Posts Tagged Weapons Stuff

Weapons Stuff: Syrian Rebels Create And Deploy A Remote Controlled Sniper Rifle

It always amazes me how resourceful and ingenious folks can be during desperate times, and especially in a war. Obviously this kid created a weapon system that fit his mission and worked well with his skill level, which was probably playing video games.

Now the question I have is if this will catch on with other rebel groups? Will this kid start a ‘remotely operated sniper system’ movement in this war, and what direction will it go for advances? How about automatic targeting or tracking? How about the incorporation of a laser rangefinder into this system.  Something like Tracking Point’s weapon system? We will see….

Although at the end of the day, I still believe humans operating the sniper rifle directly will account for more kill shots in Syria. It is the most practical, cheapest and most portable way of deploying that system. –Matt


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DIY: Defense Distributed And The Democratization Of Weapons Manufacturing

Check this out. I first heard about Defense Distributed from Danger Room and this group is totally dedicated to the concept of democratized weapons manufacturing. This goes along with my prior posts about the concept of Opensource Military Hardware.

This concept is also a threat to the major weapons manufacturers out there–hence why the company they leased their 3D printer from ultimately chose to take it back. Who knows, and both sides of this issue are presented in the posts at Danger Room.

The other thing that perked me up was the use of crowd funding in order to get this going. They used Indiegogo as a funding tool for this project in order to raise the $20,000 to get it started. Below I have posted the group’s goals and here is a link to their website. –Matt


1) Create the world’s first 100% 3D printable gun
GOAL: Develop a fully printable 3D gun
Our initial Wiki Weapon (A) design has no moving parts and relies on a separate, inserted solenoid to fire. We begin with this design to learn from the ABS material itself, but this is a method of trial and error. At $5 per cubic inch, we are at the point where we need outside funds to produce and complete a proof gun. The result of the lessons we learn from WikiWep A will instruct the design and development of Wiki Weapon B, a fully-printable gun comprised of near 100% printable parts.
2) Adapt the design down to cheaper 3D printers
Goal: Adapt the design so it can be printed on less expensive 3D printers-without compromising safety.
These guns will be almost completely plastic, so melting and failing in your hand will be a concern. Only after testing a few dozen designs to failure will we discover the right limitations to be comfortable rating a WikiWep as safe for one use. Basically we need to break some guns. This is the seed money for the second phase of development. We want to minimize negative media about the safety concerns of untested firearms and the inevitable suggestions that governments should protect us from ourselves.
3) Become The Web’s Printable Gun Wiki Redoubt
Goal: Further embrace the “Wiki” root of the project and establish a printable gunsmithing commons.
Instead of hacking off central planners directly, why not ignore them into irrelevance? In response to our project’s feedback and instincts, we open up this site to the world to share and participate in the creation and distribution of knowledge relevant to advancing 3D printable weapons.

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Maritime Security: Piracy Fighters Use Floating Armories

There are between 10 and 12 ships operating as floating armories at any one time. About half a dozen are located in the Red Sea, three off the United Arab Emirates and a couple off the island nation of Madagascar, said Thomas Jakobsson of Sea Marshals Ltd.
“Many companies are too small to be able to comply with regulations. It costs a lot of money,” he said. His company only used floating armories licensed by the Djibouti government and flew the flag of landlocked Mongolia, he said. He believed most of the rest were not operating legally, he said.

This is some interesting reportage on floating armories. It is a reality of maritime security operations out there and it is yet another option–versus buying the weapons and throwing them overboard before coming into port. Or having to deal with the myriad of confusing and conflicting laws of the various ports and countries. Arms on the high seas is a very touchy thing.

My concern with the practice of floating armories is the security of these vessels. Who regulates how this is to be accomplished? We are basically depending upon that vessel and it’s crew of protecting that cache of weapons, and hopefully all parties involved are taking their job seriously? Imagine a pirate force or terrorist group purposely attacking such a vessel in order to take those weapons by force?

On the other hand, it is within the best interest of that floating armory to secure their vessel. They also have plenty of weapons to do such a thing. It is the ultimate ‘armed guards on boats’. lol

As to the legality of such a thing? This would be another great use for the Letter of Marque. Or just call it a license, and the flagged vessel would receive a license from their sponsoring country for this kind of activity. Throw in a bond and some rules/laws to operate by, and now we would have some accountability here.

Another idea is to just use the military for this. If a country assigns specific naval units to assist in this matter, as well as do their anti-piracy thing, then we can have some government control over the distribution of weapons.

These military floating armories would also be contributing greatly to the anti-piracy mission, because they would be ensuring that functioning weapons and ammunition are actually going into the hands of competent guard forces. A naval armory could be used to check licenses, competencies, bonds, etc. before issuing weapons. Hell, a shooting test and zeroing could be done on a military vessel, much like how infantry units do their thing on vessels. They could also hand off crucial intelligence, procedures, or even escorts to these companies, depending upon the routes they take and their mission. It would be an excellent public/private partnership. Something to think about as we navigate this stuff. –Matt


Piracy fighters use floating armories
By Katharine Houreld
March 22, 2012
Private security firms are storing their guns aboard floating armories in international waters so ships that want armed anti-piracy guards for East Africa’s pirate-infested waters can cut costs and circumvent laws limiting the import and export of weapons, industry officials say.
Companies and legal experts say the operation of the armories is a “legal gray area” because few, if any, governments have laws governing the practice. Some security companies have simply not informed the governments of the flag their ship is flying, industry officials said.
Some members of the private security sector are urging governments and industry leaders to impose standards on the unchecked practice of storing weapons offshore to equip anti-pirate forces off Somalia’s coast.
Storing guns on boats offshore really took off as a business last year. Britain — where many of the operators are from — is investigating the legality of the practice, which has received little publicity outside of shipping industry circles.
Floating armories have become a viable business in the wake of increased security practices by the maritime industry, which has struggled for years to combat attacks by Somali pirates. But those in the industry say the standards vary widely.

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Weapons Stuff: The Aimpoint FCS 12 For Recoilless Rifles And Rocket Launchers

Thanks to William at the Feral Jundi FB page for finding this optic and sending me the link. Every once in awhile I will get word of a cool little weapons related deal that I think has merit, and let the readership out there know about it. I am also a former 0351 anti-tank guy in the Marines, and I have a special place in my heart for stuff like this. lol

But you are probably wondering why would contractors be interested in a recoilless rifle/rocket launcher optic? lol Well first, many of my readers are not just contractors, but a whole slew of industry and government professionals. They also include military folks from all over the world, and optics like this are a great way to upgrade older weapon systems like the Carl Gustav in the picture below.

Although this optic could conceivably be used on any rocket launcher or recoiless rifle equipped with a picatinny rail or similar.  What I really like about this optic is that it has a integrated laser range finder, and you can set up to ’50 different ballistic algorithms’ so that your optics and weapon can be matched to the munitions.

That is an important feature that I really like, because technically speaking, you could probably ask Aimpoint to send you ballistic algorithms for RPG munitions or SMAW munitions, if you were to mount this optic on those weapons.  Or maybe those ballistics are already in the device?

Here is the other point I wanted to make with this optic. Anything that takes an older weapon or munition, and makes it more accurate, is a good thing. It increases the first round hit probability in a fight, and will allow a unit to efficiently use what little ammunition they are carrying for that weapon platform. There is no such thing as an ‘ammunition fairy’ on the battlefield handing out a steady supply and at all times. Murphy’s Law says otherwise, and a unit should strive to make every round count.

I also like that this optic makes it ‘easier’ for the gunner to get on target and take full advantage of that weapon system in a fight.  Or if that gunner is killed, a team mate could pick up the weapon system plus optic, and get back into the fight knowing they have a simple to use/aim system in their hands. Especially if they are engaging an enemy at some distance, and that is the only weapon that can reach them.

On the downside, I don’t know if that wireless remote is a good idea. If it is wireless, then I tend to think in terms of how it could be hacked or be disrupted?  But maybe it is milspec enough to be a non-issue? I am also interested in the durability of such an optic, and it would be nice to reduce it’s power requirements so you don’t have carry a bunch of AA batteries for the thing. This is a unique deal from Aimpoint, and there is not a lot out there about it. Although I am sure they are getting user feedback and we will see future versions that address those issues.

As to how this applies to contractors directly is pretty much the training angle. If a contractor is tasked with training a foreign military on how to use a Carl Gustav or similar, and the soldiers they are training are limited health wise (vision sucks) or are limited in training time and the amount of available ammo, then a weapon with this optic could be the answer to bring up their capabilities as gunners. Of course you would want to train them on the basic weapon sites that do not require batteries, but if you are wanting to get them to a competent level in a short period of time, then an optic like this could be the answer. The question to ask is does this make a gunner’s life easier, and are they able to get on target fast and with accuracy?

It is a lot like the debate with putting red dot optics on rifles in the US military. Of course you want to train folks to use iron sites, but with the help of a red dot or reflex optic, you are able to reduce training time and make it easier for soldiers to hit targets. Especially targets in different light conditions. And funny enough, Aimpoint has provided quite a few red dot sites to the US military over the years.

So could this optic do the same for other US military weapons, like the M-3 MAAWS (Carl Gustav), or the SMAW?  Or even a picatinny equipped AT-4? Or put this on other support weapons that require ranging capabilities?

On a side note, in the video I posted below, it looks like those are contractors training US military folks in Afghanistan on the use of their Carl Gustav? Check out the range of the weapon in the video and know that this weapon can really reach out there. (about a 1000 meters depending on ammo according to wikipedia). You can also see why a good range finding optic like the FCS 12 might come in handy?  Interesting stuff. –Matt




The Aimpoint FCS12 is a Fire Control System for weapons like the recoilless Carl Gustav and Panzerfaust as well as Automatic Grenade Launchers and other support weapons. The operator aims at the target on a direct line-of-sight, which allows both eyes open. The optical axis between the eye and the target is not broken or linked by use of prisms.The sight contains an eye safe 1550 nm LRF (Laser Range Finder), a ballistic computer with the capability to store up to 50 different ballistic algorithms, and a parallax free optical channel with unlimited eye relief.
The FCS12 compensates automatically for the ballistic drop of projectiles at measured distances, factoring in variables such as: rotational (spin) drift, propellant temperature and terrain angle.
The system consists of two separate modules — the sight and a remote grip interface which transmit commands to the sight via a wireless link. The remote grip interface is designed to control the most important functions for operating the system during combat.

The Aimpoint FCS12 is the result of many years of intensive studies, research, and state-of-the-art technical design. The system’s solid-state design (no moving parts) ensures reliable operation and sustainability during field use.
• Small and very rugged design.
• No moving parts.
• Compatibility with all generations of Night Vision Devices (NVD). The optical channel is designed to have an optimal eye relief of approximately 180 mm to allow the use of NVD.
• Digital push button interface located on the rear of the sight allows for setting advanced features, as well as providing a backup interface for standalone.
• User-friendly electronic controls and graphical interface displays.
• More than 3 days continuous operations including 100 range findings on one battery pack.
• Quick change battery power packs containing six standard AA batteries (Alkaline or Lithium).
• Manual override controls allow the operator to manually toggle range.
• Selectable language feature.
• Storage of up to 50 different ballistic algorithms.
• A short list of up to 5 different ballistic algorithms (types of ammunition) can be chosen directly from the remote grip interface.
• Terrain angle compensation measured by an integrated inclinometer.
• The LRF measurement button overrides all other functions and returns the system to ready mode from any other point in the menu.
• Selectable weapon feature.

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Cool Stuff: Converting Your Ashes Into Ammunition, By Holy Smoke LLC

Thanks to Chad for letting me know about this awhile back. This group will actually convert your ashes into ammunition. For the rifle rounds, they put the ash in a bullet, and then I think they swage the thing. Although I am not sure about the ballistics of these bullets, but still, I thought it was pretty cool.

The reaction on FJ Facebook was pretty amazing as well. Numerous guys were all about converting their ashes into some kind of munition that could be sent back to the war and be used by the troops. Check it out. –Matt


Holy Smoke LLC
About Us
We offer a way to honor your deceased loved one by giving or sharing with him or her one more round of clay targets, one last bird hunt, or one last stalk hunt.?The Concept?Several years ago I was talking with my friend and co-worker at work one evening. We were discussing the passing of one of our relatives and the topic of conversation turned to our own demise and whether we preferred burial or cremation.  I told my friend that I had some cost, waste of space and ecological issues with burials and that I thought I wanted to be cremated and in some fashion, have my ashes tossed into a river or spread through the woods.  ?My friend  smiled and said “You know I’ve thought about this for some time and I want to be cremated. Then I want my ashes put into some turkey load shotgun shells and have someone that knows how to turkey hunt use the shotgun shells with my ashes to shoot a turkey. That way I will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second.

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DIY: 3D Printable AR-15 Magazine

Now just as a disclaimer, I am not at all saying that this thing is safe or a good magazine to use for actual field work or the range. But, what it is good for is modeling and giving life to an idea.

On the other hand, this technology and the materials used are only getting better/cheaper/stronger/lighter. So there might be a day where you are hanging out on a forum like Lightfighter, and exchanging notes with other ‘makers’ about how to make cool new weapon and equipment parts using a 3D printer. You already see that on forums like this when it comes to textiles and sewing.

I also mentioned in the past about using a 3D printer to make UAV’s, or how SOCOM was interested in using this technology. With the examples below, the thing I was thinking about is using these printers to make the obscure little plastic parts that are essential in all types of equipment being used out there. Lots of ideas for this stuff and we will see how it evolves. –Matt


AR-15 Rifle Magazine
by crank
This thing is a Work in Progress.
Expect the files and instructions for this thing to change.
Print at YOUR OWN RISK, Neither the creator of this object nor is responsible for anything that happens because you printed this object! ?This is a near fully printable 5.56mm X 45mm or .233 REM AR-15 magazine. It is current only a 5 round magazine. I left my printed spring design out on purpose for saftey reasons. However, with a little printing experimention and some range time it can be made easily.?What is included is the magazine body, anti-tilt follower, and floorplate. ?I have used this magazine, no jams or feed problems….. YET. It works, but be reminded it is only a printed ABS magazine. If you end up using a printed ABS mag spring be prepared for stress relaxation of the polymer over time, especailly if it is kept loaded over a long period of time.
Print at YOUR OWN RISK, Neither the creator of this object nor is responsible for anything that happens because you printed this object! ?Well, the zombies are at it again………and you forgot your magazines out in your vehicle. Doh!?1) You Have a need for an 5.56mm X 45mm AR-15 magazine.

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