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Author Topic: Electronic Firing Mechanism  (Read 8993 times)

Adskii

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Electronic Firing Mechanism
« on: March 29, 2012, 05:23:18 pm »
I know it is possible to use electricity to trigger rounds a la metal storm, but would it make sense to use an ignition system without moving parts? Are there upsides? downsides? someone just want to pick a side?

I don't mean the stack them in the barrel like metal storm, I just mean using something other than a hammer to set things off.

What do we think?

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    JesseL

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 05:34:07 pm »
    Remington did it with their EtronX line of rifles. Essentially they used conventional cartridges but replaced the standard primer with a proprietary one that had the center insulated from the rest of the case and carbon black was added to the primer compound for conductivity. An electrode replaced the firing pin and when the trigger was pulled, voltage was applied to the primer causing it to ignite.



    The trigger pull could be made very good, since it's only a switch; and lock times were an order of magnitude shorter than any mechanical firing mechanism. Unfortunately the requirement to use specially loaded ammo (or reload with special primers) and the natural disinclination of shooters to depend on anything that needs batteries doomed the product line.

    There are also Gatling gun variants (M61 Vulcan comes to mind) that use electric primers.
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    kunkmiester

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 09:50:54 pm »
    M61 uses electric priming because percussion supposedly doesn't work fast enough at 6,000 RPM.

    I was thinking to use a piezo-electric system, like in an electric lighter.  You'd still have a mechanical linkage, but you'd also be able to set up the first generation to fire both kinds of ammo.
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    JesseL

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 09:58:02 pm »
    I don't think a piezo system would work. Piezoelectric ignitors produce a lot of voltage, but very little current. They can provide enough ionization to ignite a combustible mixture of gaseous fuel and oxygen, but an electric primer needs enough wattage to heat several milligrams of solid explosive beyond its auto-ignition temperature.

    If the electrical power requirements could somehow be lowered to the levels that a piezoelectric device could provide, you'd run the risk of setting off your ammo in handling with ordinary static discharges.
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    Daylight

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 10:02:37 pm »
    Some vaporware ideas for electronic firing: 
    (Some have been discussed in other threads.)

    Teslalock or Edisonlock or Laserlock:  muzzle loading black powder boomstick with spark, heating element, or a freakin' laser beam instead of match, flint, or cap.  (For bonus geek points, charge power system with solar panel on stock or linear alternator a la shakelight.)

    Solenoid firing system:  solenoid drives firing pin with conventionally primed ammunition. 

    Strain gauge trigger:  measures force, without travel*.  When force reaches calibrated point it fires the circuit.

    Solenoid recoil brake:  floating sprung counterweight actuated during firing.  (Okay, not actually a fire control mechanism, but might facilitate even more powerful small arms.)

    *yes, I know
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    JesseL

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 10:07:44 pm »
    Strain gauge trigger:  measures force, without travel*.  When force reaches calibrated point it fires the circuit.

    I've been wanting to do that one on a bullpup for ages.
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    kunkmiester

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 10:29:39 pm »
    You know, a decent sized capacitor and a coil on the bolt might work.  Whether manual or semi-auto, it's simply a matter of a bit of extra load on whatever is cycling the action--gas, recoil, hand, whatever.  That would also not demand a battery.
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    Daylight

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 11:42:11 pm »
    I've been wanting to do that one on a bullpup for ages.
    You would need to make the control circuitry robust enough to endure repeated recoil impulse.  If only you knew someone who did PCB manufacture...
    Washington"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  But, in practice, there is. "
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    JesseL

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 12:35:49 am »
    It would really be pretty simple. A Wheatston bridge for the strain gage, feeding to an instrumentation amp, to a DAC, to a uC. Then a FET or something to drive the solenoid on the sear. You could fit the whole deal in a 1"x1" PCB and pot the whole thing for shock resistance.

    The sucky thing is that you'd be limited to manual action because the BATF would probably consider an electronic trigger on an autoloader too easy to convert to full-auto.
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    Daylight

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 09:09:19 pm »
    It would be fun to trouble shoot the new system.  For a semi you could build it to reset, or time out between primer hits.

    Seems like it would be harder to rebuild a potted circuit than replace a sear or attach a shoelace.  Be delightful to see ATF try to declare Radio Shack a purveyor of machine guns.

    As for putting it on a manual action, it would make sense to put it on a bolt for target competition, but would be more fun to put it on a trapdoor or lever:  Firefly tech, with a slight steampunk vibe.

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    - Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

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    GeorgeHill

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    Re: Electronic Firing Mechanism
    « Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 01:20:52 am »
    Some vaporware ideas for electronic firing: 
    (Some have been discussed in other threads.)

    Teslalock or Edisonlock or Laserlock:  muzzle loading black powder boomstick with spark, heating element, or a freakin' laser beam instead of match, flint, or cap.  (For bonus geek points, charge power system with solar panel on stock or linear alternator a la shakelight.)


    That's been done.
    http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=401634&pdesc=CVA_Electra_50_Caliber_ARC_Muzzleloader
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