip which can be installed within the body of the handgun itself, rendering it 100% functional to the owner regardless of the presence/absence of the watch.

As for outside agencies interfering with the operation of the pistol, it may be possible to defeat this by either changing the security protocol programming or soemhow shielding (hardening) the assiated I&C circuitry from outside signals.


Computer and high-tech phone manufacturers have been working to build physical and software security into their devices for decades in order to maximize there profits and to protect their patented work. And hackers have been working for decades, constantly defeating these. I would expect no less with this type of firearm, either.

Guy B. Meredith
February 26, 2014, 08:48 AM
No matter how and electrically driven package is built it has connection somewhere that permit bypassing the controller. May need a Dremel tool to dig in to that point, but they are there.

Pizzapinochle
February 26, 2014, 09:05 AM
Chief, love your description of the process. This especially:



If you're thinking is based solely on your knowledge of how the conventional mechanical system of a semi-automatic pistol works and that it "must work this way", then you may be barking up the wrong tree.

That was my main point... These guns are built from the ground up differently than standard firearms.

On this quote:


Yeah, "15 minutes" is an obvious exaggeration. But it was an exaggeration with a point, the point being that circumventing this kind of technology very likely CAN be done. Manufacturers will do their best to prevent this, but they likely will not be 100% successful.

The problem is, i don't think Guy is trying to exaggerate to make a point. I think he believes and wants everyone else to believe that smart gun technology is completely bogus and can be easily circumvented by anybody with ease. And he is doing his best to spread this falsehood.

Pro-gunners constantly attack gun control advocates for mis representing firearm technology (shoulder thing that goes up). Well, guy is doing the same thing in the other direction.

RetiredUSNChief
February 26, 2014, 11:57 AM
No matter how and electrically driven package is built it has connection somewhere that permit bypassing the controller. May need a Dremel tool to dig in to that point, but they are there.

No disrespect here, Guy, but this is most assuredly not true and demonstrates a lack of knowledge about engineering design and construction of this level.

And by this statement, I'm not saying that your statement is outright and totally false. What I'm saying is that a practical solution to working around such a device depends entirely upon how that device is designed and built to function.

Let's say, for example, that you are able to bypass all the security features by physical alterations. What practical good would this do if, for example, your work resulted in a semi-automatic pistol that physically functions so poorly that it's effectively a single-shot pistol now?

Or let's say that the coded control signal was an integral feature of the proper operation of the pistol as a semi-automatic...in other words, it's designed not to allow it to operate as a fully automatic pistol. Perhaps in attempting to physically alter the pistol to eliminate the security features you now end up with a fully automatic handgun, which would be a felony act.

Again, I'm not saying it can't be done, nor that you are wrong in saying that it CAN be done...just that HOW such a thing may be done can be made inherently difficult to the extreme, perhaps beyond the capabilities of the average layman. Much the same way that a computer can be hacked by some but not others through various levels of difficulty depending on network hardware and software configurations.

DT Guy
February 26, 2014, 12:05 PM
I can fab a firing pin, spring and firing mechanism in about an hour and a half. Electronics ripped out, replaced, gun works.

All assuming a 15 year old doesn't hack it like an iPhone before I fire up the mill.


Larry

RetiredUSNChief
February 26, 2014, 12:56 PM
I can fab a firing pin, spring and firing mechanism in about an hour and a half. Electronics ripped out, replaced, gun works.

All assuming a 15 year old doesn't hack it like an iPhone before I fire up the mill.


Larry

I applaud you for this...however, you're likely basing this on your current understanding of modern semi-automatic firearm construction and your mechanical skills.

A gun such as this that's been re-designed from the ground up to integrate modern instrumentation and control systems, however, is NOT likely to present so mechanically simple and elegant a solution as what you propose. It's not a "hybrid" design of an existing firearm with modern I&C technology...it's a completely new design built to fuse form and function together based on modern technical and computer engineering.

Pizzapinochle
February 26, 2014, 03:34 PM
I can fab a firing pin, spring and firing mechanism in about an hour and a half. Electronics ripped out, replaced, gun works.

All assuming a 15 year old doesn't hack it like an iPhone before I fire up the mill.


Larry

ok, have to ask...

Do you guys REALLY think that devices like a smart gun are as easy to hack as jailbreaking an iPhone?

rbernie
February 26, 2014, 03:54 PM
Anything with an external wireless interface can be hacked, and usually far more easily than the designers and engineering teams expected.

Hurryin' Hoosier
February 26, 2014, 04:21 PM
The only worthwhile thing which the Washington Post ever did was lend its name to one Hell of a march.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxrh1CrMmTY :D

DT Guy
February 26, 2014, 07:26 PM
Chief,
You're overthinking this (insert engineer joke here :) ); if it uses standard ammo, it will fire with a firing pin. All the electronics, if used to allow the firing system to actuate, are essentially 'disposable' and would be replaced.

And Pizza, YES; anything can be hacked. Ask the DOJ or Target; if it's got software, it can be corrupted.

Consider this; it's not hard to make a gun from scratch. Given the framework of an action, chamber and barrel, it's just that much work saved.

Larry

Pizzapinochle
February 26, 2014, 07:47 PM
Well, my question really was not "Can high level hackers with time and resources hack it?" Oh well.

Guy B. Meredith
February 26, 2014, 09:28 PM
Okay it looks like some people have a personal agenda here. I've followed up on my agenda trying to get tech worshipers to think outside the box.

It always seems to swing back around to worship of the digital. I'll leave the sandbox to you. Look up Gordian knot.

texasgun
February 26, 2014, 10:20 PM
the main goal about smart guns is NOT to prevent access to guns from bad people.... but to make guns so complex, non-desirable and expensive that gun manufacturers will stop producing compliant weapons and/or people won't buy them... we should not forget that

RetiredUSNChief
February 27, 2014, 12:44 AM
Chief,
You're overthinking this (insert engineer joke here :) ); if it uses standard ammo, it will fire with a firing pin. All the electronics, if used to allow the firing system to actuate, are essentially 'disposable' and would be replaced.

And Pizza, YES; anything can be hacked. Ask the DOJ or Target; if it's got software, it can be corrupted.

Consider this; it's not hard to make a gun from scratch. Given the framework of an action, chamber and barrel, it's just that much work saved.

Larry

Heh! Good one!

But no, it's NOT overthinking this at all. Because this gun was designed from the ground up to integrate modern instrumentation and controls, there likely is no room inside the body of the gun to accomodate the normal mechanical components found in conventional semi-automatic pistols. They did not start with a conventional pistol frame/slide and build their electronics to fit. Therefore you cannot simply "dispose" of the internals and replace them with mechanical parts.

As a mechanical analogy here, let's take two different semi-automatics of the similar caliber, like the Walther PPK/S in .22 and an AMT Automag II in .22 magnum. You cannot interchange the components between them and you could not modify the Walther and AMT trigger assembly to allow the AMT trigger to fit the Walther.

Now imagine a handgun that's designed specifically to be electronically controlled from the start. There is no need for nearly any of the normal mechanical features inside the gun which control the firing pin operation, therefore the gun is not physically built to have them installed. The frame, for example, isn't built for a normal trigger assembly...just an electronic switch and wiring. There is no need for a hammer spring or even a hammer because the firing pin isn't designed to operate that way (depending on how the firing pin assembly is designed). Because of this, the frame doesn't have to be designed to have the structural integrity required to house a compressed hammer (main) spring. Nor is there any place to install a hammer to operate a conventional firing pin.

See what I mean? You cannot simply "convert" a gun designed to be operated solely with an electronic control system to a conventional mechanical control system if the body of the gun itself cannot be modified to do so.

RetiredUSNChief
February 27, 2014, 12:47 AM
Okay it looks like some people have a personal agenda here. I've followed up on my agenda trying to get tech worshipers to think outside the box.

It always seems to swing back around to worship of the digital. I'll leave the sandbox to you. Look up Gordian knot.

I hope you don't think this of me, Guy. That's certainly not my intent.

:)

DT Guy
February 27, 2014, 06:33 AM
http://thehomegunsmith.com/pics/410pistol-FullyAssembled.jpg


Fairly certain this started with less than the 'Smart' gun will provide-


Larry

Kaeto
February 27, 2014, 07:01 AM
And you guys are forgetting the target sensor they put in that .22. After all the promo for it says that it won't fire when aimed at a unrecognized target.

Pizzapinochle
February 27, 2014, 07:07 AM
Again, the question is not "Can a skilled fabricator use some of the parts of the smart gun to build a new gun?" No one debates that this is possible.

Guy's initial claim, which he has not backed off from and will likely continue to spread, was a 12 year old and 15 minutes with simple tools to turn a smart gun into a dumb gun.

Not saying it can't be done, just that it is NOT easy and is not something that just anybody can do.

GoWolfpack
February 27, 2014, 07:07 AM
Chief, I think you may be giving the smart gun goobers more credit than they deserve.
Without having looked at a smart gun, it could well be as simple as a Hi Point with an electronic firing pin block, or something as complex as you describe. Or something in between the two extremes, which is the most likely in my opinion.
It appears based on the limited number of news articles presented that this company is at least as deeply involved in lobbying governments to make their products mandatory as it is in actually developing a viable product. This leads me to believe their products will lean more to the simpler side of design.

Assuming in some place, somewhere a corporation and a government are successful in making "smart guns" mandatory, logically paired with that mandate will be a ban on bypassing a the guns "smart" features. The government will rely on a natural disinclination most people feel towards breaking the law to enforce this, then be more shocked than Captain Renault that that criminals have the audacity to commit a crime and bypass the electronic interlocks on their stolen guns. This will pave the way for Smart Gun 2.0, new and improved and significantly more expensive version which will again be mandated.

I am not a fan of a company inventing a product then relying on government mandates to sell it rather than superior design or functionality. This makes them no better than extortionists.

Pizzapinochle
February 27, 2014, 07:15 AM
. This leads me to believe their products will lean more to the simpler side of design.

.

How did you reach that conclusion?

GoWolfpack
February 27, 2014, 07:27 AM
How did you reach that conclusion?

My previous sentence.

based on the limited number of news articles presented...this company is at least as deeply involved in lobbying governments to make their products mandatory as it is in actually developing a viable product.

Pizzapinochle
February 27, 2014, 07:47 AM
Ha ha... Ok. Quite a talent you have there... Read a news article, gain insight into design and function of a complex device you've never seen except a picture on the web.

Your statement is, like most everything on this thread, pure speculation.

DT Guy
February 27, 2014, 08:53 AM
Not saying it can't be done, just that it is NOT easy and is not something that just anybody can do.

Your statement is, like most everything on this thread, pure speculation

Yep, sure is. :)

Larry

GoWolfpack
February 27, 2014, 09:35 AM
Your statement is, like most everything on this thread, pure speculation.


As even I admitted in my first statement by using the preamble: "This leads me to believe..."


A company has invented a new product that very few people want. Rather than focusing on making their product better, so that more people want it, they've chosen to focus on lobbying governments to mandate that people buy their product. This is extortion using the government as a proxy enforcer. I have a much bigger issue with this aspect of our little debate; the actual functionality of a "smart gun" means nothing to me except as an academic exercise.

Pizzapinochle
February 27, 2014, 12:04 PM
Rather than focusing on making their product better,

What makes you think they are not putting sufficient effort into product development and improvement?

GoWolfpack
February 27, 2014, 04:23 PM
What makes you think they are not putting sufficient effort into product development and improvement?
Actual improvements will be adopted on their own merits, without a government mandate.


Capitalism.

theotherwaldo
February 27, 2014, 05:09 PM
I've been working on "smart gun" designs for about thirty years. I doubt that any of these designs will ever be built.
Why?
1. Liability. The manufacturer gets sued out of existance the first time that a fail-safe device does a fail-null.
2. Expectations. There are several needs that a "smart gun" might fill, but the same "smart gun" won't fill all of those needs. A policeman's retention-device safety that prevents it from working if it isn't in his strong hand won't stop a six-year-old from putting on Daddy's ring and shooting Daddy's gun. It certainly won't stop Junior from hacking/filing/rewiring a stolen gun. "If you like your smart-gun you can keep your smart-gun, as it will make you perfectly safe."
3. Further legislation. If folks actually start producing this item then the die-hard anti-gun people will just legislate against them as well.
-There are other reasons, but these were enough for me. I may use the designs in novels but I'll never make one for sale.

RetiredUSNChief
February 27, 2014, 08:03 PM
I have a much bigger issue with this aspect of our little debate; the actual functionality of a "smart gun" means nothing to me except as an academic exercise.

Valid points in this, and your previous posts.

All this discussion on functionality is, of course, an academic exercise by each of us, based on our personal experiences and knowledge.

I think some people need to back off the obviously exaggerated "15 minute claim" and move on. Dwelling on one hyperbole to the exclusion of all else in the ongoing discussion is pointless.

And yes, I may indeed be giving the gun grabbers more credit than they deserve. I don't have one of these smart guns to examine...so I don't really know how they're actually constructed and I therefore cannot reverse engineer how they work except as an intellectual exercise.

Perhaps they are as simply built as you say they might be. I addressed that possibility back in post #42. My suppositions about how such a gun might be converted to a dumb gun is based on a series of "ifs". IF the gun is designed "this way", then it may be fairly easy. IF the gun is designed "that way", it will be pretty difficult.

Given that I'm not about to spend $2,000 of my own money on a gun I wouldn't buy in the first place just to see how it's actually built, I'm going to have to wait until someone else takes that initiative. There simply isn't any internet information to be found on this proprietary technology right now, and I really don't see it forthcoming for quite a while.

I DO like your supposition of a simple entry level smart gun design, developed simply to open up the market to the concept with further improvements/enhancements in later vertions.

I guess we'll all see in the coming years.

H.m.B
February 27, 2014, 08:05 PM
Why worry about converting a smart gun to a dumb (conventional) gun. There are what ... 200-300 million handguns already in the U.S. Conversion/defeating a smart gun is not cost effective nor as reliable as an existing firearm.

RetiredUSNChief
February 28, 2014, 01:48 AM
Why worry about converting a smart gun to a dumb (conventional) gun. There are what ... 200-300 million handguns already in the U.S. Conversion/defeating a smart gun is not cost effective nor as reliable as an existing firearm.

It's not about the past, nor is it about the present...it's about where the future may take us.

Certainly I won't argue about the cost effectiveness and reliability, as it stands now.

But the issue involving the RKBA isn't about these things...it's about people who believe in the RKBA and those who wish to do away with it. To those who are against the RKBA, this gun is simply another symbol by which they can press forward with their long-term agenda of depriving the common man of his rights and abilities to own firearms.

For instance, in 2002 New Jersey enacted a law which says that as soon as the state attorney general determines a smart gun prototype is safe and commercially available, a three year count down will commence after which all handguns sold in the state of New Jersey MUST have this technology incorporated into them.

Now, I can't find a copy of that statute (if anybody has a link, please post it), but not only is that ominous with respect to new gun sales...but it may ALSO be ominous with respect to all private sales and sales of existing stocks of used firearms, depending on how it's worded. And even if this bill doesn't affect existing handguns in the hands of private citizens as it's written now, it's only one small step away from making them illegal in the future, should smart guns continue to be available and such laws as this one exist.

And this bill will not be challenged in the Supreme Court until AFTER it's enacted and a lawsuit is brought forth against it for some reason.

H.m.B
February 28, 2014, 07:41 PM
RetiredUSNChief.

It's not about the past, nor is it about the present...it's about where the future may take us.

Yeah the writing is on the wall and I can see where this could lead us. However, it remains to be seen the reliability of this technology, it's cost, and the willingness of the people to support this. I won't support it.

My point was regarding the dialogue of altering a smart gun to allow it to fire conventionally. It's not cost effective to do so. Now if it gets to the point where all that is available new are only smart guns, then that is another matter and we'll have to deal with that when the time comes. In the meantime, there are a couple hundred million handguns in circulation that will likely appreciate in value over time. And unlike neutering a smart gun, I don't see a standard firearm being transformed into a smart one.

RetiredUSNChief
March 1, 2014, 01:00 AM
^^^^

I concur.

N003k
March 1, 2014, 05:45 AM
Alright, admittedly, I have zero engineering experience, and I'm not sure exactly WHAT type of signal the switches will run on...

But well, there seems to me to be one MASSIVE problem with them off the bat. The ACTIVATING DEVICE IS SOLD SEPERATLY.

Now, maybe I'm wrong and that $400 watch is just a storage device for a chip that comes with the gun. Or maybe gunshops will need a specialized computer program and peripheral to program the watch at purchase (Which I admit are both possible) but it seems like that is more indicative of a generic signal device than a custom linked signal.

Nevermind hacking the gun, or modifying it, if EVERY watch sends the SAME signal to unlock the gun...how long is it before someone comes up with a 10$ transmitter sending the same signal that runs off a watch battery that any criminal can pick up and use ANY of the guns from a given line/manufacturer?

RetiredUSNChief
March 1, 2014, 06:52 AM
Maybe one can buy just the $400 watch and program it to hack any of their guns.

Now THAT would be downright hilarious!

:):)

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