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Urdiss Arms PDW-1120

This year's offering in the personal defense weapon class from Urdiss Arms Corp. is no exception to their usual classic design philosophy. UAC has typically been known for their long arms, and unlike other producers of electromag (Gauss) weaponry, have not previously ventured into the fields of pistols and personal defense weapons. The abortive effort three years ago by the company to produce a civilian carbine version of their military rifle was presumably the last foray by the company into shorter weaponry.

The overall package is standard UAC, with a customary inclusion of the "titanium wrap". This is an external unitary shell into which the components of the weapon fit from beneath. Assembled, the weapon is relatively well protected against dust, dirt, mud, sand, and other contaminants. At the same time, the weapon will empty of water in under 1 second after full immersion. The titanium shell is further coated by a sapphire coating which offers great resistance to scratching and abuse.

The basic weapon layout is not much larger than the standard service pistol, with a few inches of additional length before and behind the central grip. An extensible foregrip is included under the muzzle, and a retractable stock is included. However, the weapon is intended to be fired without the retractable stock.

Electromagnetic fields propel a 2 gram 2 x 75mm tungsten flechette within a plastic sabot containing steel rings for optimum engagement with the accelerating fields. The plastic discarding sabot is the hallmark of the traditional UAC weapon, and here, it makes its mark in an ability to rapidly feed rounds from a high capacity helical feed 100 round magazine.

The magazine, in the tradition of the usual UAC weapons, is mounted atop the receiver, but the magazine holds sixty more rounds than the standard UAC electromag rifle.

The weapon fires in one of three modes: single shot, three round burst, or ten round burst. Computer controlled motors regulate the firing cycle with mathematical precision.

Muzzle velocity is 1200 meters per second. The cyclic rate of the weapon is 2200 rounds per minute, giving the weapon excellent controllability.

The weapon is equipped with a reflex lead computing gunsight. The weapon nose has an array of six gallium arsenide lasers mounted radially, which are aimed forward in a conical pattern. These lasers, in conjunction with a small millimeter wave radar and thermal sensor below the weapon nose, detect and predict target movement. A set of laser ring gyros in the weapon detect weapon motion input by the user.

The weapon sight automatically tracks target, rounds in flight, and weapon motion, shifting the illuminated reticle without user intervention. In addition to moving the reticle, the user also sees a visual cue showing the suggested direction of correction.

This sight is the hallmark of the current UAC-21 Gauss Rifle, and its use here is only natural, given the great close quarters capabilities of the UAC-21.

The PDW-1120, in the same manner as the UAC-21, can be connected via standard WSI (Weapon-Sight Interface) connector, to enable wearers of WSI compatible helmet/head up displays to use the weapon without raising it to the line of sight. This also allows round-the-corner use, one-handed, and hip-firing without significant penalty. Optionally, the user can select voice cueing, which lets the user know in one of several user-selectable voices, information about suggested corrections.

The projectiles themselves are teflon-coated tungsten, giving excellent performance against most man-portable armor. While there are complaints about lethality (complaints that are not generally heard about the UAC-21 rifle round, which is a 2 x 125mm tungsten projectile at 7500 feet per second), the use of the three and especially ten-round burst are certain to garner the immediate lethality and stopping power expected of a close quarters weapon.

Options for this year include mild steel flechettes, bringing increased prompt lethality while sacrificing armor penetration. Newly introduced are the glass tipped rounds, which maintain aerodynamic stability (due to rearward center of gravity), retain some measure of penetration, and offer an immediate disintegration of the tip of the round in the first three inches of flesh, as well as the immediate destabilization of the tungsten rear of the flechette. Tests on cadavers and ballistic gelatin indicate an explosive wound effect, showing three to five inch diameter "shark-bite" wounds at the point of entry.