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Significant Impact

Projectiles such as bean bags and OC-packed munitions provide non-lethal use of force alternatives for getting someone’s attention when necessary.

July 01, 2008  |  by - Also by this author

A.L.S. Technologies

A.L.S. Technologies' best-selling product is the Pen-Prevent 12-gauge bean bag. Pen-Prevent is short for "penetration" prevent, as the projectile was designed from the ground up to be safer than standard flat bean bag munitions. The Pen-Prevent features a triple-layer mesh that serves three purposes. It's strong enough to retain the shot, it spreads the impact over a larger area, and the mesh improves the aerodynamics of the munition sort of like the dimples on a golf ball. The Pen-Prevent is also available in 37mm/40mm. Some of A.L.S. Technologies' other widely used impact munitions include the 12-gauge fin-stabilized projectile, the 40mm REACT rubber baton, and a host of rubber and wooden batons in 12-gauge and 37mm/40mm. The company's signature product is its Power Punch Ballistic Bag bean bag round.

Need FreeInfo?  Visit A.L.S. Technologies online.


Combined Tactical Systems (CTS)

Jamestown, Pa., manufacturer Combined Tactical Systems produces a complete line of 12-gauge, 37mm, and 40mm impact munitions, including bean bags, sting balls, and foam batons. It also trains officers in the use of impact munitions. The flagship product in CTS's impact munition line is the 12-gauge Super-Sock Bean Bag. This drag-stabilized bean bag is designed to deliver consistent impact at both close-in and extended ranges. The sock shape and the stabilization prevent the bean bag from frisbeeing, wind surfing, hitting the target folded, or hitting the target sideways.

Need FREEInfo? Visit Combine Tactical Systems (CTS) online.


Defense Technology

A division of BAE Systems, Defense Technology manufactures patrol aerosols, flash-bangs, and other law enforcement tools, including impact munitions. DefTech's innovative line of 40mm non-lethal projectiles marketed as "Direct Impact" and "eXact iMpact" were designed to take advantage of the increased accuracy afforded by the rifled barrel of the 40mm launcher vs. the smoothbore performance of 37mm launchers and 12-gauge shotguns.

The Direct Impact is, as the name implies, a point of impact, point of aim direct fire non-lethal munition. The foam nose of the round is made of a crushable material that can be loaded with various powders, including Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) and marking powder. The 40mm foam projectile hits with more than 122 foot-pounds of kinetic energy at 60 feet. The eXact iMpact round, also 40mm, is much more like a conventional foam baton round. This round does not deliver a chemical payload, but at a speed of 325 feet per second, the 30-gram sponge projectile does deliver pain, an effective deterrent.

Need FREEInfo? Visit Defense Technology online.



FNH's FN303 is a very versatile air-powered weapon system that fires less-lethal impact munitions. It can be operated as a standalone carbine or it can be mounted on a tactical rifle. The FN 303 Less Lethal System uses a tank of compressed air to fire .68 caliber, 8.5-gram projectiles. The projectiles are unique. They feature a molded polystyrene casing that incorporates stabilizing fins for accuracy.

The payload of the projectile is encased in non-toxic bismuth that is designed to break on impact and disperse chemical irritant, washable paint, or indelible paint. There is also an impact round that doesn't break up on impact. According to FN, the effective range of the FN303 is about 50 yards. It can be used for area saturation with OC at a range of 100 yards.

Need FREEInfo?   Visit FNH USA online.


Lightfield Less Lethal Research

Imagine a plastic Koosh ball that can be shot out of a 12-gauge shotgun. That's kind of the idea behind Lightfield Less Lethal Research's line of star-shaped impact munitions. The Koosh ball design of the rounds allows them to fit into 12-gauge shells. It also eliminates almost any chance of penetration by the round when used as directed. The sea-urchin-shaped munitions also flatten out, distributing their kinetic energy across a wider area of impact than standard bean bags or sock rounds.

Lightfield sales and training specialist Neil Keegstra says the company's SuperStar and StarLite flexible baton rounds were developed for use at closer range than standard impact munitions. The SuperStar can be safely shot at a suspect from as little as two yards out to an effective range of 15 yards. The StarLite contains less powder in the shell and can be used from as little as one yard out to an effective range of 10 yards.

Need FREEInfo?  Visit Lightfield Less Lethal Research online.

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