Industrialized countries offer many different rifle accessories. Last year, many companies presented their new products, the German Rheinmetall was no exception.
Manufacturers of final products in the field of accessories and accessories to rifles offer a huge number of systems to help the modern soldier, which contribute to increasing its effectiveness. With the increase in the number of available developments, it is becoming increasingly difficult to decide on procurement.
While the main task of the rifle is to deliver a bullet to the target, its capabilities in this regard are greatly enhanced by an ever-expanding range of accessories and accessories that are attached to it through the very popular Picatinny rail.
Huge selection of telescopic sights for long distances and collimator sights for quick target acquisition in close combat is complemented by tactical lights, laser pointers, lighting devices and range finders, rifle fire control systems, rifle grenade launchers and even means of controlling various equipment, such as radio stations.
Spoiled for choice
Kenny Macmillan, a representative of SIG Sauer, noted that a modern assault rifle for special forces, from the MSX family, for example, can be equipped with a SOT Sauer Romeo4T collimator sight, an EOTech AN / PEQ-15 laser laser / target designator (L3 Technologies division) and tactical light from companies Inforce or SureFire.
Despite the many devices that hung the modern assault rifle, the place of honor still belongs to advanced optics, such as, for example, Romeo4T collimator sight, designed to fight at short and medium distances in almost all lighting conditions. There you can select several aiming grids, including Red Dot 1MoA, Ballistic CirclePlex, Red Dot 2MoA and Ballistic Circle Dot (red dot in the center of the ring).
"If I wanted to fire with high accuracy, I would probably choose a collimator sight, but if I cleaned the room or conducted an active search, I would use the Ballistic Circle Dot mesh, which is easier to aim with and with which you can shoot with both eyes open “- expressed his opinion Macmillan.
The body and the main components of the sight, made of 7075 aluminum alloy, have increased strength and wear resistance. The sight comes with an 36 mm mm boost bar and an extra 1 / 3 co-witness lower spacer, which allows you to see the mechanical sights in the sight slightly below the collimator point. The company SIG Sauer declare the running time of the sight more than 100 thousands of hours, it can work from conventional batteries and solar cells, and is able to withstand a dive to a depth of two meters.
The American company Holosun also offers sighting systems that use solar cells to operate optics in the most adverse lighting conditions, thereby increasing battery life. This provides some kind of redundancy, since in the event of a battery failure, the optics will generate a reticule until there is enough light for the solar cell. The company notes that systems using solar energy are one of the priority areas.
Holosun representative Craig Cook noted that the company is currently seeking to further increase the level of redundancy in its newest line of optical systems by integrating a capacitor charged from a battery. "If you have a defective battery and the illumination is low enough, then you still have 18 hours to work the red dot, which is enough until the beginning of the next day when the solar battery starts charging it or you get another battery." In these devices, the LED starts flashing, alerting the operator that it is starting to work from a capacitor.
The company also introduced a green LED-based optical system with longer battery life compared to red-based optics. “For the red LED, we had about 50000 hours with average settings. However, we have worked hard at improving the new technology, the reticle on the green LED will work hundreds of thousands of hours. ”
According to him, at the heart of this opportunity lies the patented LED technology developed by Holosun, which has been working with LED and laser components for 25 for years. “The human eye distinguishes green light much better than red,” he remarked. - With lasers operating in the visible region of the spectrum, everyone wants to have a green mark. We believe that a critical transition has emerged in the optics market. ”
A growing number of optical devices receive motion sensors. Holosun is no exception, it also integrates an x / y accelerometer in its devices, which serves as a motion sensor that serves as a “wake-up element”. This allows the user to select a period of time after which, in the absence of movement, the optics will turn off to save battery consumption and instantly turn on during any movement.
While some optical instruments with an auto-off feature require the user to press a button to turn on and then select the previous settings using a certain algorithm, the wake-up function developed by Holosun allows you to remember the settings and return to them.
The company at DSEI 2017 also introduced several military laser sighting devices, including the LS420 multifunctional device (photo below), which includes a white light flashlight on 1000 lumens, an infrared backlight device and a green laser visible range; All control is carried out by a single membrane switch. As Cook explained, “You can adjust the required combination of adjustments using the membrane switch and then set the device to weapon».
In addition to concentrating the mass near the center of gravity of an all-in-one rifle, such as the one mentioned above, free space on the bar for other devices that the user may need, including, for example, a vertical grip or a grenade launcher, an additional backup flashlight, or even such exotic ones as acoustic system for determining the source of the shot.
Holosun offers systems that use solar cells to operate optics in low light conditions, which increases battery life
The German company Rheinmetall has several systems in its portfolio, which were told by its representative, Morten Evenrud.
For the first time at DSEI 2017, the company introduced two of its new products: a low-profile version of the Vario-Ray target designator / backlight device and a line of flashlights for small arms Lumenator.
The Vario-Ray LowProfile device, as the name implies, has a flat design, which allows it to be mounted on a rifle without interfering with optics. With an overall height of 34 mm, it protrudes above the Picatinny rail just 25 mm. The length of the device is 83 mm, width 63 mm and weight 155 grams.
In addition to the infrared illuminator with electronic zoom, it also integrates two laser designators with a maximum power of 30 mW: a green or red laser in the visible range and an infrared laser that is invisible to the eye.
As Evenrurud explained, the Tac-Ray 1500 sniper device, designed to increase the likelihood of hitting from the first shot, can simultaneously have up to five lasers of visible and invisible ranges for different purposes with a maximum range of 1500 meters. These lasers perform the functions of a range finder, a green or red light target designator, an infrared target designator and a focused infrared target illumination device; at the same time, an identifier of a dismounted soldier or a target designator operating in the short-wave infrared region of the spectrum can be integrated. All lasers are aligned with a rifle as a single system using the corrective input flywheel in increments of 0,1 thousandth.
Laser module with laser range finder Tac-Ray 1500
The range finder, being the main device of the sniper, includes a ballistic computer, in which the shooter enters weather data and ammunition data. When the sniper pushes a button, he measures and displays the range on the OLED display, and also projects the aiming mark into the scope.
Targets give snipers additional information, specifying targets for other weapons systems. For remote work with lasers, a trigger cable can be used; Cables of different colors are also supplied to control the safety class, according to which lasers emit 1, 2, 3R or 3В.
In order to eliminate confusion, laser designators have spot-shaped generators, which allows the shooter to individualize it for a specific purpose with additional differentiation by adjusting the pulse repetition rate from 1 to 10 GHz. The operator can also adjust the brightness of all pointers and the backlight device. The backlight device can change the focus to generate a wide or narrow beam.
If the enemy is equipped with night-vision goggles, then standard laser sights and infrared illuminators become visible to him. Therefore, he can easily determine the position of the operator and where he directed the beam. An optional pointer operating in the SWIR range (the far [shortwave] infrared region of the spectrum) comes to the rescue, since it can only be seen through SWIR cameras.
DSID laser identification devices provide limited identification of personnel and equipment, since installed compatible laser reflectors can be seen by an adversary with night-vision goggles.
In addition to the Picatinny rail, the Tac-Ray 1500 can be mounted on a rifle through other guides; It is powered by a single CR123 battery, for example, Duracell CR17345.
If previously a limited number of accessories was available for rifles, then soldiers today can use telescopic sights for long distances, collimator sights for quick target acquisition in close combat, as well as tactical lights, laser designators, backlight devices and range finders
Light and action
Rheinmetall offers its Lumenator family of small arms flashlights as a supplement to the new LowProfile laser module. Lanterns are available with a choice of different lamp heads up to 700 lumens and different beam shapes to customize the flashlight for a specific task.
Lumenator lanterns with a length of 122 mm are powered by two three-volt CR123 batteries, which provide about an hour of operation at full power.
In addition to the Picatinny rail, with which the flashlight is attached to the rifle, it is possible to carry it in your hand or as a backup in a belt case.
Although the Lumenator flashlight is a separate device, it can be connected to a LowProfile laser module. This allows for additional modes, including the constant light mode and the mode of gradual dimming, with both devices having a central button that simultaneously turns off the laser module and the flashlight.
Rheinmetall has also developed the Multi-Ray 500 (MR500) sighting system for 40mm underbarrel grenade launchers, such as the Heckler & Koch M320 grenade launcher chosen by the US Army. This combination is being promoted as part of the Grenadier Sighting System development program, which aims to provide soldiers with improved night-time use of low-velocity grenades with greater accuracy at longer ranges.
The MR500 device is one of the claimants to the American Army’s “Grenade thrower sighting system” program.
The American division of Rheinmetall Defense, American Rheinmetall Systems, recently announced that it had supplied 20 of such systems for military testing and evaluation, and was awaiting feedback on the design changes in the second stage of development.
Rheinmetall describes the MR500 as follows: “A fire-resistant, manually adjustable fire control system designed for low- and medium-speed grenades and missiles launched from the shoulder, which increases the likelihood of hitting the first shot at all ranges while minimizing the time to capture the target and ammunition consumption.”
The MR500 can be connected either to a laser rangefinder, for example, Tac-Ray or Vario-Ray. or the distance to the target can be entered manually. Using the range data and the ballistic table corresponding to the selected ammunition, the MR500 system calculates the required vertical angle of the grenade launcher (by means of the rifle to which it is attached), while the shooter points to the target using the collimator sight mounted on the top of the device.
The MR500 device with 300 mass grams powered by the CR123 element can store in memory up to 32 different ballistic tables, allowing the operator to choose between any two using a switch. This device, capable of programming an air blast, also includes an infrared target designator / backlight device.
However, the modern market of accessories is not limited to optics, laser modules and fire control systems. Demand is also expanding on other sensory systems, including gunshot source detection systems. MetraVib, for example, developed its Pearl rifle system, which is already in service with several armies. This speaker system uses a set of four microphones to calculate the direction of the azimuth from which the supersonic ammunition arrived.
A device weighing 450 grams, resembling a large journalist microphone, is attached to one of the side rails of the rifle. To calculate the direction of the shot, the device first measures the shock wave, and then the sound of the shot, after which the arrow provides information using LEDs.
“Through a very simple interface in the back of the device, you get information about the azimuth and elevation, the system shows which direction you must move the weapon in order to align it with the threat,” said Jean Delanna, a representative of Metravib.
The indicator panel consists of a set of LEDs in the back of the device that are red and indicate "left / right" and "up / down" relative to the central LED, turning green when the weapon is pointing in the right direction.
“However, the priority of the soldier, as a rule, lies in taking cover, and for this the information from which the shot was fired is very important,” Delanna said. “Quickly looking at the display, you know from which direction the threat came, so you can take a safe position.”
When all the LEDs turn green and flash, the soldier knows that the threat is in the field of vision of the optics, as the system provides +/- 7,5 ° accuracy, giving out data within a second.
The idea is not to immediately respond with fire when indicating the LEDs of the Pearl device, but to make sure that the threat is in the field of vision of the optics, to confirm it visually and to respond with aimed fire.
Pearl Shot Source Detection System (Personal Equipment Add-on for Reactive Localization - addition to personal equipment for responsive positioning)
“Our approach is to fasten the device on the weapon in order to simplify the work with it as much as possible,” Delanna said. Alternative, worn on the body systems, additional displays are needed, possibly with an indicator in the form of a clock dial. “It’s very difficult to link what you see on your display-clock and the direction in which you must turn the weapon to align with the threat, while our system is intuitive and very easy to operate.”
БоMost of the systems for determining the source of the Pearl round are in service with special forces. As a rule, a single system is issued for a platoon or patrol group, although it includes a connecting cable for connecting to soldier combat gear, for example, the French FELIN, so that information can be distributed among other subscribers automatically. With two AA lithium AA batteries, the Pearl device can operate continuously for 12 hours.
The next step is the development of an additional display to display the estimated range to the threat, since the Pearl device already today calculates this data, but does not show it yet.
Today, companies are starting to manufacture more durable silencers using 3D printing from powder materials based on nickel alloys of Inconel and titanium.
Muting the sound
There is a technology that could make shot detection systems ineffective. These, of course, are silencers, they reduce the loudness of the sound of a bullet flying out of the barrel, which, in combination with subsonic ammunition, makes it difficult to determine the source of the shot and at the same time increases the level of control of the situation and prevents the risk of partial hearing loss. In this regard, there has been a tendency to deploy them not only in special units, with which silencers, as a rule, are associated.
Oceania Defense at the DSEI 2017 in London presented several silencers for assault and sniper rifles, as well as pistols, emphasizing that 3D printing from powder materials based on nickel alloys of the Inconel and titanium family was used in their manufacture. Traditionally silencers are made of either steel or aluminum alloys; it depends on what the requirements of the task, strength or low weight.
A company representative explained that traditional production methods, including processing on CNC machines, limit the complexity of the shape and location of internal channels and reflectors, which can be achieved, while additive technologies, such as 3D printing, provide complete freedom here.
For simplified tasks with an emphasis on noiselessness and reduced weight, but with a high probability of using automatic fire, a titanium silencer is better suited as it weighs less than a standard silencer. And for those who expect a "small battle clash" and for whom the mass is not critical, it is better to use a silencer made of Inconel alloy.
The company has posted a video on YouTube that demonstrates the reliability of its silencers during the “dipping” test or resistance to sudden temperature changes. The video is automatically fired from several stores, replaced in quick succession, until the muffler turns bright red, then they wait for a long time until the red color fades and then immerse it in a bucket of water about half, pull it out, allow the water inside the muffler boil off and then shoot a couple more rounds. “Few silencers can survive this, most will collapse,” said a company representative.
Most of the silencers have an estimated lifespan, measured in shots. It depends on the material, caliber and power of the ammunition and whether it is intended for automatic mode or not. Oceania has unofficially measured the life of its Inconel silencers in trunks, given that a rifle with a longitudinally-sliding rotary bolt .308 (7.62x51 mm) can survive three barrels, while a rifle of .338 (8.6X70 mm) will survive two guns. During the following tests, the company must “wear out” the Inconel silencer on the .223 caliber rifle (5.56x45 mm).
By September 2017, the order of 7000 shots was made from the most intensively used instance, it withstood seven dives into the water and survived a new barrel, which was bolted. The company expects that he will outlive the second trunk.
Silencers do not make rifles absolutely silent, but they reduce the distance with which they can be heard, and also allow soldiers to shoot without hearing protection devices, which improves the process of communication between them and increases the level of control of the situation.
Oceania, using Selective Laser Sintering's 3D technology (Selective Laser Sintering), manufactures its titanium silencers from Ti6AI4V grade 5 powder, consisting of 90% titanium, 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium, allowing a completely monolithic structure, having a complete structure, having a full structure, having a full structure, having a full structure, having a full structure, having a vanadium, 164% aluminum and 165% vanadium, 39% vanadium. with a minimum mass. This silencer weighs 130 grams, has a length of XNUMX mm, an external diameter of XNUMX mm and stands for a muzzle cut on XNUMX mm.
556-20 Samson's newest silencer, replacing the 556-45 model with the bоIt has a cross-flow design and is designed for mounting under Samson or similar guides on AR-15 rifles. This silencer is designed to work with semi-automatic short-barreled weapons with trunks up to 12,5 inches long and has a thickened baffle.
The company conducted preliminary tests of the sound pressure level using the AR-15 rifle from the Canadian company NEA. The rifle had a barrel length of 14.5 inches, the fire was fired with M193 cartridges with bullets weighing 3,564 grams and initial speed 910 m / s.
Five test shots without a silencer were shot, the microphone was located at a height of 1,6 meters above the ground and in the 1 meter to the left of the muzzle, the average noise level was 166 dB. Then 10 shots were made with a 556-20 Samson silencer with the microphone in the same position, the average sound pressure level was 134 dB. This is quite a large decrease, since decibels are logarithmic, not linear.
The third test of the 10 shots was performed with a microphone located approximately 50 mm from the ear of the shooter, while the sound pressure level was 136 dB.
Checking the sound level near the ear is important for obvious reasons, and the larger value in decibels is explained by the fact that the window for ejection of spent cartridges is another sound source when shooting, since a certain amount of gases escape through it during the shooting cycle - it is closer to the ear arrow .
A design-identical 556 Ratchet Lock silencer made of Inconel alloy is heavier, but supports what the manufacturer calls "extreme firing scenarios and fully automatic mode." The company Oceania stressed that this silencer works best on semi-automatic rifles with adjustable gas pistons.
At present, the range of additional systems and accessories for small arms is rapidly expanding, their quality and characteristics are increasing. They turn what was once a simple weapon into a complex, high-tech, versatile and highly accurate platform, but at the same time complicate the choices facing purchasing organizations around the world.