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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.
The Heckler & Koch G11(Heckler & Koch)
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).
The Heckler & Koch G11 in action(U.S. Army)
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?"
The Magnetic Accelerator rifle(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.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 18, 2018
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Joshua Kaleb Watson has been identified as one of the victims of a shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CBS News reported.
The 23-year-old Alabama native and Naval Academy graduate was named to the Academy's prestigious Commandant's and Dean's lists, and also competed on the rifle team, Alabama's WTVY reported.
NAS Pensacola shooter railed against the US and quoted Osama bin Laden online hours before the attack
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that monitors online extremism.
Federal investigators have not disclosed any motive behind the attack, which unfolded at dawn on Friday when the Saudi national is said to have began firing a handgun inside a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.
NAS Pensacola shooter reportedly hosted a 'dinner party' to watch mass shooting videos the week before the attack
The Saudi military officer who shot and killed 3 people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday reportedly hosted a "dinner party" the week before the attack "to watch videos of mass shootings," the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
The Minnesota National Guard has released the names of the three soldiers killed in Thursday's helicopter crash.