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The Israelis (and you if you buy one) can now shoot round corners


In this handout picture made available Tuesday Oct. 28, 2003 by the Israel-based Cornershot Co. in Tel Aviv, Israel, a rifle is seen composed of two parts; the front, that can swivel from side to side, containing a pistol with a color camera mounted on top, and the back section which consists of the stock, trigger and a monitor. According to a report by the Israeli daily ‘Maariv’ newspaper, the pistol, produced by the Florida-based Cornershot Holdings, is being tested by the Israeli military and has already been bought by a number of special forces around the world. The unique weapon allows a soldier to remain behind cover, with only the barrel of the rifle exposed in the direction of the hostile fire. (AP Photo/HO, Cornershot)


If you’ve already seen and heard about this days ago, apologies from me and only me. If not but you’re glad to see and hear of it now, you also have Chris O’Donnell to thank.

Update from the editor: As it happens, this innovative Israeli weapon is just a more sophisticated development of an idea implemented by the Germans in World War II… a version of the MP44 with a ‘shoot-around-corners’ attachment using a mirror.


32 comments to The Israelis (and you if you buy one) can now shoot round corners

  • The MP-44 was a dog. Burned out the barrel every 20 shots or so.

    This new one looks like it weighs a ton, but it’s a great idea.

    Q. What do you do when the battery dies? [rhetorical]

  • rkb

    The US has had test versions of a similar system for rifles for a while now. However, ours is also integrated into a whole wireless tech system that allows commanders and potentially others (like platoon leaders etc.) to see streaming video of the area.

    The main issues still being worked out are to improve overall battery life for the systems and reduce weight a bit more. Deployment to regular units is scheduled to start in 2004.

  • rkb

    Okay, I have to qualify my comment a little. The US system I have in mind doesn’t hinge the barrel etc. But it does allow a soldier to basically aim his/her weapon around a corner without exposing him/herself.

    We’ve been showing this stuff to cadets where I teach for several years now & as I mentioned, it’s intended for major deployment shortly. What’s really rad IMO is what comes next. For instance, smart body armor that will have, within less than a decade, biometric and camouflage abilities built into the material, with the equivalent of computer-controlled “muscle fibers” to allow the armor to switch between a full protection / hardness mode and a mode that allows freer movement … built in systmes to monitor and transmit info about the soldier’s physical status … and if s/he is wounded, perhaps even do things like apply pressure to the wound area to control bleeding.

    Expect also to see much more use of autonomous vehicles (ground and air robots), voice control of smart weapons under the command of platoon and squad leaders, swarms of smart munitions that can redistribute targets among themselves whenever one is shot down, ensuring the priority targets are hit first …..

    And expect to see systems deployed with chips and computer systems based on optical connections to reduce vulnerability to electromagnetic pulses (e-bombs) ….

    Ooops, got carried away. Sorry! Anyway, that Israeli gun looks eminently useful for sweeps in the West bank etc.

  • Kodiak

    Sad advertising…

  • Edmund Burke

    We know you are sad, but why are you advertising?

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    Sad advertising…

    Come on, Kodiak. You can troll better than that.

  • I’m sure that fella in the viewfinder is David Carr. Can we blow it up and take a closer look?

  • eric

    “what do you do when the battery dies?”

    –put in a new battery?

    The thing sorta looks like a pistol mounted in some sort of casing–I can’t see that being general issue though.

    I wonder if this would be another case of ‘feminization of western society’–a real man would charge with the bayonet and let cold steel decide. (apologies to Jules Romains).

  • Twn

    Wouldn’t that thing have some pretty funky recoil action?

  • Kodiak

    Alfred le Bavard: I’m sure YOU would if you only could. But you can’t, can you? Need any lessons?

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    Need any lessons?

    Kodiak, I am the first person to acknowledge that you are a master troll. That’s why I find you so amusing. However, I do not plan on becoming a troll myself and require no lessons. That’d be like asking lessons in how to smell really bad or how to most effectively pick my ass in public. If it floats your boat, that’s fine, but it’s not for me.

  • A real man wouldn’t worry about gadgetry OR bayonets.

    He’d call for air support or armor to obliterate the trouble point, then use his (ordinary) rifle to herd prisoners.

    Real men may be brave, but they’re not stupid.

    And I agree: that recoil is going to be interesting — although, with the girly .223/5.56mm NATO, there isn’t that much to worry about.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    Kim, if you look at the picture, I believe that it is a semi-auto pistol installed in the front there with a flash-hider attached, and the rest of it is just camera and holder. I would guess that a range of pistols could be installed. That would make the recoil issue mostly irrelevant.

  • Here’s more information:


    Note that “you” won’t be able to buy one, unless you’re a government. Peasants need not apply.

  • He’d call for air support or armor to obliterate the trouble point, then use his (ordinary) rifle to herd prisoners.

    There are quite a number of situations where this would not be appropriate. The Iranian Embassy seige for instance. Anyhow, gagetry is part of modern warfare now and real men do use it.

  • At the risk of sounding like I’m pissing on the parade here, I don’t think this is exactly going to revolutionise warfare, though I don’t doubt there are a number of fairly specialised situations in which it has the potential to be extrmely useful.

    It looks pretty cumbersome, is likely to not be especially easy to aim and the fact that it’s basically a glorified pistol means that it’s going to be fairly inaccurate at any sort of range as well as having a low rate of fire.

  • rkb

    You can design a weapon like this to be a tactical item, i.e. specifically chosen for a setting like urban combat / control. In that case, the focus is on the weapon alone, it’s firepower, recoil, maintainability etc.

    Or, you can take the approach the US is taking, which is to consider all the systems deployed on the battlefield as parts of a layered information network. In that case, it isn’t just shooting around corners that interests you. The weapon and its cameras are just one piece of a whole information acquisition, analysis and exploitation system that, oh yes, also shoots.

    There’s a balance here, obviously. But what you will see in what used to be called the Objective Force weapons is a strong emphasis that goes beyond the very tactical issue of one soldier, one gun. Imagine special forces who can communicate encrypted streaming video from that camera in downtown Baghdad the night before the entry into Iraq. The video their weapon sees around that corner would go right back to senior commanders, who then could decide whether or not to attempt a direct kill on Usay Hussein, given the terrain and the other meeting participants that the commander can see in that video, and what the commander knows is going on elsewhere. Instant situational awareness to the commander, instant decision and execution in the field.

    Now consider streaming video and text info coming to the heads-up display on the squad leader’s visor, giving inputs from sensors on minirobots that have maneuvered very close to the potential target, from low-altitude unmanned planes, etc. That info, which might indicate if there are other guards patrolling in the streets nearby, also factors into the question of whether a somewhat isolated forward team acts or withdraws at that point.

    THEN the business of shooting down the cross-corridor without exposing the soldier much becomes useful.

    One way to evaluate this sort of thing, anyway…..

  • The U.S. had the M-2 “Grease Gun” .45 caliber submachine gun in WWII, which also had an optional curved barrel.

    As for the savvy urban guerilla – a dentist’s mirror is the tool of choice for looking around corners. A plastic handled version weighs about three ounces, it’s got a small glass surface so it’s rugged, and it isn’t large enough to attract attention.

    Alternately, you can just call in an artillery strike.

  • Al, it’s not just about looking around the corner. You can look around any corner with those nifty fiber optics gizmos a lot better than with a good old mirror. This is about shooting around the corner without exposing yourself. Interesting idea, and potentially quite valuable for close-quarters urban warfare. The fact that the Israelis – I’d argue they’re experts in the field – are looking into it would imply the concept is tactically valuable, if narrow in scope.

  • Kodiak


    Oh la la !

  • Dave F

    Is anyone else old enough to recall those amazing (and cheap) gadgets advertised in old British comics, like the Seebackroscope? This performed as advertised, allowing you, so to speak, to have eyes in the back of your head. Perhaps there’s a joblot lying in a warehouse somewhere one could fancy up and flog to the military?

  • ..yhis is nothing, the french have a gun that will shoot you in the back

  • Dude

    The whole idea of using communications tech to allow commanders to see what individual soldiers are pointing at is a wonderful example of the sort of thinking that had US commanders trying to tactically direct battles from helicopters in Vietnam. It was a bad idea then and it is a bad idea now. Tactical control is best handled by small groups of people with good SOPs and even better NCOs, not commanders looking at TV screens who do not have bullets flying over their heads. There are well known differences between the Israeli (and British/Aussie) approach to small unit infantry combat, and the American Army approach (I am generalizing of course, the USMC sees things rather different), which mostly consists of not using infantry for anything other than occupying the rubble made by the artillery and air force, which is great in balls-out wars and damn sight less great for any other use of force. No prize for guessing which one I think makes sense to train for.

  • rkb

    Dude, I agree with you in general but disagree in some cases.

    The whole net-centric warfare model does in fact avoid the Soviet / Vietnam-style micromanagement approach. In fact, net-centric doctrine is tied to effects based operations planning and assessment – i.e. specifying for commanders the effects (military, political, economic etc.) being sought and then devolving a lot of decision authority downwards regarding tactics. This has been Rumsfeld’s push and is why he brought a special ops guy out of retirement instead of promoting generals who are pretty much set in the old way of doing things.

    Allowing commanders to expend CEPR funds locally to get things rebuilt in Iraq is a good post-major-combat example of this approach, but there are other examples during combat. The infamous use of horses by CIA operatives and special ops guys in Afghanistan is a great example – the commanders trusted their men out there, gave them what they asked for and got out of the way to let them do their jobs.

    These technologies and this warfighting doctrine allow more nimble and bolder approaches. In the past a special ops guy DID have to hold fire when stumbling on a target of opportunity that might have major political / military value, but which could be very touchy in terms of international relations etc., unless he had clear orders covering that situation. Now a rapid decision can be made and executed about whether or not to exploit that info at this time.

    And yes, this is much closer to the way the Marines have traditionally done things — we aren’t facing traditional massed battle as our main threat so the old Army-centric doctrines are changing to match the threats we do face for the next 20-30 years.

  • Rutherford


    More types of weapons can be seen on the picture here.

  • Rutherford

    Of course then I see the bit about you MUST use html.


  • What does this tell us about Israel if it’s starting to resort to methods used by the Wehrmacht in WWII?

  • Brian Micklethwait


    It obviously tells you lots more, but all it tells me is that they are fighting a war.

    And they’ve been using tanks for years, the fiends.

  • lgfwatch,

    Everybody uses tactics and methods pioneered by the Germans in WW2. Because it works. It would be silly not to use some tactics because they were invented by people who also did evil things.

    If only because it’s unlikely all your enemies, present and future, will have the same silly qualms.

  • Corner Shot – The VIDEO.

    Lot’s of potential, especially for the israelis.

    http://movie.nameserver.co.il/cornershot/cornershot.wmv (Link)

  • Very nice gun… ( :
    I like it!

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