First Look: Wake Island Sports Battery Buttstock Power Source (Prototype)

battery buttstock

Like it or not, electronic technologies continue to “invade” the traditionally very mechanical firearms space. As consumers rely more and more on smart phones, rangefinders, smart scopes, night vision optics, rechargeable lights, smart targets, chronographs, GPS units, tablets, and lord knows what else while out on the range, the need for portable power grows and grows.

So much so that our man Leghorn did a gear review on a straight-up portable power bank. As in, not directly gun-related in the slightest. Except, of course, for powering the above [partial] list of powered doodads some of us rely on.

So, it was only a matter of time before that portable power was integrated directly into a firearm. And, kids, that time is now! Enter Wake Island Sports and their aptly named Battery Buttstock.

First, let me just state that this is only a prototype. It’s 3D-printed and uses an off-the-shelf, portable power bank. Wake Island’s production version is going to sport a sleeker design that looks more like a traditional buttstock and will house a form-fitting power bank.

Whether it’s a power-sucking, everything-enabled night vision optic (my review of a different ATN model noted “voracious battery appetite” as one of its big downsides) or a rechargeable light (LaserMax MANTA-RAY pictured) or your own cell phone that’s sucking down the juice searching for a signal out on the range, the Battery Buttstock’s 15,000 mAh of on-board capacity will keep you going.

Two USB ports are accessible at the front of the buttstock when the power bank is installed. A window in the stock provides access to the power bank’s screen for quick checks of charge state.

Simply pivot the recoil pad downwards to slide the power bank out the back. This allows it to be charged on the kitchen counter or at work or wherever else the entire rifle may not be welcome.

Functioning on a commercial buffer tube for now, simply pull down on the keychain ring to unlock the stock and move it between length of pull adjustment holes. Production versions of the Battery Buttstock will have a sleeker, more standard stock-like adjustment lever.

Out on the range, I shot a bunch of mags through this guy and if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know. It feels like a normal stock on the shoulder and on the cheek.

In fact, the bit of extra weight from the battery pack balances out a rifle quite nicely, making it less muzzle-heavy than usual and moving the balance point back closer towards your strong hand. Which, in most cases, feels pretty good and makes that additional ~12 ounces much less noticeable than it would be if it were on the handguard or over the receiver, etc.

From the Battery Buttstock one can charge anything that’s USB-powered. Wake Island Sports also intends to release adapters for EOTech and other, popular products with unique inputs.

Whether you’re a survivalist looking for some bug out power backup or just a hobbyist tired of dead devices while out on the range or on hunts, Wake Island Sports’ idea of putting empty space inside a buttstock to good use is, well, useful.

As this is a prototype and there are substantial design tweaks pending before production, I won’t be officially rating it. However, it’s already pretty well-sorted and, functionally, it’s quite solid. A few refinements and I think Wake Island Sports is going to find a happy audience for the Battery Buttstock.

Specifications: Wake Island Sports Battery Buttstock

Fit: stock fits AR-15 commercial buffer tubes
Capacity: 15,000 mAh
Ports: two USB ports
Battery life indicator screen
Removable for charging (or for hot-swapping another power bank)
MSRP: pending

comments

  1. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Uuuhhhhmmm, like, you know, totally, smart phones? And totally smart guns?

  2. avatar RevolverBoomBoom says:

    Won’t be long before our rifles are taking our heart rate we are answering our handguns at 4am in a blind panic.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      I answer my handguns whenever they ask me questions. You don’t want one of those things mad at you…

      1. avatar Dave in PTC says:

        My Ar-15 loves me. We have sleep-overs together.

      2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        ” Nine of my 10 guns told me to stay home today and clean them”. We all had fun, cue the scary music.

  3. avatar Sich says:

    I suggested something similar a couple of years ago on the “TFB”. Using an “AMPHY” Shake or Gravity Generator and using the rifles recoil to produce the power. Everybody said it was a Stupid Idea and sound to much like a Smart Gun.

    1. avatar Mmmtacos says:

      That’s what I thought something like this may be. I mean, if you’re going to slap a battery in the stock why not use the energy from the buffer to charge the battery?

      Otherwise this stock seems incredibly pointless. Even then, I haven’t any use for electronics on my rifle, as much as I think a round-counter would be neat (tacticool, if we still say that, but I don’t care, every bit closer I can get to an M41A pulse rifle the better). Night vision, thermal, etc. is too rich for my blood and if we’re getting into the nitty-gritty I suppose you could say a weapon light is an electronic… but the 1,550mAh of a CR123 is more than sufficient to make them last a long time. I don’t think I need ten times that, not when there are stocks that can secure six additional CR123 batteries in a waterproof cavity.

      Always good on Wake Island and others to push a platform where it hasn’t been before. Maybe they have something else up their sleeves we have yet to see that will properly leverage this idea. Maybe they’ll inspire someone else to do so. Who knows? I don’t think grumbling like a Fudd over electronics on a rifle is productive. Innovation is always helpful, it doesn’t mean we are moving towards “smart guns” in the sense of anything that will require biometric data to work. Nor should we: if electronics do present themselves more on rifles they should be non-essential and allow the firearm to fully function or allow for a manual function in their place if they malfunction.

  4. avatar MrBob says:

    I wonder if that would recharge a Tracking Point rifle’s battery?

  5. avatar barnbwt says:

    Gun powder is incredibly energy dense compared to batteries, and generates a ton of waste heat compared to what moves the bullet.

    I think a Peltier device harvesting some thermal energy from each shot into a capacitor & charger/regulator circuit, supplemented by a battery stored in the magazine floorplate is a much better solution. The biggest downside is sustained full-auto may eventually cook the collector, and it would insulate the barrel somewhat compared to it being exposed to the air. Easy to replace & recharge when mags are reloaded (the capacitor keeps things running long enough for the mag to be swapped out), and able to top off whatever is siphoned out of the magazine during use fairly quickly after a few shots.

    Of course, there’s also the problem with routing the electrical conductor paths in a way that protects them, insulates them, and doesn’t add a bunch of bulk.

    1. avatar Jack says:

      What about the significant amount of downtime when the gun isn’t being fired? I understand what your saying about scavenging energy from the heat of the powder but guns spend most of their lives not being fired. Am I missing something in your post?

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        ” I understand what your saying about scavenging energy from the heat of the powder…”

        Gun barrels get *hot* from the friction of the bullet traveling down the barrel engaging on the lands.

        You can see that if you ever dump the powder from a bullet and light it. Very few BTUs…

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I think a Peltier device harvesting some thermal energy from each shot into a capacitor & charger/regulator circuit, supplemented by a battery stored in the magazine floorplate is a much better solution.”

      Peltier devices are neat things, but are *brutally* power-inefficient.

      That’s why you don’t see them being used in home conditioning systems. You will spend a *ton* of money on them to purchase them, and pay a fortune in electricity to run them. They are only cost-effective for use in small coolers in cars because vehicles have a *lot* of surplus energy available for them from the vehicle’s alternator and electrical system…

  6. avatar Sam Wright says:

    I like my AR-15 to be light. How much weight does the battery pack add?

  7. avatar ironicatbest says:

    To many batteries. None of my weapons will never need a battery. GPS= compass, rangefinder= duplex crosshairs. And if I could get a landline to make long distance phone calls cheaper, I’d pitch this cell phone, ain’t nuthin but a spy device anyway.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      There are FAR better reticles for estimating range than a duplex… You may be keeping it old school but there’s really no need to stick to 18th century tech 😉

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      If you have reasonable broadband, try a VOIP. Ooma is ~$4 a month for unlimited calling. Obi is free as long as Google’s Voice phone service is free. Both have a 1 time hardware cost, and you can hook into the regular phone wiring and use whatever landline phones you want. I’ve been using Ooma for conference calls for years.

      1. avatar ironicatbest says:

        Thanx

  8. avatar Hannibal says:

    But can it charge my phone while I instagram my day at the range?

    In all seriousness, this is a pretty good idea for a niche market.

    1. avatar Sich says:

      People haven’t quite mastered the art of texting while walking! Must be even more difficult when or while using a firearm.

  9. avatar Matty 9 says:

    Too many rocket scientists in here.

  10. avatar Felix says:

    Nit pick: a black background for a black buttstock is not the best choices.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Hay I’m a blogger your luckie I can even right English

      1. avatar Felix says:

        Ha! Joke’s on you — I can’t read either 🙂 I’m just in it for the pictures

  11. avatar Sich says:

    I can see at least six gadgets hanging off this rifle, five of which probably with cords. And a night light on the battery pack, must be there so the shooter can set the trigger under poor lighting conditions.

    1. avatar Dave in PTC says:

      Maybe the idea of a battery pack with multiple devices (scope, rangefinder, light, etc) can evolve a “power rail” that goes the length of the rifle. If accessory makers can agree on a universal plug-in connector, they all could plug into the power rail and the benefit is keeping the cords short and have a less wire mess on the rifle. If someone understands my idea and decides to patent it please include me on the profits. Fifty cents to me per each power rail sale would be nice. So, I can buy more guns. For the children.

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        That’s been in the works for well over a decade. See ‘future plans’ here, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_Accessory_Rail

        1. avatar Dave in PTC says:

          Dang. Still, if anyone feels so inclined I would much appreciate any offer of money for my ammo fund. FOR THE CHILDREN!

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          {A power rail}

          “That’s been in the works for well over a decade.”

          That’s not going to be easy to engineer.

          The primary problem is the *massive* amount of current a LiPo battery is capable of dumping in case of a short circuit situation.

          As in easily capable of melting the power wiring…

  12. avatar Sich says:

    The only problem I see is in Flexibility of type of power cords used! Usb’s, mini usb’s, 3.5mm jacks, etc. Not everybody is going to be using the same kind of power plugs or the same power wattage. I have a Junk Drawer full of devises with differ plugs and different power requirements.

    1. avatar Dave in PTC says:

      Jeremy, I read the wiki link. The use of the accessory rail surface (picatinny) as the electrical contact points seems very workable. I’m not sure why the rail lacks repeatibility. I’m an eletronics tech. The method described appears the way to go. I can see that there are going to be issues from dirt, grime, moisture and oxidation. Ok, after just writing that last sentence I get the problem. The idea might never work even if the soldier keeps his rifle clean when he can. Oh well.

      Thanks for a good write-up, Jeremy. TTAG is my go to site for what’s going on in the gun world.

  13. avatar Francis says:

    From the pics, it looks like the Wake Battery is compatible with Glock magazines

  14. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Maybe they can include some sort of heavy vibrator so the shooter can imagine he/she/it is shooting Class III or a bump stock…

  15. avatar Alex Waits says:

    eh, I “get it” but you can get the same functionality just by owning a battery bank and pulling it out of your bag and plugging in as needed, having it onboard is “convenience”. I think this falls within the realm having one of those ten rounder mags stuffed in a buttstock.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Agreed, with the exception of running night vision / thermal off it. Those things suck down power.

  16. avatar LJPII says:

    Mark my words: When firearms are made with smart phone attachments and other techno bullshit digital parts, some young millennial douche bag who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground will proclaim anyone who doesn’t own a techno gun a FUDD, and standard firearms that don’t have plug in devices as FUDD guns. And then go on to argue about why the new caliber he chose is better than yours, and blah blah blah. Sound familiar?

  17. avatar Mort says:

    I am gonna be that guy… here goes…

    Nyet, rifle is fine.

  18. avatar Bob says:

    Lets see how much junk we can hang off a popular item so we can make tons of money selling garbage!

    Coffee grinder on a flintlock…. Keurig on an AR….

    Not to mention its friggin butt ugly as sin.
    I would much rather see a battery slipped into the pistol grip, you know, where I keep my spare batteries for the optics……. sheesh….

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Coffee would be nice.

  19. avatar little horn says:

    lol

  20. avatar SuperJ says:

    I’d personally want to take a good look at the battery sitting inside that USB housing. Having seen what a shorted 18650 (3000mAh) in an ecig can do I’d have some worries about repeated recoil wearing thru the wraps on the battery.

    Looks like a Intocircuit INT-48 which goes for about $28 buck on Amazon so YMMV on overall build quality.

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