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AfterSHOT: Powered Package – The Wilcox Fusion System

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New Hampshire based Wilcox Industries was showing off a powered rifle forend at the 2016 SHOT Show; they call it the Fusion System. A rifle equipped with modern accessories invariably requires power. Usually this energy is provided by batteries (of various types and sizes, depending on the accessory) housed inside the electronic units themselves. Not with this guy though. This isn't the first rail that provides power that I've seen, but it's noteworthy that Wilcox has been developing various versions of powered rails for more than a decade and a half.

Compatible red dots, lights, lasers et al are mounted to the Fusion System and receive power through the rail. Wilcox has also integrated electronic control mechanisms into the forend itself.

The batteries that power the unit are held inside the weather sealed vertical grip, avoiding extra bulk. The core can be removed for easy battery replacement.

Consolidating batteries into a single source means that the electronics themselves can be considerably smaller. Take this little light with a Surefire head, for example:

Though the production models will feature a protective rubber strip, you can see the electronic contacts on the bottom of the rail system here:

From what we are told, currently anything powered will have be mounted on the Wilcox Fusion System itself, and of course have the corresponding electronic connection points.

Wilcox and UAE-based Caracal recently announced a partnership. To that end, Wilcox was displaying the Fusion System kit on the Caracal CAR816. Here's what they have to say about it and future production:

Caracal’s CAR816-A2 is currently being manufactured at Wilcox’s world-class facility in New Hampshire and will be available on a limited basis in 2016. The tactical rifle features a short stroke push rod gas piston operating system, controlled by an adjustable gas block with three positions – supressed, unsupressed and a setting for operating in adverse conditions. The Wilcox’s Fusion System Kit, a lightweight module rifle forearm system that hosts a quick-change battery compartment within the grip can be integrated into the manufacturing process of the CAR816-A2. This system powers a red dot sight, integrated visible laser, IR laser as well as fixed IR illuminator, and is co-aligned with one windage and elevation knob to boresight the system.

Also of note, Wilcox was showing off an ambidextrous 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. For easy loading and unloading, the barrel can pivot to either side depending on which way the locking mechanism is released. Furthermore, it features a double-action trigger, so a second-strike capability is added.

You can visit Wilcox Industries online here.


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What is the NSSF SHOT Show?

The NSSF SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show) and Conference is an annual event held by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Typically attended by thousands of people from all 50 states and over a hundred countries, it is (quite rightfully) described as the “…world's premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, and related products and services.

Imagine the Worlds' Fair, but packed with everything from mini-guns and every breed of body armor, bows and boots; from eye pro and ear pro to optics and ordnance, socks to swords…you get the idea. If you'd like to see a sampling of the companies who will be showing at this year's SHOT, there's a live map right here, though it doesn't reflect the organizations set up elsewhere, in hotel suites, etc.

View imagery from our coverage of last year's SHOT Show right here.

2016 SHOT Show

January 18 — Media on the Range (numerous shooting facilities in and around Las Vegas)
January 19–22, 2016
Sands Expo and Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tuesday, January 19 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 20 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 21 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday, January 22 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


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