Read an interesting article the other day. Apparently the pentagon is developing a new standard issue rifle called the XM29 to be released in the next 4-5 years. The key feature of this rifle is that it shoots 20mm munitions that explode at a predetermined range.
The bullet "knows" to explode at a certain range because a sensor inside it counts the number of revolutions that have occurred since leaving the muzzle of the rifle.
The article cited that as currently designed a single bullet going off in a "typical corner office" (maybe 20'x20'?) would kill or seriously injure anyone within the room.
Basically sounds like a fast, long range, high tech grenade to me....
Anyway the driving force for developing this was that in standard practice shooting a typical troop has 80% accuracy at normal "engagement" range which according to pentagon research is around 220 yards. However in simulated war situations the accuracy drops to 20% at the same range. Basically troops get excited and/or have bad conditions to shoot from and accuracy plummets. The idea is that an exploding bullet would vastly improve hitting the enemy.
Might be an interesting device for hunting, although it would probably make mince meat of anything you hunted with it.... Plus the issue of hitting multiple game in an area... Plus the issue of "fair chase"...
Googling around, I just found this info on the XM29:
[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-02-19 21:59 ]