E-Blanks, Blanks but Not!

    E-Blanks is an interesting concept that has been around for at least the past two years. The Norwegian company makes a recoil actuating bolt that replaces a standard AR15 Bolt Carrier Group, coupled with a battery powered straight walled magazine, and a muzzle device essentially turns an AR15 into a cosmetic blank firing device. The reasoning behind this is because there are some situations where firing actual blank ammunition could not be allowed or would ease logistics. Such as if a police department wanted to train in a mall, or maybe a school, whatever the case maybe. It also reduces the logistical footprint of having to supply and carry around pallets of blank ammunition, not to mention not cleaning the weapons afterwards. According to Jane’s, the Dutch Government has acquired some of the product for testing.

    The newest ad for the product-

    Technical description:

    E-blanks technology is built into magazines that replicate real magazines and consists of a rechargeable battery, sound device and control unit (electronics). This is assembled to be water, dust and shockproof.

    The magazine is specially designed for each weapon type. The recoil module consists of robust mechanical system that respond on the same way as a weapon bolt when firing. This module has a connection to the
    magazine and a light beam that is designed to fit into the chamber.

    The light beam will hit the muzzle flash reflector to simulate a live firing muzzle flash.
    A recoil is a closed module that will strike with the desired strength and speed to achieve the weapon`s mechanical functions and give recoil.

    These modules are protected on the inside of the weapon. Included with the system are a stationary troop level battery charger and single/patrol field battery charger.

    A 30 round magazine can be used several times before it requires recharging. At magazine change there will be a filling up time by pushing button for each shot. The system is designed to maintain the normal weapon SOP’s in use.

    Previous version, notice some of the differences that were made to the design-

    System specifications:

    • A limitation to the quantity of ‘rounds’ per magazine meaning that
    the magazine has to be filled up in the normal manner.
    • Gunfire sound adjustable in three levels
    • Muzzle flash.
    • Robust in use and will withstand rough treatment and use in all environmental    conditions.
    • Recoil module simulate the weapon recoil.
    • Works with all personal weapons.
    • Short assembly time.
    • Weight of magazine is approximately to a magazine filled with live rounds.
    • Lock and load (‘make ready’) has to be preformed to activate the system.
    • Gun shot counter to provide user knowledge of rounds left.
    • Short time to fill magazines
    • Recyclable materials
    • Competitive prices for both purchase and operating expenses.

    Not to be a harsh critic of the design but I do see some issues. First of all it should be stated that such systems have a history of being used in training, mostly with CO2 powered conversions that usually imitate actual recoil very well. However the amount of CO2 required is usually alot for the organizations that use them, i.e- Military or Government forces. That being said, I have not seen successful, widespread usage of the CO2 powered training firearms.

    But more importantly, just looking at the promotional video, it appears that the firearm doesn’t move whatsoever. Essentially it is converted into a plastic contraption I could purchase at Toys R’ Us, the muzzle device not helping very much either. A final note would be that the shape of the magazine wouldn’t allow for existing STANAG magazine pouches to be used in conjunction with the training device very well.

    If the company could fix the magazine shape, add some harsher “recoil” and really brighten up that muzzle device, I could see the product as being half feasible. Personally I’ve never thought that 5.56x45mm blank cartridges were ever much effective at reproducing either recoil or muzzle blast, so with some legitimate technology I could see this product becoming more logistically effective.

    Miles

    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]


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