MuzzleSafe: Proximity Locking Device

Muzzle safe

Saw this on social media. Peter Alaric made a device that uses ultrasonic pulses to detect an object’s distance. It is installed on a Desert Eagle Electric Airsoft pistol. When the sensor is tripped, a relay disengages the battery connections in the pistol. Thereby deactivating the electric pistol.

 

Here is an explanation of the prototype. I love how he points the pistol at his head and says “I could aim this at my head theoretically, but I am not going to”. Um . . . you just did it.

 

Peter makes the point that this is for training purposes and not self defense. He makes false assumptions about hitting people, by accident, at farther distances. He claims that shooters hit people that are physically close by and MuzzleSafe “makes that basically impossible”. Ah the hubris of such statements. I think we can all see the problem here. First of all it is a system that is man made. It is electric so there is already an added component of complexity that could fail when needed. What if the battery is dead or worse, your forgot to turn the sensor on. In the video there is an on and off switch. What if you left it on and stored the pistol for a while. Brought it out and assumed the battery was good but you killed it cause you left it on.

The other glaring issue aside from the fact that this would only work in an electric pistol and not a mechanical pistol, is that this rewards people for complacency. Trigger discipline and adherence of the simple Firearm Safety Rules is how we can collectively avoid accidents. Just like cars. How many safety features do they have now? Car manufacturers keep adding more and more safety features to help a driver avoid an accident, Such as sensors for drowsy drivers, sensors for lane changing blind spots and other gadgets.  And yet it does not address the very simple fact that people still have accidents. People are dumb and will do dumb things. The best way to combat this is education and not allowing unsafe firearm handling to continue. If you see something, say something. Call someone out if you see them on the range. Let us all help each other to become better shooters.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Ranger Rick

    Searching for a solution to a problem that does not have to exist. Simple muzzle awareness and common courtesy/care in handling of firearms or would be firearms.

    • Kelly Jackson

      I’m not sure that’s the case, it sounds like it would be invaluable in a range setting with rental guns and novice shooters.

  • Mmmtacos

    Electronic safety devices on pistols just aren’t anywhere near feasible (nevermind desirable). If we could have electronics in guns we would do so to greater extent, but they have to be over-engineered. Look at Tracking Point, it’s huge, look at that ugly “smart” gun, it could only handle .22LR, what would this bulky monstrosity need to be to handle an actual .50 AE Desert Eagle recoil?

    By nature you are introducing additional points of failure: battery reliance, must be waterproof, shockproof, proofed against debris, some sort of motor to enable and disable whatever safety it implements (as that would have to be mechanical itself, introducing a whole other world of failure points), etc. Hell, I don’t even use a safe with an electronic keypad cause I don’t want to have to rely on electronics to get to my guns.

    Factor all that in, then make something that is low profile and just as reliable if not more reliable than the pistol it would fit on. Then field test it for years with Military & LE, then maybe the consumer market will voluntarily try it out… but most of us will never give it the time of day.

  • gunsandrockets

    Uh, wouldn’t it be better to use an unmodified air-soft pistol for training? Since an air-soft pistol isn’t going to kill anyone, or even leave a permanent injury (assuming proper eye protection), why prevent an AD? If anything an AD with an air-soft provides immediate and useful feedback.

    • 6.5x55Swedish

      I think the idea is that they want to test it on a gun that can’t hurt anyone if their device failed. Once it works 100% on an airsoft gun they can start using it on a real gun, if he can find one that works with electronics.

      I think this is a bad idea though. You don’t want to train people to thinkthat their gun is safe just because of the distrance.

  • Southpaw89

    My gun is muzzle safe, as in I don’t point the muzzle at anything I’m not willing to kill or destroy. This was hammered into me from the beginning, and I’ve adhered to it ever since. The best way to prevent accidents is with training, not gadgets, I can just see someone pointing a gun with this device equipped at their head to demonstrate its effectiveness only to have it fail. I firmly believe that this product would only make things worse.

  • John

    When I used to train (very long ago) I used an AirSoft pistol, unloaded, then loaded, for the first half hour or so to see just how careful or careless a person tended to be. Once a normal person is taught and then disciplined about muzzle and trigger safety, they usually follow directions. While training, I NEVER left the individual alone with a firearm or gave them a firearm they could not handle (there IS such a thing as too much gun). If they were too nervous or unsure/inattentive, they never moved on to a real firearm….but that never happened.

    As a “training” tool I don’t see the point of this, unless you don’t have an instructor present and if you’re so poorly trained that you point a gun at your head, you should probably stick to Call of Duty.

    • 6.5x55Swedish

      Airsoft guns are really good to start someone off with. It takes out all the worst out of a person. If they don’t respect a firearm they will show it real fast with an airsoft gun. I’ve dissapointed more than one friend by not letting them shoot my rifles because they didn’t respect an arisoft gun.

      • Conner

        You should have seen the level of complacency, carelessness and pure stupidity of this one guy using a nail gun. Even after I told him about basic safety he was all like “nah bro, don’t be childish. Even if I pull the trigger I won’t shoot cause of the safety” so I simply took it away from him.

  • OPERATOR

    So, this is basically a reverse standoff device, preventing use of the gun at “gun to your head” distances.

    So if someone steals your gun to ask you “gun to your head” questions, you can now decline to answer!

    • James Kelly

      I like that! A “gun to the head” will no longer be threatening.
      This is a wonderful development – do you have Gov’t funding yet?

    • Tothe

      The device preventing your gun from working at close range is what let him stay alive and get your gun from you in the first place.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Bad things can happen when we allow electronics to take over tasks our minds are totally capable of doing, and should be left to do. Technology has its uses, but it has limitations as well, and limits us the more we trust us.

  • AD

    It’s a nice bit of engineering and an interesting proof of concept. I can’t think of a situation in real life where I’d want something like this, at least not off the top of my head, but I admire the skill and work that went into creating it. Actually, it reminds me of the thermal sensors on the guns in “Westworld”.

  • Vizzini

    Just no.

  • tt_ttf

    Insert Red October jokes here – “combat Tactics Mr Ryan, by closing the distance before it could arm itself………”

    Dumb idea to teach bad muzzle and trigger control

    • MuzzleSafe™ is for all the people who would liked to have seen Montana. Some things in the human body don’t react well to bullets.

  • Josh

    The only senario where I could concieve this being remotely useful, assuming of course electric guns actually caught on, is for child safety and that is throwing out every other safety rule when it comes to children. Assuming you keep a home/self defense gun loaded and easily acessible there is a chance that a child/childs could get ahold of it and do what they have seen on tv etc. and point it at each other or mom and dad and pull the trigger. Depending on the range of the sonic safety it could prevent a point blank shot a fellow child or unsuspecting parent. The down side of that is it would limit said gun’s usefullness as a defense firearm. You could use it as a range gun but there are better ways to secure a firearm if that were the case.

  • Longhaired Redneck

    Your comments about devices breeding complacency, and education being the intelligent way to go, are spot on! Proactively teaching safe driving/firearms handling is far more productive than passive “safety systems”. On the other hand it’s more work. People are generally lazy though, and will prefer not having to pay attention…

  • Live fire testing on real firearms will begin shortly. This technology is not limited to electric guns. Many devices exist (servos, solenoids, DC motors, stepper motors, etc.) that convert electrical impulses into mechanical motion. Interfacing between the electrical and physical worlds is not difficult. I used an electric airsoft gun for initial testing because it was the quickest, easiest way to prove the concept. I built this thing in literally one long night, and tested it the next morning.

  • Norm Glitz

    Right!

  • Ken

    Or just adhere to the simple gun safety rules and you’ll be Ok in every situation. This is for the liberal idiots who say “the gun just went off” and fail to mention that they 1) had their finger on the trigger, and 2) aimed the gun at something they didn’t want to destroy but did so anyways.

  • Tom Jacobsen

    Electronics never fail…

  • Tothe

    If he made it set off an audio alert saying, “I am an irresponsible idiot who handles this firearm in an unsafe manner,” then I could see a use. Otherwise, I think it would lend a false sense of security. Never trust a safety mechanism.

  • mbrd

    the problem here does not seem to be the misapprehensions of your critics, or their challenges to your assertions of the reliability of your device. you guys just aren’t sitting across the same table in this discussion.

    by the way, i apologize for coming off as a complete jerk, it’s not my intention, but i always seem to manage it anyway… it’s an unfortunate talent i can’t get rid of.

    you have created something applicable to a dilemma you wish to reinforce to support the development of your product, but the necessity and fundamental soundness of which not all agree on, and which some of the detractors may rightly see as incorporating potential failures in the new shooter training process.

    for you to invoke having done “the math”, and “anyone…trained in the sciences”, while at the same time predictively stating that “this device will absolutely save lives as a training tool, you will see”, represents a contradiction of the scientific method.

    you have neither proven the validity of the concept through experiment, nor generated the volume of conviction among the field of shooters to call your conclusions “fact”.

    the fact is, the majority of shooters would agree that it is necessary to train with firearms that are not reduced in their lethality, in order to effect the greatest respect for muzzle and trigger discipline as primary concerns for handling.

    your “math” cannot even begin to address the potential for mistakes made down the road by freshman shooters who did not learn the effects of failing in these two fundaments.

    this is the untested and theoretically frightening area where your detractors reside, i among them.

    i do not for a moment challenge the efficacy of the device you have experimented with and established, but i do challenge the finality of the premise you forward which seems far from fact, and possibly without consideration for the depth and breadth of the consequences of training new shooters with “failsafe” firearms.

    i would submit that there is no “proof” of anything relevant to the soundness of firearms training here. there are only conflicting sensibilities.

    you still have a great deal of work ahead of you, regardless of whether you are right or wrong, and the vast majority of the firearms community, while perhaps not “trained in the sciences”, seems to know a lot more about being trained in firearms than your proposed device would indicate of you.

    wow… i guess i am a complete jerk; but i’m pretty sure i’m not wrong…

    • Scientifically-minded people can and do disagree all the time, but one thing they are not known for is spewing emotional vitriol in place of rational arguments. By and large, I can tell that many in your camp (not you, but many who agree with you) are not accustomed to critical thinking or in-depth analysis. Most have failed to identify the benefits of this idea, instead focusing only on the drawbacks. Chief among these drawbacks is the system’s lack of utility in defensive applications… A point I have acknowledged from the very start. Fortunately for me, and for the future of this product, firearms have many other applications.

      As for “rewarding complacency” or “encouraging bad habits”, these criticisms could be leveled at John Browning for putting a safety lever on the side of the 1911. In theory, you don’t need it. Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction, keep your finger off the trigger, and you should be able to walk around all day with a 1911 that’s 100% ready to fire without issue.

      People are going to trust safety devices to protect them, no matter how many times you tell them not to. People are idiots. Just as seat belts and airbags mitigate the damage caused by careless drivers, MuzzleSafe™ will mitigate the damage caused by careless shooters. Is it a panacea? Of course not. It’s a safety net. Blaming me for the idiocy of shooters would be like blaming the inventor of airbags for the “complacency” they have caused. Nobody blames the airbag manufacturer when some special person decides to crash into a wall. Just as a driver is responsible for the damage inflicted by his car, a shooter is responsible for the damage inflicted by his gun. If they think safety devices give them a license to be a jackass, that too is on them.

      The free market will decide the success or failure of this product. It’s pretty clear to me that most of my fellow gun owners assess their own gun safety skills so highly that they do not feel a need for this product on any of their own guns. That’s fine. I’m sure the 500+ people per year who accidentally killed their friends and loved ones with firearms would have agreed with you, prior to their respective tragedies, that no such safety net is needed…

      I am not just a computer nerd. I am a person who grew up with firearms, and I still enjoy them more than ever. At least half of my DIY projects are gun-related. I used to be an armed guard, and I’m currently a concealed carry holder. I have trained enough new shooters to witness some of the stupid things they do… I have been muzzle-swept more times than I could possibly recount. And I’m baffled that most of my critics evidently lack the experience to have seen the things I’ve seen on a firing line. You can cite the “four rules” all you want; people can and do break them every single day. As evidenced by all those accidental deaths.

      The most scathing — and probably accurate — criticism you could make of the MuzzleSafe™ concept is that the people who need it the most are the ones who lack the wisdom or humility to realize it. Once this became clear to me, I shifted gears to focus on the niche market of training new shooters, since no experienced firearms enthusiast wants to get shot by some chump (or kid) on their first visit to the range.

      Safety devices and proper gun handling are not mutually exclusive. If anything, they supplement each other. Those who are philosophically opposed to safety devices are free to purchase a revolver, or a Glock. I’m personally a big fan of both. But just as the 1911 and its superfluous safety lever has its place, so too will this device. There are better ways to learn gun safety than to accidentally kill someone you love.