Silent but deadly: DREAD centrifuge-powered weapon

Update: this story's a year old, but it's making the rounds again this week after a Gizmodo post. A number of BoingBoing readers submitted it today, but it appears there's been much criticism of the concept since the original 2005 article. Read on, with skepticism or drool, depending on whether you believe the outlandish claims.


The gun looks like an angry flying saucer, and the ammo looks like golf balls. A flying saucer that shoots golf balls should be funny. But 120,000 rounds per minute at .50 caliber makes that not one bit funny. Snip from

Imaging a gun with no recoil, no sound, no heat, no gunpowder, no visible firing signature (muzzle flash), and no stoppages or jams of any kind. Now imagine that this gun could fire .308 caliber and .50 caliber metal projectiles accurately at up to 8,000 fps (feet-per-second), featured an infinitely variable/programmable cyclic rate-of-fire (as high as 120,000 rounds-per-minute), and were capable of laying down a 360-degree field of fire.

Link David Crane's review of "DREAD centrifuge-powered weapon system," on, here's the defensereview Link. Tech-e-blog has video: Link. (also seen on Gizmodo, thanks Gunther.)

Reader comment: Tom says,

It's worth looking at the discussion forum thread on the DREAD weapon to read analyses on why this won't work. Also, a thread from another forum (Link) does a good job of summing up the flaws in the concept. My guess is that someone with posting rights to Gizmodo got a little overheated when they saw the video (which has been out for over a year and a half) and thought that it was something new.

Anonymous says,

Regarding the mythical 'Dread' centrifuge weapon - you should probably post this link, which does an excellent job of talking about how unlikely some of that company's claims are...

Chris Johnson says,

There are some serious issues with the physics of the 'DREAD' gun (linked to by BoingBoing recently. The comments on the suggested site (notably that of J-Star on February 20 @ 12:09:54) are absolutely correct in terms of the physics (though some of the numbers aren't quite accurate). In short, for the gun to have anything like the claimed firepower, it would be enormous and have huge recoil. Similar ideas _have_ been considered for non-lethal (low muzzle-velocity) guns to quell riots. Link.

Peter says

A patent has been pointed out for this exact device. US Pat. #6520169 no-reg. link to patent: Link. It's an easy read. Strange but it seems not a hoax - although patents can lie too.

Previously on BB:
- Centrifuge as a weapon (2005)