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Victor Aster is a Belarusian firearms concept designer. He goes over one of his CAD designs of a personal defense weapon (PDW) called Humble-Bee. The idea is to have a compact firearm for law enforcement and military needs which would be very simple, lightweight and easy to use.
Initially, Victor was considering the Humble-Bee to be a less-lethal gun firing rubber bullets and dedicated for police use. Later he rethought the idea and now it is designed to be chambered in 9x19mm. The receiver of this firearm is supposed to be completely made of polymer.
The overall design concept is inspired by the Italian Spectre M4 SMG. According to the designer, he moved away from having a magazine inside the grip to be able to design a more ergonomic and comfortable pistol grip. The grip also has a rubber backstrap. The muzzle device is a rough mockup and the designer would probably opt not to have one at all.
The magazine well is elongated to allow grabbing it with the support hand without applying any pressure to the magazine itself. The side opening from both sides of the magazine well is there to allow seeing the remaining amount of ammunition in the translucent magazine.
The magazines are also Victor Aster’s own design. The magazine release button is on the rear wall of the magazine well, below the trigger guard. Its location makes it ambidextrous, too.
The iron sights are made with the simplicity in mind. They’ll be a set of fiber optic open sights with a possibility to install and detach them without using any tools. The gun also features a full-length top Picatinny rail as well as a short rail section on 6 o’clock.
The charging handle is executed similarly to that of AR-15 or HK MP-7. It is a non-reciprocating latch on the rear portion of the receiver. The nice thing about the charging handle is that it is almost flush with the receiver. However, it probably needs more aggressive serrations to ensure a rigid and consistent purchase. The safety selector is ambidextrous with distinctive raised triangular markings.
There were many questions concerning the mechanism, operation, and other internal features. Well, it turns out that the mechanism is not yet finished. The designer considers several possibilities for it, but these are yet to be developed. Victor admitted that he is asked those questions pretty frequently.
People also ask when a prototype will be ready. The short answer he gives is: “give me a million dollars, a team of engineers and a year of time and I’ll give you the final product”. My understanding of his answer is that it is pretty hard (both financially and time-wise) to go beyond the concept and make a prototype without any funding. Right now he is looking for investors in the USA to manufacture and sell.
Overall, this concept is not anything revolutionary. At least nothing from what is disclosed is going to change the world. However, the vision of the designer is to make an extremely reliable and simple firearm. I think it is absolutely possible that a firearm without any significant innovations to it can become popular due to being well designed and reliable. For example, the Browning tilting barrel operation is used by virtually everyone in the pistol market. However, some companies can’t make good guns and others (one Austrian company) make them stupid simple and reliable.
Here are some suggestions that came from TFB to add so as to increase the chance of succeeding in the market and making it attractive to the customers:
These are perhaps the most common suggestions that will come to mind of any firearms enthusiast. It would be interesting to see what our readers think about the Humble-Bee and what they would like to see in such a firearm.
Sources: Daily News, Victor Aster, Belarusian Firearms, Hrachya H