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What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Kord Defence SmartGrip Rifle Input Control


“The main purpose of infantry soldiers is to engage the enemy,” Berenice Baker argues (sensibly enough) at “Increasing numbers of high-tech electronic systems are enabling them to better carry out their missions.” Hmmm. “But if they have to move their eyes from their weapon sights or their hands from their weapons, they are unable to perform their primary duty with an effective response time and could put themselves at risk.” So . . .

Australian company Kord Defence believes it has come up with a solution. Its SmartGrip Rifle Input Control (RIC) uses chordic input – a combination of key presses by the fingers of one hand – to carry out pre-defined actions on different pieces of equipment.

Kinda like Guitar Hero, only with bullets. Eventually. Maybe. Over at the Kord Defence website, business development director Trevor Finklaire (MBE) puts us in the picture:

The SmartGrip RIC has been designed to attach to most rifles and it contains a small programmable microprocessor for interfacing to a limited number of electronic devices such as: Thermal Weapon Sights, Infra-red Sensors, Night Aiming Devices, Laser Range Finders, Radios, Torches and Computers.

The latest version also contains prototype wireless circuitry so that it can control body worn devices without the need for cables. Adding new electronic devices requires a simple firmware upgrade instead of replacing the whole unit.

Back at, Finklaire describes a typical SmartGrip scenario:

“A commander could be looking through a sight to target the enemy. He could press forwards on the control to talk to his soldiers, and press another chord to talk to his commander and tell him what’s going on.

While all this is going on, he could press another chord to use his laser pointer to help describe to his soldiers what’s going on.”

Sounds simple. Or does it? Anyway, salesman Finklaire says the SmartGrip is coming soon to a militarized police force near you.

“I watched the riots in England on the news last year,” he says. “If you look at those policemen, in one hand they’re carrying a clear polycarbonate shield, and in the other hand they had a baton.

“They had to keep their eyes on the rioting crowd; if they looked down an electronic device, the crowd would get the better of them. And yet they still had to operate radios and helmet or shoulder-mounted cameras to record evidence. The technology that we developed in Kord Defence can be used in any of these situations where people are in distress and they need to control many electronic devices.”

I wonder if the SmartGrip has a sporting purpose? TTAG will contact Kord for a T&E sample.


  1. avatar Jon says:

    Seems like a great device but like many electronics they are doomed to fail at the most inoportune time!!

  2. avatar Skyler says:

    Starship Troopers.

    The book, not the movie

    1. avatar Hinshelworld says:

      Easily my favorite book… just fantastic.

  3. avatar anonymous says:

    “I wonder if the SmartGrip has a sporting purpose?”

    I wonder if the riot batons used by the police have a sporting purpose?

    If not, then riot baton’s are the type of technology that should be kept out of civilian hands.

  4. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    A common affect of stress and adrenaline is a loss of dexterity and fine motor skills. A technology that relies on the manipulation of individual fingers during combat is not a good idea.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      I was thinking the same thing. In addition, that wireless rig is going to be useless if our guys haven’t established/maintained air superiority and the bad guys are flying their wild weasels.

    2. avatar E.Berg says:

      Like a gun’s triger?

    3. avatar TTACer says:

      Maybe so, and this is probably not a legitimate comparison, but fighter pilots, esp single seaters, keep track of quite a bit of info and systems while flying and maneuvering.

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    This is like driving with your knees on the wheel. It’s not the normal way of operating and carries some risks.

  6. avatar Roll says:

    “Kinda like Guitar Hero, only with bullets.”

    I LOL’d hard, dont think this item is on my wish list. People always stick too much sh!t on the front of their rifle anyways. “Uh, gotta have a flashlight, laserpointer, backup flashlight, IR floodlight, bipod, vertical grip, something to stir my coffee with…and 10 pounds of other crap”

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      This is good. While the Chinese have been playing World of Warcraft, we’ve been rocking out to Guitar Hero. America, F*ck Yeah!

      1. avatar Rambeast says:

        If you have ever played WoW or any other MMO, then you know about keybinding abilities. 20+ buttons are more versitile than 4…just sayin’.

  7. avatar Sam Wright says:

    “I wonder if the SmartGrip has a sporting purpose?”

    It would be for warfair type of video games.

  8. avatar Aharon says:

    How much more debt-money and destruction of our currency’s buying power for struggling Americans will this cost the taxpayer in the long-run? These ‘must-have’ killing toys are bought with loans taken out from China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia contributing to a military budget that, when you clear away the smoke and mirrors, is more than 50% of the annual federal government budget. I guess it’s all fine that the military-industrial complex is catered too and so what that America keeps going further down the drain.

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      Amen. you would think having the budget they currently keep would be enough…

    2. avatar RobertM says:

      Less then is getting spent for the “Green” programs. Unless they are gouging in some way these units are going to be a few hundred a piece at most I could build those for around $20 in parts. The rifle they attach to are going to cost more.


      1. avatar matt says:

        They are going to be alot more than $200. My TangoDown QD VFG costs about $90 and it doesnt have any electronics. The non-QD grip which is all plastic and a couple of springs is still $60. Then figure in all the cabling cost, a cable/backplate for my Surefire x300/400 costs $165. Then add in retrofiting costs, increased maintenance, etc.

      2. avatar matt says:

        And where can you get a injection mold made for $20? Is your $20 grip going to be IP67/68 rated?

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      This technology was developed in Australia, not America.

  9. avatar Rifleman762 says:

    I wonder how quickly someone has an ND due to sympathetic or wrong-hand-inadvertant finger movement.

  10. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

    Sounds like hotas for infantry. If it works well for air force pilots, why not solders. For an 18-22 year old soldier with years of video gaming under his belt, this would be easy to learn.

  11. avatar jwm says:

    murphy comes to mind. had that fickle bastard show up often enough to be extra wary.

  12. avatar Sanchanim says:

    Assuming the product is reliable, and that is a big if, I could see it’s application.
    Particularly in activating communications systems. It won’t make your gun go boom, but will allow you to keep both hands on the gun and talk to others.
    Israeli’s have been messing with wrist mounted LCD screens which show streaming video from drones overhead. It is kind of nice knowing what is around the corner before you get there. 😉

  13. avatar bontai Joe says:

    All this electronic razzle dazzle stuff is wonderful right up to the point where the batteries go dead…… then what? You have an 8 lb rifle with 10 lb of useless electronic stuff attached to it. I don’t recall there being recharging stations out in the bush when on long range patrols. Or I suppose you can carry extra batteries, which means less ammo, food, water, etc.

    1. avatar RobertM says:

      I am sure they are using long life batt judging by the specs I would bet the unit will go months between batt replacement and the batt will likely be a pair of AAA.


      1. avatar matt says:

        lol wut? You clearly don’t have any battery powered electronics on your guns, or pobably even in your house outside of your remote contro. The only thing I own which gets good battery life is my Doctor MRDS.

  14. avatar Will says:

    Hmmm. what about RF jamming? will they manage then? What about an EMP burst? will it become extra useless weight?

  15. avatar smwlce says:

    A system already exists and has been used by the US SOCOM for some while.

    Its called Silynx. Its a communications system compatible with a motorola and MBITR radio system that allows the operator to maintain line of sight on a rifle and communicate with a push of a button. there are multiple variants for plainclothes and tactical use that are superior to this system in my opinion. here you go. enjoy!

  16. avatar Pro Gun Brit says:

    That SA80 mock up at the beginning. I used to fire the straight pull version when I was in the cadets, most memorable thing about it was that it jammed alot even after it had been cleaned and oiled.

  17. avatar Anonymous says:

    I don’t think anyone really realizes that this technology is not meant to control the weapon, it is meant to control the radio that the soldiers have, and it is a safety mechanism so they don’t have to take their eyes off their target or the situation they are in.

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