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Author Topic: Is a Patriot pistol - that can intercept bullets aimed at you - possible?  (Read 1679 times)

Offline Pseudoscience-is-malarkey

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As you may or may not know, Patriot missiles are SAMs that detect and intercept enemy missile attacks. They don't target fighter jets or tanks or warships or whatever. They just target and intercept missiles. My question is, is it possible to have a patriot pistol? The pistol would ONLY function to intercept bullets coming at you.
« Last Edit: 28/02/2016 14:18:38 by chris »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: A Patriot pistol?
« Reply #1 on: 28/02/2016 10:16:19 »
Quote from: Pseudoscience-is-malarkey
Patriot missiles... don't target fighter jets
Early versions of the Patriot were designed for anti-aircraft roles. It was only the later versions that had the speed, accuracy and altitude to attack ballistic missiles.
It has also been used to shoot down drones.

The early versions exploded shrapnel in the path of the target, in an attempt to set off the explosives in the missile; unfortunately, this often caused more damage to civilians on the ground than if a conventional missile were permitted to detonate on impact.

Later models added better final-stage interception, aiming for a direct hit on the incoming target. You could argue that this version reduces the damage to civilians on the ground.

Quote
is it possible to have a patriot pistol? The pistol would ONLY function to intercept bullets coming at you.
The Patriot missile system has a truck-mounted phased-array radar costing over $6M (radar alone), which is designed to detect targets of half a meter or more in size.

Bullets are closer (less transmit power required), but also a lot smaller (requires a much higher frequency to detect them). You would still need a significant radar system.

The Patriot missile has a built-in radar system, and is steerable via its own rockets. Cramming all this into a "smart bullet" is quite a challenge!
 
The hardest part is pointing a pistol in the general direction of an incoming bullet before it hits you. I suspect that a reactive system like this would only be effective if there was at least 1 second warning of the incoming projectile.

Perhaps what you are thinking of is more like the Phalanx system, at a mere $4M. But it's not something you could carry on your hip.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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If you had the rate of fire that the Phalanx delivers, you could just shoot the guy who was shooting at you.
The gunman is a much easier target than the bullet- albeit that once he has fired, hitting the bullet is a better option.
 

Offline evan_au

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My question is, is it possible to have a patriot pistol?
It is much easier to stop guns getting into the hands of unstable people than it is to stop a bullet after it has been fired by an unstable person.
 

Offline Pseudoscience-is-malarkey

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Thanks for the replies.

Let's admit it though, if a patriot pistol was possible, we'd all never leave the house without it!
 

Offline Michael Miles

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Metal Storm would be a possible alternative. A pistol that fires millions of rounds per second and fits into a hip holster.
A wall of metal coming at a bullet would do the job.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Problem is that the bad guy may fire more than one bullet.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Problem is that the bad guy may fire more than one bullet.
They might be really unsporting and fire a metal storm at you.
So, presumably you would need an array of zillions of metal storm pistols to stop all the incoming metal.
OK, that's easy- but what if he points an array like that at you?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Or if there are two bad guys? Or one with a knife? 

The reason the capital battleship went out of fashion was because it spent most of its time defending itself against more agile attackers, including midget submarines and high-altitude precision bombing. Latest casualty in that war of escalation was the new British aircraft carrier that is so expensive we can't afford any planes for it. But as Admiral Sandi Toksvig pointed out, it's safer than having lots of planes and nowhere to land them. 
 

Offline syhprum

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The idea of an aircraft carrier that uses a ferry engine instead of a nuclear reactor must make us a laughing stock.
 
 

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