Re: smart pistols

From: James Rogers (
Date: Mon May 01 2000 - 10:33:08 MDT

On Mon, 01 May 2000, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> "" wrote:
> > Electronic triggers are (much) slower than mechanical triggers.
> No, they are not. The electrodes are in contact with the primer at all times,
> and the only thing that occurs at the point of trigger pull is the current flow
> and spark. This takes much less time than the time it takes for a firing pin to
> move, at least in the models I've seen.

Some target pistols have electro-mechanical trigger systems. The electric
switch triggers can be made much nicer than anything possible mechanical,
but for pistols that are required to shoot conventional ammo the hybrid
designs work pretty well. Unfortunately, the lock time and similar are
longer since, in addition to the conventional mechanical firing pin and
associated delays, an electronic relay adds another delay, increasing the
delta time to a value greater than you would expect for either a purely
electronic or purely mechanical system.

The batteries last a really long time on hybrid systems in my experience,
and short of having one sit unused for years on end, I wouldn't worry
about it too much (though for self-defense this *is* an issue). The
biggest issue is lock time (due to negative design synergy), but this is
only an issue for target shooters.

That said, you still can't beat a purely mechanical design for rugged
reliability and simplicity IMO. If the companies want to most gun owners
to buy guns with electronics, they should find a way for the electronics
to add value to the capabilities of existing firearms. Most competent
gun owners that I know do not find much value added in the electronics
the government wants to add today; they very arguably do not make guns any
safer for people already competent at handling guns and don't add features
that most gun owners want. I think the market will take care of this
situation just fine.

-James Rogers

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