9 “Smart” Gun Technologies Being Tested Now – Tested.com

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Politics of “smart” guns aside, it is fascinating to see the technological developments that are being proposed or currently in production. From precision “guided” firearms (Tracking Point) to new GPS location-aware and cloud connected firearms, the (long-term) future of firearms likely includes electronics in some form. Firearms are one of the few products that are yet to be significantly enhanced by on-board electronics due to their small size and recoil.

Mossberg's iGun, an RFID style grip safety system. An interesting idea, but you would have to wear two rings for it to work in both hands.

Mossberg’s iGun, an RFID style grip safety system. An interesting idea, but you would have to wear two rings for it to work in both hands.

Tested.com has a slide-show on firearms with smart technologies added, including the iGun concept being developed by Mossberg. Notably, Tested.com does not focus just on safety development, using “smart” to refer to any electronic addition to firearms. Hit the link to be taken to Tested.com

A GPS enabled, electronically fired idea. Electronic firing has been shown to work in the MetalStorm products but would require a battery.

A GPS enabled, electronically fired idea. Electronic firing has been shown to work in the MetalStorm products but would require a battery.

I, for one, have a long way to go to trust electronics around or part of a firing mechanism, but am encouraged by the many ideas be thrown out there. I am sure that something will stick.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Chicken Chuck

    Does this mean that to disable all guns at the same time, GPS satellites just need to be shut down or stop transmitting?

    • Pseduodeus

      The GPS system wouldn’t necessarily be tied into the firing control mechanism. You could imagine, for instance, a system that simply records the GPS coordinates of every shot. It would be possible to ‘location gate’ the safety such that you couldn’t fire unless you were in an unrestricted area, but that would have to be designed into the system. Personally, if the software and circuitry aren’t open source I would be hesitant to adopt anything resembling the latter.

    • Martin M

      GPS satellites simply transmit timing signals. The GPS receiver uses the timing signals to calculate it’s position on Earth.

  • Richard

    Small size is not an issue. I am on the Internet right now with a device smaller than a gun. Recoil is. Solvents and other cleaning stuff are an issue. General reliability is an issue. It would suck to have to reboot a defensive firearm. I would only consider such a thing when the police have used them for several years and proven them reliable. And all this without mentioning politics.

  • sianmink

    One thing that for obvious reasons should be no-fly is any smart gun that has an antenna to receive a signal. Nothing good can come of that.

    The benefits of other tech like e-triggers is limited for defensive firearms but could be huge for competition, in reduction of moving parts and the inertia thereof, and dramatic reduction in lock time.

  • mechamaster

    This is not so ‘smart-move’ and ( maybe ) has some fishy political agenda behind it.. How about to funding and improve MetalStorm technology than tested unnecessary electronic addition to the reliability of firearms mechanics. LOL !

  • These make me kind of sad, seeing them all mutated like that.

    Reminds me of this:

    • Kurt Akemann

      That looks like John de Lancie, but it makes little sense to see an image of him in Borg gear. He played ‘Q’, a being the Borg would not have been able to assimilate.

  • john huscio

    “Honey…the NSA hacked my Beretta again…”

  • st4

    The only Smart Gun I thought was cool was this one.

    http://forgifs.com/gallery/d/196281-1/Aliens-Vasquez-lets-rock.gif?

    • Frellac

      Only one that matters.

      • Burst

        Lies.

        • Burst

          Might help if the image actually posted.

  • dan citizen

    “electronic firing has been shown to work in the metalstorm” Wow! the metalstorm, an ELECTRONICALLY PRIMED, caseless weapon works electronically. So therefore so can any other gun…. FFS, if you don’t understand firearms enough to get that there is no “electrically charged firing pin” in electronically primed systems, you shouldn’t be designing them.

    Also, notice they “eliminated” the hammer by bobbing it? This is the signature move of a designer that “eliminates” their soiled pants by shoving them under their spiderman bed. This sort of designer should not be allowed to even draw firearms.

    Though in their defense, the 12 year old who came up with this has probably made great strides in recovering from whatever terrible brain injury they have obviously suffered and this is probably a therapeutic step on the way to going diaperless and learning to eat with utensils.

    And companies such as mossberg should have sufficient resources to realize this stuff has been designed and refined in the paintball industry and can be bought with all the fancy features one would expect here in 2014. Starting from scratch would be like a car company building a coal burning buckboard as their showpiece for next year’s plug-in-hybrid.

    I’m guessing something like this is next….

    http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/326/e/4/ray_gun_sketch_by_mxtxm-d5lthei.jpg

  • Lance

    Its proven still to be unreliable and face unless your local PD and SOCOM use them its not worth having.

  • allannon

    Specifically regarding electronic “safety” devices: I think they should be required for and proven by police and military before being required for civilian use.

    See how long approval takes when the President’s protection unit has to worry about their sidearms being remotely disabled.

  • steveday72

    I don’t believe the ATF would even approve a civilian gun with completely software controlled firing mechanism – a simple hack could turn them into fully-automatic machine pistols.

    Just look at the huge blackmarket of stolen and reprogrammed car audio systems or cellphones – particularly in Europe – to get an idea of how prevalent device hacking for illegal purposes is.

    Even if the software is on non-writeable ROM you can just replace it with an EEPROM that has new code on it… Or put a small pulse circuit (using something as simple as a 555 timer chip) between the trigger and the fire control system – the gun would then think the trigger is constantly being released and repulled as long as the trigger is held.

  • J.J

    I funny how in the Desert Eagle pic they feel the need to label the bullets. Personaly my favorite smart gun is the one Gary Oldman’s character Zorg uses in The Fifth Element.

    • Martin M

      I, too, want the fire and replay function.

  • derfelcadarn

    A defensive weapon must work 100% of the time, adding on additional technologies that add layers of possible failure is asking for trouble. When we need the weapon to function it is defending our lives and the lives of our loved ones, in this scenario keep it simple stupid is your best bet.

  • Jarvon Stalagtite

    Glad they showed me where the bullets are!! Anyone got a nail and a hammer when this shit f*cks up on me (HACKERS???) On a side note I love how the GPS is right next to the gas system on the Desert Eagle, because HEAT WAS NEVER AN ENEMY OF ELECTRONICS……May be a plus!

    This site is going down hill quickly.

  • Marcus Toroian

    I’d support a “non-authorized user lock out” smart gun if it had ALL of the following features, with the only use of “intelligence” being to render the gun unable to be fired if someone were to disarm you in the heat of the moment and then try to use it against you, giving you enough time to get away, or get to another weapon and solve the problem.

    -Matches, or exceeds the reliability of the firearm itself
    -It would be a feature that could be easily turned on, off, or be removed entirely, rendering the firearm “dumb” once again if so desired.
    -No ability to receive radio/satellite transmissions of any sort
    -No electronics past the most basic and rudimentary contact-point sort of stuff
    -No reliance on batteries or electricity
    -Most importantly of all, no legislation of any sort mandating the adoption of this or similar technology, ever.

    • Tim Pearce

      An addendum: A law mandating that the manufacturer of the “smart” gun system is automatically culpable in court in a lawsuit over failure of the product. Meaning, if you or your family member is injured, killed, raped, kidnapped, etc, as a result of the “smart” features not unlocking the gun, whatever million dollar lawsuit you bring against them is automatically found in your favor.

  • Jarvon Stalagtite

    How about, NO! none of this horse sh*t is good in any way?? And a MARINE is posting this! WTF? This web site has been going down on many levels. FU*K VIDEO GAMES this is reality!! Where the f- is your brain at Devil??? $$$ ????

  • valorius

    I would never use a firearm that can be remotely accessed, or that lacks mechanical fail safe redundancy.

    I likewise refuse to buy a newer remotely hackable drive by wire car.

  • MadMonkey

    Nathan, why are you “encouraged” by “smart gun” ideas?

  • Pang

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