High-Tech Guns: Digital Revolvers, Koosh Bullets and Triple-Tasers
By Aaron Rowe January 28, 2010 | 7:30 pm | Categories: Weapons and Ammo
Not long after the smoke from the Consumer Electronics Show cleared, thousands of gun lovers converged upon the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas for the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show. It was loaded with techie stuff, too.
This year, the highest-tech gun belonged to Armatix. The German firm has an electronic safety that automatically disables the pistol when it’s not within a few inches of a custom wristwatch. The watch sends a wireless arming signal to the gun. If the gun is picking up a signal from the watch, a green LED on the back lights up. Try squeezing the handle without wearing the watch, and you will see a red warning light. Anyone can pick up a limited edition version of the pistol for about 7,000 euro, which is pretty steep for a .22cal plinker. They start shipping next month.
Armatix will eventually offer higher caliber guns, like this colossal revolver, as well as rifles and shotguns.
Glock just released an update to their bestselling line of pistols. Each one has a fiercely textured grip, a larger magazine release and interchangeable backstraps. There’s something new under the hood too. Each gun has a set of three springs to dampen recoil. When we shot the .40-caliber Glock 22, its kick was surprisingly soft.
We dressed the weapon up with a Viridian green laser sight. It is so bright that you can light targets up with it in full daylight. While red lasers are difficult, if not impossible to see in full daylight, our photographer professor Bryan Jones noted that the opsins or molecules that detect photons of light in our eyes are more sensitive to green light than red light. The result is that the green lasers appear brighter to our eyes than an equivalent red laser at the same wattage.
Burris has built one of the most sophisticated rifle scopes we’ve ever seen. It has a laser rangefinder that can automatically adjust your sights to compensate for the fall of each bullet over long distances. Just point the crosshairs at the target, push a button on the side of the scope, and a bright red dot will show you exactly where the bullet will fall. We were able to easily hit targets at 400 and 700 meters without any experience at long-range rifle shooting. The scope has one hiccup: It has a hard time judging the distances of targets that are solid black.
After a long series of delays, this Heckler and Koch MR556 may become available to civilians later this year. The German government told Heckler and Koch to hobble the military rifle before offering it to civilians in the United States, but the gun maker pushed back. So, the guns will be compatible with a wide variety of aftermarket parts that are currently sold for AR-15 style weapons. Other black rifles have been selling like hotcakes since 2004, when President Bush allowed a ban on assault weapons to expire.
Later this year, you will be able to buy rubber bullets for home defense. Lightfield has been selling these projectiles to law enforcement agencies and wildlife officials for years. Each round is filled with a soft projectile that resembles a koosh ball. They look like toys, because they’re made by a Chinese toy factory. The best thing about them is that they aren’t likely to kill someone even if they are fired at point blank range. They’re so soft that they’re almost incapable of penetrating the body.
Ultimate Survival Technologies makes the best survival kits we’ve ever seen. In addition to packing lightweight plastic signal mirrors, well-designed whistles and flints that can be used one-handed, each kit contains a special type of tinder called WetFire. It’s made from a blend of paraffin and vegetable oil, and it can burn well even when it’s sitting in a pool of water. Supposedly, it was developed by NASA as a solid rocket fuel.
Spyderco released this wicked looking knife, which they have dubbed The Warrior. Fantasy soldier might be a better name. Although its design was inspired by the work of the Darwin-award-worthy mercenary Michael Echanis, we don’t expect to see a lot of contractors carrying these things around. A sales representative told us that the serrations on the inner edge are designed for beheading people. It’s made with H1 steel, so it won’t rust even if you bring it along on a Hawaiian snorkeling trip.
Later this year, Taser will start selling a civilian version of its three-shot people zapper. Unlike the law enforcement model, it will have a range of only 15 feet. Despite that limitation, the increased firepower may lead to some regrettable incidents. It’s anybody’s guess whether armed civilians will abuse their ability to shock people repeatedly, the way that cops do.
Flip off the safety, and the Taser will light up your target with both a laser and white light from an LED. The neuromuscular incapacitator could double as a pet toy. Kitties will love chasing the bright red spot all over your home.
Alongside the Tasers is the new Surefire Stratum flashlight, which can put out up to 150 lumens. The pocket-sized LED torch will be available in a few months."
*Guys and Gals the pictures of these guns--check em out at the site...