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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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Coat

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.

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Bronze badge
Coat

tarn-nation

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?

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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?

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TeeCee

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

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(Written by Reg staff)

Lawgiver

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.

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Coat

Huge leap ahead in lethality

Renews my faith in the human race etc.

/gets hippy coat

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Ammo

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

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Joke

M25

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

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Alert

Science Fiction

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

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Coat

Toothy

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!

http://www.2000adonline.com

...it's the one with the Space Spinner in the pocket, ta.

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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

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Anonymous Coward

So an attacker....

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

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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.

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the camo's not THAT good

I can still see th ebloody thing

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Coat

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.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

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.

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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.

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Unhappy

Excellent

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.

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@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.

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Ed

Lawgiver

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.

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Ash
Joke

@Dave

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?

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Bronze badge

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.

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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.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: I'm all for it

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

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@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.

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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'

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Silver badge
Flame

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,

Tabun,

Sarin,

Soman,

VX,

Anthrax,

Smallpox,

fusion bombs,

fission bombs,

neutron bombs,

dirty bombs,

...

Having second thoughts yet?

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Heart

Bootnotes

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.

/rant

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Boffin

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.

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Law
Flame

YEEEEEEEEEE HAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR

that is all

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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...

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Happy

@Dave

"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

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Flame

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!"

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@Charlie

'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...

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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.

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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 ?!?

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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.

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jon
Paris Hilton

Trivia

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]

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Silver badge

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.

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Coat

@ Teacake

Dalai Canon! "Buddha Buddha"

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Silver badge

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.

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It isn't just Judge Dredd who does this...

...here is a whole page of characters who Call Their Attacks!

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main.CallingYourAttacks

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Coat

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

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Boffin

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

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CTG
Flame

@Phil Tanner

Yes, it's just you.

Loser.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe the Met could use this...

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

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Sam

@Lewis

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!

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(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.

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Gates Horns

Windows plus Li-on Battery

no further comment required :)

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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.

ttfn

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