Smart Gun Beaten By Dumb Magnets

[Plore], a hacker with an interest in safe cracking, read a vehemently anti-smart-gun thread in 2015. With the words “Could you imagine what the guys at DEF CON could do with this?” [Plore] knew what he had to do: hack some smart guns. Watch the video below the break.

Armed with the Armatix IP1, [Plore] started with one of the oldest tricks in the book: an RF relay attack. The Armatix IP1 is designed to fire only when a corresponding watch is nearby, indicating that a trusted individual is the one holding the gun. However, by using a custom-built $20 amplifier to extend the range of the watch, [Plore] is able to fire the gun more than ten feet away, which is more than enough distance to be dangerous and certainly more than the few inches the manufacturers intended.

Not stopping there, [Plore] went to the other extreme, creating what he calls an “electromagnetic compatibility tester” (in other words, a jammer) that jams the signal from the watch, effectively preventing a legitimate gun owner from firing their gun at 10 to 20 feet!

Not one to call it quits, [Plore] realised that the gun prevented illicit firing with a simple metal pin which it moved out of the way once it sensed the watch nearby. However, this metal just happened to be ferrous, and you know what that means: [Plore], with the help of some strong magnets, was able to move the pin without any electrical trickery.

Now, we’ve already covered the many hurdles that smart guns face, and this specific investigation of the state of smart gun technology doesn’t make the picture look any brighter. We’re aware that hindsight is always 20/20, so let us know in the comments how you would fix the problems with the Armatix IP1.

221 thoughts on “Smart Gun Beaten By Dumb Magnets

    1. Not over here they don’t.

      I’m surprised people don’t consider controlling the ammo since, yes, any bit of pipe and basic hammer mechanism can improvise a fairly usable gun. Knocking up a blasting cap (or whatever you DO fucking call them) in your shed is much more of a challenge, mercury fulminate (or whatever…) isn’t nearly as common as pipes and odd bits of metal. It’s the bullet that makes a gun any use at all.

      1. The bullet isn’t much use without a slingshot. Typical ammunition is a brass shell, a propellant like cordite or nitrocellulose (magicians flash paper) soaked in nitroglycerine, a high explosive primer, and a bullet. The primers are made the way they are for extreme high reliability. You can rig other ways to ignite the propellant. Modern propellants produce around 50,000 psi or 345 mpa. The high pressure produces the high burning rate. To use a pipe safely you need very light loads.

    2. It is such a waste of time and money. When you live in a country with very large open border, and the Central American countries to the south are chock full of Soviet and Chinese weapons that found their way into civilian hands, and it is also where the gangs are headquartered, what is the point?

      The laws are stepping stones to control, and they have the additional benefit of making arrests stronger. If you can’t find the evidence you want, poke around till you find a gun and send them up on charges unrelated to your search warrant.

    1. this debate is only a real issue in one place in the world…

      in virtually all other countries, even if their gun to people ratio is similar, there don’t seem to be the same issues that prompt the debate to begin with

          1. brucedesertrat… the book Freakanomics (chapter 4) had an interesting take on why crime has dropped. The book also had some useful information on dealing with real estate agents that I applied when selling my home.

      1. From what i have read (and i may be wrong) that would be because only one country (really only one state, NJ) has a law on the books that states that gun stores may only sell so called “smart” guns once those guns are available anywhere in the country.

        Some people will tell you that the backlash on smart guns is only an unintended consequence of said law, but personally i am more inclined to believe that the specific law was created especially to create a line in the sand. the law was created with the intent of making handguns child proof but the foolishness of that assumption is astounding… after-all if the child got their hands on the ring or watch it really wouldn’t make any difference.

        I live in Canada and we have some pretty restrictive gun laws. Everyone must take a safety course before they are able to purchase any gun, and even then handguns are in a completly different catagory from rifles.

        To simplify the law, essentially rifles must be stored in a locked compartment (or with a trigger lock) and not stored in the same location as the ammunition. Handguns are considered a restricted firearm and thus when stored must be behind two locks with the ammunition stored somewhere else (and locked away as well), because of their restricted classification an owner transporting a handgun must also call in and report where they are going with their hand gun (this is a fairly quick process and very easy to do). You do not need to report the transportation of your rifle but it needs to be stored in a reasonable manner with in your vehicle, preferably in a locked compartment and definitely out of sight.

        My personal opinion is that these are reasonable measures that take into account people who enjoy recreational shooting or hunting. In the case of self defense, i personally believe that a handgun is a terrible weapon and unless you have put a considerable amount of lead down range it will not be as accurate as people believe (mostly due to people being in stressful situations and not having the training to calm their nerves before squeezing the trigger). In the case of self defense an average person is much better off with a blade over a gun as a blade provides a plane of attack and a gun only provides a point. Case in point; the amount of time that the armed services and police force spend in training so that they can properly use their weapons in stress situations and even then that training doesn’t always work (there seems to be alot of jumpy police officers in north America)

        That being said, i think smart guns are a ridiculous idea and just not feasible in the long run. They introduce extra points of failure in what is a very simple mechanism, they increase the risk of the gun not firing when the user needs it to fire (which is why most police forces will be very slow on adoption) and they will not stop someone from wanting to fire a stolen gun (as given enough time, all electronics can be bypassed).

        in essence, the only reason that the US of A has this debate is because both sides have adopted an all or nothing stance and neither is willing to make some concessions on realistic gun laws. I understand historically why people in America want their guns and they want them with out the government knowing that they have them, and as such i would generally lean on the side of gun owners when it comes to this debate. That being said, i must abide by the laws of the land that i live on, but don’t think that there isn’t a debate in any of those other countries. We had to fight to get rid of a long gun registry that was imposed on us by one particular party of our government, the biggest difference is that we try to be reasonable about things up here, well that and it is pretty much un-Canadian to be packing heat in a metropolitan area.

        1. Up north, only regular range users are permitted to own restricted pistols and rifles.
          However, it is annoying to own these as the paperwork restricts where restricted firearms can be transported, stored, and discharged. Save your money and buy a white-elephant instead.

          Although unrestricted rifle owners usually have a safe anyway, they are only required to take the usual precautions with a anchored lock and removed bolt. Many pistol owners prefer reliability and safety protocols — every single accident is a result of violating one or more the safety protocol rules.
          Rule #1: Never assume a mechanical safety will function correctly

          Side note, you have bigger problems than an bogus trigger-lock if you are ever in a rare situation where a pistol will even make a difference. Honestly, I’d rather be holding a 12Ga with OO shells while shitting my pants for rare aggressive wildlife.

          Although I try to keep my sport safe by addressing local community’s concerns, there are limits to the ridiculous ignorant fantasies people can tolerate quietly. To summarize, the number one killer of humans are terminal cases of stupid… it has always been this way irrespective of the invention of firearms, fast-food, and automobiles.

        2. You are wrong in one regard… You said “both sides have adopted an all or nothing stance and neither is willing to make some concessions on realistic gun laws.”

          We used to have much more lax laws. Now we have background checks and have make automatic weapons largely illegal (unless you can afford to pay more than $10,000). The problem is that one side says “what we have is already realistic” and the other side wants to eat the elephant one bite at a time until it is completely gone.

          You are from Canada, a country that is also known for being extremely polite. I am sure that has nothing to do with the different violence levels.

          1. Canada is a country with approximately the same population as California, but spread out over a lot larger area. If there were 300+ million Canadians I’d expect their crime stats would be pretty similar to ours.


            >”A study led by Oregon State University researchers found that American organizations identifying as gun violence prevention groups advocate for the right to bear arms and for some gun purchase and ownership conditions, which they argue will curb gun-related injuries and deaths.”

            >The finding contrasts with some depictions of gun violence prevention groups as “anti-gun.” “When people talk about the ‘gun debate,’ it typically revolves around gun rights supporters and anti-gun people with no one in the middle,” said Aimee Huff, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Business.

            >”We found these groups are in the middle. They strike a balance between individual rights and responsibilities to reduce death and injury.”

            In reality the “all or nothing” story is made up propaganda to paint the opposition unreasonable and unreconcilable. It’s the age old bogeyman story where reasonable people are depicted as monsters so you wouldn’t even have to listen to their arguments. E.g. “The other side wants to eat the elephant one bite at a time”.

          3. Dax: There really is not much “middle ground.”

            Mostly the “middle ground” people want to do things that will have NO EFFECT on crime, and yet put a burden on honest people.

            Let’s list these “middle ground” arguments.

            1) Restrict certain class of firearms (including “assault rifles”). Well, since ALL types of rifles make up around 3% of all firearms homicides, how much difference will these make? Not much.

            2) Restrict magazine capacity. Well, it only takes about two seconds to change magazines. Plus, the shooter in the Aurora, Colorado theater had to stop shooting because his big drum magazine jammed. With smaller, more reliable magazines, he could have kept on going.

            3) Universal background checks. Some states have this, and they have not helped at all. I can understand the desire here when selling to STRANGERS, but not close friends or family members. Do you think that your brother/sister/cousin did 20 years in prison without you knowing? If you REALLY want universal background checks, make them on-line, instant, and free.

            4) Mandatory safety training. OK, This one I can see myself agreeing with.

            So, what types of “middle ground” or “common sense” laws did I miss that you think might work.

          4. > In reality the “all or nothing” story is made up propaganda to paint the opposition unreasonable and unreconcilable. It’s the age old bogeyman story where reasonable people are depicted as monsters so you wouldn’t even have to listen to their arguments. E.g. “The other side wants to eat the elephant one bite at a time”.

            Actually, it’s not “made up propaganda.” I’ll limit the rebuttal to a few past quotes from politicians. Besides these, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Diane Feinstein, Michael Dukakis, and Janet Reno, among others, have come out in support of total gun bans. Hillary Clinton has spoken approvingly of “the Australian solution,” which is a forced sale of all privately-held guns to the government.

            Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL): “My staff and I right now are working on a comprehensive gun-control bill. We don’t have all the details, but for instance, regulating the sale and purchase of bullets. Ultimately, I would like to see the manufacture and possession of handguns banned except for military and police use. But that’s the endgame. And in the meantime, there are some specific things that we can do with legislation.”

            Rep. Major Owens (D-NY): “We have to start with a ban on the manufacturing and import of handguns. From there we register the guns which are currently owned, and follow that with additional bans and acquisitions of handguns and rifles with no sporting purpose.”

            Joyner Sims, Florida State Health Dept. Deputy Commissioner: “The goal is an ultimate ban on all guns, but we also have to take a step at a time and go for limited access first.” – Chicago Tribune, 7 November, 1993.

        3. >>In the case of self defense, i personally believe that a handgun is a terrible weapon and unless you have put a considerable amount of lead down range it will not be as accurate as people believe (mostly due to people being in stressful situations and not having the training to calm their nerves before squeezing the trigger). In the case of self defense an average person is much better off with a blade over a gun as a blade provides a plane of attack and a gun only provides a point.

          While there aren’t any credible stats on exact distances, most gun deaths occur at rather close range. Since it’s not practical to wander around town (or your house) with a long gun, hand guns are what you’re left with. Even defending your home rifles aren’t always the best choice. Their small size makes safes more affordable and lack of a long barrel lessens the chance of them from being wrenched away from you by an assailant.
          Most Concealed carry classes require you to get 70% of your bullets on a man size target at up to 10 yards. That’s quite attainable by most people without weeks of range time. While ethically & legally you are responsible for every bullet you fire and thus should spend as much time on the range as you can afford, the standards are not terribly high.
          Most police do not in fact spend all that much time on the range, nearly every department in the US only has a few mandatory training days in order for the officers (SWAT excluded) to qualify. Most officers are not Jelly Bryce or Jerry Miculek. The events of the 2012 empire state building shooting are evidence of this.

          As for using a knife for self defense. That’s a good way to get yourself killed or permanently injured. Why get any closer to your assailant than you have to? Why would you want to attempt to defend yourself from someone that’s similarly sized to you, larger, or possibly hopped up on something when there are more effective means available?

          To claim that knives provide a better defense than a gun grossly ignores the damage done by bullets and the massive advantage of distance provided by a gun in a fight for your life.

        4. Ammo and gun stored in separate locations is not a reasonable measure since when you need the weapon for self-defense (when seconds matter, law enforcement is only minutes away) you are not going to have the time to unlock the gun, go to another room, unlock the ammo, load the gun and then shoot the threat. Unless of course the burglar/mugger/robber is the considerate sort … “Excuse me, sir, but if you would pardon me for a moment while I load this here pistol, we can commence with this crime.”

          Also, a knife versus a knife…. that has drawbacks, too. For one thing, killing someone with a knife is a very person thing. Someone who may not think three times about protecting their own life with a gun may not have the guts to defend themselves with a knife. Besides that, a knife does nothing if the criminal has a gun – don’t bring a knife to a gun fight and all that.

          > “…un-Canadian to be packing heat in a metropolitan area.”

          Sure, but do the criminals know that? If they respect that law – highly doubtful since they are by definition criminals – then sure… I can see abiding by that as well, but so long as the criminals have guns in “gun free” zones, so will I.

          1. “when you need one for self defence”

            that when is very different from place to place though, in a lot of countries the very thought that one would be put in such a situation is close to unthinkable;

            we have roughly 5 killed by violent crimes pr year pr million citizens, of those 5 only 1.5 is killed by firearms, in the us there are 5 deaths per 100k and that only counts homicides, where the violent crimes mentioned before includes manslaughter, of those 5 pr 100k 3.5 involve firearms.

            now not saying that there arent places where people really do need to defend themselves, from wildlife, starvation or even your fellow humans but there really are places where self defence isn’t a part of normal life, you have to put yourself in an increased risk environment for there to be serious risk.

          2. oodain: One doesn’t determine rights based on risk. You can not have a right to life without a right to self defense. This means a little old lady has a right to defend against a huge young man. The firearm is the great equalizer. Before the 1870’s, Tough thug types carried a knife or a stick and ran small towns or neighborhoods that could not afford to hire protection.

            In Europe it was the same except the thugs were hereditary and had an elaborate system to keep themselves in control and enough wealth to get the backing of the Church. And they banned personal weapons with severe punishments. More modern governments replaced the thugs, but never fully released the people.

          3. we have a right to self defence, i can even use any properly registered gun for the purpose legally, our laws are in many ways as liberal as many American states, i myself own two rifles, yet we don’t seem to have nearly as many of the issues, even accounting for personal income and population.

            which is my point, it isn’t the gun regulation or lack thereof that is the issue, it is the culture and mentality.

          4. oodain: Totally agree. When my grandfather was a boy there was a rifle rack behind the school room door for the kids who shot squirrels on the way home and you could own a canon or machine gun. You could also by opium and laudanum from the druggist or by mail.

            When my dad was a kid you could by a Tommy gun by mail order – Prohibition gangsters put an end to that – a government created problem with a government “solution”.

            When I was a kid you could buy dynamite and blasting caps at the hardware store, potassium nitrate at the druggist, and metal powders by the pound from a local paint manufacturer (or rocket fuel of the time). You could by Springfield and Enfield rifles from the U.S. government for $19 and they were delivered by rail express. Hardware stores had guns and ammo for sale. Nobody cared. It is depressing that the solution to cultural change is a restriction on liberty instead of an examination of cause and effect.

            You could also buy a Norden Bombsight from an ad in the back of Popular Science for about $60

        5. >> the amount of time that the armed services and police force spend in training so that they can properly use their weapons in stress situations and even then that training doesn’t always work

          It works. But the U.S. cops do NOT have the training.

          On average, a U.S. police officer has less than one training session per year involving firearms on taxpayer’s dime. In New York, police have ZERO firearms-related training after graduating from whatever passes for a Police Academy there.
          Shooting is a skill that degrades, unless practiced.

          1. When I worked for the Virginia State Police as a radio tech in the mid-90’s, troopers had formal training at least once a year. Most of them practiced at a number of local ranges. The TAC Team members had several, but they had to stay qualified with several types of firearms.

        6. “in essence, the only reason that the US of A has this debate is because both sides have adopted an all or nothing stance and neither is willing to make some concessions on realistic gun laws.”

          I find that to rarely be the case… what happens:
          1) Party A Proposes reasonable gun laws.
          2) Party B claims they are trying to take all of your guns, and it’s a slippery slope from being required to lock up a gun to being required to turn it over to the new american gestapo!
          3) Party A says that’s not the case at all and starts elaborating the detailed policy it wants
          4) Party B shouts over party A things like “GUN GRABBER”, and “SECOND AMENDMENT!” and of course “FREEDOM!”

          No one hears party A, and Party B defines the narrative as us vs. them.
          I continue to be told that I’m a gun grabbing hippie because I define responsible gun ownership as some one who locks up their weapons, and would NEVER allow them to be used in a criminal manner by themselves or anyone else, and people who aren’t responsible gun owners shouldn’t have guns.

          I support responsible gun ownership, but the loud pro-second amendment group isn’t generally comprised of responsible gun owners… they are comprised of people who carry assault style weapons into fast food restaurants in an attempt to make a point that they have freedom, or point out how they keep a pistol loaded safety off next to their bed in case of boogie men coming to get them in the night…

          Crazy people defined the debate, and the biggest issue is that we let them. I favor responsible gun ownership… I rarely see responsible gun ownership, which is the point, you don’t see responsible gun ownership because one on gets shot, and no one is waving guns around…

          1. This.

            I own a gun and support the right to do so. However, as history has shown us with airbags, lead, drunk driving, etc., governmental restriction can be very effective at reducing victims of specific societal menaces. Tin foil hatters always cry slippery slope and tyranny, but at the end of the day this is never the case.

          2. The only reasonable gun law proposal would be to drop the current restrictions that violate the second amendment in spirit if not word. It’s not that people are shouting over another’s “reasonable” proposal, it’s that some of us reject the premise that the proposal are reasonable to begin with.

          3. Steel_9t: It pains me that I have to explain this, but the pre-amble is giving the reason for the 2nd amendment. Just put a modern “Because” in front of it. They new that because governments need a military (a militia is the men in the military), it is a permanent threat to liberty if turned against the people, as had happened so frequently in their time and ours. Basically the people should be as well armed as infantry, like the Swiss and Israelis.

          4. If America treated guns like cars there would be a massive outcry:
            * no carrying a gun without going to training in how to use it safely
            * gun users must have a current license
            * guns must be registered
            * gun owners must carry liability insurance
            * guns must comply with mandatory safety features
            * guns must be regularly inspected (varies by jurisdiction)
            * if your gun doesn’t meet standards it can be impounded

            A background check doesn’t seem so rough compared to that, now does it?

        7. > the biggest difference is that we try to be reasonable about things up here, well that and it is pretty much un-Canadian to be packing heat in a metropolitan area.

          Try reasoning with that car jacker, worker-gone-postal, terrorist, etc. and see how well that works for ya.

          Gun laws do not stop criminals; by definition, they don’t care about the law anyway. Anti-felon gun laws only tack on years to prison sentences after the fact.

          1. Dan,
            You guys pulled a brexit before your demographics had a chance to become even close to ours. When your third-world demographics match our, then get back to me.

        8. Quote: “I live in Canada and we have some pretty restrictive gun laws. Everyone must take a safety course before they are able to purchase any gun, and even then handguns are in a completly different catagory from rifles.”

          The simple fact is that next to those laws and rules, there is also no glorification of guns or the possession of guns in your culture. And THAT is probably the biggest reason for the lower amount of gun (ab)use.

          I know that it’s like that in my country (Netherlands). We don’t have this ‘right to bear arms’, so none of our kids are growing up with the anticipation of getting their hands on their first gun at 16. The anticipation breeds the glorification.

          1. You mean you don’t have a thug culture of violence being pushed on kids from fatherless households.

            Look I know everybody here is thinking “it”.

            And until we stop running from PC and start engaging in this “thought crime”, the problems will continue.

            Hint: 52% of our violence comes from 13% of our population in the US and Canada does not have so many of them.

          2. First 22 rifle at nine or 10. Serious rifle at 12 to 14. First pistol at 16 if you are a late bloomer. As opposed to Somalia where you get an AK47 at 10.

      2. The homogeneous demographics, disparity of income, and comparative lack of violent organized crime plays a role. You can’t address gun crime (or indeed any violence) by only addressing guns while ignoring the underlying crime that provokes it.

      3. Because weapons aren’t things of fetish level worship in most places. Fantasies of killing intruders is generally seen as a mental problem, in the US (in some circles) it is seen as being a manly man…

        IOW it’s not the hardware that’s the problem – it’s the wetware.

        1. Using your wetware, explain why is it one demographic that is concerned with the second amendment rights, and another demographic committing the majority of the actual crimes.

          Get back to me when the EU is approaching a 50% third-world demographic and let me know both how well gun control works, as well as social services.

    2. You’re aware that the left is pro-guns, right?

      “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary” -Karl Marx

      1. how dare you provide information that doesn’t suite their narrative! /s

        what is considered the left in north America is nowhere near the left on the actual political scale and some how commie defines anyone left of the far right specifically in the US

        1. I think almost all of Europe considers the U.S to be bizarroworld. Guns are an interesting way to reach the white working class in America, see the Redneck Revolt. “Guns are cool, just no racist or sexist bullshit”. Great way to be non-sectarian in places with strong gun culture

          As for the hack itself, the notion that someone would use NFC for this just cements my belief that no one in RF knows security. At all.

          1. Agreed, it’s laughable how some see RFID or NFC “security” cards and fail to understand how multi-factor authentication works. These tokens were never meant to be inherently secure.

            It’s about as secure as a barcode, in the grand scheme of things. It’s how you integrate that information into a system that increases security.

        1. Actually, they are according to one article I’ve read.

          Liberals- the group that was once concerned with individual rights with a focus on looking out for the “little guy”. I’d lump early cival rights activists here, but keep in mind that more Republicans votes for the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
          Progressives- the rainbow flag group that is most responsible for the PC crap
          Leftists- this group is includes the Marxists and antifa (ISIS clones that burn cars and business when their party loses).

          I am just summarizing another writer, but in spirit of this entire comment section feel free to disagree.

      2. Ironically, all socialist countries have rounded up personal firearms. So have fascist governments.

        The American left is NOT pro-gun. Several politicians were quoted earlier in another comment. The real irony (institutional schizophrenia) is how the “left” wants firearms only in the possession of the police, then riots every time a vicious criminal is put down by the cops.The side that put all their hopes and dreams into the governments hands, to make all the correct decisions for its citizens by fairly distributing all of societies labors, then questions that the police expend their efforts in the very communities responsible for 90% of all our violent crime.Remove just four of our largest cites, and our gun violence falls to EU levels (New Hampshire has one of the largest levels of gun ownership per capita, and one of the lowest rates of gun crime).

        The other irony is that an Australian women is shot dead by a cop after reporting an attempted rape. No riots were held in her behalf. You would think that at least NOW would be up in arms, in that a woman reporting an attempted rape would be shot by the patriarchy. But all I heard was crickets (and some debate in Australia on why the US allows gun ownership, but of course not why an unarmed woman was shot by the government).

    3. When it comes to knife vs. gun, police and military training frequently reference the “21 foot rule”. Basically if someone is closer than 21 feet, there’s no time to draw a gun on someone running at you with a knife. Your best weapon is your brain, maintaining situational awareness and taking proper precautions. Europe is the worst possible example of taking any kind of firearm advice from right now. Home invasions and mob violence are a very real threat and pistols are an amazing feat of mechanical engineering, unnecessary nanny state crap will only cause a failure when it’s needed most. My family experienced a home invasion before we had weapons, luckily our dogs scared them off. Sorry not sorry, anyone who breaks into someone’s home deserves a bullet. If you’re concerned about a little kid you know getting it, keep it with a loaded magazine and empty chamber. Anyone with the knowledge and sufficient hand strength to actually rack the slide will be old enough to understand basic handgun safety.

      1. Europe is a great example: I’ve never heard of a home invasion here.
        It’s just something that happens in the US or action films.
        Why the hell would a burgler want to turn a simple safe burgalry (2 years max) into GBH, attempted or actual murder (life)?! FFS, it’s not worth it! Turn the lights on and burglars piss off. If they nicked anything, claim on insurance.
        Most UK burglars won’t even come upstairs in a property At night because they don’t want to risk waking people.

          1. i don’t think anyone is suggesting anything as simplistic as that, as stated above there are many places with similar gun ownership and none or very few of the issues.

            that it immediately jumps to that black/white, either/or, mentality is what many here are trying to argue as part of the problem, i think.
            but even that is only part of the problem.

      2. Quote: “Sorry not sorry, anyone who breaks into someone’s home deserves a bullet.”

        And this is exactly the reason why I would carry a gun into your home if I were to break into it. And I would shoot your ass out of fear that you would shoot first.

        And that makes you so scared, that it makes you even more determined to shoot anything that moves in your house at night, including the cat and maybe even your own 16-year old son who came home drunk for the first time, didn’t want his mom and dad to know, and tried to silently climb into his room via the rainpipe.

        You’re all so high-strung. How can you live like that? America is NOT obese from their bad junkfood. America is obese because everyone is so extremely stressed. I bet that if you measure the average levels of cortisol in Americans and in Europeans, Americans will register much higher. And one effect of cortisol is that it stimulates the growth of fat cells. It’s your culture that’s making you fat, not your food. You need a cultural revolution to get rid of obesitas. You need to get rid of the stress factors. Your so-called ‘second amendment’ is one of the largest stress-factors in your culture. The makers did not do you a favor.

        1. You have it wrong. Where firearms ownership is higher, even locally, property crimes are lower. Criminals assess risk like anyone else, unless they are methed-up good. The US is not a an unviolent place and most of us like it that way. It is very competitive and those who are not crowded into cities where they are totally dependent on government supplied or controlled services, and a 2-day food supply that is continuously renewed, etc., live a much different life than the Cable news and TV shows depict. Subscribe to a coyote hunting group and see what life is like.

        2. It is easy to be socialist when everyone looks and think like you do. People look to Denmark, Sweden or Norway for an example of how to run a society, forgetting their combined population is 20 million (about NY City all by itself). We have another 8 cities that exceed Norway’s or Denmark’s population (La exceeds Sweden’s).

          The US is like the EU, but on steroids. We represent all European countries, but also have significant populations with African, Hispanic and to a lower degree, Asian (that last demographic I personally help increase by one). With that come the conflicts that various cultures have. Just look at the Germany vs Greece when it came to finances, or counties like Hungry on force immigration. Even Brexit shows that not everyone was happy with the “unity through diversity” thinking.

          That said, the is very little stress in my life caused by second amendment issues. Europeans have less stress because they get more vacation time, thought that is at the expense for lower pay. According to Electronic Design News salary survey 92014), engineers in he EU or Japan averaged just under $70K US for a mid-career engineer, whereas the US averaged $105K. That more than makes up for “free education” and paid maternity leave. That is neatly a $100k every three years, think about what the difference is over a lifetime. Yes, I’d like more time off, but I suspect that the tradition of a month off in the summer is that Europe is basically as far north as Canada, with longer winters and this get all you fun in the short summer. When I visited Sweden in the winter, that were having about 5 hours of light (both times I went to Sweden on business it was winter, I’d like to visit it when you could see grass!).

          Also keep in mind the US has a more competitive culture because our ancestors largely came from Europe. We got the ones that were willing to take risks, and move to somewhere far away and have no social safety net (family) to back them up if they failed. Those afraid to move stayed behind. My DNA profile says I have 30% German Ancestry, 20% UK and Swedish, with another 10% being Irish, Russian/Finnish and Iberian. 3% is Arab and another 3% is European Jew (who knew that they could get along?), and other trace element including African. My wife was similar, though the German was lacking (UK and Swedish was 70% for her), and she replaced Arab with India.

          My point, if I am making any any all, is with great diversity, it is very had to arrive at a consensus. The US used to be fairly good a compromises. The Civil Right Act of 1964 actually had more Republicans vote for it than Democrats, and that was back in a more conservative era.

          1. Steven-X: For the most part, I think you’ve got it. But American stress isn’t just due to less vacation time; I think it’s due to a more corporate-based culture, where people are expected to work overtime whenever requested, and it’s requested more often than not. Our “forty-hour week” is closer to 45-60 hours, which is much more than figures I’ve been given for most European countries.

            One other thing: “The Civil Right Act of 1964 actually had more Republicans vote for it than Democrats, and that was back in a more conservative era.” I don’t think this had anything to do with conservatives vs. liberals: at the time, the deep (read: racist) South was strongly controlled by the democrats. Don’t ask me why; I wasn’t there. When Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, I’m told he commented, “I’m afraid I’ve just lost the South for a generation.”

  1. Well obviously switch the pin to non ferrous. And then maybe you could add some sort of signal strength detection to work on the amp issue. Finally maybe some sort on rings the watch wearer could also wear to help surround the gun in proper signalling. Or the antenna in the gun could be directional and very specifically pointed towards the holders wrist. Just my 1min ideas

    1. the ferrous pin has the same problem as old door locking mechanisms, they were (like in the movies) easy to bypass with a hairpin by simply applying current to the coil. With steppermotors you need some logic to actuate the locking mechanism. So here too, a motor instead of an electromagnet would already disable the magnet hack.

      as for the RFID watch/ring, this would be much more secure with a challenge/response mechanism and maybe measuring the delay between them. but no sure solution, as for jamming, which can be mitigated by some spread spectrum or frequency hopping technique, but that’s probably still not enough for a state actor to remotely disable your weapon.

      from a technical standpoint i don’t see these smart guns going anywhere soon.

      1. The intent behind this type of gun; is that if it is taken away from the owner/cop in a struggle, it can’t be immediately used against them. By the time the thief has run off to the machine shop the to alter the pistol, the owner/cop may have re-armed or back up arrived.

    2. Probably the pin is actuated by a solenoid, so it has to be ferrous. Of course you can always make the mechanism even more complicated – and reduce it’s reliability even more. Making the antenna more directional, if possible, would reduce reliability also, perhaps sometimes you are in an odd position in case of self defense. But it is not possible anyway. If this is NFC (13,56MHz), it has a wavelength of 20m. Now think again about directional antennas :-) There can be much more difference in signal strength with orientation of antenna and watch/ring.
      And all that could not prevent somebody from jamming the signal and hitting you over the head with a piece of water pipe, while you desperately work the trigger.

    3. the problem is you are trying to harden client side security. if someone steals the weapon they can modify it however they want to make it work. the only use case scenario where any of these methods aren’t either a complete waste of time or a complete liability is if an attacker were to take the weapon away from a person. but many pistols include magazine safeties for that exact use case scenario that don’t require any kind of battery or RFID tag.

  2. This is rather dumb because the firearms people should have learned from personal vaults that magnets can move ferrous
    internal components. There are lots of strong non-ferrous materials but they didn’t use any of them out of convenience.

    1. Firearms engineer here. I’m not familiar with the inner workings of the Armatix, but my guess would be that due to space limitations and speed requirements the pin is really just a solenoid (metal pin moved in/out by an electromagnet). If the goal is to add a electronic ‘lock’ on a standard mechanical trigger, this would be the best way to do so.
      You will already have lag from the ring identifying with the presumed low power electronics, so any reduction in the mechanical time to ‘unlock’ the trigger would be a major improvement. Also short of adding an unacceptable mass and lump to the firearm, a solenoid is the only reasonable choice that I can think of to actuate the ‘lock’. A possible better method would be to scrap the mechanical firing pin/striker setup and move to an entirely electric ignition, but those systems have already been tried (I think Remington brought a rifle to market) but they add cost/complexity and as with any new tech introduced new issues; all with no real benefit to the shooter.
      I am personally not a fan of the idea of electronic lock-out being built into firearms, but I also think that with current tech you are asking for too many concessions and too much additional cost.

      1. if it is for locking out kids, why not just add a (cylindrical) mechanical combination lock in the gun, no remote hacks, no batteries, no reliability issues. Make it 6 digits so brute forcing the combo will take forever.

        not everything needs to be solved with fancy electric circuits.

        1. Plus one where the combination dial has a spring which causes the numbers to return to 0000 when you loosen your grip, so to maintain the unlock you have to grip the gun tightly.

        1. But you need quite a bunch of a cap bank to operate it. On the other hand: If you have that kind of power supply, small enough to fit it into the handle of the gun, you do not need to worry about cartridges or powder any more, you can just use the electrical energy to fire your bullet (coilgun, railgun). The army would also be very happy about this gun :-)

  3. Brilliant. A personal defense device that won’t operate when needed? Yeah, that’s just what everyone needs. Sounds like a happy moment for muggers and thieves.
    If I had one of those eye-wateringly idiotic “smart” guns given to me (I would never actually pay for one), the very first thing I would do would be to remove that stupid locking pin and the electronics, and toss them into the trash where they belong.

    Leave the electronic guns in sci-fi films where they belong.

  4. If smart guns stop dumb people that is enough, because nothing is going to stop a smart person from killing anyway, but if hasty fools can be stopped from killing in anger then thousands of innocent lives could be saved. Who needs a gun anyway, I know how to blow you clean in two from 300 meters away using non-controlled materials and equipment that is as portable as a rifle. Guns are only a significant threat to society when they are in the hands of people who don’t think, with the exception of all out civil wars obviously.

      1. If you don’t already know there is no way you could do it safely and you could never do it legally, in fact I can’t legally even tell you how to do it. If you are smart enough to be trusted with such knowledge you probably already have it, or can figure it out easily enough.

        The physics and chemistry are less complex than needed for making a combustion engine and the fuel to drive it, and many people know how to do that in their back shed. Not that it is in anyway related to doing that, it is just technologically equivalent in terms of complexity.

        Like I said “smart people…” so if you aren’t in that group you are out of luck and probably have no idea what you would use powdered tungsten for, for example.

          1. Some people are like mathematicians: they see a technical problem like a common equation. They know a solution exists – actually solving it is just so much unnecessary and uninteresting work. You have parts A, B and C, and all you theoretically have to do is put them together.

            Unfortunately engineering doesn’t work like that. 1 + 2 doesn’t always equal 3, because of the way you put the first two together.

            For example, you can make DIME with tungsten powder, but you’ll probably fail at it in practice. The less you know, the easier things sound.

          1. Making a cannon, and making a cannon that is lethal and accurate to 300 meters, portable and safe to the operator, are completely different prospects.

          2. I went to high school in the late 70’s. A friend used a school lathe to make a barrel for a simple muzzle loader. Now I hear you get suspended for drawing a gun.

          1. @Dax of course you need to chuck it through someone’s window first. I was implying that you could create a DIY incendiary using a battery for a purpose it was not intended.

        1. That brings back my Jr High days using powered pool chlorine, and trying out all the items the warning label said not to mix with it. Turpentine was slow but caught on fire.

      1. it isn’t secret as such, i am quite certain i get the gist of it, but his points are very good ones for why he isn’t sharing, that stuff shouldn’t be learned through a comment section and it certainly isn’t something where you just jump in at the deep end and see how it goes.

        his overarching point was the important thing though; no matter how much you try someone smart enough can always find a new way to destroy, hurt or kill, the lithium idea above is a simple example but not what was hinted at.

        1. The reason why he isn’t sharing is because he’s exaggerating.

          300 meters is a long distance, and to lob anything that far, forcefully enough to cut a person in half, requires so much energy that it’s either not portable or not safe to use, and you have to put actual thought into the construction instead of just “let’s make a cannon out of PVC pipe and power it with draino”.

          Possible, but not as easy or simple as he pretends.

          1. Unless of course you’re talking about launching a hand grenade with a hobby rocket out of a makeshift bazooka, but that’s cheating.

            And you’ll probably miss.

      2. Olsen are you the sort of retard that smart guns were designed to protect society from? Because so are terrorists, retarded that is.

        The point is that a smart person circumventing a lock is proof of nothing when it comes to how useful that lock is in most circumstances, because smart people can get around anything. A smart Eskimo can even weaponize a frozen turd, fact.

        1. I don’t think you need to be too smart to weaponise a frozen turd ????…
          I think the point of the article is to raise the issue that the fuzzy liberal “smart guns are 100% safe and will end gun crime” nonsense is nonsense. At the other end, the Rambo types who get armed nutters in their homes (seriously?! FFS move somewhere safer like Siera Leone) are right that an extra complexity renders it likely useless when it matters (which is why the police won’t touch these, and tanks have big “start” buttons). But it may stop a toddler.

  5. The point of a smart gun is to make it useless when someone grabs it out of your hand, right? What are the odds they happen to be holding their handy-dandy magnet and manage to position it correctly and shoot you before you hit them in the throat while they have both hands on the gun? Low I bet.

    1. How often do you think that actually happens? your common criminal isn’t Bruce Lee or anything, and even if they are, grabbing the business end of a firearm is likely a bad plan.

      The intent here is to reduce the risk from stolen guns, but its a bad solution. anyone with a garage and half an hour can just rip the “smart” stuff out of it.

      1. That’s why I came up with the ridiculous bruce lee scenario. It’s the only situation where you’d see any benefit from owning a smart gun. This is obviously not a good solution to the problem stolen guns, gun safes already try to do that for cheaper.

      2. Not everyone has a garage, and people who steal stuff aren’t the brightest people in the hood in the first place.

        If you give the average person a handgun and tell them to dismantle and re-assemble it, they’ll most likely fail at the first step, and after a few hours of head scratching they’ll have a bunch of parts in a box and no idea how they go back together…

        Remember that the average person has problems assembling flat-pack furniture and that’s with instructions provided.

    2. The signal amplifier amplifier approach makes magnets unnecessary. Could be fairly covert too.
      Heck, the bad guy could use a covert jammer to make sure you can’t shoot him, take the gun, switch his handy-dandy jammer to amplifier mode and tunnel a few holes through you.

      Literally the worst firearm protection scheme ever.

    1. Unfortunately no, there are guns that can auto target and change the direction of the projectile in flight to ensure the target is adequately serviced. Guns are a dangerous and amoral technology, so making them smarter is easy compared to making their use more ethical.

      1. Please tell the police, FBI, and military that the tools that they need for their jobs is amoral.

        So, if somebody is currently stabbing you to death, you would prefer that the police not shoot the criminal trying to kill you?

        Please put this in writing and give it to your local police department so that the never use their amoral guns to save your life.

        Plus, while there ARE guns that can do what you say, I have never actually seen one in person. The “auto-target” is meant to be able to hit your deer from a longer distance, and costs over $10,000. The “change the direction of the projectile in flight” is a science project and it still in the lab.

        1. Wouldn’t be easier if I just gave you a dictionary so that you could learn the difference between amoral and immoral?

          YOU DICKHEAD!

          Get of the internet and don’t come back.

          1. I fully know the difference between “immoral” and “amoral”. However, I assumed that you did not based on the context. Note that despite this, I did not resort to insults.

            Also, making them “smarter” is NOT easy. When you need one, you need it immediately, and you need it to work with as close to 100% reliability as possible. Unfortunately, making guns “smart” goes against either rapid availability, reliability, or both.

        2. Taking issue with saying a gun is amoral, interesting. That has to be the funniest thing I have read in the gun debate ever. To say a gun is amoral, is NOT the same as saying that guns and/or their use are, by default immoral. Thank you for continuing the entertainment by doubling down, by claiming you knew the definition of amoral. The context the the other party used amoral should have been 100% clear to anyone who claims to know the difference between the two words.

  6. I don’t understand why guns aren’t regulated like cars. Anyone can buy a car provided they are able bodied and of sound mind and they pass a test showing they can use one properly. If you frequently do unsafe things with your car you can be fined or have your license can be taken away, but otherwise you can do what you please. Certain classes of vehicle that are more dangerous (motorcycles and big rigs) require additional licensing to operate. Cars and guns are both useful but dangerous machines.

    1. They should be regulated like cars. I can buy a car in Colorado and drive it in New York, Washington DC, or Chicago.

      A gun, on the other hand, is legal here in Colorado, but could get me thrown in jail in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Maryland, and California.

      My driver’s license is also good anywhere, but a concealed carry permit is not, That does not make sense either.

      So, if you really want guns to be regulated like cars, then you agree that the laws need to be uniform across the country, including a recognition of carry permits.

      1. Actually it’s the opposite. Cars can only be driven in designated car areas (roads) and lots of cities have car-free zones. You can have a car in any state but you can’t drive one into a school.

        1. So, you honestly believe that a car that is legal in one state should be completely illegal in another state? Do you think that my license to drive a car can be legally ignored in its entirety in another state?

          Yeah, the gun laws are like that.

    2. Cars are used on public roads. For driving on private roads and race tracks you don’t need a license. You can also own cars without driving them.

      About an equal amount of people die on roads and to guns in the U.S, however 2/3 of gun deaths are suicides. I’d argue this makes traffic more dangerous than guns.

          1. That doesn’t actually refute Dax’s statement. Guns serve the same role as a catalyst in chemistry – they lower the activation energy necessary for the act. The point is that for a given society, whatever it’s base prevalence of suicide, the presence of a gun increases the chance of follow through.

    3. They are harder to get than a car. You can’t be a felon, registered child molester and own one. If you are classified as mentally ill you cannot own them or if you already do you have to surrender them to another family member. or the the police.

      Most of the deaths by gang and drug related. Consider the blood bath Chicago, it’s relegated to two inner city districts. Same in Los Angeles,- it’s in areas where there is a gang issue.

    4. It’s legally rather simple.
      Possessing a car is not protected in the US Constitution. If you want to bar someone from their natural rights you must follow due process.

      1. Why doesn’t a car count as arms then? Why doesn’t my right to keep and bear arms prevent my car from being taken away? This sounds like a silly question until you consider that the founding fathers’ definition of arms was flintlock pistols and it now extends to AR-15s. A car can be a sepf defense weapon, so why wouldn’t it count as “arms?”

        1. That’s not in the same galaxy as silly questions. If you can’t discern the difference between modes of transport and arms you can defend yourself and country with, I don’t think there’s much of a conversation to be had with you.
          The founding fathers also couldn’t predict desktop laser printers or the internet but we don’t restrict the press to hand set type. You’ve never been forced to have the militia quartered in your house and the founders never intended to have a standing army, so I guess it’s safe to repeal the Third amendment.

          If you want to change the US Constitution there’s a method to do that. Otherwise, tough luck bub.

          1. I wasn’t being 100% serious. My real question is, what counts as arms we can keep and bear? Is it just guns? Does a grenade launcher count? What about a crossbow? Flamethrower? Who decided which arms are protected by the constitution?

          2. >>Who decided which arms are protected by the constitution

            Caetano v Massachusetts, US v Miller, DC v Heller, the 1934 National Firearms Act, the 1968 Gun Control Act and a host of local laws that haven’t been challenged through all the appeals courts.

            If you’re gonna spout off about the gun control debate it would do you well to do some cursory reading from the laws and philosophical underpinnings of the amendment. It’s not difficult information to find.

        2. Using your logic, freedom of speech does not cover you on the internet because it was not invented when the 1st Amendment was written. The founding father’s definition of “speech” was standing on a soapbox or using a simple printing press.

    5. If you do unsafe things with your firearm, you can loose your rights to those as well. It’s called criminal activity and/or negligence. You can also loose your rights to gun ownership for mental health reasons. Outside of that, the Constitution explicitly states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. It doesn’t say “unless we decide otherwise.” There are PLENTY of laws regarding gun ownership. These laws do NOTHING to truly prevent a CRIMINAL from obtaining and using a firearm, since by definition a criminal does not obey the law. The only people TRULY hurt by more and more gun laws are honest citizens. I’m not saying that everyone should be handed a gun with no restriction at all – I know several people who should NEVER even handle a gun, much less own one – but I am saying that continuing to add even more and more laws on top of the laws we already have does nothing. When a murderer goes free after 10 or 15 years while drug users get 20 to life (in some cases), that is a part of the problem. When a criminal is made the victim and the victim made the criminal (fro example when a burglar is able to sue a homeowner – and win – for getting shot while robbing the man’s castle), that is a part of the problem. Teaching kids to run like little rabbits from the big, bad killer guns instead of teaching them to respect the power and potential of these weapons, that is a part of the problem.

      1. >”since by definition a criminal does not obey the law.”

        A criminal is one who has committed a crime and sentenced for it. A person is actually not a criminal but at most a suspect before they’re found and proven guilty, as is required by the constitution (right to a fair trial). Even a person with a criminal intent is not yet a criminal until they commit the crime, as we can’t outlaw thoughtcrime.

        So, what’s the difference between a law-abiding citizen with a gun, and a criminal with a gun? The only way to address potential criminals is to address the law-abiding citizens.

        >”When a criminal is made the victim and the victim made the criminal (fro example when a burglar is able to sue a homeowner – and win – for getting shot while robbing the man’s castle), that is a part of the problem.”

        That is due to the principle of two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s the recognition that violence is not warranted anywhere, and so the person who commits violence can only be excused if they could not act otherwise.

        >”Teaching kids to run like little rabbits from the big, bad killer guns instead of teaching them to respect the power and potential of these weapons, that is a part of the problem.”

        Running is usually the more effective solution. People who try to be heroes end up killed four times as often.

        1. we can’t outlaw thoughtcrime… been to a college campus lately?

          “the person who commits violence can only be excused if they could not act otherwise’… you only have seconds to act. I agree, if you can escape that by all means. An ipad is not worth a life.

          However, if the perp saw you and didn’t flee immediately, then they have something else in mind.

          1. Steven-X: There’s one other factor even the most selfish gun owner (i.e., the one who thinks that his iPhone IS worth someone’s life) needs to be aware of: unless you’re an actual psychopath, killing another human being, even in self-defense, will fuck you up for a long time.

            We have a distinct problem in the U.S.: we have an arms war going on among people carrying guns. The military learned long ago that the only way you can get people to kill other people is to train it into them to the point of making it nearly instinctive. This thinking has spread to law enforcement agencies and civilians who are training gun owners how to protect themselves and others. The training can be summarized simply: as soon as you identify a threat, empty the gun as quickly as possible, into that threat. This is what happened in the Philando Castile killing. The police officer erroneously identified that a gun was being drawn, and emptied his weapon into Mr. Castile in a matter of a few seconds. You can argue all day about whether he was justified in this, but I challenge anyone to tell me that that officer will be back to normal anytime soon.

    6. That would help, mandatory checks of brain function to ensure adequate intelligence, proper frontal lobe function under stress, and no signs of psychopathy. Cool-headed, empathetic, humans are far less likely to hurt innocent people with any technology they use.

    7. I know people who got felonies in situations involving cars.
      They still have cars. Heck one of those guys who did illegal road racing has a vehicle still with a supercharger in it.

      Now, if you are even accused of domestic violence in the USA, no guns for you. No need to even have guns involved in ANY felony either. It could be from larceny. No guns for you for the rest of your life and if you even have an empty shell it’s prison too.

      Funny, we have cars DESIGNED to break the law and anybody with a bad driving record can, in any number of years, waltz into a dealership and buy a 700HP Hellcat.

      But… no guns for you!

      The double standard is based on politicians knowing that you can’t fight their tyranny with a car. Heck a nice shiny car is a nice little distraction, isn’t it?

      Also, a drivers license is good in every state, but cross the wrong state lines with LEGAL guns and it’s off to prison.

      More leftist double standard. More reason why we are in a cold civil war.

  7. Would a “muscle wire” solenoid be an acceptable replacement? A small coil pulling on a spring loaded lever would not add much delay. Thermal issues would probably come to the fore, but if the gun is hot enough to activate the wire, it most likely has already been fired.

    1. “…if the gun is hot enough to activate the wire, it most likely has already been fired.”

      “Most likely” is not good enough. Instead of magnet, the circumventer would use a lighter or another heat source.

      Besides, this type of safety is supposed to prevent anyone except gun’s registered “master” from using it, regardless of the sequence of events. But if firing it can unlock the “owning” mechanism, then in the struggle, gun could be fired, and then it may happen that it is taken away by attacker and used against legit wielder.

      1. A muscle wire needs to be 90 C hot before it pulls. The gun would have to get searing hot before it activates by accident.

        That said, it takes too much energy to activate such mechanisms.

  8. I’m designing a sensor which simply detects a loaded chamber and the cycling of the gun. Used with the ESP8266 it could alert the owner when the gun is e.g. moving by detecting a variation in WiFi signal strength, or perhaps by using an accelerometer. Of course if your ISP or router glitches, you’d get an alert of the same.

    This would be useful for:
    Alerting the owner when their kid or dog is playing with a toy they should not have.
    A nitwit detector at a gun range.
    Alerting the user when the gun is malfunctioning, or out of ammo, so ‘click’ isn’t the last thing you hear.
    Bullet counter!

    It’s not a smart gun. The user has to be the smart one, like always. This would provide more information based on which to make smart decisions on.

    I hope to start a company selling this thing! :D

    1. Here’s what you need to do. get out the house, go to a gun shop or two and talk to the folks there about your concept. You’ll valuable real world feedback. Most I suspect will laugh at your idea. And please talk to a gunsmith..

      You are basically add several layers of complexity to a dirt simple device.

    2. The wifi signal strength thing will never work. It’s be easier to sit the gun on a pressure plate that texts you if the gun moves. That saves you cramming an accelerometer in the gun.

      1. You’re right. Someone walking between the gun and the AP would change the signal strength. I still want to try detecting mag changes with an accelerometer though, so that goes into the prototype. Now I just need a AR…

    3. How do you intend to directly detect a loaded chamber? It’s open only at one end and you can’t stick anything in that way…
      Also – all electronics would probably have to potted, otherwise the recoil will literally shake them apart.

      1. It’s very easy to underestimate the power of that shot (recoil, noise, vibration/shock), until you have fired a handgun the first time.
        About the detection: I am no gunsmith, so my idea could be completely out of the question. But is it thinkable to make a very small hole in the sidewall of the chamber for an optical sensor? I could imagine that hole which is less than half the thickness of the cartridge wall would be possible without compromising the integrity of the weapon.
        But I would not think about a bullet counter, I think it would be more easy to make an indicator for the magazine. Best done mechanically without the complexity of WIFI, IoT, an App or any other fancy stuff. Its of no use having my phone distracting me from shooting about the number of remaining bullets – or just an email – in that moment of shooting.
        Not everything needs an internet connection, in reality only VERY few things need it.

        1. You’re right about vibration. I’ll have to build a shaker table to properly test it. Not a problem since I went back to trade school to become a CNC machinist/programmer. :)

          I hope to make this without making any holes or modifying the weapon in anyway, through magnet magic. ;)

          Making magazines means I run into regulations for making components integral to the operation of the firearm, and you would need multiple special mags and to take your eye off the target.

          I didn’t make myself clear about the bullet counter. It would have a display. Possibly as a HUD inside a red dot sight because that would be cool! The internet connection is just for when you leave the gun behind and want to know if someone is messing with it. – I would not want to be transmitting an SSID when I feel the urge to go tactical. Identify Friend or Foe would be cyberpunk as hell though…

        2. Optical sensors are not a good idea, even after one shot, there’s soot in the barrel.

          The only sensible way of reliably detecting a chambered round that I can think of would need a mechanical connection to the inside of the chamber, probably a pin of some kind, preferably at the back, where the strongest (thickest) part of the casing rests. Obviously, that would require signifficant alteration of the weapon.
          Electrically fired ammo would make this way easier, as there would already be an electrical contact that can be sensed.
          Of the “non-invasive” ways that come to mind – ultrasound… But that would require to figure out how to keep the transducer in good contact with the chamber and not get destroyed by vibrations at the same time.

          Also – the barrel (and chamber) of most pistols moves a little when cycled, very few pistols have an actually stationary barrel in relation the the frame.

          1. Good point about optical.
            Speed sensors are used in automotive applications, which are already subject to lots of vibration. They are also no-contact, meaning they have potential to last indefinitely. They should also filter out all noise except for the relative motion of the round and the bolt. I think that with two or three sensors I should be able to distinguish between the round and the bolt. That is also why I’m rolling my own; automotive speed sensors are expensive and I want to keep the cost low.

            On pistols I would have to make custom mags, or modify the frame. It will have to be a later iteration…

      2. Any metal object moving through a magnetic field creates eddy currents. Vehicles already employ this as a ‘speed sensor’.

        For the prototype I’ll try wire-wrap and polyurethane glue, since it is rubbery.

      3. Don’t many modern guns have a visual indicator if there’s is a sound in the chamber? In the event you are familiar with the older guns you own yo can probably tell with a glace at the case extractor if a round is chambered. But it wouldn’t be a good idea to trust anyone’s life to either one of those indicators.

        1. The idea is to prevent negligent discharges by lighting up a LED which you and others can see when a round is chambered. This would save a lot of gray hairs in for example boot camp, and possibly lives too.

          1. Very bad idea – I would never trust this: You only need to have an empty battery to falsely think that the gun is empty. No, Thanks.
            Treat the gun as loaded, except if you have assured yourself that it is not.

      4. the easiest way i can think of would be to leverage the extractor that’s what the loaded chamber indicator’s on most pistols do, they just have an small bit of extractor that sticks up a bit more when it’s locked on the rim of a round than when it’s at rest.

  9. No smart gun has ever worked, and quite frankly no legimate gun owners would buy one. criminals would just hack it anyway. the firearm lawyers would argue the gun could not be hacked and the gun owner allowed the gun to be stolen and used for illegal activities. now the gun owner is responsible for all crime traced back to his stolen gun.

    1. yeah, it seems like just locking the pin in place would permanently hack this gun, easy for criminals, not so for kids. So what is the demographic for these ‘smart guns’ ?

    2. trevor: exactly. There is a class of people to whom any lock is an irresistible challenge. Adding an incentive like access to an explosives firing mechanism just sweetens the pot. Such people do not wait until they have reached the “age of reason” before developing that trait; they’re pretty much born with it. It is the responsibility of every firearm owner to ensure that no such persons they want to restrict from using said firearm are aware of its existence. No mechanism can be devised that can make such a device “safe”.

  10. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We must ban magnets.

    I’ve started a group called Department Uf Magnet Banning for this purpose. Please join and help take this menace off our streets.

  11. Guess I’ll leave my two bits here: anyone ever take a whack at making the link capacitively between gun and auth token (ring? glove?) capacitively coupled instead of relying directly on RF? I’m no EE, but I envision such a thing to be potentially possible by basically turning the token into an antenna to dissipate power, while using some of it to return a response to the gun via the same capacitively coupled channel. If that is/isn’t remotely plausible, I’d love to hear why.

  12. Everything is smart now, that makes people .. more stupid. They’re stopping to think about what they’re doing.
    I don’t like this smart everything
    smart car .. possible to hack and take control, even kill, while someone is driving, not mentioning self driving cars – it will be not required to thief go to car, car will be stolen remotely and go to thief by self
    smart gun .. what if in some model of gun You will be able to force it to fire remotely ? or block it remotely like this one and then steal from smart gun owner

    “if You put computer in it, You inherit all problems of computers” … hacks, viruses, problems …

      1. Self driving vehicles will probably have as profound an effect on society as the internet did. It will also probably have as many problems like, hacking, and transmission if illicit materials.
        It will be another tool that can be used for good or ill, depending on the people using it like a gun, painkiller, or anything else.
        How much would a store pay to have a more people in their target demographic to be routed past their locations?
        Can you imagine a city being DDOSed with cars?

  13. Why are there no cheap rf comm ICs which do continuous ToF checks to guarantuee the partner is close? It’s not that hard and it would save a lot of headaches.

    Patents? Export controls? Stupidity and complacency?

    1. Videos suck. Videos with faces of a person blathering sucks *2. How about providing a link that actually have clean, reliable data? Because even in the short while before I stopped watching I noticed bad data…

  14. I think this is more of a safety technology, rather than a security technology.

    It won’t stop an adult who is determined to get access to a lethal weapon to hurt somebody.

    If your goal is to get a gun and shoot somebody, or otherwise kill somebody using another lethal weapon, you don’t need hack the Gibson and download the smart gun garbage file in order to do that.

    It will offer valuable safety benefits though – it will stop the tragic number of shootings by toddlers in the United States.
    Enforcing basic safety measures, like not leaving a loaded bloody gun accessible to children, would help too.

  15. Much of the opposition to any kind of “smart gun” biometrics seems to stem from the belief in some sort of Alex Jones Deus Ex scenario where the Obama illuminati will secretly install some sort of backdoor vulnerability in the guns and get those guns distributed to replace all other guns in the community, and then one day – bam! All the guns are remotely disabled and the helpless gun-free population is dragged away to the FEMA concentration camps.

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