US Army to test the “ribbon gun,” a rifle that can fire four bullets at once

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An American inventor has built what he calls a “ribbon gun” in his garage with materials that are probably fairly close to a box of scraps. Now the U.S. Army itself is investigating his weapon for potential adoption and use, an article in The Gazette reported.

At first glance, the new weapon looks like a blocky plastic toy for children. But many people said the same thing of the M-16 when it first came out in 1963.

The ribbon gun can unleash even more firepower than the Vietnam War era assault rifle. That is because it can fire off four bullets at the same time, whereas the M-16 can only fire one bullet at a time. It also promises to exceed the high rate of fire of the automatic versions of the older gun.

Colorado Springs native Martin Grier designed and built it with nothing more than natural ingenuity and easily-acquired machine tools. If all goes well, American military arsenals may one day roll out mass-produced copies of this gun. (Related: NJ State Police to launch Nazi-style door-to-door gun magazine confiscation campaign… at gunpoint, of course… NJ declares WAR on its own residents.)

This ribbon gun can fire all four barrels together

The ribbon gun is a four-barreled affair. Each “barrel” measures six millimeters in diameter. They are cut side by side within a single block of steel, which technically makes them “bores.”

Ammunition comes in blocks of four rounds each. Instead of a mechanical firing mechanism, the weapon uses electromagnetic actuators. This highly-efficient system allows it to fire as many as 250 rounds per second.

The best part of the ribbon gun is what Grier described as a “power shot.” In this mode of fire, the weapon fires four rounds at the same time. The bullets travel at speeds that exceed 2,500 miles per hour, which is more than three times the speed of sound.

He has already secured patents for the various technologies he built into his gun. He even started a company named FD Munitions to hawk his wares to the U.S. Army.

“A multibore firearm, with several bores within a single barrel, could potentially exhibit many of the advantages of a multibarrel design, while reducing the size, weight and complexity disadvantages,” Grier said regarding the ribbon gun.

The (four simultaneous) shots that may change the world of firearms

The genesis of this American-designed weapon started in the 1990s. Grier and his kids had just finished a day’s worth of shooting when he realized that their .22 caliber rifle hadn’t changed much from the muskets of George Washington’s army.

All guns use mechanical firing mechanisms that can jam or break down at the worst possible time. They also fire one bullet at a time.

Grier decided to break that mold. He started with the ammo. Normally, a shell casing holds one bullet, but one of his ammunition blocks holds four. Each round is precisely aligned with the matching bore.

Next is the firing mechanism. The trigger of the gun is an electronic switch that activates the electromagnetic actuator behind the ammo block. Every round has its own actuator, so they can be fired one at a time or all together for the “power shot.”

Finally, he used computer-guided electricity to cut bores into the steel with incredible precision. The first unit he built with these new techniques weighed slightly less than the M-16.

Grief is currently working on a prototype ribbon gun that will be thoroughly tested by the U.S. Army. If successful, this garage-built gun could possibly become the weapon of choice of America’s war-fighters.

Want to arm yourself with the latest news on guns and ammo? Check out Guns.news.

Sources include

Gazette.com

DigitalTrends.com

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