By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
All photos contained in this article were taken by DefenseReview.com, and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos were shot with Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability).
August 19, 2010
Last updated on 1/08/11.
While DefenseReview (DR) was at SOFIC 2010, we got the chance to examine the RIPR (Rifle Integrated Power Rail), and we found the device interesting. Manufactured and marketed by RESET Inc. as an “integrated powered rail adapter for any tactical weapon”, the RIPR is designed to act as a central power source and thus obviate the need for multiple batteries types for tactical rifle/carbine/SBR accessories like combat optics, laser designators/illuminators a.k.a. targeting lasers/illuminators, and tactical white lights.
The RESET RIPR power component roughly resembles a Redi-Mag (RM MK I Series) with a 20-round AR-15/M16/M4/M4A1 magazine, and it’s plugged into the plug-in unit/rail system the same way an AR mag is inserted into an AR magwell (magazine well). The RIPR battery plug-in unit is integrated into a Mil-Std-1913 “Picatinny” rail system/forend rail tube. The one we saw was integrated with a Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT) Monoloithic Rail Platform (MRP) AR and was being used to power an EOTech HWS (Holgraphic Weapon Sight) combat optic/optical sight, which we believe was the excellent EOTech EXPS3-0, which Defense Review plans to review. Both the LMT MRP AR series and EOTech HWS series are truly excellent, so they make good choices to display the RIPR at shows/exhibitions.
RESET Rifle Integrated Power Rail (RIPR) features and benefits, acording to the company:
- Central Power for Weapon Accessories: Eliminates the need for separate cells and multiple battery types.
- Adapts to All Mil-Std-1913 “Picatinny” Rail Systems: Fits any shoulder weapon (rifle, shotgun, submachine gun, etc.) utilizing an standard M1913 Picatinny rail system.
- RIPR Battery Pack Far Exceeds the Power Capacity of Separate Cells: Increases user/operator confidence and mission endurance.
- Central Battery Location: Provides optimum “between the shooter’s hands” weapon balance, bringing the weight further back.
- Enables the Development of Smaller, More Powerful Tactical Rifle Accessories: Enabling higher weapons accessory performance at less weight.
- Uses Adapter Kits for In-Service Devices/Accessories: Thus increases performance and extends service life.
- Minimizes External Wiring: This reduces snagging and increases battle damage resistance.
As intriguing a concept as the RIPR is, DR isn’t convinced that putting all of one’s eggs in one basket, or, more specifically, all of one’s power in one device, is a good idea. If the RIPR goes down for any reason, all of your weapons accessories go down, right then and there. If we were going to use the RIPR on a mission, we would probably still want to carry spare batteries for each accessory in our pack or somewhere else on our body–along with spare RIPR batteries, of course. We’re not that worried about a RIPR battery going tits up. You would of course carry spares with you. We’re more worried about the plug-in unit/rail (into which the RIPR battery is inserted) failing. If that goes down, you’re done–unless you have spare batteries for the individual accessories, of course.
We’d also place the RIPR in a different location, so it doesn’t crowd the magwell and magazine and adversely effect the weapon reload procedure or cause any reload confusion under combat stress. The problem is, if you move it farther forward, it can add front-heaviness and adversely impact the weapons balance and handling, if it doesn’t adversely affect it, already (where it’s located in the acompanying photos. It would seem logical that the RESET RIPR allows the end-user to mount the accessories anywhere he chooses, but we don’t have confirmation/verification on that, yet.
DefenseReview wonders if a buttstock version of the RIPR could be developed where the RIPR concept is integrated with a telescoping buttstock (like a Vltor IMOD stock, for example), and the power is somehow routed up to the rail. This would bring the weight all the way back towards the shooter and eliminate yet another weighty accessory taking up valuable rail/handguard real estate.
The RIPR had a good bit of attention and buzz at SOFIC 2010, which was a positive sign for the product, but time will tell whether or not U.S. military assaulters/operators, law enforcement (LE) SWAT operators, PSD (Personal Security Detail) operators, and civilian tactical shooters take to the device. It’s success or failure will most likely depend on how rugged/durable and reliable it is in the field and how military operators, specfically, respond to it, considering the potential caveats discussed above.
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