The Army's Dream Gun: A Rifle That Can Fire Up To 5 Rounds At One Time

Colorado gunsmith Martin Grier has invented a new kind of rifle—one that can fire up to five rounds at a time through five carefully-aligned barrels, and also ditches traditional metal-encased ammunition for electronically-triggered caseless rounds.

The L4 and L5—respectively, the four- and five-barrel version of Grier’s rifle—are the sole products of Grier’s garage-based FD Munitions. And they’ve caught the U.S. Army’s eyes. Amid a flurry of media coverage, Grier is building, free of charge, a prototype L5 for the Army Research and Development Command.

But the partnership—which could result in a profound change in the Army’s approach to individual weaponry—almost never happened. Luck and the kindness of strangers made it possible, Grier told the National Interest.

“We did not seek out the military, because we weren’t quite ready,” Grier told me. “We planned to build a series of prototypes, in private, of increasing sophistication until we reached the point of pre-production readiness. Estimates of the funding needed, and disturbing events around the world, convinced us time was of the essence, so ready or not, we had to go public to get the help we needed.”

Grier hoped Shot Show, the huge annual gun exhibition in Las Vegas, would help him reach a wide audience.

The show opened in January. “We scraped together enough to reserve the smallest space available,” Grier recalled. “Five of us met up in Vegas with a couple of travel trailers behind our pickup trucks and moved into an R.V. park. The Sands Hotel was out of the question. Too expensive, and they wanted us to trust them with our only prototype. No way.”

Grier and his crew hit the sprawling exhibition floor. “We did our homework, and identified fifty companies exhibiting that we thought might be interested in a partnership of some sort. We also hoped to meet potential investors. Long story short, things went viral. Everybody filmed us, and we’ve had, at last count, something like a million views on YouTube.”

A chance meeting at the show with Dave Skeldon, a retired Army gun-developer, led to a sit-down with representatives of Army Research and Development Command. The Army officials “spent a couple hours with us, took copious notes and told us to expect a site visit.”

That visit to Grier’s Colorado Springs workshop, involved officials from ARDEC and the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal. “I put it to them directly,” Grier said. “Are you interested in moving forward? The one-word answer: Absolutely.”

“After hearing the mind-numbing briefing about contracts, qualifications, research funding and numerous other—frankly—obstacles and realizing just how long it would take and how difficult it would be for my tiny crew, I made an offer. If we were to provide a prototype, without an order or contract, free of charge, would you test it?”

The Army’s answer: yes. Now Grier is hard at work building the Army’s L5 and two thousand rounds of ammunition to go with it. “ARDEC will get their prototype and ammo sometime next year, with any luck.”

David Axe edits War Is Boring. He is the author of the new graphic novels MACHETE SQUAD and THE STAN.

This article originally appeared on The National Interest.

More from The National Interest:

Ed Mahoney/Kickstarter

In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.

The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.

A small group of veterans hopes to change that.

Read More Show Less
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Photo: US Air Force)

For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.

The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2019. Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.

The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform a fly-over as newly graduated cadets from the U. S. Air Force Academy toss their hats at the conclusion of their commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 23, 2018. Shortly after the event ceremony's commencement, the Thunderbirds put on an aerial demonstration show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.

Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.

Read More Show Less