Lansing Firm Creates Shot Counter for U.S. Rifles

Date of Release: 2006-03-21
Contact: Mary Hotchkin

Originally published March 21, 2006 in The Ithaca Journal - Ithaca, NY

By ANDREW TUTINO, Journal Staff

LANSING - Much like a car's odometer can mark mileage and remind drivers to attend to upkeep, the U.S. military is hoping a similar device in its rifles will be able to help soldiers. The Lansing firm Advanced Design Consulting USA Inc. has signed a contract with the military to produce 200 "Shot Counters," devices that are like odometers for guns, for the military's Special Operations forces later this year.

The device, which fits into the handle of a rifle, can track the number of shots a rifle fires and then have the information downloaded to a hand-held device or computer for reading. With very little work, soldiers in the field will be able to know if their weapons have shot enough rounds to warrant maintenance. "This is very exciting for us," said Alex Deyhim, ADC's president. "This is one of our first projects that is truly getting hatched. It is a chance to really grow and create major business. We could create hundreds of good jobs."

ADC's contract is to produce 200 Shot Counters for the M4A1 Carbine rifle, said Eric Van Every, a research and development engineer at ADC who has worked on the project from the beginning. ADC is due to deliver the shot counters during the first week in May.

ADC is also developing shot counters for the military's MK46 and MK48 rifles, which could lead to more jobs in the future.

The shot counter works like this: If a soldier pulls the trigger on the rifle, it sends off a vibration that is recorded in a device, which is inserted in the handle.

The device can track the shots fired, the serial number on the handle of the gun, and the gun's serial number, all of which can be downloaded.

Van Every said the military's goal is to create a database that will track this information so they know when to service a rifle, and outfit all rifles with Shot Counters. As of now, rifles are serviced on a yearly basis, but the military wants to move in the direction of servicing guns on a regular maintenance schedule.

Van Every said the move would have two major benefits. It would allow the military to save money because guns would be refurbished based on how many rounds are fired.

And it would lead to fewer worn-out guns in the military, which can be dangerous to soldiers because parts can break or accuracy can be sacrificed.

"In a worst-case scenario, if a gun breaks, it could be a very bad situation for Special Forces soldiers," Van Every said. "The Shot Counter makes it cost-effective for the military and increases the benefit to a soldier."
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