Just crazy enough to be true.
September 25, 2001 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Just crazy enough to be true. How about that 1 mill a minute??
posted by johnny7 (17 comments total)
what show highlighted these guns? i remember hearing about them on a recent cable show. the show also said that the company was looking into multi-barrel weapons, capable of holding various calibers and projectile types, such as non-leathal rounds. very interesting stuff indeed. i do remember the million round thing simply being an extreme example of what the company was capable of building, and not a working model. still, very cool. thanks for the link.
posted by mich9139 at 1:13 PM on September 25, 2001

This was in a recent issue of Popular Science. The 1 mil per minute thing is, from what I remember, just conjectural. The ammo is stacked in the barrel, and they built a 36 barrel prototype. I think the math was 30,000 rounds per minute per barrel, so theoretically the gun has a total barrel rate of 1 mil per minute. But you can't fire all 36 barrels at once, and you can't stack 1 mil rounds in a 9mm anyway. Still, interesting technology... FOR DEATH!
posted by starvingartist at 1:20 PM on September 25, 2001

I remember reading about this some time back through Memepool... The applications for this are limited (would you like to carry a million shells around with you?), but might be used to replace the Phalanx system on board ships to defend against incoming missiles.

Still, kind of frightening, don't you think?

"Metal Storm's origins are unorthodox as well. It was invented by former grocery wholesaler Mike O'Dwyer, a lone Australian tinkerer with no formal education in ballistics or engineering. His previous patents are for devices such as air-cooled sneakers. ("They pump air through as you jog," he explains.) Yet after 15 years of trial and error in his tropical Queensland home, O'Dwyer came up with a gun prototype that recently fired 180 rounds of nine-millimeter bullets in 0.01 second during a demonstration before military officials in Adelaide. Metal Storm's bullets leave its barrel so quickly that they are only microseconds apart--when one bullet is flying through the air, the next is just 10 centimeters (four inches) behind. For current machine guns, the gap between bullets is 30 meters."

- from a Scientific American article...
posted by kahboom at 1:23 PM on September 25, 2001

oh yeah, popular science. my bad. anyone have a clue how accurate these guns would be? seems like the first bullet shot would only have around an inch of barrel before being expelled from the gun.
posted by mich9139 at 1:34 PM on September 25, 2001

How do they keep the barrels from melting to pudding because of the friction?
posted by UncleFes at 1:45 PM on September 25, 2001

I guess that with a million rounds leaving the gun every minute it wouldn't need to be very accurate...
posted by kahboom at 1:46 PM on September 25, 2001

i saw this metal storm gun demonstrated on telly a while back... it's astonishing the rate at which it fires... it could probably destroy a tank, but i don't see what the advantage is over a missile or something
posted by mokey at 1:49 PM on September 25, 2001

that'd be a big-ass clip on that gun.

but why a million a minute? in case the first hundred thousand don't kill whomever you're shooting?
posted by tolkhan at 1:54 PM on September 25, 2001

Bah, doesn't matter - a million bullets in the wrong place will still be infinitely less effective than a single bullet right where it needs to be.
posted by UncleFes at 2:05 PM on September 25, 2001

Here's their web site.
posted by owillis at 2:22 PM on September 25, 2001

skallas -- Yeah, but the people in the tank would be really disoriented.
posted by j.edwards at 2:56 PM on September 25, 2001

Who said anything about soft lead? There's no particular reason why the individual rounds couldn't be made of something more interesting. Like lead jackets with tungsten penetrators.

Seems to me the main use would be as an anti-air weapon (incl. anti-missile) and maybe, just maybe as a ground-attack weapon for an exceedingly high-speed aerial platform. After all, if you're moving at multiple mach, a normal cannon spits rounds so far apart that it's useless for strafing-style attacks.
posted by aramaic at 3:40 PM on September 25, 2001

accuracy? who needs accuracy? hey, if your chances of hitting something are a million to one, then you have it made.
posted by bradth27 at 3:41 PM on September 25, 2001

Also good for clearing minefields from a helicopter, as the projectiles are close enough to sweep a large area.
posted by gkanapathy at 3:43 PM on September 25, 2001

Would be useful for clearing out large crowds at football matches, council estates, etc?
posted by wackybrit at 6:56 PM on September 25, 2001

The Metal Storm website has some really cool looking videos. Very futuristic looking... maybe a little too much so. It reminds me a lot of Cyberpunk. Pretty awesome looking.

Not that I'm into killing people or anything....
posted by Loudmax at 11:21 PM on September 25, 2001

It sounds a lot like Reason (Ultima Ratio Regum) to me. "Do not test in a populated area."
posted by leapfrog at 7:42 AM on September 26, 2001

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