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Real Light Gun

An insert to convert a conventional firearm into a light gun.
  [vote for,

This idea is a fusion between the laser inserts used in the FATS training program, the light guns used in video games, and my own affinity for dry-firing at my TV. A little background in these concepts is required. If you don't care and just want to see my idea, skip the next three paragraphs.

The FATS (I forget what the acronym stands for) system is a training aid used by police and civilian personnel to develop target identification, scenario-based problem solving and skill-at-arms. It consists of a large projection screen, a computer, and a small device that can be inserted into the chamber of a handgun. At the police academy, we used a 9mm Glock. The little device shoots a laser beam when it's struck by the pistol's firing pin. Thee computer registers "hits" on the screen by measuring the reflection, and a green dot appears on the scene. More than one shot can be fired in rapid succession, and the dynamic scene editor registers lethal hits, non-lethal hits, and misses, and has the appropriate events take place in the film.

Video games have been using a system like this since Duck Hunt. A light gun interacts with a video game console to give the impression that the player is actually shooting things in the video game. The system has taken several forms, but the basic idea is always the same: Point the gun at the screen, pull the trigger, affect the course of the video game.

As a gunowner, I practice a lot. Not having an indoor range available, and not being able to afford 2000 rounds of ammunition every week, much of my practice takes the form of dry-firing, a process by which one practices sight picture, draw, grip, stance, trigger pull, etc. by firing an empty gun in a safe direction. Sometimes I shoot myself in the mirror, sometimes I shoot pictures on the wall, sometimes I shoot the TV. There is an inherent danger in dry-firing, which arises from insufficient safety precautions. On rare occasions, someone will attempt to dry-fire a loaded firearm. Obviously, it ceases to be dry-fire at that point. Rarely, people are hurt or killed due to irresponsible dry-fire practices.

My idea is to integrate all three of these concepts. Build a device that can be inserted into the chamber of a conventional firearm, which will project a laser through the barrel and out the muzzle, on the hypothetical path of the bullet. These things can be very accurate, as I learned in the FATS simulations. Make them in different sizes to accomodate different calibers, and build a machine that will allow the signal to be registered by a sensor on or near the TV. It could be connected to a video game, or just set to impose a little dot onto the screen for a brief moment after each pulse from the laser. With the device in the gun, there's no risk of a round being inadvertently loaded, eliminating the risk of negligent discharge. I can get my practice in without geting rained on, I can project little dots onto my favorite TV personalities, and I can save the world from evil hordes of minions in a video game, all with my very own H&K USP.

C_Hatfield, Nov 18 2002

A cartridge that fires only beam of light. http://www.gunacces...trandstar/index.asp
For sight adjustments. [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

For [Madcat] http://www.pong-story.com/gi.htm
All about "Pong Chips" such as the General Instruments AY-3-8500. [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       // and my own affinity for dry-firing at the TV. //   

       For some reason, that takes toppers in the memorable line of the week for me.
RayfordSteele, Nov 18 2002

       So I can shoot at the TV without running the risk of actually blasting my TV apart, blissmiss. Also, the interactive quality of the device would make it a fun toy. Come on, who doesn't want to bust the proverbial cap in Jay Leno's proverbial ass?
C_Hatfield, Nov 18 2002

       Video game light guns are synchronized to the video signal, and "watch" the screen, which lets you aim at targets onscreen. Although a laser wouldn't work that way, you could have the red dot in addition to the video detector.
You'll have trouble aiming if the detector is in the back of the barrel, since so little light gets in there. Maybe it can be mounted below barrel.
Amos Kito, Nov 18 2002

       You're absolutely right about how light guns work. I forgot about that. Having it under the barrel would help with the light problem, but it would defeat the purpose of the trigger actuating the laser. The goal is to make it as realistic an experience as possible. It's important to remember that the laser isn't intended to serve as any sort of a "sight" system, but only to interact with the system. Any visible effects would be generated on-screen, rather than being projected from the gun.
C_Hatfield, Nov 20 2002

       How about this then:
The cartridge has a radio transmitter, and sends a signal to the game system when the firing pin hits it. I'd still like that laser dot, in case I'm pointing at a wall, the cat*, etc.
Do I need multiple cartridges? I have a 9-shot revolver, and each shot would rotate to a new cartridge. Then there are semi-autos.
*no cats are pointed at in the Kito household -- this is for discussion purposes only.
Amos Kito, Nov 20 2002

       Good thing your relatives aren't the McCoy's [bliss].
bristolz, Nov 20 2002

       Light-gun games go back a long time before duck hunt. The standard GI "pong" chip includes two light-gun based games, though they were not selectable on consoles which didn't include a light gun (it would be rather boring to just watch a box bounce around the screen). Though in retrospect I wonder if any interesting effects might have occurred if one were to assert the "target" or "skeet" inputs to the GI chip simultaneously with the "tennis", "hockey", "handball", or "practice" inputs.
supercat, Nov 20 2002

       Though laser "cartridges" exist, I am leery of their use for practice. Rule #1 if firearm safety is that every gun is always loaded (with real ammunition); practicing with laser toys requires violating rule #1.
supercat, Nov 20 2002

       //The standard GI "pong" chip includes two light-gun based games\\   

       You're kidding! Please elaborate; I never even suspected such a thing.
Madcat, Sep 23 2003

       FATS=FireArms Training System or FireArms Training Simulator. The Acronym Finder is my buddy.
notme, Sep 23 2003

       You can couple the laser system with a laser light dedecting system (just a LDR which acts at the wavelengh of red laser light, and a relay). Then, you can trigger what ever you want, even the power supply of the TV (shoot it black) :) René
ReneK, Dec 26 2003


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