Admin posted on September 25, 2013 02:43

Tagging weapons and firearms can be challenging to say the least.  The first problem you will probably encounter is all the metal, because it will interfere with most passive RFID tags.  The logical assumption might be to start evaluating tags that are specifically designed for mounting on metal.  You'll soon discover that there typically is not a lot of surface area that is nice and flat to mount a tag to. Additionally, mounting it to the barrel might not be an option because of the heat that might be generated when firing the weapon.  You also need to consider the abuse that the weapon will be subjected to.  Most metal mount RFID tags are not very thin and will likely stick out from the weapon which might interfere with its use or be susceptible to being knocked off. 

Consider other locations on the weapon that might not be metal such as the grip or other areas that might be plastic or a composite material that might not interfere with RFID.  You will probably want to avoid placing RFID tags on components like the stock, because they are often easy to swap out with other components.

Once you have found a suitable location, test viable tag options to ensure you will achieve your desired read range at various orientations.  Also make sure you select a tag that will be durable enough to withstand the cleaning solvents that will be used to clean the weapon.  The last thing you want to happen is for your tags to fall off.

If you are planning on tagging M4's, the following graphic illustrates some testing that we did for the Air Force.  Note the location of the RFID tag in the spine of the grip.


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