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Illustration (123rf)
Illustration (123rf)

Firing and testing thousands of rounds of ammunition weekly can challenge the human body — even ones in top physical condition — causing debilitating stress injuries and chronic nerve and joint pain. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), with the help of agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs (OFTP) Armory Operations Branch (AOB), has taken an important step forward in reducing or eliminating these injuries by developing of the “Virtual Shooter.”

The Armory Operations Branch evaluates most of the department’s ammunition and firearms. This equates to testing more than 200,000 rounds of ammunition and a variety of handguns annually before they are approved for use in the field. This repetitive firing takes a toll on the shooters and results in stressed joints, debilitating pain, and other physical injuries. The Virtual Shooter will go a long way in in reducing, if not eliminating, those injuries,” explained John Price, the S&T First Responder Group (FRG) program manager.

iHLSIsrael Homeland Security

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According to HLS News Wire the prototype consists of three major components designed to mimic a human firer. A mechanical arm and hand mirrors major human bone and muscular structure. Air cylinders simulate the muscles that aim and resist recoil forces in the wrist, forearm, upper arm, and shoulder. Finally, a pressurized backboard mount simulates the shooter’s torso.