Metal Storm Weapons

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Metal Storm multi-barrel pod mounted on UGV - 40mm

Metal Storm Weapons are a series of proposed (and prototype) weapons created by the Australian company Metal Storm Ltd. These weapons use superposed loads in a single barrel with electrochemical ignition, allowing for enormously high fire rates due to a lack of moving parts. While quoting a cyclic fire rate of any kind is slightly misleading (since these weapons have no action and therefore no cycle of function) their headline proof-of-concept demonstrator, a 36-barrel rig called "Bertha," fired 180 shots at a total fire rate of one million rounds per minute (ie, 5 shots from each barrel at ~27,777 RPM), making it the fastest-firing gun in existence. This rig had notable pressure problems due to firing while the preceding bullet was still inside the barrel, and was not a practical weapon system. The Metal Storm VLE pistol appears to have also essentially been a proof of concept demonstrator to show how much the technology could be miniaturised.

The technology's main shortcomings are reloading and varying ballistics; a Metal Storm weapon must have an entire pre-loaded barrel or barrel section replaced each time it is empty, and since the loads are stacked in the barrel, each successive projectile travels down a longer barrel and therefore has slightly different ballistics. This has largely limited practical applications of the technology to mortars and repeating grenade launchers where varying accuracy is not a major concern.

The technology does not seem to have been particularly successful; while Metal Storm produced a range of concepts and demonstrators, their largest contract appears to have been supplying 500 MAULs and 5,000 less-lethal barrels to Papua New Guinea for law enforcement use, and the company's shares were suspended in July 2012 and Metal Storm Ltd placed into voluntary administration. Their US-based subsidiary Metal Storm Inc filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in October 2014.

Weapons using Metal Storm technology have been featured in the following video games and television series:


Metal Storm AICW

AICW was the Australian equivalent of the XM29 OICW program, pairing a 5.56mm KE module produced by Steyr and based on the Steyr AUG rifle series with a 3-round 40mm grenade launcher produced by Metal Storm. Though testing was successful, the project did not proceed further, though Metal Storm did attempt to market a variant of the grenade launcher as the 3GL.

Metal Storm AICW with 40mm grenade launcher using a 3-shot reloadable stack
Metal Storm AICW (modified AUG) - 5.56x45mm NATO

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Not usable 2005
Soldier of Fortune: Payback Cut; only accessible with mods 2007

Metal Storm VLE

The Metal Storm VLE or O'Dwyer VLE pistol was a proof-of-concept demonstrator showing the degree to which the technology could be miniaturised; several variants were produced, using either rear-inserted barrels or break-open frames, with the most common a render produced for the TV series Future Weapons showing a four-barrel version with two 9mm lethal barrels and two 15mm less-lethal barrels.

CG image of an early Metal Storm VLE design, produced for "Future Weapons." This version was planned to use two 7-shot 9mm barrels and two 3-shot 15mm barrels, the latter using less-lethal ammunition


Show Title / Episode Actor Character Notation Air Date
Future Weapons/Maximum Impact Richard Machowicz May 3, 2006

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Soldier of Fortune: Payback ALX 2007

Metal Storm Redback RWS

Redback was one of a series of 40mm implementations of Metal Storm technology in grenade launchers and mortars, where the variable per-shot accuracy would be less of a problem. The Redback system was a four-barrel remote weapon station designed to replace the Mk 19 grenade launcher on vehicles and drones.

Metal Storm Redback RWS - 40mm

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Mounted on the "Assault Drone"; incorrectly functions as a machine gun instead of a grenade launcher 2012

Metal Storm MAUL

MAUL (Multi-shot Accessory Underbarrel Launcher) is a Metal Storm-based semi-automatic accessory shotgun designed to compete with pump or bolt action accessory shotguns such as the Knight's Armament Masterkey and M26 MASS. It uses a front-loading 5-shot preloaded barrel, and can fire either standard slug or shot or less-lethal loads, though only one type of load can be used at a time due to the nature of the weapon.

MAUL shotgun in standalone configuration - 12 gauge preloaded barrel

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Call of Duty: Ghosts "Bulldog" w/ various attachments In both standalone and underbarrel configurations 2013
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare "Bulldog" w/ various attachments Standalone only 2014

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