The Army adopted its current battle rifle, the M-16, in 1963. That’s 55 years ago — the year JFK was assassinated. That’s an awfully long time by any measure, but an eternity when you consider how much technology has changed and developed since then.
The Army has been looking for a new gun for quite some time, and it may just have found it in an inventor’s garage. The inventor, Martin Grier of Colorado Springs, calls it a “ribbon gun.” It looks a space age weapon, and it’s clearly a technologically advanced device with a radically different design that would offer soldiers different firing options that could be used depending on the situation. The article linked above states: “The specifications are incredible, four 6 mm barrels cut side by side within one steel block. New ammunition blocks fired by electromagnetic actuators that could theoretically give the weapon a firing rate of 250 rounds per second.” The gun also has a shotgun feature called a “power shot” that would allow soldiers to shoot four bullets simultaneously at the enemy.
The Army has ordered a military grade prototype of the gun for study purposes. In the meantime, Grier has patented his ribbon gun, which involves inventions that change the nature of the ammunition and the bores through which the ammunition is fired and the method for machining the bores. It also uses electromagnetic devices to fire the rounds rather than mechanical firing pins and gunpowder.
Inventions in garages are the stuff of American legend, and I’m all for developing new weapons that give our soldiers an edge when they are out protecting our country. But if the new ribbon gun is the gun of the future, I sure hope its technology stays solely in the hands of the military and doesn’t get out into the civilian population. Given the mass shootings we’ve endured lately, it’s hard to imagine the kinds of havoc that could occur if a few lunatics got their hands on “ribbon guns.”