Skip to main content Skip to main content

New Mexico Lab Patents Self-Guided Bullet

Sandia Labs bulletAdmit it: You're probably not the best shot in the world. The middle of that target just always seems to evade you, doesn't it? Well, thanks to an exciting new breakthrough in bullet technology just might change that.

According to KRQE-TV, scientists at Sandia Labs in Albuquerque have invented a self-guided bullet that doesn't miss its target.

The .50-caliber bullet, which behaves more like a miniature guided missile, doesn't have a spiral rotation, but instead twists and turns to guide itself toward a laser-directed point and is capable of making up to 30 corrections in the air -- it could be a perfect fit for military machine guns, scientists said.

"We've tested gunpowders to see if we can get muzzle velocity for military interest," said Jim Jones, a member of the Sandia Labs technical staff. "We've tested various electronic components to see if they would survive the launch."


According to a press release from Sandia, the bullet uses an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser-pointed target, which sends information to guidance and control electronics in an eight-bit central processing unit. Electromagnetic actuators are then commanded by the CPU to control fins to steer the bullet.


Computer simulations showed a dramatically improved accuracy; while a typical bullet could miss by 9.8 yards at a half-mile away, the self-guided bullet could hit the target within eight inches.

The self-guided bullet is capable of speeds up to 2,400 feet per second and pitches less as the bullet moves downrange, meaning the accuracy actually improves at longer ranges.

So far, the project has been funded by research and development grants, but the team needs a sponsor before it can move the prototype into commercial sales.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmAzAmYv364




Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Taurus Raging Hunter 460 Review: One Mean Revolver

Taurus Raging Hunter 460 Review: One Mean Revolver

Chambered in .460 S&W, which can generate more than 2,200 foot-pounds of energy, the new Taurus Raging Hunter 460 Revolver is one bad bull; learn why in this video review.

Drive Tanks: A Look at the Revolutionary MG 42 8mm Mauser Machine Gun

Drive Tanks: A Look at the Revolutionary MG 42 8mm Mauser Machine Gun

Gunsmith Glenn Fleming and Gun & Ammo's Garry James dive into the history of the MG 42 8mm Mauser machine gun.

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket-Pistol Carry Tips and Tricks

Pocket carry, as a method of concealed carry for a defensive firearm, can be a practical option when done right. This is especially true during the colder months when heavy outer garments can obstruct access to a traditional waistline holster. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jeff Gonzales, president of Trident Concepts, joins G&A contributor Kimberly Heath-Chudwin to discuss guns, training and gear, including Blackhawk's TecGrip holster that can make pocket carry more successful.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now