There’s a reasonable argument to be made that firearms technology has stalled ever so slightly in recent decades. Not much has changed. Ultimately, until a new propellent, projectile material, or cartridge design offers significant advantages over the current market, the stall will likely continue. However, that doesn’t mean that the technology around the gun can’t change. In fact, it’s in that realm that we’ve seen most of the most significant advances since the 1960s.
But it’s not just about what’s currently on the market, it’s about what capability these technologies bring to the warfighter. While most tend to think this sort of technology trickles down from the military, that isn’t always the case. New gear is expensive, after all, especially when you have to buy enough of it to outfit hundreds of thousands of troops. Individual consumers, on the other hand, can buy themselves snazzy new gear that just isn’t yet economically feasible to be general issue.
Current production items might not be up to the military’s standards, but the concepts themselves might be sound. These gun gadgets offer a point of reference for what future firearms can be capable of.
T-Worx Intelligent Rail
Your modern military rifle sits adorned with a wide variety of accessories. This includes the optics, white lights, and IR laser aiming systems in most applications. The Intelligent Rail for T-Worx promises to power all these items through the rail system itself, from a singular battery pack located in an M4 type rifle’s stock. The Intelligent rail takes the cake as one of the more high-tech gun gadgets on the market.
Outside of providing a power system for various weapon accessories, the Intelligent Rail can also connect your accessories and soldiers to higher command elements. Each scope can become a camera that allows leaders to tune in to any individual soldier. The intelligent rail and provided accessories can send photos via the scope or mark grid coordinates for higher or other squad members in seconds.
The Intelligent Rail system can easily feed information to and from commanders, squad leaders, and individual soldiers. This creates better situational awareness and more efficient communication. It’s a fascinating technology that still works as a slide rifle rail system. The U.S. military is already working on finding ways to increase connectivity between troops on the ground, and this or a similar system could easily find its way into that effort.
The Meprolight Foresight is a reflex sight that’s currently on the market. This is one of the many gun gadgets anyone can purchase that may well serve as a reference point for future optics we’ll find in service. The Foresight can directly communicate via Bluetooth with Android and iOS systems. Users can program the optic to utilize different reticles, zero the optic through an external device, and even program multiple zeroes to one optic.
Different zeroes could allow the gun to jump between different guns with the press of a button. Also, multiple zeroes could be used depending on the ammo utilized. 300 Blackout can be used with subsonic and supersonic rounds for different purposes, causing the weapon’s zeroes to shift. The Foresight makes it easy to swap between a sub and supersonic zeroes.
The Foresight also provides a heads-up display with an integral compass, a round counter, and an integral level. It’s a fascinating design that provides you with an amazing amount of information for a simple weapon sight.
Sig Sauer BDX Kit
BDX stands for Ballistic Data Exchange, and the kit is both a range finder and riflescope. These two systems communicate with each other via the SIG BDX app. Why? Well, because the two can work together to make long-range shooting a superbly simple affair. Users have to program their bullet profile into the app, and from there, the system works its magic.
The BDX measures the range and then places an illuminated dot in the scope of your exact holdover. This allows you to rapidly place shots on targets without having to do the necessary math. You can even enter windage information to have the dot compensate for wind. The system also allows the integration of Kestrel and GPOS ballistic devices for even more accuracy and range.
This is another one of the gun gadgets currently available on the commercial market that could very well be the future of warfighting. Snipers can easily and rapidly engage at targets at ranges well beyond the norm. This level of precision and systems integration will make long-range shooting much easier and allow a sniper to extend his or her lethality.
RadeTec is all about handguns. They make three gun gadgets that bear mentioning, and they are all about ammo consumption. The Devices are separated into the digital counter, the LED advisor, and the RISC.
The Digital Counters ammunition counter is implemented into the grips that tell you how much ammunition is left in a magazine. These grips coordinate with a special follower to measure the shots fired and feed that information to the user. Ammunition management is critical in a firefight, and these give you an exact count.
Firearms like the Glock series do not implement a pair of removable grips, so the RISC exists. The RISC attaches to the back of a Glock and acts as a round counter to monitor ammunition as well.
Finally, the LED Advisor is much simpler and is another grip-mounted design. A little green LED indicator tells you that you are good to go. When it turns red, you have three rounds remaining in your magazine. Again, very vital information to have in a gunfight.
Digital triggers live life in paintball guns but have only recently taken a hard swing into the world of firearms. A company called DigiTrigger produces an AR-15 digital trigger system. Why an electronically fired trigger? Well, you can adjust the trigger pull on-demand and reduce it substantially, allowing for greater accuracy and a tripper pull that’s tailored to the shooter.
This allows the trigger to be insanely lightweight, and light triggers equal enhanced accuracy. Digital triggers could also allow for programmable fire modes in the future with various burst settings or control settings.
The DigiTrigger uses a battery, and if it dies, then the gun reverts back to a manual trigger pull. This enhanced reliability ensures our trigger pullers can remain trigger pullers, even when the power is out.
The Best Gun Gadgets
These gun gadgets and gizmos of today could well become the standard issue of tomorrow. Development of such products is never done overnight, and it’s fascinating to see the tech grow and evolve into duty-worth products. Until something happens and lasers become the norm, we can expect the ballistic propulsion of small pieces of metal to stay at the top of the firearm heap. That doesn’t mean the accessories these slug throwers wear need to be as old as the guns. Small changes can yield big results, so we’ll see just how far the tech can take us.