A trial currently taking place in the Australian Army is attracting an enormous amount of online criticism. The testing and evaluation of the Advanced Accuracy Solutions Reaper weapon-support system is being trialled by frontline infantry battalions over the next six months to assess its overall suitability. A recent video posted by the Australian Army’s official Facebook page of this system being used at the range has attracted tens of thousands of shares and comments which appear to be overwhelmingly negative.

The over-the-shoulder system is actually a modified camera stabilizer such as those manufactured by Easyrig. A bar goes up and over the head and attaches to the weapon system just in front of the light support weapon’s (LSW) optic sight. The weight of the weapon is thus distributed to the body through the harness, minimising the load toll on the user’s arms and shoulders. This allows the user to engage targets with the LSW from a standing position more accurately and from greater distances with less physical exertion.

Right. So let’s be honest and cut straight to the chase: The device is absolutely ridiculous and has no place in the military whatsoever. Outside of wanting to dump a hundred rounds from the standing position for range theatrics, there is literally zero application for this thing operationally or even in training.

The bar itself sits about a foot above the operator’s head, creating hang-up issues that are the stuff of nightmares. Most people who have worked on the ground in Afghanistan and walked through compound doors could easily assume that the country was built by gnomes. Maneuvering through such tight spaces and doorways wearing minimalist assault gear is difficult enough, but wearing this device would render some doorways impassable due to size restrictions.