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That Time The Army Nearly Replaced The M16 With The Pulse Rifle From ‘Demolition Man’
Decades before the U.S. military transitioned away from the M16 assault rifle in favor of the lightweight M4 carbine, the Army eyed an unusual-looking replacement for the Vietnam-era rifle: The boxy Heckler & Koch G11, the very same weapon that would appear years later as a futuristic energy rifle in the batshit crazy 1993 sci-fi action comedy Demolition Man.
Well, not the exact same weapon. The H&K; G11, in development by NATO partners since the late 1960s, was one of four submissions tested in the late ‘80s by U.S. officials as part of the Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR) program that sought a rifle with a superior hit probability to the M16 of “spray and pray” fame.
Heckler & KochThe Heckler & Koch G11 assault rifle
The sleek gas-operated G11 was particularly noteworthy for chambering 4.72x33mm caseless ammunition and a bullpup design intended to eliminate the ejection cycle. A 1990 Army video on the ACR program claimed the rifle could fire in burst at an eye-popping rate of 2,100 rounds per minute (with a full-auto option at 400 rounds per minute).
U.S. Army video
Unfortunately, none of the submissions to the ACR program proved a compelling replacement for the M16A2 currently in use, and the program ended in 1990 after $300 million spent. H&K; attempted to tailor the unusual G11 to military planners in its home country of Germany, but the end of the Cold War and reunification of the nation forced the G11 into obscurity with only 1,000 rifles ever produced.
Until 1993, that is. The rifle would see sort-of combat in an unusual new form as the “Magnetic Accelerator” 1X.31A particle weapons pilfered from a museum armory exhibit in 2032 by insane convict Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) in Demolition Man.
The rifle itself was just a mockup cast of the G11, loaned to the production team by H&K; and outfitted with a bunch of embellishments and accessories fit for a Hollywood blockbuster.
According to the Internet Movie Firearms Database (the greatest website in the history of mankind), Demolition Man is the only movie that has featured the G11 in all its futuristic glory (although it’s appeared in military gaming franchises like Fallout and Call of Duty). And frankly, that’s a damn shame, because when T&P; staff first stumbled across the Army’s 1990 ACR video pitching the G11, we had the same thought as Phoenix: “Wait a minute, this is the future. Where are all the phaser guns?"
Warner Brothers/Internet Movie Firearms DatabaseThe “Magnetic Accelerator” 1X.31A particle weapon based on the Heckler & Koch G11 assault rifle in 1993's 'Demolition Man'
There’s still a chance, maybe! Way back in 2004, the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program borrowed technology from the G11 to explore the integration of the rifle’s caseless ammo system into a new Army light machine gun prototype — a move that suggests maybe, just maybe, some element of this boxy cannon could feel the ninja grip of combat troops some day.
Of course, that was 15 years ago, so it seems like a longshot. Until then, I’ll just be watching the museum shootout sequence on repeat — and wondering how to use those three seashells.
The White House doctor still under investigation for doling out pills like a ‘candy man’ is now running for Congress
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral who had a short run as the nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018, now plans to run for a seat in Congress.
University of Phoenix to pay $191 million for lying to troops about its close ties with major companies
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The University of Phoenix, which is owned by Apollo Education Group, has agreed to pay $191 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised close ties with major U.S. companies that could lead to jobs for students, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.
The University of Phoenix will pay $50 million to the FTC to return to consumers and cancel $141 million in student debt.
Some of the advertisements targeted military and Hispanic students, the FTC said.
As UCF research associate Shane Reynolds guides his avatar over a virtual minefield using his iPad, small beeps and whistles reveal the location of the scourge of the modern war zone: Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. He must take his time to sweep every last inch of the playing field to make sure his character doesn't miss any of the often-deadly bombs.
Despite his slow pace, Reynolds makes a small misstep and with a kaboom! a bomb blows up his player, graphically scattering body parts.
The Navy has posthumously awarded aviator and aircrewman wings to three sailors killed in last week's shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
"The selfless acts of heroism displayed by these young Sailors the morning of Dec. 6 are nothing short of incredible," Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer said in a statement.