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. Metal Storm's patents, intellectual property, trademarks and existing weapon prototypes were acquired in August 2015 by Australian defence R&D company DefendTex, which has stated it intends to market them under its existing brand.

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

Contents


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 (most likely because at 22 pounds the loaded AICW was even heavier than the XM29), 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

Television

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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