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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?

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  1. Now our friends at the Department of Homeland Security are looking for an equivalent to a crash test dummy for firearm and ammunition testing…

    they can start with all the politicians 1st

  2. Ok, I followed the link and I think I get it. Apparently if you have to shoot a couple hundred thousand rounds a year, it makes your hands hurt.

    I’m not sure *why* they’re testing 200k rounds per year…

  3. I think some people just don’t understand. How are they supposed to spend money if they don’t create projects? Spending money is a sign of power, and HHS is supposed to be powerful, Q.E.D., they must create projects.

    Stop complaining you unpatriotic whiners.

  4. Sounds like something straight out of Westworld.

    Instead of wasting time and money building a mechanical shooting device, these engineers should be developing a Cherry 2000.

  5. What I got out of the article is that they want a dummy that shoots back accurately and can replicate standard tactical operations such as reloads and recoil control. Is that correct? Is this for training force on force using real force?

    • they want a dummy that shoots back accurately

      They can get that if they hire a high school dropout with a smooth trigger pull.

  6. How about inventing a dummy that doesn’t vote for gun grabbing politicians? We would deploy them by the millions.

  7. I think the Italians do research similar to this, but without the automated dummy the feds seek. I think Benelli is fairly deep into recoil research.

  8. I remember reading how gun writer John Taffin had destroyed some of the little bones in his right wrist from shooting massive amounts of ammo thru large caliber handguns over many years. He now has trouble shooting right handed because of the pain he experiences. Having said that, I gotta think that a Ransome test fixture could be set up with sensors to do what these guys want, if all they want to do is study recoil effects.

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