Could the Army’s next service rifle be something with four vertically stacked barrels that was invented in a Colorado Springs man’s garage?
(Martin) Grier, a self-described inventor who has worked at a local bed and breakfast, built the new “ribbon gun” with a hobbyist’s tools. It looks like a space-age toy drawn by a fifth-grader.
But goofy origins and cartoon-looks aside, this could be the gun of the future. The Army is studying Grier’s gun and has ordered a military-grade prototype.
Here’s how this thing is said to work:
The specifications are incredible, four 6 mm barrels cut side by side within one steel block. New ammunition blocks fired by electromagnetic actuators that could theoretically give the weapon a firing rate of 250 rounds per second.
TTAG got the low-down on this gun at SHOT Show back in January. In the video above, one of the company’s reps attempts to walk us through the features and functionality of what they were calling the L5 Caseless Ammo Rifle.
Here’s a close-up of the receiver:
Grier’s design has bullets encased in four-round blocks rather than cartridges. But they’re still reportedly launched with gunpowder.
In a block with four rounds, each round is aligned with a barrel. Grier prefers to call them “bores,” because all of the barrels are in a single piece of metal.
The second invention is behind the bullet. In other rifles, the trigger is connected to a mechanical trigger pin, which fires the gunpowder and sends the bullet flying.
In his weapon, the trigger is an electronic switch that sends a signal to an electromagnetic actuator behind the block of bullets. The four bullets in the block of rounds each has its actuator. That means you fire the rounds individually or simultaneously.
Selecting the “power shot” option fires all four bullets at once.
Some of the “bullet blocks” seem to have a five-round capacity in the image above for some reason. And it’s not clear if you’d have to reload after each four-round block is empty. Which would seem to be a step backward from 30-round magazines.
On the plus side, rounds travel at over 3600 feet per second, if this report is accurate.
Grier’s been granted a patent for his design and the Army’s ordered a prototype model to test.
Grier said he finds motivation for the weapon in every attack on U.S. troops overseas. While the U.S. owns the skies and has satellites and missiles that are beyond compare, American troops have few advantages in a stand-up rifle fight.
“Our guys have the same junk weapons as our adversaries,” he said.
But Grier’s ribbon gun, which can work even if one of the four barrels fails, will change that, he said.
“I want to give them a Clint Eastwood kind of edge.”