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Big Guns, Silent Guns Hog Spotlight at High-Tech Weapons Show

May 25, 1990

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Looking for the latest shoulder-launched urban assault rockets? How about an armed patrol boat, or the ultimate in muzzle silencers?

They were all available Thursday at a private weapons show - at least for those with the proper security clearance to get past the door.

The Covert & Operational Procurement Exhibition at the Baltimore Convention Center also features a line of a laser-sighted 9mm guns that boast ″more firepower than you ever dreamed possible.″

The private display was attended by law enforcement officers and others cleared to buy and use such items as ″The Shockwave,″ which fires grenades designed to stun without spewing lethal shrapnel.

Outside the building, 20 demonstrators protested the weapons exhibition. They handed out fliers saying ″arms bazaars, the ultimate pornography.″ Three who entered the building were arrested for investigation of trespassing and resisting arrest, police said.

The two-day COPEX 90 exhibition is the work of Osprey Media Partners of England.

″We don’t deal in battleships, tanks or space missiles,″ said Julian Winkley, who organized the exhibition.Instead, the exhibit is for special equipment for special applications like counter-terrorism, drug interdiction, covert combat and clandestine rescue operations, he said.

Visitors have included members of police Special Weapons and Tactics squads and hostage rescue teams. Representatives from 39 countries have registered, including some from the Far East, the Middle East and South America, Winkley said.

″We still don’t admit representatives from Communist countries,″ he said. ″They don’t have anything to sell.″

Among the items on display:

- From McDonnell Douglas, a shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon. The launcher fires high-explosive rockets and is said to be ″on target ... in urban terror″ situations. It also ″does not require any specialized infantry skills.″

- A 100-round Calico 9mm pistol, carbine and tactical carbine. The guns are light and can deliver ″more firepower than you ever dreamed possible,″ according to promotional literature.

″The bright red dot instantly identified targets in excess of 100 yards indoors at night,″ Calico says.

- A Stinger Riverine Patrol Boat. Optional equipment on the 26-foot boat include a .50-caliber single or twin machine gun, an automatic grenade launcher mounted aft, an ″Explosafe″ fuel tank, camouflage paint and armored plating.

- The Shockwave, Multi-Shock, Nova-Shock and Multi-Nova Stun Grenades are being displayed by First American Counter Terrorist Systems Inc. The Balstrop, Texas-based company says the weapons produce ″a concussive release of force without any shrapnel.″

Nova-Shock and Multi-Nova go off in a ″single explosion with maximum flash and white hot sparklets.″ But users need to be careful: Firings ″create considerable indoor fire hazard,″ First American says.

Perhaps there’s no better gadget on display at a ″covert″ exhibition than the ultimate in silencers. Precision Arms International Inc. boasts that it has it - ″the finest state-of-the-art suppressed weapons system.″

The system can muffle .22- to .50-caliber guns ″to fit the needs of today’s Special Ops Unit, SWAT teams police departments and exotic weapons enthusiasts.″

″You’ll have to see our product to believe it - because you won’t hear it,″ Precision Arms says.

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