Everyone knows the automobile industry uses crash test dummies. The cosmetics industry has their cute little bunny rabbits. The computer industry relies on anyone who uses Microsoft products. It seems every industry needs some way to find out what happens when their products interact with the real world. Now our friends at the Department of Homeland Security are looking for an equivalent to a crash test dummy for firearm and ammunition testing…
No, they aren’t looking for something to shoot at – they’re looking for something to do the shooting. The National Firearms and Tactical Training Unit (NFTTU) issued a (now closed) Small Business Innovation Research (SIBR) solicitation titled “Replicating Human Functionality during Firearms and Ammunition Testing with a Mechanical Device.” Basically they’re looking for a device to “replace the human firing system [huh?] with a mechanical device.” They specify the device should:
- Be easy to mount and re-load with full magazines;
- Mimic the exact counter forces of a broad demographic range of human hands during firing, recoil cycle, bullet/cartridge ejection and post-firing forward movement of the gun; and
- Allow for similar accuracy as when completed by human testers
They’re also looking for “modeling of complex, multi-degree forces exerted on the human body when a gun is fired as well as the resulting reactionary/counter forces that are then exerted on the gun by the human body.” Well, alrighty then. I guess that means they want to know how badly it smarts when that improperly-held Bennelli 12 gauge Nova pump action dislocates your shoulder.
There are three phases to this project that range from virtual modeling and prototype development to final operational testing and acceptance (and then, we have to assume, use). Hi-tech auto crash test dummies can run automakers upwards of half a million samolians. Anyone what to venture a guess what this will end up costing the taxpayer by the time DHS is done with it?