BulldogET and Symmetrical pistols and the Tecnogun bullpup carbine featuring an interesting new take on embedded electronics are among the latest projects announced by Tecnostudio Engineering of Italy
Our followers may remember our previous news articles concerning the projects and prototypes from Tecnostudio Engineering – a small Italian-based mechanical and industrial engineering company with business ties to Leonardo Defence Systems and other major global player in the defense sector. Only in the past two years or so the company decided to focus on the engineering of innovative, albeit sometimes bizarre, small arms for civilian and professional uses.
In the past couple of weeks, the company told us about three of its latest projects, including two semi-automatic pistols – a compact striker-fired design and a rotating-barrel, full-size hammer-fired concept – and a bull-pup subcarbine conceived both as a semi-automatic to suit civilian hunting, sport shooting and home defense needs and as a select-fire MIL/LE weapon, boosting an electronically-driven hybrid mechanical working system. Let's take a look at them.
The details provided by Tecnostudio Engineering about the 'BulldogET' pistol project are somewhat sketchy. What we know so far is that it's conceived as a striker-fired pistol conceived as a primary or secondary defense pistol for civilians or private security personnel, and as a backup gun for law enforcement.
Sporting a unique look, the 'BulldogET' would perspectively be chambered in 9mm Luger and based on a roller-locking system instead of the more common tilting-barrel design used by the vast majority of semi-automatic pistols. As rare as it is in the field of handguns, the roller-locking system would allow the 'BulldogET' to safely handle hot loads – definitely a good thing for personal defense!
Other perspective features of the 'BulldogET' pistol would include a light double-action trigger with a tactile and visual cocked status indicator; a top ejection system with the external portion of the extractor dubbing as a loaded chamber indicator; a raised sights system with a central tunnel, and fully checkered sides on the slide for a secure grip; a machined lightweight aluminum alloy frame embedded in polymer; a large, slant trigger guard allowing easy trigger reach even when the shooter is wearing gloves; and a modular polymer grip.
The goal of this new pistol design is to somewhat revive the classic hammer-fired pistol design at a time when the market is clogged with striker-fired pistol designs following (sometimes successfully, sometimes less so!) the lead of a well-known Austrian brand. The company focused on balance, ergonomics and symmetry for this new hammer-fired service pistol project – hence the name.
The Tecnostudio Engineering 'Symmetrical' pistol is conceived to be built around a railed polymer frame and to feature a SA/DA trigger as well as a rotating-barrel locking system that would keep the barrel axis and thus the overall height of the gun under acceptable levels while still guaranteeing controllability.
Other perspective features of the 'Symmetrical' pistol project include an adjustable front and rear sight; a very low bore-to-grip axis, akin to that to the lowest bore-axis striker-fired pistol currently available on the market; a fully machined barrel, breechblock and slide; and a patented disassembly button system, as well as a set of ambidextrous controls including an ambidextrous mag release.
Another prominent feature of the 'Symmetrical' pistol design would be what the Tecnostudio Engineering company calls "A new gripping slide system". In practice, the rear portion of the slide on the 'Symmetrical' pistol would feature two wide serrated bulges, located right behind the ejection window. In the minds of the company engineers, this solution would provide a better grip for cocking and would dub as a fencing for the the slide-mounted manual safety and decocking levers, preventing their accidental activation when the slide is operated.
'Tecnogun' bullpup carbine / SMG
Among the latest projects from Tecnostudio Engineering, this is the one with the biggest potential for controversy: the 'Tecnogun' bullpup semi-automatic carbine or sub-machinegun, chambered in 9mm Luger, is designed to feature a 14-inch barrel, a lightweight aluminum alloy frame and a polymer or carbon-fiber stock.
The company experience in the engineering of defense systems led the designers to dare drawing a gun project based on a hybrid mechanical-electronic working system, embedding a set of "particularly reliable electronics" (quot.) powered by an easily replaced, last-generation lithium battery with a 1-year life.
The 'Tecnogun' design would still retain a mechanical trigger, albeit with an electronic action. The linkage between the trigger and the action is dubbed "Shoot-By-Wire" by the company – an evident nod at the "Drive-By-Wire" and "Fly-By-Wire" concepts from the automotive and airspace industries.
Such a deep and important degree of integration of electronic components in the working system of a perspective civilian and MIL/LE/Govt. oriented firearm could raise some eyebrows around. Indeed, electronics in firearms are a hot and vividly debated topic among civilian shooters, professional operators, and gun rights advocates worldwide.
While electronic triggers have been around for years, and have often proven themselves superior to mechanical triggers in competitions, the use of electronics in a firearm issued to military or Police forces or used for civilian self-defense could have its drawbacks, ranging from EMP vulnerability to sensitivity to adverse climates and environmental conditions, down to the difficulty of replacing broken, expired or defective batteries and components or to address the defects of an overall more complex system on the battlefield.
In terms of gun rights, the issue is hotter than ever: there are well grounded fears that firearms with an electronic working system may be hacked by criminals or anti-gun advocates to make them inoperable. And several governments in the past made no mystery of the fact that they would love the idea of a "red button" to push in order to render all firearms in civilian hands inert. All in all, the 'Tecnogun' bullpup carbine / SMG is the most interesting new concept submitted by Tecnostudio Engineering in the past year or so, but is also the one we at GUNSweek.com have more doubts about.