Tag Archives | Weapons

The Self-Guided Bullet

Presumably the marketing pitch will be that you literally can't miss. From KRQE:
Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have invented a bullet that guides itself to the target. Sandia has wide expertise at miniature technology, and the bullet works like a tiny guided missile. The patented design doesn't shoot straight. Instead of a spiral rotation, the bullet twists and turns to guide itself towards a laser directed point. It can make up to thirty corrections per second while in the air...
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Obama Administration Selling Arms to Bahrain

Via Common Dreams:

As the Arab Spring unfolded last year, protesters in the streets saw something startling about the tools of repression being used on them. The Humvees, tanks, helicopters were from the US government; the canisters of chemical agents used to attack them said, “Made in the USA.”

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Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet and close ally of Saudi Arabia, brutally suppressed the uprising among their citizens. More than 40 pro-democracy protesters were killed and thousands more were arrested and tortured. While speaking out loudly on Libya’s brutality, the Obama administration remained largely silent on Bahrain.

Last fall the Obama administration announced plans to sell Bahrain $53 million worth of military weapons including bunker buster missiles, armored vehicles and wire-guided missiles. The Pentagon said at the time the sale “will improve Bahrain’s capability to meet current and future armored threats. Bahrain will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.”

Congressional opposition to the sale forced Obama to delay the weapons transfer.

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Sneaking Into A Russian Military Rocket Factory

rocketWhen you walk by a topnotch military rocket factory and notice that there are no guards on duty, it’s an opportunity for fun. A set of unbelievable photos, via Gizmodo:

Her name is Lana Sator and she snuck into one of NPO Energomash factories outside of Moscow. Her photos are amazing, like sets straight out of Star Wars or Alien. Now the Russian government is harassing her.

It was easy to get in. She just went there, jumped over the fence and got right into the heart of the complex through a series of tunnels and pipes, which was very surprising. After all, this is an active industrial installation that belongs to one of the top manufacturers of liquid-fuel rockets in the world.

And yet, she found nobody. No guards, no security. Nothing. Just a few CCTV cameras here and there in rooms packed with huge machinery.

While some of these zones look decrepit and abandoned, the factory is active.

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Turn Deceased Loved Ones’ Ashes Into Bullets

The smokeAlabama-based company Holy Smoke will do just this, loading cremated remains into live shotgun rounds — allowing for numerous possibilities of sweetly perfect, Tarantino-esque posthumous vengeance:

My friend smiled and said “You know I’ve thought about this for some time and I want to be cremated. Then I want my ashes put into some turkey load shotgun shells and have someone that knows how to turkey hunt use the shotgun shells with my ashes to shoot a turkey. That way I will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second.”

I realized that my friend was describing almost exactly how I wanted my ashes to be spread. How perfect to have my family and friends honor me by using shotgun shells with a little bit of my ash in each one. Whether my shells get shot at sporting clays or live birds or put on the shelf, even in death I could be ecologically sound and useful.

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Making Everyday Objects Deadly: The Art of the Shiv

ShivI've also heard them called shanks, the word itself, "shiv" or "shank," intuitively sounds like their intended use, further relayed with these photos from this article by William Drenttel in Design Observer:
A shiv is a weapon crafted from the limited resources of a prisoner's closed world. Crudely constructed from such things as spoons, shoelaces and upholstery tacks, shivs lie somewhere between the graceful and the grotesque. They're primitive, too — like outsider art, but produced deep on the inside. The individual parts that make up a shiv tend to be everyday objects, innocent things furtively reconstituted as lethal weapons. Each design choice is essential, but what's particularly notable is that shivs, at their core, are not so much evocations of minimalism as they are symbols of survivalism. A shiv is all about masked utility: it's an innocuous object with improbably toxic intent (whether used to attack others or to protect oneself...)
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Pentagon’s Lightning Gun Sold On eBay

Photo: Cody Oliver, USMC

Photo: Cody Oliver, USMC

The Burning Man may be incinerated faster than usual this year … Noah Schachtman reports for Wired:

There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Pentagon sank tens of millions of dollars into remote-controlled lightning guns that it hoped would fry insurgent bombs before they killed any more troops. Now, disassembled parts from the one-time wonder-weapons are being sold on eBay. At least one buyer snatched up the gear, hoping to use it in his latest art project for Burning Man.

All of which would make for a funny little story, if that buyer didn’t discover that the multimillion dollar “Joint Improvised Explosive Device Neutralizers,” or JINs, were kluged together from third-rate commercial electronics, and controlled by open Wi-Fi signals. In other words, the Pentagon didn’t just overpay for a flawed weapon. On the off-chance the JIN ever worked, the insurgents could control it, too.

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US Navy’s High Energy Laser Gun Smokes Boat (Video)

Given the U.S. Government's propensity for starting wars in the 21st century it probably won't be long before we see these high-energy lasers in battle. Here's what the Office of Naval Research had to say about the test:
Marking a milestone for the Navy, the Office of Naval Research and its industry partner on April 6 successfully tested a solid-state, high-energy laser (HEL) from a surface ship, which disabled a small target vessel...
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How Two Bumbling Stoner Kids Became The Pentagon’s Favorite Arms Dealers

efraimdiveroli00_guns_local_embedded_prod_affiliate_56It sounds like the plot of a John Hughes ’80s teen comedy. Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz were a pair of underachieving kids from Miami (interests: football, “whisky”, and “chilling with the boyz”) until, as part of the privatization effort, they somehow landed a $300 million contract from the Bush administration to provide ammunition for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Then things soured: greed pitted the friends against one another, all they could give the military were defective, Chinese-made munitions from Albania, and now Diveroli is in jail. Rolling Stone has the barely-believable saga:

Reassured by the e-mail, Packouz got into his brand-new blue Audi A4 and headed home for the evening, windows open, the stereo blasting. At 25, he wasn’t exactly used to the pressures of being an international arms dealer. Only months earlier, he had been making his living as a massage therapist; his studies at the Educating Hands School of Massage had not included classes in military contracting or geopolitical brinkmanship.

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ATF Purposely Allowed Drug Cartels To Buy And Smuggle Thousands Of Assault Weapons

article-0-0D507149000005DC-632_468x574In a secret program called “Fast and Furious”, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms knowingly let thousands of assault rifles (such as AK-47s) “walk” across the border into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico — ATF planned to track the guns for intelligence purposes and “see where they ended up.” The weaponry in question has been used in a spree of deadly crimes, including the murders of U.S. government agents Jaime Zapata and Brian Terry. A whistleblower at ATF brought the matter to light, CBS News reports:

Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is asking the U.S. government for details about ATF’s “Fast and Furious” operations.

As our CBS News Investigation has revealed, “Fast and Furious” was a secret program under which, sources say, ATF purposely allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons from the U.S. into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico. Insiders call it letting the guns “walk.”

Documents show that ATF-walked guns began turning up at many violent crime scenes in Mexico from the start.

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