T.Worx Powered Picatinny Rail

T.Worx emailed me an update on their Powered Picatinny Rail project …

Carl J. Wallace, CEO, told me …

We are the only sole source firm currently funded by the US government. We are entering Phase II of the Commercialization Pilot Program for final hardening and kit creation.

Our company (a subsidiary of Prototype Productions Inc) has created a circuit board that can be inserted into Picatinny rails conveying electricity and data in any environment.

Selected by NATO as the STANAG in March of this year, we are moving forward with the sale of our technology both here in the US and world wide.

Unlike competitors, we have created a system solution that addresses concerns about ease of use, weight, redundancy, run times and communication.

The T.Worx stores batteries in the AR-15 stock. Up to four 18650 li-ion batteries can fit in the stock, which could mean 12,000+ mAh of power depending on the batteries used.

A 2-wire digital communication bus connects all the devices allowing them to communicate with each other over a SPI-derived protocol, which would lead to some interesting applications.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Garrett

    That is the first Ar-15/M4 upgrade I have seen in a very long time that would truly be beneficial to Soldiers. It seems well thought out and i would actually use this downrange.

    • Erwos

      Yeah, I actually liked the concept, too. Lotta hate by people who somehow think a battery weighs less when it’s in your weaponlight than in your gun, or that carrying around half a dozen small batteries is somehow lighter than just carrying one bigger one, or don’t understand how this simplifies battery management.

      I think that something like this would be better in a gun that was actually designed with it in mind; that is to say, the receiver and barrel assembly would have dedicated channels and areas to store the batteries, circuit boards, and wires.

      • noob

        well the thales austeyr ef88 and its export version the f90 have a stock that unbolts to allow the stowage of batteries and electronics. currently the “guitar hero” chording keyboard with lights and coms gear attaches to the electronics with wires. the fancy rail with power couplings has not been designed yet for the f90 but is on the roadmap. heh. they should just avoid reinventing the wheel and give these guys a call.

  • Anon

    Running the batteries back into the stock is a terrible idea for about twenty-six different reasons. If your goal is to get batteries off of the light/laser modules, then keep it mounted onto the rail, or at least down into the pistol grip. The fewer sections of the rifle monopolized by a given firearm accessory, the better the odds of its success in the marketplace. How many people are going to be willing to give up their pistol grip and their buttstock for the value of having to change batteries less often (and being tied to proprietary lights and lasers)?

  • Smee

    It’s interesting but it doesn’t seem to power the optic, seems like if your going to all the trouble of a centralized electrical system it’d be nice if you could use it with an EOTech

  • Other Steve

    Two wire SPI? Wow. Hello 1980. Why they would not have done single wire LIN is absolutely disgraceful.

    They could have even used J1850, or low speed fault tolerant CAN in single wire mode. Based on them selecting two wire SPI which is OLD, slow, vulnerable to noise/emi, inefficient, and limited to fixed master/slave topology. I’m going to guess they they will be left in the dust the second there is a competitor in their field. Being someone who would know, this feels very much like amateur-hour.

    • anonamoose

      Yeah uhhh i was thinking the same thing

  • Munkfish

    Seems odd to go through all that work to leave the rail on top of the receiver unpowered, but I guess they would have to manufacture their own upper for that to work. I also don’t understand the need to have all the accessories networked. I’d rather have the controls on each individual component, it’s less confusing that way and you aint adding weight with that button pad.

    • Other Steve

      Benifits to networking are easy to see.

      Custom programming like having an IR laser that flashes for a few seconds after shooting to see where shots are going. “Load Shedding” where at low battery laser/optic/white light/gps/round counter/or whatever can be disabled to save battery life for any of the remaining items. Wake/sleep routines to save battery or kill white light when it’s bright enough to not need. Etc etc.

      There are plenty of reasons to add networking. The ridiculous format they are using makes me think they have no idea what they are doing however.

  • Alex-mac

    A good thing is the stock in the battery balances the weapon better, taking pressure of the wrist to hold up the front of the gun and transmitting it to the biceps and arm.

  • Trev

    I don’t want to know how much extra that weighs.

    • Trev

      Going to add:

      If your stock gets messed up, all of your electronics go down? No thank you.

      • LJK

        If your stock gets messed up,and I mean to the point that that battery pack would get damaged, on an AR-15, you’re going to lose the rifle anyway.

        That pesky buffer tube is kind of important.

      • Trev

        Well, an IED could damage the stock but not the buffer tube. As could mortaring the rifle, numerous drops or anything else that hurts stocks.

      • Marc

        IEDs and mortars enough to damage the stock (but not the buffer tube)? I think the person carrying the rifle has other worries than the power of his gizmos in those scenarios.

      • MattInTheCouv

        @Marc- “Mortaring” is a method of malfunction clearance where you drop the weapon on it’s butt while pulling down on the charging handle to try and free a stuck action. He isn’t talking about the weapon being hit by a mortar.

  • Reverend Clint

    seems pointless to me… spend this time researching batteries or making the flashlight smaller

    • Marc

      Battery and LED technology isn’t NEARLY as simple as centralizing power supply. The powered rail makes a lot of sense.

  • Gidge

    I don’t know if I’d trust it for military use but for SWAT use it has some potential. Remember that SWAT rifles don’t have to put up with the same abuse as military rifles, not to mention they rarely have to be in the field longer than a whole day. They can also travel with spare batteries and accessories in the swat van or however they got there.

    As well as the convenience of lights and lasers, this will make gun-cam’s viable. Lightweight durable video cameras of good quality are around and affordable, the only problem is if you want to transmit that requires significant sustained power. Such a battery pack is a potential solution.

    Gun-cams broadcasting to a command post to let the guys calling the shots see what each team sees when co-ordinating things is a bonus. Especially when operators are close enough to enemy positions that talking into a radio isn’t safe.

    Not to mention that the footage would be useful for after action reports, use as evidence, training purposes and working out what went wrong if things went bad.

    • A.g.

      Sir, I belive it’s a technology illusion for total control lover.
      What wheight will the soldier transport with all that stuff, camera, laser beam, optics etc on the rifle. In a hot or poor oxygen due to the altitude of the theater, lighten the troop as much as possible.
      You will have a monster like the Felin. Great in an outpost, totally boring and non pratical on patrol.
      Another logistic problem to send batterie to frontline.
      Be confident to a well trained soldier, more independant with clear orders and the best intel possible, you don’t need to refresh the orders by following the action on Tv.
      Risk to miss the gloability of the tactical situation due to mind focus.
      Sorry for holywood, they could not be inspired or put real cut scene in their propaganda movie like K Bigelow.
      Politics will win more time in reading the rapports than watching the the records.

  • zack991

    Sorry our standard Surefire Tactical rail lights we use works great, just need to work on battery life. I personally feel this is a complete waste of tax payer money. As pointed out in posts by “Other Steve” and “Anon” this still has major issue and in my opine, by the many deployments I have been on this is simply more trouble than its worth. It is making more problems then it is solving. Which what problem is it solving, we have several working light systems that are proven to handle military abuse in all environments. Sorry i can’t support this.

  • LJK

    Transfers weight from the front to the rear, and probably quite substantially when more electronic addons will be converted to run on it. After all, the battery compartment (+battery) is the heaviest part of virtually anything you would stick to the front end of the gun. A light bulb and a small casing for it doesn’t weight much on its own, just like a laser unit; the tech itself is quite small and light.

    Also simplifies changing the batteries quite a bit.

    Seems like a decent idea to me.

  • loy kolay

    This is just the wrong path on so many levels. Our weapons get banged up enough on patrol only to probably mess with this contraption and then totally lose our technology advantage altogether. And this reduces weight more than a battery compartment and batteries? This is why we’re stuck with insufficient gear and can’t get mass issued stuff that actually makes a difference such as plate carriers and mich helmets

  • gunslinger

    wow, i think this is a great idea. but… it might not be the right direction for the idea.

    1) to Trev, if your barrel or receiver or bolg get busted, you lose the rifle. there are many “single point failures”

    2) the weight, when the first cell phones and laptops came out, they were huge, and weighed quite a bit. now with the latest smart phone and ultra book, you have less weight and more power, it had to be researched.

    but, i’d say get som hands on time with it. see what works, what doesn’t. i’m not for adopting this for all our troops, but i can’t just say nah don’t go anywhere with it. take some time and let the research go through

  • In response to the current posted comments: The powered rail technology powers ALL four rails. In addition we have a monolithic product as well to power optics. We also have three products – butt stock battery placement; pistol grip or conformal battery directly on the rail. The technology also has back feed capabilities. If you have an accessory with a battery, it will power ALL rails. Single point of failure is not an issue.

    The US Army is currently managing more than 200 disparate battery types in theatre (source: CERDEC). Battery costs amount to more than $65,000 per year per soldier. A current 72 hour deployment currently requires an avg of 13 Lbs of batteries (source: Benning). Budget, logistics and communication require this technology

    This technology is in the fourth year of development, with new communication protocols for latest generation, speeds of more than 10 MB per second will be realized. More than 12,000 rounds through system, extensive field & lab testing, submersible to 20 meters – no failures. ARX-160 (Beretta) and Thales F-90 will both have powered rail integrated. This is the future – Soldier as a System (source: Benning)

    • Gosu

      You guys are doing a great job on this. It clearly has logistical benefit for our military.

      Whoever isn’t on board will change their mind once they realize they can charge their iPhone off their rifle and play nearly unlimited hours of angry birds space out in the desert.

      • Trev

        I’m calling BS on battery cost per soldier per year.

        This article says they are only spending 150k per Battalion per year. You claim 65k per soldier per year? Want to revise that?

    • Battery Guy

      Not disagreeing on your facts…but the weight, costs, and Amp-hours required of the weapons mounted batteries is MINUSCULE compared to the communications (i.e. BA5590) batteries which compose most of that 13 pounds.

      A single BA5590 only lasts ~3h on SINCGARS profile, weighs 2.2 pounds, and costs ~$100…there’s where most of your 13 pounds is, not in a few coin cells or round cells.

  • airsoft player


    • DW

      I think I got what he’s saying: Battery in buttstock is a common practice for electric airsoft guns for about 2 decades…

  • CalAnon

    I can see applications for the concept.

    1) In a different rifle, perhaps, locating the battery in the rear might be a good idea. It’s not a BAD idea here, but I would see about making the battery more like a magazine (easy to detach without partial disassembly or sliding the stock down all the way).

    2) In addition, make the upper receiver’s rail powered, and at least on the AR-15, maybe run the cable line from the UR, straight down in front of the Forward Assist (on the outside), and then straight back to the stock so the entire “cable” is part of the UR/lays over the UR.

    3) Network the sights with LAM’s. Especially IR LAM’s and IR sights. Computerized sights that can take basic range and pointing information from the LAM (“Your round will hit X, X is Y meters away” in a type of simplistic HUD layout) would make for a great DMR. A few software changes, and it can work with grenades, maybe? Or shotguns with those FRAG-12 shells. A poor man’s OICW!

    4) Protect the contact points on the rails better. And not just by adding rubberized rail guards. Make some way of physically protecting the contact points that make it so they only run juice when a compatible item is installed, not short out or lose voltage if hit with mud or rain.

    5) Work on the battery. A fantastic idea is some kind of floating chamber that can accept readily available commercial batteries. They do make adapters so an AA can fit into a D-Cell slot, how difficult might it be to make a chamber work on that principle? Tabs? Click notches? Retractable contact points/springs?

    6) Work on overall networking compatibility. It would be insanely awesome if the battery could be recharged from a USB port, barring #5 being mechanically infeasable, and at the same time, your sight acting as a digital camera, so you can evaluate your shooting. Heck, make sights with SIM chips!

    7) Delete the need to use a single-source grip, or make that a retrofitable part, adaptable to all the popular styles.

    8) The single-point control seems silly.

    9) Would it be possible, instead, to make a forward grip permanently mounted to the forward area of the rifle, that carries the battery in it? I know there for a while, some places made a combined forward grip/light combo.

    10) Do batteries in the individual components (light, laser, etc) act as a back-up to the entire system if the stock is damaged, or would they still power their own individual devices? Both? Neither?

  • FormerSFMedic

    I am a huge proponent of innovation in firearms especially for our warfighters. However, this particular system is poorly executed and represents a problematic trend in military technology development. I’ll go over a few points.

    1) I’ll hit on the obvious first. With this system intact, the soldier completely losses the ability to swap out buttstocks and/or pistol grips. Use of the system would also take away the ability of the Army itself to purchase improved stocks and grips which is something our Soldiers seriously need right now. The other issue is that this system takes away the functionality of the adjustable butt stock. This is a deal breaker for me! If I was on the design team and this was presented to me, I would say “sorry, we will have to go back to square one. Not being able to adjust the stock is unacceptable.

    2) You can clearly tell that the developers are either NOT tactically inclined or have NOT looked at the design from the weapons manipulation/tactical perspective. The control panel has way too many controls and would be complicated if not impossible to use efficiently under stress or with new postmodern weapons manipulation methodology. This is where the assumption that these guys are not thinking from the tactical perspective comes from. Proper fundamentals means consistency in our grip. Having to shift our grip to hit multiple controls is not good fundamentals. A system like this keeps our soldiers from applying more modern techniques to run the gun. Interestingly, the new technology here would keep soldiers using the old methodology. Not good.

    3) This system is largely not needed IMO. The current accessories that we are running only require about 4 batteries in all. The optics run for years at a time. The light only uses 2 batteries and the laser only uses 1. With better technology for our accessories, the need for a system like this is small. The most efficient weapons setup on today’s battlefield is the PEQ 15 or PEQ 15A with a Surefire Vampire Scout light. That’s 3 batteries, of which can be stored in a modern stock 2 times over. That stock can still be adjusted as well.

    4) I have been a consultant for the DOD working specifically in Special Missions Development. I have already seen a solution for this powered rail initiative. The Wilcox powered rail is vastly superior to the one mentioned here. It allows the full functionality of the stock and pistol grip and also allows the user to swap out stocks and grip of his choosing. In fact, it doesn’t even touch the stock or grip. The accessories are mounted to adapters which pull power from the battery packs also mounted on the rail. All accessories utilize power from easy to find common CR123 batteries. Accessories are controlled via ergonomic pressure pads or a proprietary vertical fore rip which support proper weapons manipulation techniques which is the most important aspect. The battery packs are also interchangeable with a helmet system that powers NODS, cameras, and navigation lighting systems. In fact, the Wilcox helmet camera system is already in use across the Special Operations community as is many other Wilcox products.

    These are just a few points. If anyone wants to hear more, I will gladly continue.

    • gunslinger

      i’d like to hear more. for some reason the video isn’t working so i don’t have much more info to go on.

    • nikonmikon

      “I have been a consultant for the DOD working specifically in Special Missions Development. I have already seen a solution for this powered rail initiative. The Wilcox powered rail is vastly superior to the one mentioned here.”

      Killed all of your argument by saying this. I already figured you were kinda butthurt but that just confirmed it.

      • FormerSFMedic

        @Nikonmikon- How did I kill my argument? I couldn’t be butt hurt less.

        @W- The rechargeable vert grip may be something new that came later. When I looked at the system the vert grip had batteries in it. My opinion though, is that a rechargeable vert grip would be even better for guys that want to run one.

      • W

        “The Fusion Vertical Grip Module features two separate controls and the Quick Change Power Cassette that holds a single CR-123A battery.”

        i dug this up from the Fusion press release. Fascinating!!!

        Ill have to agree with you however, that current systems featured in the SOPMOD II upgrade package are highly efficient and are comparatively easier on batteries than previous generations. The PEQ15 takes one 123 battery, the SU 233 takes 2 123 batteries, and the SU231 takes two 123s.

        I do like the idea of wilcox’s rail. if your vertical grip runs dry you can replace it with another one 😀

    • W

      Wilcox makes phenomenal stuff. Its been a while since Ive heard that name, but your comment encouraged me to do some digging on their website.

      Ill be damned.

      Wilcox Fusion Amp Rail. Apparently it doesnt need a battery case, but instead uses a proprietary vertical grip that acts like a rechargeable 3 volt battery (please correct me if im wrong).

      I think this is far superior to the t-worx because it is more simple.

    • nikonmikon

      Because you’re obviously biased towards the other product….. Did I really have to spell it out?

      • W

        dude, cut it out. god forbid you actually learn something.

        please point out another product like the Wilcox Fusion rail that is as practical in the real world. Im all eyes.

    • zack991

      FormerSFMedic hit the nail on the head better than I could explain.

  • mvasilakis

    This looks interesting. I am curious to see where it will go. I remember how Aimpoints (dot sights in general) were looked upon with disdain by seasoned military so I don’t expect to see this idea embraced quickly by the military.

    I would hope that all exposed contacts are made out of gold or something equally corrosion proof. I can’t imagine how big of an epic fail this will be if crappy contacts are used. Or if someone got the bright idea to ‘coat’ crappy contacts to make them corrosion resistant. For military applications the contacts are either corrosion PROOF or they corrode.

    • Contacts are gold plated and the system has been tested under MIL-STD-810G “Salt Fog” without detriment. Each contact pair activates independently and only when an accessory is attached over that specific pair. Every contact pair exposed (without an accessory) is inactive.

      • MattInTheCouv

        I work with mil-spec avionics stuff day in and day out. You’d be surprised how incredibly often the electrical continuity between a gold plated contact and a gold plated contact can be dramatically lessened or seemingly made non-existant inside the relatively clean environment of an aircraft. Throw it around in the dirt for a while, and i’m thinking you would likely experience some highly flakey functionality.

  • SkiBum92

    So, this whole thing is just one minor short away from turning the rifle into an electrically charged antenna?

    Which company will come out with a scanner that picks up on it’s frequency? Or emits a frequency to jam it’s function?

    How did we survive on the battlefield before the advent of such gadgets?

    • Other Steve

      Stick to scifi books.

    • Zincorium

      Jamming it would at best turn off the optics and other powered gear, while advertising the presence of a sophisticated, well-funded cell which can be pinpointed and an airstrike or backup called in seconds after detection. The utility it would provide is far outweighed by the blatant advertisement that you exist and mean them harm. It’s precisely why we don’t hear about insurgents jamming radio communications, which would be easier and more useful.

      And detecting the emissions of this is FAR harder than detecting the emissions of the unit’s radios. Y’know, because radios are actually transmitting a strong signal that carries information and thus distinguishes itself from all of the other powered wires operating in the vicinity. There is no way to tell the difference between this thing and any other source like that.

  • Lance

    Logical. This part of the M-4 PIP program makes sense such new features are now turning out.

  • Chase

    Inside the stock is probably the best place to add weight. This seems like a good idea, except for the dependence on the specific pistol grip. That trigger guard looks awfully thick, might be uncomfortable. The controls look like a bad idea, that panel of buttons won’t interact well with weapon-handling fundamentals. And there has GOT to be a way to make the stock adjustable.

    Otherwise, this looks cool.

  • John Doe

    While there are obvious durability issues if it were to be fielded as it is, this is a large step in simplifying a soldier’s load and equipment. This is quite a step into the future.

  • Brandon

    I don’t think this would really reduce weight or the need to carry all those different battery types. If the powered rail system failed, you’d lose power for your optic, your tac light and your PEQ box. So wouldn’t you carry all the batteries as a backup anyway?

    I do like the idea, but I think it’d be better if it was built into a new weapon that was designed with it in mind, not piggy-backed onto an M4. The way that wire wraps around the magazine well just looks weird to me.

  • Martin M

    While I admire the effort, I see nothing but problems with having a central power source for rails.

    1. Added complexity for Murphy to play with.
    2. When the power source is dead, all the accessories are dead.
    3. Power at the rails will only serve to provide, at best, energy loss through FOD, dirt, etc.
    4. Power at the rails will only serve to provide, at worst, total power failure through damage.
    5. Aforementioned lack of modularity and customization.
    6. Adding electrical/electronic work to the armorers resume reduces the ability to service such a system in the field.

    Did I mention Murphy?

    Unless it’s a rail gun with it’s own fusion core, I think power is best handled by batteries at individual components. Bigger batteries aren’t necessarily better, just look at electric cars.

  • Unfortunately, I do not see anything I can’t already manipulate in my current AR15 setup.

    It’s not practical. I REALLY don’t see why there’s a need or a want for something like this.

    I will say that it’s a really nice concept. But it seems to be more of a solution looking for a problem.

    Something like this might be more prominent if our equipment demanded a central power source. However, I rather have separate devices with batteries fail individually than a single device dictating success or utter catastrophic. Particularly when some devices have priority over others.

    Perhaps what disturbs me the most is how much it limits the user and how little you gain for using it.

  • sam

    This could seem like an evolution of the individual weapon necessary to take the whole “futuresoldier/landwarrior” and concepts like it into plausibility, more power allows for more powerful systems and it does so in a less clumsy way than before envisioned. Will be interesting to see where this goes. This could very well change some of the parametres next gen small arms will be designed with in mind.

  • dan

    Nice tactical battery change in the video.

  • Alex-mac

    Why does the battery have to be on the rifle? Can’t it be connected by a magsafe type power cord, to a body mounted battery pack? Rifle would be lighter too.

    • charles222

      What happens when you’re using your laser and being fired on, and you’re magsafe gets unhooked?

  • Kelly Harrison

    There’s a lot of debate here and I get that. Keep in mind, however, that innovations have to start somewhere. Even it this system doesn’t end up being the best thing since sliced bread (or the quad rail!) its a step. Mistakes will be made, corrected, improved upon (by this company or another) and the idea will evolve. I have little doubt that the concept will be adopted in the not-to-distant future, if not this particular implementation. And personally I don’t mind my tax dollars being spent along the way since I do believe our warfighters will benefit from the process.

  • Hey guys – I’m a Project Engineer at Prototype Productions who has worked on Powered Rail(tm) platform development for the past couple years. I’ve also been reading the Firearm Blog for essentially the same amount of time because of your consistently candid feedback when new firearm tech arrives – and you have not disappointed for this article. I wanted to address some of the comments clarify some ambiguities with the info provided on our site. Apologies in advance for the novel.

    The Powered Rail (P-Rail), ignoring the power source for now, has a power/comms contact point at every recoil slot yet maintains the same profile as a standard 1913 Picatinny rail. We have built the first model for a M4/AR15 Carbine with delta-ring due to the prevalence in the Army (our first customer). This is why we don’t have the upper-rail powered as-is because it would require machining the upper receiver. Future platforms will be P-Rail “ready” from manufacture, for now we have a couple low profile means of extending power to an optic and we have adapter designs for EOTech, PAS-13 LWTS, and PVS-14 NVM’s. Carl mentioned the monolithic, which is a complete upper replacement that extends from charging handle to front rail.

    The rail contacts only transmit power where an accessory is attached; the accessory creates a waterproof seal so you can swim or touch the exposed contacts without worries about shorting or parasitic loss. The rail design is made with multiple redundancies so if there is catastrophic failures to a rail or rail section you still will have the rest of the real-estate to attach a powered accessory. I cannot emphasize enough that the power bus for the rail is essentially platform agnostic and can integrate almost anywhere you see a 1913 rail. The accessories and rails do not care where the power source is coming from, so if you want a pack directly on the rail or vertical grip it would not require any change to the rail – just clamp the pack on. Keep in mind if you’re powering a light and laser (that used to be 3X CR123) with 2X CR123’s you will need to change batteries more frequently but still benefit from size and weight reduction as well as “no-wire” controls on individual accessories.

    There is a battery pack in the stock for our MIL design pictured. This is a quick-change cassette that holds either 6 or 12X AA’s (L91’s). The batteries are contained in a similar fashion as a thermal sight, with a protective carriage. To give an idea of power with 12 AA’s (~10 oz) you can run simultaneously a PAS-13 LWTS, Surefire M95 light, and a PEQ-15 on their highest/active settings for ~30% of your day before needing change. In other words, changing batteries is significantly mitigated over the duration of a 72-96 hour dismounted mission. Battery charge is indicated on the pack itself so you can check while installed on the weapon or on carry.

    Odds and ends: The command module and new adapters/accessories are being optimized for a much lower profile and better ergonomics. Redundancy is being addressed. There are 7 adjustment positions for the stock (lever is embedded, like a HK416 stock). Power routing is challenging on legacy weapon platforms like the AR because the stock/pistol grip are on a separate receiver as the rails.

    Power rails are just the beginning for truly integrated soldier systems on the weapon platform. Providing the central battery source and networked communication is infrastructure for future capabilities to enhance situational awareness and target acquisition. The P-Rail is not another accessory, it is the future of the Picatinny/STANAG rail. I’m happy to respond to more questions and suggestions – your feedback is beyond appreciated because we are building this product for YOU. We will also update the tworxventures website soon with more up-to-date info, pictures, and some video.


  • Pyronick

    Great idea, it just needs to be worked out a bit better.

    Additionally, the kinetic energy of the piston moving through the buffer tube could be used to recharge the battery. It has loads of spare energy that is just dissipated in hot, compressed air.

    The British MoD is working on e-textile based uniforms and vests. It would route power through the MOLLE grid to power accessoires from a single, central power source.
    If those could be exchangeable with the power source in the rifle you’ll have a huge logistical problem solved and probably save a lot of money aswell. I think that (gel) fuel cells could be safer and cheaper aswell, they are generally lighter than off-the-shelve AAA batteries.

    Also, the transfer of power by using old fashioned contacts sounds like a classic recipe for failure. Unless the contacts are covered by waterproof slide covers or something.

    But those issues will eventually doom up during field tests anyway.