‘Smart Gun’ Maker Armatix Crashes and Burns


Oh no. Dontcha just hate getting bad news on a holiday weekend? “The manufacturer of the only so-called ‘smart’ pistol available on the market today has entered chapter 11-style restructuring proceedings in Germany, the company confirmed to Fortune yesterday. ‘This is a corporate restructuring, not an insolvency proceeding,’ a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. ‘Armatix will continue operations and does not anticipate any changes to its majority shareholders.'” Uh huh. Maybe that’s why, despite our best efforts, TTAG’s been unable to buy one of their whiz-bang .22 caliber pistols from the only US retailer willing to sell them . . .

Armatix was known to be in turmoil. On April 20, as Fortune previously reported, Armatix’s co-managing director and head of technical operations Ernst Mauch abruptly parted ways with the company.

But wait. It gets worse.

The timing of the development was unfortunate for the company. Today Armatix was to have been a key presenter at the first of five smart gun technology fairs that a gun safety group had organized to familiarize local law enforcement officials with developments in the area. On Tuesday, however, Armatix informed Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, a co-chair of the group, that it would be unable to attend today’s fair at the New Rochelle (N.Y.) Police Department because the custodian appointed to oversee the company’s finances had refused to authorize travel expenses, according to Mosbacher. The fair will go forward with four other smart gun designers participating, Mosbacher says.

Say it ain’t so, Joel!

Of course, now that New Jersey is considering chloroforming its poison pill “smart gun” mandate law, more companies may be willing to give the business a go. Who knows? Maybe future entrants will be astute enough that their initial product launch won’t be an underpowered 10-round pistol that’s largely inappropriate for concealed carry or home defense applications. But what do we know?  [h/t DrVino]



  1. avatar GuyFromV says:

    Now is the only time to buy one, as a curio 20-30 years from now may be worth more. Or not.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Worth more than $1400? Best of luck.

    2. avatar Clyde Leigh says:

      Wait until they’re sold at the bankruptcy auction. The will be collector’s pieces. But nothing more.

      1. avatar greenmeanie says:

        Give it 6 months and you can pick one up cheap from CDNN.

  2. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Promise of technology undelivered.
    Create a company, sell to the willing, legislate to the masses, fail to deliver, cash out, start again.

    1. avatar Pieslapper says:

      Sort of like all these failed “alternative” energy companies Barry has been propping up with our tax dollars.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        solyndra….. seen it once while passing by on the freeway down in CA

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      It’s called “command capitalism” and is a hallmark of economic fascism.

  3. avatar 7SigmaEvent says:

    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a dumb pistol that looks kinda like that, it does have the whole sleek, unlikely to snag on something while drawing from concealment, futuristic look to it. But I’m in NJ, so fuck this gun.

    1. avatar Stan M says:

      I too thought that the external smoothness of what’s illustrated here would be great in a REAL firearm.

    2. avatar CentralIL says:

      Reminds me a little of the Vektor CP1.


      1. avatar greenmeanie says:

        CP1? I still have mine!

        1. avatar LJC says:

          Have 2…plus spare parts…and many mags…not all 10-rounders,either

  4. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    BLAME THE NRA. #gunbullies would not let the company gain any market share, so now the are in financial ruin! /sarc. Maybe the company should have produced traditional firearms that go bang without a kill switch installed. The liberals they were bending a knee to aren’t customer base to keep profits rolling in!

    1. avatar mountocean says:

      Bully! (by the T. Roosevelt meaning)

    2. avatar Stan M says:

      You are a really special kind of stupid, if you think NRA has that kind of clout. This company is in GERMANY, not the USA.

      1. avatar David Carson says:

        he is being sarcastic

      2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        Even with sarcasm tag (/sarc) I still manage to bring out the best in people… maybe next time I will bait the line before trolling for a$$hats!

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    It burst into flames! It burst into flames, and it’s falling, it’s crashing! Watch it, watch it! This is one of the worst catastrophes in the world. Oh, the humanity!

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “As God is my witness, I thought Turkeys (Armatix) could fly…”

      1. avatar CJ Minnesota says:


      2. avatar Bruce L. says:

        Nice WKRP reference.

        1. avatar Rad Man says:

          Every time I fly in a helicopter I think of that episode.

  6. avatar Benny the Jew says:

    If it were a plain ol’ “dumb gun” in 9mm I’d consider buying one. Leaving aside the insideous technology, that is a slick-looking gun, like something from Shadowrun.

  7. avatar DrVino says:

    The irony here may be that the legislators who had hoped to put manufacturers of conventional handguns out of business may have done just that with the only viable product which meets their delusional criteria. Pay heed, Sacramento..

  8. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Shocking! Horrifying! Gratifying!


  9. avatar Foster says:

    Maybe the problem is that the antis hate guns so much none of them will invest in a company to develope the product they want. Or maybe when they start working with firearms they actually change their minds because guns are just so cool! Either way we win!

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      The thing is, it’s NOT a product they want. It’s not a product anyone wants. They just want it on the market so they can stop other people from owning the products they DO want.

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        This gun was being pitched to a market that if free would not purchase it. This gun was being promoted to legislators who would legally ram it down into a captive restricted market. Sort of like electric cars with various governments.

      2. avatar cwp says:

        I hope the irony of funding a company to create a gun that appeals only to people who don’t buy guns is not lost on Armatix’s investors.

        1. avatar General Zod says:

          If they understood that, would they be investors?

      3. avatar Independent George says:

        That’s the worst part – if it weren’t for the NJ law, I might actually be interested in it. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of a smartgun; it’d actually be a great boon to law enforcement officers who have a tendency to leave their sidearms in mens rooms. But the NJ law is such an abomination that I wouldn’t buy one even if the law is rescinded, just because I know some genius is going to try and put it back into place.

  10. avatar Paul53 says:

    Obama’s fault. Clearly!

  11. avatar BlueBronco says:

    As Curly Bill said in Tombstone: “Well, bye.”

  12. avatar Billy the crib says:

    Once that New Jersey law dies I wouldn’t mind owning one of those.

    1. avatar General Zod says:

      So you’d drop three grand on a ten-shot .22 that by design may not go bang every time you pull the trigger?

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        But it does come with a super-chunky, dog-ass-ugly watch. So there’s that.

  13. avatar Glenn says:

    I’ll believe the smart gun technology works when police departments buy into it for their own use.

    Otherwise, buying a smart gun will only be buying into a false sense of security.

    1. avatar Hydguy says:

      the test field should be the security details of legislators and activists who think this type of firearm is appropriate for the people..
      Start with Bloominidiot and his AstroTurf MDA group, along with all democrat politicians…

  14. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Proof god is real.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      No, this is proof that capitalism works. Better find different proof. Not anti religion just stating a fact.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        Thanks for taking the bait. You are too serious. Relacks a little.

  15. avatar Another Robert says:

    Well, I see from the Fortune article that Mosbacher is trying to convince the cops and military to use “smart guns” first. I say go for it Mr. Mosbacher, you are exactly right–I’ll start trusting “smart gun” tech when the cops adopt it as their only service weapons. Lotsa luck with that…

  16. avatar Ing says:

    Did you catch the part where a “gun safety group” organized those “technology fairs” for the police?

    All the anti-gun orgs are calling themselves “gun safety” organizations now. They know the anti-gun movement is in decline and gun control is a damaged brand, so they’re trying to co-opt the safety space. And of course the establishment media is happy to oblige them in the new rebranding effort.

  17. avatar Dan H. says:

    It’s kind of cool-looking; maybe a real gun manufacturer can buy them and use that as the basis for an actual pistol that’s worth a toot.

  18. avatar Anonymous says:

    “Dontcha” ??

    TTAG has moved to Minnesota.

    1. avatar foodog says:

      “ya, sure you betcha”

      UFF DA!

  19. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    Capitalism is a bitch like that… Build something nobody wants and surprise surprise nobody buys it.

  20. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    The only thing that would be better is if Shannon and hubby invested in this company on the if come and lost all of the money he made off his golden (shower) parachute earned screwing people over by denying their health care claims.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Dude. The metaphors, man, the metaphors…

  21. avatar tedthecanuck says:

    Who are the other four companies?

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Something I’D like to know too…so they can go belly up too.

    2. avatar foodog says:

      How much you want to bet HRCs brother, Joe Bidens son, or Harry Reids son is involved?

  22. avatar OakRiver says:

    So the antis, who would never buy one of these firearms, were rooting for a product that no market sustaining number of gun owners wanted? Guess the free market worked in this case 😀

    1. avatar jay says:

      Mostly because the law in NJ stated once a smart gun that worked hit the market it would then ban conventional arms. Then only smart guns could be sold. They were interested in the gain, sweeping gun bans, not the gun itself. It was just a means to their engineered end

  23. avatar Tom W. says:

    Solyndra of the firearms market, without the .gov checks to prop it up long enough to burn in flames.
    Thanks for playing.

    1. avatar foodog says:

      I’d be interested in learning who are the other companies, and who are behind them.

      Dont forget Nick “We need more school shootings” Hanaer, co-purchaser of Seattle newspapers entire ad budget during the Washington State I-594 proposition, and one of the early promoters of the Smart Gun challenge/prize.




      This has all the earmarks of the GreenGate scandals of Solyndra, A123 and others-

      early hype by progressives in goverment, with big donors to the Obama admin getting in as VC round funders, then getting taken out later by Fed.Gov money, with taxpayers holding the debt, when it finally BK’d, and foreign investors picking up the pieces. “B234”

      Watch out young Yedi Innovators. They will fund you, until you need more money and then take your equity…


  24. avatar bob worden says:

    The design looks similar to the Czechoslovakian CZ52 sidearm used by military & police from 1952-1982

  25. avatar John Franco says:

    Hopefully this company will be announcing next that it is going belly-up! I personally will NEVER buy a smart gun as it is worthless in a self defense situatuon should a loved one need my weapon to protect themselves or me. Ignoring this type of dangerous technology is the best way to insure firearms manufacturers will refuse to continue developing it…because there is no money in it, thus no future for it!

  26. avatar TwinReverb says:

    Good: it was a mostly bad idea. Hope the CEO/owner of the business isn’t hurt financially for it, however. It was a bad idea, but i doubt it was fielded with intent to try to support more gun legislation.

  27. avatar Chop says:

    Hahaha EXPLETIVES DELETED. The very nature of a firearm and the circumstances in which a firearm is actually needed precludes this POS and any others like it from being a viable option. I hope more dumbass antis try to keep on with this idea, it hasn’t wasted enough of their money yet

  28. avatar dlj95118 says:

    …this is my “oh-I’m_so_sorry_face”…*8)

  29. avatar Preston B. says:

    Good ☺

  30. avatar Johnny says:

    Smartgun technology. When the battery dies, so do you.

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