Thursday, June 29, 2006

Boomsticks: ...like a screen door on a submarine.

Shooters are an innately conservative lot, and I don't mean "conservative" in the political sense, either.

A few years back, Remington released a new type of gun and ammunition. Called "Etronix", this differed from plain old centerfire cartridges in only one way: the primer was ignited electrically, rather than by being struck with a firing pin. Instead of releasing a mechanical striker, pulling the trigger closed a circuit. This offered actual, practical advantages, the first and foremost being that it reduced locktime to effectively nil. For the uninitiated, "locktime" is the amount of time from the time you pull the trigger until the time the primer actually detonates. Even though it's usually measured in tiny fractions of a second, that's still enough time for the gun to twitch away from that perfect sight picture you had when you pulled the trigger. Shorter locktime = more accurate gun.

Etronix sank without a ripple and cost Remington millions.

Shooters understand sears and firing pins. They distrust batteries. (On most rifles, even such nonessential items as electronically-illuminated scopes have redundant backup iron sights, just in case.) They know that their home computers have microchips in them, and they didn't want to see a Blue Screen Of Death when they had the deer of a lifetime walk out in front of them.

Now some bright spark in Der Vaterland is proposing putting the microchip not only in the weapon, but in each individual round of ammunition. In return for upping the complexity of the system by adding several more critical components that could fail at the worst possible time, all one gets in return is password protection for the primer. Festive. Just what I've always wanted.

Apparently ignorant of the fact that, should one need to push "Ctrl + Alt + Del" on one's firearm, one might need to do it while being knifed, or shot, or gnawed on by something with great big teeth, the writer of the linked article even went so far as to state:
The system would undoubtedly cost more than a conventional gun, but many firearm enthusiasts would surely pay a premium for such added security.
No doubt the inventor thinks so, too. His marketing teacher must be so proud.

(H/T to SayUncle.)

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man, I'm gettin' really damn tired of people telling me what I want (and they'll by God force me to want it). Guns, healthy food, inoculations I just must have, safety features in cars they don't pay for, portion size of food I do pay for, and government programs that are for the children/my own good/abused, bladder-leaking cocker spaniels of the upper Mississippi Valley. At this point I'm ready to start freebasing lard and putting marmots in sock drawers as a form of protest.

AdaM said...

If this ever does become a reality, I'll be really happy I have a few revolvers...

BobG said...

Don't they teach the KISS principle to engineers any more?

T.Stahl said...

A short google search reveals that Herbert Meyerle is working for a company that makes locking devices.
It seems he already designed a device that locks the barrel. Now he has thought a few steps further.

B&N said...

My wife assures me that hardly anyone in Germany knows the meaning of the word einfach. (Simple)

After visiting the place for about the half-dozenth time, and trying in vain to understand that damnable language, I am convinced that it is the land of the Rube Goldberg Device, in every way.

T.Stahl said...

Yupp! Here in Germany things MUST NOT be simple!

Nonetheless, this Meyerle guy is developing locking devices for doors and strayed a bit too far from his area of expertise. Don't take him too seriously. ;-)

1894C said...

"I am convinced that it is the land of the Rube Goldberg Device, in every way."

Witness the P-08...

Les Jones said...

"the writer of the linked article even went so far as to state:The system would undoubtedly cost more than a conventional gun, but many firearm enthusiasts would surely pay a premium for such added security."

So it's an incredibly Murphy-prone design that will probably fail when you least expect it? Plus, it will probably be a commercial failure, so I'll eventually be left with a gun and no ammo?

I'll take two!

Signed,
El Stupido

BobG said...

Years ago, I used to work with electric motors, generators, etc from all over the world; some of the hardest to work with were those made in Germany and Sweden. For some reason they thought everything had to be designed like a Swiss watch. There were more springs, spacers, and bits of unamed parts filling everything, and each one was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY or the damn thing would not work right. Over-engineering is stupid.
Just my opinion.

Steve Skubinna said...

Anyone care to guess how many "firearm enthusiasts" the writer personally knows?

Marc said...

SOT Etronix rifles and primers are still available and heavily discounted.

There was also an electric trigger for the 700. The trigger closed a microswitch and a solenoid released the sear. I haven't heard anything about it in years but IIRC it had some small following in silhouette circles.

Diamondback said...

Might as well pour concrete in the barrel. "It's for the children"

Anonymous said...

The anti's and the government couldn't force the "smartgun" concept on us directly, so they intend to sneak it in a little at a time. Just like they do everything else.

phlegmfatale said...
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phlegmfatale said...
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phlegmfatale said...

Uh, they don't call it "Gerry-rigging" for nothing, but I'm being racist, aren't I? Keep in mind that David Hasselhoff is a huge rockstar there and that at one time, their most popular imported vehicle was the Ford "Probe."

Firehand said...

Remember the demo of the Colt 'smart gun' that was going to sell everyone? And it wouldn't fire? And it took the factory gunsmith 45 minutes to get it to work under ideal conditions?

staghounds said...

What does he care if it ever works, or if a single shooter wants it?

He will make a fortune on developement contracts from governments, which anti gun jackasses will force to pay for studies.

Anonymous said...


A young boy and his dad went out fishing one fine morning. After a few quiet hours out in the boat, the boy became curious about the world around him. He looked up at his father and asked "How do fish breath under water?" The father thought about it for a moment, then replied "I really don't know, son." The boy sat quietly from another moment, then turned back to his dad and asked, "How does our boat float on the water?" Once again his father answered, "Don’t know, son." Reflecting his thoughts again, a little while later, the boy asks "Why is the sky blue?" Again, his father answered, "Don’t know, son." The curious boy, worried he was disturbing his father, asks this time "Dad, do you mind that I'm asking you all of these questions?" "Of course not son", replied his dad, "How else are you ever going to learn anything?"
I sometimes feel that some posts and even whole web resources are much alike this story...