Metal Storm MAUL 12 guage launcher

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

About 6 months ago Metal Storm was awarded AU$1.4 million in development contracts from the US Navy to develop a 12 guage (.729″ caliber, not the 12 gauge shotgun cartridge) multishot weapon that mounts under an M16 and M4.

The MAUL has no moving parts and weights just 2.75 pounds.

All four rounds can be loaded into the chamber at once and are electronically ignited. It can fire lethal rounds, such as grenades, and non lethal rounds.

The weapon system was exhibited at AUSA Expo this year and should be in production next year.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Dm Dm on Nov 30, 2008

    Steve: I dont know much about how the metal storm firing system works.

    From the wikipedia page, it appears they initially used physical contacts to send electrical pulses to the primers, but they now use induction coils around the barrel (contactless) to send the firing pulse to the primer.

    The induction system would be the most reliable, but would also be the least energy efficient, i.e. I doubt that piezoelectrics would be able to provide enough energy to inductively fire a primer. That said, I dont know how the primer works, so I could be completely wrong.

    Still, a hand cranked dynamo on the weapon should be able to charge it up enough for a fair amount of firing.

    This MAUL system would make a great combat shotgun on its own - a pair of them side by side or over-under would give you a short, light, easily reloadable 10-shot semi-auto shotgun with 2 switchable choices of ammo. Hell, you could even go to 3 or even 4 barrels if you wanted more ready-to-go shots. The trick would be keeping the barrels light enough, which for shotguns and their relatively low pressures wouldn't be too hard.

    If the ammo was cheap and simple enough - a plastic cup plus 'special' primer - you'd have a winner.

  • Charles222 Charles222 on Mar 14, 2011

    The Germans were using electrically fired guns in WW2. This isn't really new technology; it's actually rather proven, as aircraft guns aren't exactly clearable by hand. :p

    Interesting concept. The Masterkey & LSS systems disrupt good shooting position ALOT; this is a good deal less bulky and clumsy.

    • Novus Collectus Novus Collectus on May 08, 2013

      @charles222 Charles, there is a difference, the Germans may have used electronically fired weapons, but the first electronically fired rifle dates to about around 1900 or so, but that was one shot cartridge for both. The O'dwyer system uses stackable rounds in the barrell.....which was first concieved of in the 1800's (a flintlock). O'Dwyer was the first to combine electronic ignited rounds with stackable ammo in a barrel though. It is very new technology (well, last 20 years I mean).