metal storm gun one million rounds per minute
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The highest rate of fire for a machine gun in service is the M134 Minigun. The weapon was designed in the late 1960s for helicopters and armored vehicles. It fires 7.62 mm calibre rounds at a blistering rate of 6,000 rounds per minute, or 100 rounds per second — about ten times that of an ordinary machine gun, according to the Guinness World Records.

The Metal Storm gun, on the other hand, makes the M134 look like a toy. The prototype gun system was rated at 16,000 rounds per second or 1,000,000 rounds per minute. The gun system was developed by an Australian weapons company by the same name. In 2007, Metal Storm Inc. started delivering its gun systems to the US Navy for surface ships. This video shows how the Metal Storm gun achieves its head spinning firing rate.

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    • It was, but according to Wikipedia a company bought all the assets and is now looking at working it into a UAV system. Personally I have to wonder if a drone could handle the kind of kick back from a Metalstorm system.

      • The immediate and possibly very effective, “real world application” is close in missile defense. As a possible upgrade or replacement for the Gatling based CIWS,, the MetalStorm would be able to throw much more lead at an oncoming warhead, and possibly create a larger area of obstruction in the missile’s projected path.

  1. “In 2007, Metal Storm Inc. started delivering its gun systems to the US Navy for surface ships.”

    err, no, it was for testing for surface ships. It has yet to be mounted on one permanently, AFAIK.

  2. i seem to recall an episode of CSI Miami focusing on a weapon of this sort…took them like half the show to figure out what was turning their vics into red mist

  3. Personally I have to wonder if someone could cook up their own version of Metal Storm in their own shop. Obviously you’d have to figure out some what to make it not easily convertible to full auto to keep the ATF off your ass… but if you could pull it off it would probably give the anti’s a hell of a fit.

  4. On a similar thread…

    I had a couple sick days last week to lay on the couch and ponder the finer details of the firearms cartridge and thought of this; every week we have a new cartridge that promises 1/10th moa at 1000 yards or whatever, and I got to thinking, whatever happened to the rail g un? No powder, no case, just electronic propulsion. My first assumption was that the battery power is just a century or two away from being ready. But, a quick check revealed that .308 produces a bit under 3600 joules of energy. Meanwhile, a watt-hour equals 3600 joules. So if you’ve got a DeWalt cordless tool and you get the big battery pack that holds 5 amp-hours at 20 volts, that equals 360.000 joules, or as much energy as 100 .308 bullets fired from a 24″ barrel.

    Now obviously, you’re never going to achieve 100% efficiency, but it seems to me that one of these packs could produce at least 30 rou nds of .308 fire. So, why don’t we have rail guns yet?

    Or in my fever did I get the math totally wrong?

    • There are three problems with your math.

      1. Efficiency for converting electric energy into kinetic energy would be piss poor, as you mentioned.
      2. Discharging 100 mA / sec is not nearly the same as discharging 2000 A/sec. Basically, the energy is there, you just can’t get it OUT fast enough.
      3. Mechanical wear on a RAIL gun is atrocious. You’d basically need to rebuild the firing system from scratch every few hundred rounds.

      The navy is still working on a ship mounted model that has shown quite a bit of promise, but chemical powered small arms are here to stay for a LONG time.

        • Yes, but that wasn’t the only reason. Much like the ‘rods from God’ there are technical and economical reasons to consider too. EMWs and DEWs are coming, but we will still be slinging lead with boomsticks for a while yet.

      • #2 I sort of suspected.
        #3 I suspect is the main reason.

        Still, if this could be overcome, even at 1/1000th efficiency, a Kwh is significantly less costly than a case and powder.

        • #4 The squids REALLY don’t like those old fashioned gun thingies. So last century. And the jarheads will figure out a way to manage without gun fire support. No not, whatever. Is the smoking lamp lit yet? PORT CALL!

        • Re #2, take a look at laser systems for fusion research. Pretty near the ultimate rapid discharge application, extending to the electrical system “pumping” the lasers. Electrical high-energy / fast-discharge creates a whole flotilla of problems. (I live in the same city as one of the large fusion research facilities. Facts — nothing restricted — propagate out into the nerd pool.)

          I’m suspicious a Gauss / coil drive might be a better approach to electrically throwing things. That’s not certain. Indeed, the rail gun is attractive because it avoids the problems of a coil drive that come with throwing piles of energy into coils in a hurry.

      • The current naval rail gun requires so much energy that it requires its own power source separate from the ships power. Its power plant is about as large as a train box car and the gun itself equally if not larger in size. The weight of the entire system is astronomical. Each round costs thousands of dollars due to the use of extreme heat resistant materials required to prevent them from evaporating before they leave the barrel. Other than all that, its a great system. We will be into lasers and tazers before this system is viable for fleet use.
        Your battery won’t provide enough power to light the fire button.

        • I’m not sure if that financial calculus is all that bad compared to lofting million-dollar plus each cruise missiles.

    • The problem with railguns, Gov, is that the forces generated (both friction and electrical arcing) are so massive that we don’t yet have a material that’s strong enough for the rails. We can create some pretty spectacular shots (you’ve probably seen some of the videos), but the current “guns” are one-shot deals; once fired at full power, the rails are destroyed and need to be repaired or replaced before the device can fire again.

      Some of the most recent Navy tests have had the rails survive multiple shots, but those were probably not full-power shots.

      • Not quite. Having done some… work… in this field, the bigger issue isn’t just shot repeatability, it is the sturdiness of the system as a whole. Survivable rails are sometimes made of materials too brittle, or susceptible to salt water for example. There is also the issue of power generation/storage that currently limits the system to large vehicles or ships. You don’t want your Stryker disabled by small arms fire, or your DDG51 disabled by the rain!

        • “There is also the issue of power generation/storage that currently limits the system to large vehicles or ships.”

          The Navy already proved rail guns on ships don’t work. Just look at the billions of dollars spent on the latest aircraft carrier (USS Ford); rail guns that launch aircraft don’t work. You would think the Navy would have waited until the electro-catapults (EMALS) were 100% reliable before putting a massive ship under them.

        • Here’s the other quandary, if a viable small arms rail gun were brought to market, would the POTG buy it? Assuming the cost, weight, durability, etc are competitive, you’re still left with ‘what happens when it rains?’

    • I designed strobes (for firetrucks), and actually got paid for it. You could call me a professional.

      The usual method is to build charge in a capacitor, then discharge it in a blaze of glory. Unfortunately, the current is on the order of 100s of amps. Physics, being the dismal science, says that conductor loss is (I^2)*R. That is, most of the energy is dissipated in the conductors between the capacitors and whatever does useful work.

      You don’t get something for nothing. (band: Rush, late 1970s). Sorry.

      Most designs will put the capacitors physically close to the load. So, it could work with the right physical shapes for the capacitors and acceleration coils.

      • “Most designs will put the capacitors physically close to the load.”

        And you better armor the hell out of your capacitor bank.

        Penetrate a charged capacitor with a metal bullet or shrapnel, and it will *detonate*.

        While you’re holding it, it will probably kill you, on a ship, *Ka-BOOM*. It will look like that old film of WW 2 ships when their magazines explode…

    • Oddly enough, if you could take all the energy out of the battery fast enough to power a .308 equivalent projectile, the battery would be an explosion. Kind of like what we use to propel normal .308 projectiles. Basically to beat traditional guns, you would need to find an item that is either destructive using WAY less energy, or you need to find a reusable explosion. So yeah…

  5. I’ll take… “Horrendously overpriced waporware” for $2000 Alex.

    Metal Storm was a retarded attempt to replace two systems that already work. Mortars and directional mines.

    • Meh. I prefer to see the concept as useful for a system utilizing 40mm grenades. You could create a hell of an anti-infantry (and light vehicle) system with a few of those.

      • When the posleen show up, we’ll be sure to give you a call. Sadly, there are very few things on a modern battlefield worth hitting with an saturation bombardment of 40mm grenades that can’t be more cost effectively dealt with existing weapons.

  6. Does it have a thingy in the back that goes up?


    It’s not a real gun, just a plastic toy. The muzzle end of the thing should be painted bright orange.

  7. OK…rate of fire is one thing…how many could it actually hold and fire at any given time? Definitely NOT 1M.
    Reload time/method?
    1,000,000 rounds of ANY caliber is a LOT of weight.

    • Hmm. For quick and dirty mental arithmetic, let’s use 7 lbs per 100 rounds of 7.62 NATO. Rough, but close enough for illustrative purposes. That means about 70,000 lbs for a million rounds, or 35 tons.

  8. A novelty item. Interesting to watch vids but what real world use are they?

    What caliber are they and what’s their effective range?

    • “A novelty item. Interesting to watch vids but what real world use are they?”

      I have very good uses for them –

      Navy – Last chance defense against an inbound anti-ship missile. They currently use a radar-guided Gatling gun. Phalanx CIWS (Close In Weapons System).

      A ‘wall of steel’ would be quite useful, there.

      Ground pounders – Similar as the Navy, for inbound mortar rounds.

      • Looks a bit bulky for ground pounders. I used to curse just having some extra ammo for the mg. The term ‘grunt’ is used for a reason. Maybe you could mount it in a static position like a fire base. You’d need some sort of radar to find those incoming.

      • and a modified version attached to a trailer was used to shoot down rockets, artillery and mortars in Iraq.

        The Phalanx is gradually being replaced by a system that uses the same ‘R2D2’ sensors but fires a small missile, tho.

      • Pretty lightweight for anti-missile close-in defense. R2D2’s 20mm, isn’t it? And even it is barely capable of doing its job, maybe…Wikipedia says it’s never been used for an actual threat, but has caused both damage & fatalities to friendly forces as a result of false-responses.

      • That’s exactly what the phalanx does. It does not target the incoming threat. It puts up a wall of depleted uranium.

    • They’ve been building toys like this for a long time. Puff, for one, and the current AC-130 gunship for another, plus all the helicopters and the A-10 with Gatling guns. The concept is “inescapable death.”

    • Another way to ask that would be “after we shoot someone 100,000 times, do we really need to shoot him another 900,000 times before one minute is up?”

    • Wow, I complained about the 3.5 year old AIWB mod story, and now this dinosaur. I heard someone came up with a pinfire system to replace percussion caps. Maybe we can have a story on that.

  9. OMG it can use velocity rounds,did someone check with the Commiecrats,Demanding Commie Mommy’s and what of little boy Hogg for approval.

  10. I’d hate to be near that thing if it malfunctions… Go from 16,000 RPM to the entire thing going off at once.

  11. I bought one of these back in 1991 just before the AWB, it didn’t work with my bumpstocks so I trashed canned it.

  12. An old idea, as in originally conceived in the flintlock era, made possible by modern electronics and manufacturing standards.

    There were flintlock rifles that had multiple charges stacked on behind the other in the barrel and a lock that was moved to each touch hole for the next shot. Up to 7 or 8 shots plus another in reserve. But chain detonations were a problem and the craft level manufacturing standards were not consistent enough.

  13. All well and good, but it better have a good guidance system. Just think about reloading time! Think about the recoil and/or muzzle rise! Think about getting a dud or squib load! But worse than everything, think about your explanation to your CO, because he will want to know why you effectively turned Abdullah into hamburger meat using all that ammo when a few well places shots would saved plenty of ammo.

  14. The newer version of this is the “ribbon gun.”

    Right now, it’s just one row of barrels, but someone will soon figure out that the chamber block can be made with several rows.
    Barrels are expensive; the Metal Storm requires the entire chamber/barrel to be replaced after firing; the ribbon gun just replaces the chambers. Less expensive, lighter, and less bulky reloads.
    Still, for now, fodder for SciFi ideas.

  15. 7.62 round = 0.0551 lbs (0.88 oz)
    1,000,000 * 0.0551 = 55,100 lbs = 27.55 tons per minute

    918.3 lbs / second. How do you load 918 lbs in one second ?

    All this is easily done IF you have a LOT of floor space and a LOT of power for the large machinery which would be required.

    PS. I design automated machinery AND armored vehicle, including weapons…..

    • Again…
      Rate Of Fire (ROF) is not the same thing as how many rounds are fired in a given time.
      It’s how many rounds CAN be fired in that time, IF there is sufficient time, in theory.
      The M16 has a ROF of 700~900 RPM. No grunt carries that much ammo.

  16. Speaking of gatling guns:

    I saw an episode of Hollywood Weapons where the put film stunts to the test. They were going to do the Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke handheld MiniGun test from the film Predator, but then they did the calculation. The thing produces 350 pounds of thrust, if I remember the number. So they hard mounted it for the shooting.

    My town hosts a couple military bases, and a few days ago I walked up to the rear of an SUV with an odd white silhouette decal in the window. Then I realized it was a silhouette of an A-10 Warthog pointing right at me. The punchline was the license plate that said, BRRRRT.

    • “… the license plate that said, BRRRRT.”

      Those who have been shot by a ‘Hog likely never heard the “BRRRRRT” that shredded them, since the slug arrived before the sound…

  17. If memory serves, this was originally designed to launch water balloons onto brush fires in Australia.

  18. Nowhere have I seen anything concerning round velocity or range. Looking at the video available, it certainly doesn’t look like much of a powder charge behind each round.

  19. Metal Storm is vaporware of the highest caliber, pun intended. Had some stock in it several years back. Never made it over a dollar per share and continued to drop like a brick until rumors of a buyout were floated. It shot up above .70 cents and I unloaded it like a radioactive turd… Then it was delisted from the stock exchange shortly thereafter.

    It’s an awesome concept, don’t get me wrong. I can think of half a dozen applications that would completely rek a battlefield, and not just those silly little artillery canisters either. Tanks. Ships. Drones. Could probably rig up an A-10 if you give me the length of the fuselage to work with.

    But as several have noted, good luck introducing a brand new ammunition type into the legacy ammunition supply chain.

  20. My guess – they’ll sell the “gun” for cheap, but charge a premium price for the factory preloaded barrels. And they’ll put chips in them so the gun won’t fire them unless they are factory authorized new barrels. No third-party reloaded barrels, and most definitely, no user-reloaded barrels. Hey, why not, HP’s been making a killing doing this for 20+ years.

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