back to article Judge Dredd smartshell shotguns to hit Iraq in '09

It's quite difficult to make guns - portable ones, anyway - convincingly hi-tech. Sure, you can add a laser sight, you can attach all kinds of crazy lights and optics, you can even have a boresight camera and helmet heads-up display for shooting round corners without sticking your neck out*. But at the end of the day it will …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    A few questions...

    What is the maim radius on the standard HE shell?

    and is this larger than the minimum distance to arm?

    How long before the first Blue on Blue with this?

    Mines the one with ceramic inserts.

  2. Frumious Bandersnatch


    Nice camo on that baby. Do the wielders get instructions on not leaving it on the ground where they might have a problem finding it again?

  3. TeeCee Gold badge

    Judge Dredd.

    Hmm, how things have changed. I remember well the breakdown of the Lawgiver in one of the early 2000AD annuals. It had a selector lever on the "hump" on the top for the type of ammo, no voice-activation back then. The heat-seeker was a special option that required it to be clipped onto the muzzle from whence it could be propelled by a standard, rocket-propelled, explosive launched round. A bit like a very small rifle grenade, only not explosive in itself and equipped with fins and guidance.

    Incidently, terrible pixellation on the camouflage of the gun in the pic. Painted by Pac-Man was it?

  4. Stephen Stagg


    I think if the enemy got close enough to notice the pixellation, the bearer would be having bigger problems than trying to stay hidden.

  5. Lewis Page (Written by Reg staff)


    I remember the dial on the Lawgiver too. But I also recall that JD would always shout out what kind of ammo he was firing in the comic, even back in those days - and no matter if it had a very long name. It could just be my memory, but I seem to recall him once exclaiming "steel-tipped high penetration!" in mid-firefight, which would seem likely to slow you down a bit in real life.

    I thought the voice-command bit in the movie fitted quite well with that tradition, though a lot of the rest of it was very dodgy.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Huge leap ahead in lethality

    Renews my faith in the human race etc.

    /gets hippy coat

  7. supermeerkat


    And Judge Dredd's gun never ran out of ammo, unless plot dictated. I wonder if DARPA will add that particular functionality.....

  8. Dave


    So it will jamb up totally, twice every day then?

  9. Nathan

    Science Fiction

    Games always get these ideas first. I've been using this weapon in BF:2142 for two years now!

  10. Tom Paine


    As any self-respecting Squaxx would know, the Lawgiver never required clip-on gadgets before it could fire heatseekers (aka "hotshot!") ; a mysterious Tardis-like magazine, which never runs out (except when the plot demands it) carried a selection of the full range of rounds. Anyone who says different is clearly a grexnix suffering a severe infestation of thrill-suckers.

    2000AD is still going, by the way, though you do better to get a sub than trying to find it in a newsagent. Since Rebellion bought in from IPC back in 2001 (or thereabouts) they've hit a fine run of excellent form. Partly because DC have stolen all the British artists and writers they need for a bit... we have Nicolae Dante, Sinister & Dexter, Lobster Random, ABC Warriors and other Pat Mills stuff, some really nice one-shots like Necronauts, Grey Suit,the list just goes on and on... support your local Betelgeusian polystyrene cup-muncher, and buy a sub today!'s the one with the Space Spinner in the pocket, ta.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope they have good electrical shielding

    Hi-tech is cool so long as some clever electronic counter-measures can't make everyone's guns spontaneously explode

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So an attacker....

    ... would tell the bullets to explode in the gun of the soldier?

  13. Mark

    Interesting write up

    I love how you made the points I always think of when I see the XM-25 (Or, indeed, most of the high tech infantry gadgets). The rifle got dumbed down to the level of the average soldier long ago. Most soldiers would be less effective with this weapon without lots of pratice- And at $25 a shot, how many soldier will get to fire hundreds of rounds at the range?

    Incidently, that new camo is fairly standard nowadays. Notice the uniform has the same pattern. Back when I used to wear a green suit to work, we were told it was some computer generated patten that would hide you better then the essentially random old pattern. Of course, we were also told it would defeat infrared/nightvision scopes/goggles, which I never quite understood, so repeating old enlisted rumours might not be the most accurate source of information about it.

  14. Fluffykins Silver badge

    the camo's not THAT good

    I can still see th ebloody thing

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Hacker's Challenge

    1) Find and break the encryption of the ammo.

    2) Wipe out entire squad with one press of a button.

    3) Watch M-25 soldier become instant outcast.

  16. Ian Michael Gumby

    Nothing new here.

    As the author admits, this is 90's technology. The trick is the lock up between the laser guided range finder and the ammo itself.

    The concept is that if you can shoot through a window or over a bunker, the round would explode in the room or over the barrier and nail the occupant hiding. Even a flash bang would have some effect.

    As to the recoil, its going to be minimum. (Try firing a 12ga pump over a 12ga auto loader.) Add padding from the flak jacket/vest. The main weight difference is going to be due to the optics/rangefinder and the link to the shells in the chamber.

    It wouldn't be the fastest firing weapon on the field, but it would be able to limit collateral damage and potential over penetration.

    Its neat technology, but the story is a decade late.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I doubt it uses wireless commands after firing.

    My take on the description is more that the user sets the range, this is communicated wirelessly to the round in the chanber before firing, then the projectile uses an internal accelerometer to detect when it's fired and calculate velocity & hence distance from firing.

    Without an internal 'inertial navigation' system they could not make such claims of accuracy - variations in the propellent charge and air density / rain etc. would throw it way out if the detonation point was just based on time of flight.

  18. Vaughan


    And just as with cars, the technology will eventually become cheap enough to be afforded by every Tom, Dick and Harry with a robbery or insurgency to carry out.

  19. Jonathan Tate
    Thumb Up

    @Hacker's Challenge

    It's not triggered wirelessly. I'm really not sure who started the wirelessly triggered thing, but this one isn't.

    Each round has a small microcontroller inside powered by a capacitor. A few milliseconds before firing, the round's capacitor is charged and the microcontroller is given a number to count to before detonation. The microcontroller counts up and then... boom! And, that's about it.

    I heard about this from a friend at a microcontroller company some 6 years ago.

  20. Ed


    I have it on very good authority that in the Judge Dredd comics his gun isn't (generally) voice activated- that was introduced in the film. The reason he shouts out what kind of ammo he's firing in the comic is that otherwise they'd have to waste a panel in the strip drawing in the ammo selector (or crowbar it in another way).

    Feeling a little over-geeky now.

  21. Ash


    Only if they fire it on weekdays only.

    That is how the naming convention works, isn't it? _M_aybe 2 jams, 5 days of the week?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Judge Dredd would love this?

    Judge Dredd would shoot the manufacturers (all of them) the first time one of these malfunctioned. Stop trying to make him seem like a softy.

  23. Andy

    I'm all for it

    I'm all for anything that raises the price of ammo to $25 a shot in fact.

    If every shot cost $25 maybe governments would consider it too expensive to declare war on abstract concepts.

  24. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I'm all for it

    "Man, I would shoot you in the face... *if* I could *afford* it."

  25. Narlaquin

    @Tom Paine / Lewis Page

    You're both right. The Schematic of the Lawgiver did show that Heat-Seekers were attached to the barrel, and propelled by the standard GP shell, but in practice this was never shown: all Joe needed to do was shout "Heatseeker!" and the bullet was a Heatseeker.

    Lazy Art Droids.

  26. Charlie
    Black Helicopters

    Dredd always said what he was doing.

    The occasional cry of 'Boot knife!' was always a good end to a bit of hand to hand combat.

    I own personal favourite was Dredd's exposition accompanied by the sound effect.

    'Bike Cannon!' 'BUDDA BUDDA'

  27. Schultz

    Shooting up Geneva

    "There are some international legal issues around soldiers using shot rounds against enemy troops, but they wouldn't apply against most of today's enemies."

    If the enemy doesn't shoot back with the same caliber, why worry about stupid international contracts one might have signed in some long-past moment of weakness? On the other hand, if the beacons of democracy and the champions for the rule of law start playing this game, how shall we blame the ruthless terrorists?

    Bring it on!

    Non-Detectable Fragments which in the human body escape detection by X-rays,

    non-detectable anti-personnel mines,

    Incendiary Weapons against the civilian population,

    Blinding Laser Weapons,

    Mustard gas,







    fusion bombs,

    fission bombs,

    neutron bombs,

    dirty bombs,


    Having second thoughts yet?

  28. Phil Tanner


    Is it only me that gets really peev'd having to click to the last page of the article and then back again to read the bootnotes?

    If you're going to split the articles across pages, at least have the decency to put each bootnote at the bottom of the page that mentions it.

    Or better still, add a tag with a title argument around your bootnote *'s that has the content in it.


  29. Anonymous Coward

    re: @Hacker's Challenge

    I saw a different method on Future Weapons on Discovery a few weeks ago. The projectile counted the number of rotations it did by sensing the apparent reverses in the Earths magnetic field. Then, knowing: a) the amount of spin imparted by the rifled barrel ; and b) the muzzle velocity, it could very accurately determine distance traveled before exploding itself.

    It's a sad fact that man is never more ingenious than when trying to find better ways to kill his own kind.

  30. Law


    that is all

  31. JP
    Thumb Down

    I barely trust the words...

    ..."wireless" and "smart" in a mobile phone, never mind a gun!

    I can't be bothered going back to the story from here right now but I'm not sure why the "wireless" element is at all necessary, unless they mean it literally i.e. the cartridge is wireless from the rifle when its fired and explodes. Otherwise, if there's some sort of wireless communication between the gun and the cartridge within the barrel, why isn't it done via some sort of physical connection, surely this would improve reliability and offer various other improvements?

    I dunno...

  32. John Bayly


    "So it will jamb up totally, twice every day then?"

    It means that it will jam up at least twice a day for several hours. Makes the SA80 look good

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Correct me if I'm wrong ...

    ... but I'm sure I can remember Dredd and his mates toting similar looking weaponry back in the days of yore (Apocalypse War era, perhaps?). OTOH, I could be talking rubbish as it's nearly 10 years since I clapped eyes on an issue of 2000AD

    As for the camo on the photograph, yes it's pixellated but it's surprisingly effective, at least to my eyes.

    Flames, 'cos as Joe might say: "INCENDIARY!"

  34. teacake


    'Bike Cannon!' 'BUDDA BUDDA'

    I remember that! A friend used to say it a lot. I wouldn't have worried, but he didn't even own a bike...

  35. Mark Broadhurst
    Paris Hilton

    $50 a bullet I'll bet

    If not more its one of those techs which sounds great they will train troops to use and then never deploy them because of cost.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The camo

    I believe that is digital camouflage due to that it is all pixelated and what not. Not sure what its supposed to hide you from ?!?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'leap ahead' in lethality, meaning

    IT KILLS YOU DEADER! *testostedrool*

    I wonder if it is really needed. From what I see, all those "terrorists" have zero problems dying in hordes, being reduced to a smeared and smoldering pair of sandals. It would rather seem they have trouble killing the inva... troops protecting western freedom properly, as clearly seen from how many of the poor grunts return with pieces missing these days. Useless deaths on all ends.

    And digital camo looks terrible, but it works very well.

  38. jon
    Paris Hilton


    Like Science fiction the arms industry seldom has anything that is truly new. Heckler & Koch demonstrated an automatic shotgun with mixed load capability in the late 80's as part of the CAWS (Close Assault Weapons System) competition. The ammunition was 12 gauge but fully metal jacketed, so putting one of these in your pappys shotgun would not be advised, and came in a variety of flavours such as Armour piercing, Incendiary, High Explosive and Flechette.

    Ps: for all the sci-fi fans and readers of 2000AD... name the bounty hunter who used a variable ammo blaster...

    [Paris.. because she knows the importance of having a good load]

  39. Pierre

    Shotguns and conventions

    (There are some international legal issues around soldiers using shot rounds against enemy troops, but they wouldn't apply against most of today's enemies. The modern opposition aren't usually national troops, and even if they are the enemy nation hasn't usually ratified the relevant conventions.)

    Yeah, unarmed civilians are not really "national troops". Moreover, the US propaganda machine can slap "enemy combattant" tags faster than Paris drops her pants. The only real problem the merkins will have will be when the shots will be used in the famous "shoot the Brit in the back" game. Not to mention that the US are very vocal in the convention-making processes, but particularly shy when it comes to sign them. Shotguns will hence be fine in every possible situation -provided it's in merkin hands.

  40. Jesse

    @ Teacake

    Dalai Canon! "Buddha Buddha"

  41. Chris G

    For the birds

    4& 5 bore guns are more likely to be for wildfowling than elephants, if memory serves, a 4 bore could take a maximum of a four ounce bag of lead shot with an interesting amount of black powder behind it. providing a good chance of hitting half a dozen birds in one shot.

    I have seen 1 bore punt guns about ten feet long and capable of downing dozens of birds in one shot. If you are going to shoot elephants, you really need a round that will distort massively after penetration and will require a lot of power behind it. To have penetration that is going to kill, 4 or 5 bore is no good, whilst undoubtedly powerful with enough powder it has no penetration, so you will give an elephant a huge thwack on the head that will really piss it off. Subsequently you will be trying to run away from an irate pachyderm with a killing headache whilst carrying a large, heavy, expensive gun........ Bad planning. A ·410 express ( 41" diameter) will make a big hole, it has lots of propellent behind it and deforms well splatters, Jumbo's brain before he knows he has a headache .... steak for dinner ( large).

    Check out Delia's recipe for Trunk au Gratin, perfect if you have a long guest list.

  42. Lukin Brewer

    It isn't just Judge Dredd who does this... is a whole page of characters who Call Their Attacks!

  43. Jacob Lipman

    Guns, beautiful guns

    "Like Science fiction the arms industry seldom has anything that is truly new. Heckler & Koch demonstrated an automatic shotgun with mixed load capability in the late 80's as part of the CAWS (Close Assault Weapons System) competition. The ammunition was 12 gauge but fully metal jacketed, so putting one of these in your pappys shotgun would not be advised, and came in a variety of flavours such as Armour piercing, Incendiary, High Explosive and Flechette."

    Hmm... Sounds awful similar in concept to the Saiga-12. It's essentially a 12-gauge shotgun built on a Kalashnikov action. A magazine-fed shotgun is a beautiful thing. Mine has no problem feeding mixed loads. Pop in a mix of #7 birdshot, 00 buckshot, and Federal Hydrashok jacketed slugs, they'll all cycle just fine.

    If that 25mm cannon isn't fully automatic, it'll be perfectly legal for a U.S. civilian to own so long as the manufacturer is willing to sell it; register it as a Destructive Device, buy your $200 NFA tax stamp, and three or four months later, you have a brand new boomstick!

    Mine's the one jingling with the change I need to save to buy a new $25,000 toy...

    @Sarah Bee... Was that a Chris Rock reference? If so, bravo

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Not quite the story I was expecting

    For some reason I was expecting some news about progress with BLAM*.

    This was reinforced by the talk of clever electronics and large calibre.

    Instead it's just basic HE rounds with a simple electronic time-delay fuse built in.

    Still think that BLAM-type steerable bullets would be more interesting, just think of the accuracy you could achieve. Though at the suggested cost per round you'd definitely want to be sure you actually hit the target!


    *Barrel-Launched Adaptive Munition

  45. CTG

    @Phil Tanner

    Yes, it's just you.


  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe the Met could use this...

    ...for eliminating pesky Brazilian electricians at point blank range.

  47. Sam


    Tut! A.38 that in fact measures .357 is called a .38 *Special*. There's a difference. I got to be club champion many moons ago using a .357 Magnum loaded with .38 special......happy days!

  48. Lewis Page (Written by Reg staff)

    Sam - .38s of a different colour

    You're right of course - the word "often" got missed out somehow, probably by my fingers. Eg '.38 is often .357,' and I was aware of the difference, just a typo. But please god let's not get into .380 ACP, Sig .357, .38/40, .38 Smith & Wesson (I think the bullet was actually .361 on that - I mean really) and all the rest of the madness.

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Paul Murphy
    Paris Hilton

    Strontium Dog ...

    Had at one stage a very cool 'gun' which fired two rays working at specific frequencies which, depending on the range required, would cause an explosion when the frequencies matched - think a loud noise when two peaks coincided.

    Also Rogue Trooper (NOT Rouge Trooper - that would be someone else) used lots of fancy toys, especially Gunnar as a remote sentry/ covering fire killbot. There were different types of ammo there as well.

    Hmm still no 2000AD icon? well I'd have to go with PH because of the two peaks colliding .. or something.


  51. Maty

    The Jumbo

    ..was, as I recall a 12 gage, that used a large revolver-style drum. I only ever saw the specs and don't know if it was ever manufactured, but the basic idea was that you could load different sections of the drum with different shot and mix-and-match your firepower. e.g. load two solid shot for taking out the door, and birdshot for non-lethal AP purposes when within the building. Simply rotate the drum to get the right type of shot under the hammer.

  52. Muscleguy

    Stolen Tank Killer

    So, fires shaped armour piercing rounds does it? Don't want to be the squaddy toting one then. Makes you prime target for the bad guys so's they can half inch your shooter + ammo don't it?

    Remember all that kit the Yanks gave the Iraqi 'army' round Falluja that turned up in the hands of the 'freedom fighters'? Uncle Sam he don't think too good.

  53. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects


    With the damage to the bore done in cleaning, use and corrosion how long before the army is less armful than armless?

    I remember reading that a battleship for all it's expensive metalurgy, was due of a refit if the guns had ben used 300 or so many times.

    That just brings us to the reason her majesty's army stuck with .303s for so many decades:

    The ammunition weighed enough to cripple you as it was. Carrying an (IIRC) 18 lb rifle was a doddle compared to the ration of lead issued with it.

    Talking of preparation; why can you not use brackets to explain (inline) esoteric details that seem to you best covered at the end of the essay? It's not ballistics (IMO the most challenging branch of rocket science.)

  54. Robert Heffernan

    If it's done right...

    If the electronics systems in the weapon are done right, it would make it impossible to hack the ammunition since the communication between the weapon and ammo is done via electrical contacts inside the barrel before firing, including any form of wireless technology would break the $25 price point easily and is just asking to be hacked.

    In regards to the weapon and ammo being stolen by enemy forces a number of techniques can be taken to limit the weapons usefulness. There is a patent held by Microsoft I believe, that uses the human body itself as an electrical communications conductor meant to relay information between devices worn by a person. Embed an authorization chip under the legitimate user's skin that communicates with the firing mechanism in the weapon when it's being held. If the chip is cooled below body temperature (soldier dies, chip cut out, etc) the authorization codes are randomized and will no longer activate the weapon. To prevent the weapon being hacked, cover all the electrical systems with potting compound and if tampering is detected, explode a small charge placed inside the potting, destroying the vital electronic systems, rendering the weapon an expensive lump of scrap. As a backup protection method also code in a device timeout, if a mission is meant to last 24hrs, program a 48hr timeout. If the weapon is not reset back at base before the timeout, the electrical system protection detonates rendering the weapon useless.

    The big trick is to use absolutely no wireless communication in either the weapon or ammunition and to provide multiple layers of contingency in securing the weapon from falling into the wrong hands.

    *Hangs up the lab coat, switches off the lights and goes home.

  55. D@v3

    re : Guns, beautiful guns

    This kinda reminded me about this:

    Full auto shotgun, with single shot ability, able to fire a viraty of munitions all based around a standard(shape) 12Bore cartridge.

  56. Anonymous Coward

    @Anon Cow

    Blue on blue? Surely to Americans anyone foreign is red? No such thing as blue on blue.

  57. This post has been deleted by its author

  58. James Pickett


    "a true 'leap ahead' in lethality".

    Oh, goody.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    No mention of accountability?..

    Judge Dredd's Lawgiver automatically stuck a microscopic fragment of the shooter's DNA to each projectile as it was chambered in order that the shooter may be identified. (pretty sure that was in the comics as well as the movie though no idea how it works through those gloves).

    Wonder if will implement the idea of being able to prove who fired what at who and when?

  60. James

    RE: 'Bike Cannon!' 'BUDDA BUDDA'

    I always preferred "Eat lead, sucker. bidi-bidi-bidi" from a surprisingly feisty Twiki.

  61. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Better training just about killed the OICW

    Originally, the whole OICW "combined rifle" idea came about from one simple fact - the average US footslogger couldn't shoot for toffee! 1980s analysis had shown the average GI was shooting off over 1000 rounds per actual kill on the battlefield with the standard M16-A1, so the US government started talking about an M16 replacement, and some twit decided on the idea of a smart round (initially in 20mm) to ensure they got closer to a one-shot-per-kill optimum, thinking that technology could solve all problems. Cough *pork-barrel* cough!

    Anyway, the US Army weren't too keen on the initial offering - the rediculously heavy Heckler & Koch XM-29 - which was basically an G-36 with a 20mm grenade-launcher and some elctronics strapped on top. Early on, the requirement was added that the soldier using the kit be able to split off the rifle and use it alone, which threatened Colt with the US Army taking up the G-36 wholesale to replace their M16s, and Colt had enough lobbying power to throw a spanner in the works there. In the background, the Army started some better marksmenship training, revised their battle drills, and noted the greater accuracy of the new SS109 bullet in the heavier-barrelled M16-A2 rifle, especially when fitted with optics rather than just iron sights. They also re-introduced the idea of dedicated marksmen for longer range engagment (with the M16-A4) for each rifle section. The result was much increased efficiency in shots-per-kill.

    So by the time H&K had got even half-way to the requirements, the US Army was happily showing off improved kill ratios from the first Gulf War and involvement in UN "peace-keeping" ops like Somalia, which undermined the argument that one smart 20mm round would be more cost-efficient. Colt had happilly proven the horses-for-courses adaptability of the basic M4/M16, even capable of firing the old 7.62mm NATO round, and if the 6.8mm SPC round ever gets adopted it's likely to be with a modified M4/M16 rifle. So nobody was interested in the G-36 anymore. They were also quite happy with the 40mm grenade fired by the M203 adaption that fitted the M16-A2 and didn't take kindly to the idea of the 40mm being taken away. With it already looking ludicrously expensive and unlikely to hit weight requirements (soldiers in the hot and dry environment of Somalia cursed the relatively light M16-A2 as too heavy!), cue the death of the XM-29.

    Desperate to save something from the fiasco, the politicians (not the US Army) started looking at making the 20mm grenade launcher into a separate weapon to replace the M203, hence the upsizing to 25mm and the XM-25. This ran into such opposition from the 40mm brigade they have switched to pushing it as a smart-rifle-cum-shotgun rather than the M203 killer they intended. The M320 has now been accepted as the M203 replacement, the US Army being happily wedded to the idea of the 40mm grenade. Meanwhile the Marines are pushing for the M32 revolver GL (which uses the existing 40mm ammo) to suppliment M203s. And the M26 clip-on auto-shotgun for the M16/M4 fulfills the small shotgun requirment not covered by several models of commercial shotguns already in use by US forces. So there is even less chance of the XM-25/29 being bought in any numbers if at all. The only reason I can see that anyone would continue the project would be for research purposes with an aim of using the fuses with future 40mm launchers, though the Mk 47 Striker seems to have already got there.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    " "shoot the Brit in the back" game. "

    Well, tell them to stop running away!

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Running away?

    Or making significantly greater progress in the face of the enemy?

  64. Anonymous Coward

    *That* cammo.

    As someone else mentioned, it's the latest US 'digital' multipurpose camoflage. Designed by computer as the best pattern for disrupting the PBI's outline against a variety of backgrounds, it is available in all the normal cammo colors (except, of course, black - but could you tell anyway??).

    Most hacked off are the Marines since they wasted a whole pile of dead presidents on copyrighting their MARPAT ('MARine PATtern') BDUs only to have the other arms go and get something better... poor jarheads. Almost gotta feel sorry for them :-)

    I'll have the one in the Digital Urban Cammo, please.

  65. Anton Ivanov

    Re: @Hacker's Challenge

    This is not even 90'es tech. Without all the high-tech gadgetry this used to be standard on most of the large artillery as far back as the 19th century. All that has happened here is that someone has made it small enough and has managed to hook up the rangefinder electronics straight to it. Neat engineering, but nothing particularly revolutionary.

    However this also means that it will end up being used as artillery - you fire a couple of rounds first and then adjust the fuse time so you get it to blow up where you want it. Much less surprise and much more rounds wasted to score a successful hit.

  66. Terry Browning

    Programmable ammunition demo

    Similar ammunition is in use already, albeit at larger calibres.

    The Bofors CV90 combat vehicle is demonstrated with 40mm smart ammo. The 3P fuse demonstration starts half-way through.

    The use of explosive ammunition under 400g is forbidden by the Declaration of St Petersburg (1868).

  67. Anonymous Coward

    Lots of possibilities, can I have a job?

    25mm is huge at 45nM feature sizes.

    An offset 2 axis accelerometer would only need the initial velocity in frame to enhance the accuracy on target (the rate of change of spin from rifling, and tumbling, provides information on the air resistance. Initial velocity is from acceleration down the barrel plus the velocity vector in frame).

    Since the thing isn't all that smart, most of the processing would be done outside the round, and just download tables. Different tables for flat trajectory vs. a large arc for instance. The local intelligence would compare measurements to the predigested algorithm tables.

    If orientation is accurate enough, the old fashioned garrote bullet might be workable (one desires the split in the horizontal plane)-- splits apart with a nano filament between the two halves at range, if the garrote doesn't do it, the contact explosive in the two halves will when they wrap the target, if not that the remains are time fuzed to catch the chickens prone on the ground.

    With a bit of computation legerdemain, one could use a shaped charge to actually shoot around corners rather than just spread shrapnel in a globe.

    The possibilities for destroying fleshies are endless.

  68. Andraž Levstik

    @If it works

    If the chip is cooled below body temperature (soldier dies, chip cut out, etc) the authorization codes are randomized and will no longer activate the weapon.

    So a soldier hidding in some mud or sludge etc... where his temp drops rather heavily would suddenly be unable to fire off stuff...

    How about having it rely on heart rate etc...

  69. Johnson

    Oh, dear.

    Do you even know what "wack" means?

    Clearly not.

    Do yourselves a favor and hire an Ebonics Consultant if you're going to try to sound groovy.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great...'s another gun to kill and maim other people with. Wow. How inspired. What incredible beings we are. How we never learn. Yet we keep getting these reports of the tragic loss of life on the news, our troops and their civilians, and most of us don't seem to think that is so cool...

    I hear Zyklon B is AMAZING stuff, you can kill loads of people real quick with that, and it's pretty cheap too... IEDs work well also, again, very cheap and easy to use, plus the enemy has no idea where they are, brilliant eh!? ....

    What a f*cking waste of time and effort. We may as well just get on with the nuclear holocaust, because all this pissing around with incremental improvements in killing power is just time wasting...c'mon, with a nuclear bomb, it doesn't matter how many corners you stand around. Isn't that brilliant?!...

    And worse still people actually bother to write about this kind of `development`.

    They (Gov't) mostly spend OUR money and effort on developing this shit so they can conquer piss poor third world nations. Fucking disgraceful.

    I thought we were in the middle of some kind of economic slump? Obviously not if they can afford to keep wasting money on shit like this. War was more fun when it was up close and personal, you know, with blades, clubs and maces. They do the same thing, just a lot cheaper, and gives the bearer more of a `hands on` experience of death and suffering in all it's glory.

  71. fajensen

    What's the point;

    ... of a new, better, gun?

    The US are *still* going to lose against any bunch of 3-world tribespeople they decide to pick a fight with. Those people can pop out babies for longer than we can produce USD 25 bullets to shoot them with and they clearly don't mind dying so much as we do!

    The Brits of the past were way smarter: They got the tribals to fight each other; that's what these people *do* after all (when they are not actively scoping for a bit of bum or looting the next village).

  72. Matthew Hale

    Wack Job...

    Haha, was wondering the same thing... that's hillarious...

    I think he meant `dope`, if that's the kind of lingo he fancies using, however actually `wack` is probably more appropriate to describe this diabolical waste of time effort and money. It's a gun, whoopy f*ck. Haven't we got enough ways to murder and maim yet? I thought those nuclear warheads were supposed to be the shit, and you can hide round as many corners as you like, it won't help! Biological weapons are even BETTER no? If by BETTER you mean can KILL MORE people FASTER. IEDs (brilliant, because the enemy can't even see them before it's too late! Like mines really, but when our enemy uses them, we call them IEDs because it sounds more `terroristy`...heh... Biological weapons, Zyklon B and many others are all really effective too, in varying scenarios. What a wonderful world. Will they never learn? Maybe we should invest some money in building bridges and collaborating on engineering projects to further our collective future on this planet, and possibly others. I know, stupid idea, let's just kill each other, we KNOW we can do that.

  73. Dave Bell

    The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville Nine that day;

    I thought that American soldiers were so good at baseball that they didn't need grenade launchers.

  74. Dalen

    Copyright infringement?

    I wonder if Games Workshop is going to sue them. That thing works just like the standard-issue Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines) bolter.

    Mine's the power armor in Space Wolf Blue.

  75. Rob Mossop

    re: I'm all for it

    "governments would consider it too expensive to declare war on abstract concepts"

    Personally, I can't wait for the first declaration of war against Heidegger's notion of fundamental ontology.

    Mine's the one embroidered with existential angst...

  76. RogueElement
    Black Helicopters

    the similarities are terrifying

    ... the judge, jury and executioner all in one - it's just like 21st century Britain (not great).

    Now then, it other news; the size zero-challenged individuals of our society are complaining because people are calling them "fat"... and I recall that classic one-liner... "where's ma belly-wheel". I'd be tempted also to add something about how words hurt but sticks and stones just bounce off - but I'd better not.

  77. Rich

    Can you shoot clay pigeons with it?

    Tool of choice for boring corporate days,.

  78. Wayland Sothcott


    A bit like shooting those chemical drums in Doom.

  79. Mark

    "$25 a shot "

    Chris Rock reckons ANYONE should be able to get a gun. Cheap.

    Ammo should be heavily controlled and cost $10,000.

    The idea is that if you DO shoot someone, they must REALLY have deserved it.

  80. Mark

    re: No mention of accountability?..

    I don't know if they spelled it out in the movie, but it would work because the lawgiver could ONLY be shot by the accepted owner. Store the DNA profile in the gun. No need to get another lump from the host.

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