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04-28-06, 03:16 PM #1
X-ray machines fail to detect weapon
Carbon pistol undetected
Uhh... where have these guys been? This weapon has been around for some time, it's not modified by the criminal and it's in Bushmaster catalogs, etc. Still good to get the word out about its appearance on an X-ray image though.
Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said today that he will issue a warning to other police agencies after his officers seized an assault weapon made with so little metal it does not clearly show up on a security X-ray.
Narcotics officers found the Professional Ordnance Carbon-15 Type-97 pistol in the car of a drug suspect in Newark and noticed it was a cut above the usual weaponry employed by local drug dealers, Fontoura said.
Officers in his ballistics laboratory, who said they had never seen an assault weapon made with so much plastic, had it taken to Newark Liberty International Airport earlier today for a test-run through the security scanners — minus its 30-round clip.
The image on the X-ray appeared as a straight metal rod, with no outline of a stock or a trigger guard, something an inattentive security guard may view as no more threatening than a curling iron, the sheriff said.
“When I saw the image, I was shocked by how much didn’t show up,” said Lt. Dennis Hultay, head of the sheriff’s ballistics lab.
Fontoura said he was concerned the weapons, small enough to be tucked in a briefcase, could pass unnoticed not only at the airport but at also at entrances to courthouses and other public buildings.
He said the weapon’s .223-caliber ammunition travels at a speed of 2,500 feet per second, fast enough to penetrate a bullet-proof vest.
“This a nasty weapon,” he said. “That’s the ammunition we’re using in Iraq. If we’re not alert, this could go right past security.”
Joseph Green, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said federal law requires firearms be made with sufficient metal content to be detectable at security checkpoints.
He said he could not immediately determine whether this weapon met those requirements but said the agency encouraged the sheriff to pass the word if he believes it poses a threat. He said the ATF would look into the matter if it was asked to by the sheriff.
Mark Hatfield Jr., acting director of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration office at Newark Airport, stopped short of labeling the weapon a threat, but said the test run would help his officers be more vigilant.
05-01-06, 01:42 PM #2
This sounds more like xray operator inexperience than some new "secret" weapon being made. As you've stated they've been around for a while, Bushmaster bought the rights and the factory to build them and after working the bugs out that the original company couldn't they have taken the design and run with it. I have a Bushmaster C15M4 and I love it, very accurate, reliable and light weight. Yes, the upper and lower receivers are made of carbon fiber but I have a hard time believing it is that difficult to detect on xray if you know what you're looking at. There is still plenty of metal left - the barrel, sights, recoil spring, bolt, action, etc. that should make it clear to an experienced operator what they are looking at.Train as if your life depended on it... Someday it might!
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