Feeds

Grenade-gasm autogun gets Raoul Moat Taser shells

Electric stun rockets on auto: You know you want this

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Metal Storm, the Australian weapons firm famous for its "million rounds a minute" superimposed-projectile technology, has partnered with Taser International to produce an electroshock stun version of its rapid-firing multishot grenade-launcher design.

The new Metal Storm format projectile will be based on Taser's existing XREP, a projectile which is fired from a 12-bore shotgun. On striking a target, an internal battery delivers an incapacitating electric shock through contact barbs, so removing the need for wires back to the weapon as with a normal Taser and allowing greater range.

XREP projectiles were controversially fired by police marksmen at the rampaging UK gunman Raoul Moat at the time of his death, in an apparent unsuccessful attempt to prevent him shooting himself. This action was later criticised as the XREP had not yet been formally cleared for UK police use by the Home Office.

Metal Storm's ammunition differs from standard types in that it uses all-burned-on-launch rockets which can be stacked one on top of each other in a gun barrel and which are fired electrically. This permits rounds to be fired one after the other from the same barrel very quickly, without any associated magazine or receiver: multibarrel Metal Storm test weapons achieved rates of fire above a million rounds a minute back in the 1990s, sparking worldwide interest in the firm.

The company has in recent years sought to use this idea to build an underbarrel 40mm grenade launcher of the sort commonly attached to normal assault rifles by modern armies: but the Metal Storm 3GL version would be three-shot and rapid firing, as opposed to ordinary single-shot units. The company has tested various kinds of 40mm warhead with its screw-on rocket bases, including trendy thermobaric bunker busters, but has had difficulty achieving mil-spec certification for these.

Now the intention is to put Taser XREP zapper warheads on Metal Storm's 12-bore rocket bases, so allowing the production of a five-shot MAUL underbarrel Taser-zapbomb launcher.

"We developed the XREP to provide an extended range for situations where a close approach was dangerous or not possible," says Taser founder Tom Smith in tinned quotes accompanying the announcement. "MAUL would provide this capability from a very lightweight, compact accessory launcher, rather than the operator having to carry a separate conventional shotgun."

That said, it is fairly routine to mount a normal pump-action 12-bore under an assault rifle – usually primarily for the purpose of firing door-breaching rounds – which would allow the use of ordinary XREPs if desired. And these days troops sometimes carry shotguns instead of assault rifles anyway.

It's unclear if the Taser deal can revive the fortunes of Metal Storm, which went public to much "million rounds a minute" hype in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2001, but has yet to make any major sales. Its stocks have plunged to a tiny fraction of their initial value. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.