Round counters were once a dream or concept for science fiction movies. They may have finally become a real world practicality facilitating a huge leap in weapons maintenance. ADS and Secubit will be showcasing their paradigm changing approach WeaponLogic, at Shot Show 2017.
Since the advent of large capacity magazines, soldiers have searched for ways to keep track of how many rounds remained in that magazine. Besides obviously trying to count the number of rounds fired, early approaches included loading the last five to ten rounds with tracer to warn the service member of a soon to be empty magazine. Hardware solutions have included holes in magazines, clear windows and even clear magazines.
Real technology to count the rounds in a magazine seemed to only exist in movies like the 1986 movie Aliens with the M41A Pulse Rifle. That movie actually inspired military acquisition as they developed the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW).
Our military has been pursuing round count capability for decades. As a project officer at the Infantry’s Battle Lab at Ft. Benning, the first I heard of the Army’s desire to have a round counter on its rifles was in the doomed land warrior program. It was bantered about even more as a capability for the later objective force and future force warrior programs. Neither program had a specific weapon identified but the capability was something that was desirable. Using round count, the ability to forecast equipment failure was definitely part of the vehicles that made up the Future Combat System program and something round counters up to that time did not offer.
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Featured image Fictional Portrayal of Shot Counter Tech, M41 Pulse Rifle from the movie Aliens. WeaponReplica.com