One of the most clever tricks liberals have devised to crater gun ownership in the United States is their insistence that if we can’t get rid of guns, we should make everyone own safer and smarter guns. While neither the NRA or most gun owners I know are opposed to the exploration of new technology in firearms, there is a tremendous amount of resistance to government mandates of unproven, expensive and dubious design experiments. One of the big examples of these so called “smart guns” has been the Armatix iP1. Hailed as a dream come true by proponents of such mandates, the iP1 comes with a wristwatch which the owner must wear. Without the watch and its built in security measures, the gun won’t fire. (In theory, at least.) Sounds great, right?
The folks at America’s 1st Freedom had the chance to test the iP1 last year, but the results were held back until now. Part of the reason was that they didn’t want to lend any further legitimacy to the proposed technology while New Jersey still has a law lurking on the books which could effectively shut down gun ownership once the “smart gun” technology is available. Now, however, they’ve release the results of their testing and it’s clear that this technology is still essentially a pipe dream. Here are a few of the highlights, but be sure to read the full report.
The Armatix pistol initially required a full 20 minutes to pair with the watch, even with the aid of an IT pro trained in its use. Without pairing, the Armatix functions like any other handgun, capable of being fired by anyone.
Once paired, a “cold start” still requires a minimum of seven push-button commands and a duration of 12 seconds before the gun can be fired.
The pistol must be within 10 inches of the watch during “start up.” This slows and complicates the use of the pistol if one hand is injured or otherwise unavailable.
If you were silly enough to purchase this gun for home defense, 12 seconds may represent the rest of your life if you needed to draw it quickly when an intruder was coming through the door. And as far as the initial “pairing” process goes, (required in order for the gun to operate with the watch) any criminal who gets hold of the gun will still be able to use it or sell it on the black market if it hasn’t been paired yet.
But why would you want to use it – either for crime or legitimate use – in the first place? The group’s test runs found that the pistol was never able to fire the full eleven rounds it can hold (ten in the magazine, one in the chamber) without jamming or misfiring. The best they managed was nine and they reported three or four misfires per series as common.
Also, we’re talking about a short barrel .22 caliber pistol here. I’m not saying you can’t kill somebody with one of these, but you’d better be a darned good shot. At any reasonable distance the knockdown power of this weapon is a joke. The muzzle velocity of a .22 short out of a snubbed barrel pistol of this class is going to be around 750 feet per second with an impact force of 36 foot pounds. Not exactly what you want to bring to a fight if the bad guys all have nines or .45s.
Oh, and just to make this an even more tasty option, you can land yourself one of these frequently misfiring, possibly unable to be fired, low power technological wonders for the bargain basement price of $1,798 ($1,399 for the pistol, $399 for watch, without which it is either useless or no longer smart.) By comparison you can get a brand spanking new Glock G17 for under six hundred bucks, and most gun shops will have perfectly fine, reconditioned used models for less than half that much.
If manufacturers want to continue tinkering with this technology and eventually make it usable, I say go for it. The market will decide if this is popular. But if the government wants to mandate that we only use these weapons they may as well just come out and ban guns entirely.