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Gun Makers Look to the Future in Paris

Jun. 16, 2014 - 03:45AM   |  
By TOM KINGTON   |   Comments
New technology unveiled at Eurosatory by gun makers includes a new Picatinny rail for Beretta's ARX-160 assault rifle. The new rail transmits power to optics.
New technology unveiled at Eurosatory by gun makers includes a new Picatinny rail for Beretta's ARX-160 assault rifle. The new rail transmits power to optics. (Beretta)
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PARIS — Gun producers at the Eurosatory show here are pushing the envelope with pistols that send a message when they run out of bullets and sniper rifles armed with computers that assist aiming.

Italy’s Beretta has also launched a new Pickatinny rail for its ARX-160 assault rifle that transmits power to optics.

The new rail features small metal dots along its length, which are linked to a pack of six AA-size batteries in a case that forms part of the stock of the rifle. When a telescopic sight, laser range finder or torch is clipped to the rail, it presses down on the metal contacts and picks up power from them.

A spokesman for the firm said the aim was to save on the extra weight created when each piece of equipment carries its own batteries. Virginia-based firm Tworx has teamed with Beretta to develop the rail.

On the upgraded ARX-160 diplayed at the show, buttons at the end of the barrel were connected to the rail and could be used to activate the laser, optics and torch clipped to the rail.

At the show, Beretta also showed its new I-Protect system, which involves inserting into its PX4 pistol electronics that transmit a signal indicating if the gun is cocked, holstered or has been fired. Information also transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone, for sending on to a headquarters instantly, includes how many bullets are in the chamber.

Aimed primarily at law enforcers, the new system is designed to alert police if a lone officers are involved in firefights.

Also at the show, Israel Weapon Industries launched its new .338 bolt- action sniper rifle, which has a range of 1,200 meters and has been sold to customers the company has not identified. The rifle’s scope contains a laser range finder that feeds data to a small ballistic computer in the scope, which in turn adjusts the targeting in the sight to account for distance. ■

Email: tkington@defensenews.com.

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