US Army is Investigating a Quad Bore Rifle

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    The army abandoned their search for an M16 replacement last year, but a man working out of his garage in Colorado Springs snapped them out of that hiatus. Martin Grier's "ribbon gun" features 4 6mm bores carved out of a single steel barrel, and special ammunition blocks fired by electromagnetic actuators. Despite all that, whole thing only weighs 6.5 pounds and represents a $500,000 investment. Grier claims the prototype can fire 250 rounds a second, or fire all 4 barrels at once as a "power shot". The rifle will still work even if one of the barrels fail. The Army expressed interest in the design, and asked for a prototype to test for themselves.

    "A multibore firearm, with several bores within a single barrel, could potentially exhibit many of the advantages of a multibarrel design, while reducing the size, weight and complexity disadvantages," Grier wrote in his 2016 patent application. "All the best stuff comes out of somebody’s garage," he said.
     
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  2. Skarth

    Skarth Limp Gawd

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    I see a huge, huge, huge list of reasons why this will fail.

    1. Uses proprietary ammunition, so no NATO standard ammo.
    2. Ammo doesn't look like it can be loaded by hand into the clip.
    3. Uses a solid metal block for the clip, which means expensive and heavy to carry extras.
    4. Electronic ammo means you need a battery and electronics that are prone to failure.
    5. Fire rate is lower than current weapons.
    6. Proprietary/Precision/Experimental manufacturing process is bad for a gun you want to mass produce.
    7. Talks about how it can fire even if a barrel fails, how does it prevent firing a round when a barrel has failed? Seems like a good way to make the gun explode.
    8. Ammo capacity isn't stated, is it just 4 rounds per clip?

    Then there is a bunch of marketing fluff, promising his gun is the best, greatest thing ever, and everything else is garbage. Saying the current guns we have are Vietnam era junk (Guns get updated y'know), and that his gun originated in a garage (A lot of that gun is factory made).
     
  3. Laowai

    Laowai Gawd

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    Interesting.
    I have to wonder how thick each bore would be. Could it withstand sustained firing?

    It looks a bit silly, but looks are not important if it can do its job well.
     
  4. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Yup, more points of failure create a reliability issue and when your soldier is depending on that weapon for their life they want something they can trust, take into any environment and can quickly field service if needed.

    Hopefully it comes with a USB charging port for the bluetooth jogging headphones i picture the people using this have on.

    Insults aside, i don't mind innovation in this area but my opinion is this might be too much.
     
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    And a small list of reasons why it will succeed

    1. Overly complicated design for minimal benefits
    2. MUCH much much much much more expensive than a standard issue M16

    I mean those two reasons alone means this still has a chance for the military to pick it up.
     
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  6. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think if the U.S. Military wants an innovative new infantry longarm, they should ask Elon Musk to look into it.
    There's no telling what he'd come up with. :)
     
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  7. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    Yep, this gun is likely only promising from a theoretical and design stand point.

    Well the current guns we predominantly use in NATO are Vietnam Era shit. the M14 and M16 and their variants, even the newer M4 is just a cut down M16. The reality is there is already a superior replacement to those guns, the HK416 which is far superior to the M series in every way.

    The main issue NATO is running into at this time is that the 5.56 round is starting to lack the punch needed on the modern battlefield. Given the current geopolitical climate though, good luck getting NATO to change caliber and thus rifles en-mass.
     
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  8. viper1152012

    viper1152012 [H]ard|Gawd

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  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    More like, they need to announce they have a replacement, explain how many billions they plan on spending and almost get ready to cut a check... then Elon Musk will jump into play showing how he has something that's superior.
     
  10. Chaos Machine

    Chaos Machine Gawd

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    Introducing the "Not a Hypershoot MK1"
     
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  11. Bowman15

    Bowman15 [H]ard|Gawd

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    As someone who follows military replacement firearm technology this will not work for a myriad of reasons already stated. The only thing it does is get the attention of Generals and administration with it's unique bells and whistles. It wouldn't be surprised if some Colonel even wasted money testing this idea. Ask the grunts and field personal what they think of these ideas.
     
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  12. [21CW]killerofall

    [21CW]killerofall Aliens...

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    This isn't a new concept. Did people forget about Metal Storm? They had some designs that wern't much different from this.
     
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  13. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    By the way, are you aware this is a first stage prototype made by an individual, not a business? Not sure if you realised that.

    Also, it's a magazine, this is a clip :

    P1140227-900x601.jpg

     
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  14. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    How many of those 4 round 'boxes' does one have to carry around? Seems bulky
    Actually it might need a new definition? It is a 4 bullet cartridge that gets loaded into the rifle. And then I would assume discarded because it cannot be reloaded as the bullets are built into it. So either thrown out or saved and sent back to the mfg.
     
  15. Sikkyu

    Sikkyu I Question Reality

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    neat project, but will never see the battlefield.
     
  16. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Sounds a bit like a Stinger. Just need to come up with tarydium rounds. ;)

    rdstinger.gif
     
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  17. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    Potential for a specialist role, but I seriously doubt it would replace the standard issue firearms.
     
  18. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Hi tech variation on the old pepper box idea.
     
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  19. Axman

    Axman [H]ard|Gawd

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    This looks like an electrically fired pepperbox and I doubt any military is looking for e-turn of the 18th century designs.

    Also, it's really a clip, although chamber block might be a better word for it. Maybe en-block casement. The magazine is that huge case of metal hanging off the left of the gun.
     
  20. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    US Special forces have already started using the 416, the US Marine core worked with HK to modify the 416 into the M27 which they plan to have fully replace their existing lineup.

    The Wiki for the HK416 can give you more details if you are interested https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_&_Koch_HK416
     
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  21. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

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    I can only see this as a special forces infil mission at best and made in limited numbers.

    Would love to have a seat at the weapon demo!
     
  22. Axman

    Axman [H]ard|Gawd

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    Nothing wrong with 5.56. It does what it does well.

    The idea of soldiers fighting soldiers with rifles is a 20th-century concept and only plays out in 20th-century conflicts. I'm betting that the only thing that will move us away for 5.56 NATO will be a fundamentally new type of ammunition, which this isn't.
     
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  23. Viper87227

    Viper87227 [H]ard as it Gets

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    Some of your points I agree with, some not so much.

    1. Not using a NATO round is definitely a hurdle, but eventually 5.56 and 7.62 will need to be replaced. Both cartridges were developed in the 1950's, and while both are still very capable rounds, their capabilities have definitely been surpassed by modern rounds. I'm not saying now is the right time, or that this thing is the solution, but eventually these cartridges are going to be replaced.

    2/3. The metal block is indeed a weird concept, but I want to know how it works. It looks like you've got a single block with four rounds loaded into it. If so, how do these feed? Sort of looks like a magazine coming out of the side, does that mean these four round cartridges get fed from that? How are they ejected, and how does the rifle know when to eject it if you can fire each of the four rounds individually? Are the blocks reusable? Do they require a particular metal? Keep in mind that the brass in a rifle round is expensive, eliminating that for a less expensive metal could negate the costs of that metal block (at least in a hypothetical mass production scenario). I don't think it would necessarily be heavier either, though it does seem to make for an awkward setup. Also, a small side note, but the firearm enthusiast in me wants you to know that modern firearms use magazines, not clips (which are literally metal clips that were used to speed up the loading process into fixed-magazine rifles).

    4. Agree 100% with this point. Requiring electricity to function opens up a huge possibility for failure that doesn't exist in current firearms. I wouldn't be nearly as comfortable entrusting my life to something that can be rendered useless by a dead battery, or rain, or any number of other things that can make electronics do stupid things.

    5. Article says hypothetical fire rate is 250 rounds per second. I don't know how the fuck 250 rounds per second would be possible, but if it is, that's considerably faster than current firearms. An M4 has a rate of fire of 700-900 rounds per MINUTE. I don't know if the "rounds per second" is a mistake in the article, but if not, that's unfathomably fast. In either scenario, rate of fire is not necessary important. A high rate of fire is good for suppressing fire, but means fuck all in an actual engagement where the idea is to take slower, controlled shots. I think the vast majority of military personnel prefer to use their rifle on semi-auto, which makes rate of fire irreverent.

    6. Agreed, but that's true for any new innovation, which kind of goes back to the point I made for number 1. Eventually the current weapons are going to need to be replaced, and no matter what replaces them, that is an expensive proposition. That's not a problem unique to this thing.

    7. I want to know about this as well. Article keeps saying it's a single barrel with multiple bores. So how does a single bore fail? If whatever ignites the round fails, then you're technically fine, just not able to use 1 of 4 rounds in every ammo block. But if say you get a squib or something (round stuck in barrel), your going to have a bad the next time you send a round down that bore, unless you specially know that a given bore is obstructed and there is a way to manually shut off that round each time a new ammo block gets loaded. Whatever this claim means, it seems like a solution looking for a problem.

    8. Going back to 2/3, looks like four loaded rounds in each block, and the blocks are loaded from a magazine on the side of the weapon. So, hypothetically, capacity is four rounds times however long they feel is acceptable for a magazine. I think it depends a lot on the size of these blocks, how much bigger is a four round block compared to four individual 5.56 rounds? Based on the picture, it doesn't look like much (assuming dimensions inside the block are same/similar to 5.56, which they appear to be assuming that's a .223 bullet). The size might be more manageable than you think.


    Overall, I don't think this thing, as it exists, is a practical solution for a modernized firearm. But I also am pretty damn sure the US military has no interest in a prototype because they would like to consider deploying this design to soldiers. More likely they want to check out out the concept and evaluate if it can be further refined into something practical. Who knows, 50 years from now we might be calling this prototype the catalyst that lead to whatever a modern firearm is at that time.
     
  24. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    You're right. You can see the magazine sticking out the side (in the main photo, behind the gun). The whole block of 4 rounds is an individual shell. There's also some indication of a 5 round version in those photos.

    This reminds me a bit of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonica_gun

    However, it's a harmonica gun inside a harmonica gun. lol. I don't know about it. I think about heat dispersion across common barrel bore becoming an issue; and the casings being expensive with some kind of recovery system adding an unecessary step to logistics; and the slighest bit of dirt and gunk causing the feed system to fail. And how does it know when a barrel fails? False positives? Now you have a whole bunch of partially filled live, ammo ejecting out the right side.
     
  25. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's possible that the design of the barrel allows for a quick release, and the whole thing works just fine without the barrel, albeit with reduced accuracy. I suppose it could be marketed as an "advantage" for gun design made easier with this type of munition.
     
  26. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    Nope, infantry are here to stay in some form or other, to say otherwise is a lack of understanding of war and its art. We can do a lot of things with modern technology and weaponry, but the infantry man is what holds ground, nothing else can do that currently, and unless robotics, latency and/or AI really start to take off, there is nothing to replace that grunt on the ground. Even as that tech starts to catch up, the infantry man and his rifle are, IMHO, here to stay for at least this century.

    The 5.56 is a good round, never said it wasn't, but it does lack stopping power and that is becoming more and more of an issue. Sure it's no problem against a bunch of guys running around in street cloths with various small arms, but against modern armed forces its stopping power is becoming an issue.

    Yeah, I know, I visit those pages frequently and read up on military advancements and guns quite often. I used to be a Historian specializing in WWI/II and the Cold War, not the career for me, but very much a topic I keep up on.

    I love that gun, its sweet to see it deployed.
     
  27. viper1152012

    viper1152012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Firstly.... Metal Storm so not new.

    Secondly.... A fucking block of metal for 4 bullets?? Fuck carrying that backpack.

    80lb pack and an M16 or a 150lb pack due to metal bricks. Oooh but the rifle is lighter.....

    Nice personal project but never gonna deploy that gun.
     
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  28. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Although I agree with you on many points and on some you have not mentioned and most people are not aware of, I do want to point some things out.

    Your number 5. really off. The cyclic rate of an M4 rifle is 700-970 rounds per minute. The article states, "New ammunition blocks fired by electromagnetic actuators that could theoretically give the weapon a firing rate of 250 rounds per second." This equates to 15,000 rounds per minute in comparison. Of course I'm not claiming that this is the actual weapon's capability or that it can in any practical sense sustain this volume of fire in a realistic scenario or even a test environment. Just pointing out the difference between minutes and seconds.

    Next I would mention that the Army may not be interested in what they see in this rifle, for use in rifles. They may be interested in some of his design features for other weapon systems. Imagine an artillery system that uses this feed system for guided munitions. With smart munitions, a single artillery weapon platform could engage multiple targets simultaneously, or with mixed munitions. In a world where artillery lives or dies with how quickly they can get away from where they shot from, being able to "shoot faster" and therefore get moving faster means survivability and continued effectiveness.

    Next, although you didn't mention it, what is it exactly that 4 rounds are supposed to do for you, that one can't accomplish? And how does it stack up to the fact that you must now engage each target with 4x the ammunition, weighting 4x as much, meaning a soldier with a basic load would be limited to 25% or less of how many targets he could engage before needing resupply. This is not a desirable characteristic. Now if you can fire each in sequence, rapidly, or with increased control, I can see an advantage that a block goes into "the chamber", and four rounds are fire, possibly at four separate targets, and the weapon then "cycles" replacing the empty block with a fresh loaded block. Perhaps less dirt, perhaps fewer feed problems, I can't say for sure.

    But I really think it's just the fresh approach to the feed mechanism and it's application toward other weapon systems that has their interest as the basic principles that the Army has used for decades are not really supported by this weapon design. For instance, a huge reason for the Army's selection of the M16 was that a soldier could carry more ammunition for less weight. This doesn't follow that thinking.

    I think that "clip" or 4x round block is inside a larger "magazine" which holds perhaps 20 or more "clips". The barrel is vertical, so the ammo blocks are chambered vertically, and I can only surmise that each new block is feed horizontally one after the other in a side mounted magazine.

    P.S. The age old argument by grognards and Jar Heads, clip vs magazine, as if millions of soldiers over decades of time don't call magazines clips, improperly or not.
     
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  29. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    BTW, ""New ammunition blocks fired by electromagnetic actuators ...." Sounds like instead of using a typical "cycling action" to chamber rounds, a bolt, sear, etc ....... perhaps this weapons uses just what it sounds like, electric actuators to drive a firing pin into the primer of the rounds. Nothing cycling back and forth to jam and fuck up and throw your sights off target, other then the recoil itself. Just a little left to right shimmy as each ammo block is fed into the breach. Think of the flippers on a pin ball machine, clackety clack.
     
  30. purple_monster

    purple_monster Gawd

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    i dont know what i was expecting except gun theory sprouted from video games. The military is all about weight, weight, weight. thats the biggest obstacle soldiers face-

    -caseless ammo isnt new it just has a heat problem because the brass case usually takes a lot of heat out of the gun action/barrel when it is ejected
    -thats why there are 4 bores, to get around the heat problem and give some tiny extra time to cool off. this is ingenious.
    -the military already has working prototype squad automatic weapons that use caseless ammo. go youtube.
    -caseless ammo weighs up to 30% less depending on the kind. that is insane.
    -nato doesnt matter, they will just copy whatever we do anyways. plus we are going to be moving to a 6mm projectile in the next decade at the most, everyone will copy us and it will become a "NATO" spec.
    -this guys garage gun is getting buzz because its a really, really good idea to anyone who remotely understands how a gun actually operates.
     
  31. Axman

    Axman [H]ard|Gawd

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    I never said otherwise. You need someone to call for air support, and someone to relay mortar coordinates. The rifle is fine for that.

    I said soldiers fighting soldiers is a 20th century concept, and I'm sticking by that. Soldiers are scouts for weapons much more powerful than small arms.
     
  32. scojer

    scojer 2[H]4U

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  33. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This was already tried by a company called Metal Storm. They failed. To many nuances - even though the tech looked slick!. Very little recoil, incredible accuracy, - a man can fire three bullets into the same hole on a piece of paper for instance. No moving parts except the bullet. Electronically fired. My business/investing instructor in college suggested it would revolutionize weapons and said he was investing in it.
    It didn't. But it still is cool.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Storm




     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
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  34. Snishsnoosh

    Snishsnoosh n00b

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    Already been done before. Project SALVO dates to the 50s. And the result was that a lightweight high velocity round simply works better without the hurdles.

    In re to the 416 being superior to the AR15 platform that is categorically false. The 416 is just another piston AR for 3x the price because lol HK. It address only the high cyclical rate problems that some short barreled and suppressed M4s have, while introducing its own problems.
     
  35. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    As I said above, you confirm the weight issue. But if the description is correct and you fire all four rounds at a time, this is quadrupling ammo consumption, and on the surface that means more weight, not less.
    Next, this isn't actually caseless. Look at this picture closely and the cut-away. This is a single "case-block" which acts as a single case for four projectiles. Again, I think this means increased weight per round/rounds fired because I am thinking four rounds in this "case-block" would weight more than four standard 6mm rounds, (.243 Remington is pretty damned close to 6mm if not exactly 6mm).

    5bad397195c4b.image.jpg

    I get you with NATO and yes, such things can be fazed in without issue. And as I will reiterate, I think it's the new approaches that have people looking. If I am correct on the electrical actuator firing mechanism this alone is really cool. No bolt and bolt carrier cycling back and forth to load a new round, cock a hammer, and reset a trigger mechanism for firing, just an electrical actuator to "pop" a firing pin forward to set off the little primer in the picture for each round, potentially with discrete single round firing would I think is the way to go, not four at once, that was stupid. You get this into single round operation, keep the multiple round "case-block" and you eliminate the four round at a time ammo expenditure/weight issues I am thinking is a mistake, but easily rectified.
     
  36. Kinsaras

    Kinsaras 2[H]4U

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    It's a prototype. I've seen the military spend money on weirder things.
     
  37. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    They are doing this almost the same way an airgunner hunts. One perfectly aimed shot, but instead with up to four projectiles for this gun.
    It will be most useful to guarantee hits at high engagement distances in high wind or similar tricky situations. They can have an automatically triggering object tracking sight, that only fires when the gun is precisely and correctly aligned to target. Now you don't need a specialised sniper, any grunt can use this weapon with little training.
     
  38. HeadRusch

    HeadRusch [H]ard|Gawd

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    Didn't they make this about two decades ago when they were trying to come up with a replacement for things like the AEGIS gatling-gun system of missile defense on ships?
    MetalStorm or something they were calling it?
     
  39. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    This is literally the Cerberus+1 from Destiny 2. 4 barrels, all different bores.

    Destiny2-Cerberus-plus-1-exotic-auto-rifle.jpg.optimal.jpg
     
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  40. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    I am curious if the air pressure of the bullets flying in close proximity could interfere with their trajectory at all.
     
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