I'll be honest here and state right off the bat I was unable to personally fire a Corner Shot. But I've handled a test sample, and I was impressed with the quality and engineering and have little doubt it will perform as advertised.
That's great and everything. But it begs the question, do you really need a gun that shoots around corners?
I think the answer is yes...and no. As with much of today's high-tech gear, there is only a small window of potential use for something like the Corner Shot. Still, should we ignore answers to problems, regardless of how sporadically the need may arise? Once again, it all comes down to budgets and training commitments.
We've all seen those cartoons of "The officer of the 22nd Century," where a RoboCop-looking fellow is festooned with every widget you can imagine. Overkill? Probably. Yet, how do you draw the line at what's needed and what's just "nice" to have?
Nice To Have?
The Corner Shot is a combination of an articulating gun mount and a video camera sighting system that was developed by two former senior officers from elite units of the Israel Defense Forces. The company that shares its name is a partnership between the two Israeli commandos and American investors.
It's not a weapon, merely a cradle, if you will, that holds a duty semi-auto pistol and allows an operator to literally "shoot around corners" while staying behind cover. On the front of the system at the same angle as the muzzle of the pistol is a small, high-resolution video camera that sends an image back to an attached monitor at the stock of the Corner Shot system. The operator sights the weapon using the monitor.
The entire Corner Shot system is about the size of a carbine. But, of course, the big advantage is that, as the name indicates, the Corner Shot can be used to shoot around corners. The Corner Shot actually "bends" in the middle to a near right angle. This allows the operator to safely aim and fire the system while staying behind cover.
You aim the Corner Shot with a camera, using a calibrated cross-hair on the LCD screen of the unit. When you're ready to fire, you press a trigger and the handgun is fired by a remote-control linkage system.
Corner Shot's detachable video camera also doubles as a tactical video system, allowing an officer to scan an area prior to pinpointing a target and to broadcast the image directly, in real time, to the team behind, or to a monitor at a command post in another location.
Born of Urban Combat
"I believe that the Corner Shot weapon system can be extremely beneficial in the global war on terror," says Amos Golan, the inventor, one of Corner Shot's founders, and a former IDF Anti-Terror Unit Commander. "It protects soldiers' lives and increases their chances of survival, while drastically improving their ability to gather information and transmit the combat scenario as well as pinpoint and engage targets out of their line of sight."
Golan has an obvious military way of thinking. But let's remember that in today's world, the word "police officer" can be substituted with "soldier" in many cases. And sometimes cops and special forces soldiers are working in very similar environments.
Golan talks of "combat," but the uses he envisions for the Corner Shot are just as likely to involve cops, especially tactical officers. "Today's combat situations, especially in low-intensity conflicts, involve fighting in urban terrain and inside inhabited buildings, or forced entry into airplanes, buses, or trains. This unnecessarily exposes security forces to the enemy and presents an immediate risk to their lives. Corner Shot removes the need for this initial exposure." Perhaps "removes the need" is a bit bold, since officers still have to be exposed to threats to deploy the unit.
Asaf Nadel, another of Corner Shot's founders and a former commander in Israel's Armored Corps and Secret Service, says, "The Corner Shot system is designed in a way that enables security forces to engage targets from the left, and right, from the front, up or down, and to move to each of these shooting positions very rapidly without the removal of hands from the weapon. This shortens reaction time and increases accuracy in sudden engagement situations. The weapon system can be triggered completely from behind cover."