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Old February 12, 2015, 04:58 PM   #1
DaleA
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Making bullets 'less than lethal'

Public Radio had a show about this...unfortunately I didn't get to hear it and can't find it on their web site, but Google came through and I found the info.

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/02/0...-bullet-police

You put this attachment on the muzzle of your handgun and right in front of the muzzle there's a metal ball about an inch in diameter with an indentation directly in front of the muzzle.

When you fire the gun, the bullet hits the ball and the ball and bullet go forward at somewhat reduced velocity to hit the target. Because of the large diameter of the ball it probably wouldn't pierce the skin but it will hit hard and maybe break a rib so says the company that makes 'em. Hopefully they say this will incapacitate the bad guy without killing him.

Kind of like a shotgun bean bag round.

Follow up shots, since the ball is no longer in place, are regular handgun shots.

Eh. Maybe useful, probably not, some of the comments show there's a lot of people out their willing to comment on guns that don't know much about them. (Like that's a revelation to anyone that reads this forum.)
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Old February 12, 2015, 05:21 PM   #2
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Sounds like a worthless solution to a manufactured problem
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Old February 12, 2015, 06:00 PM   #3
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  • I'm skeptical about their accuracy claims because it seems to me that the impact of a spinning bullet against a stationary "ball" would have a substantial destabilizing effect on both. This is particularly true because the demo video shows that the "ball" is cut away along the top, presumably to clear the sights. I surmise that the uneven weight distribution will cause the whole kit and caboodle to wobble if the bullet doesn't strike the ball in a perfectly straight and concentric path.
  • Beyond contact range, the first shot will invariably have a different POI than follow-up shots.
  • If the "docking unit" is attached to the slide loosely enough to be thrown clear on firing without causing malfunctions, it's likely vulnerable to being inadvertently ripped off during the draw, even if special holsters are used. Although the webpage is vague regarding how exactly the unit will be deployed, I don't think that it's wise to expect officers to affix the unit to the firearm after the draw, as this creates a moment of vulnerability, and also may cause soft and fleshy bits of the officer's anatomy to cover the muzzle.
  • I'm skeptical of the assertion that it will not disturb the sight picture, particularly if the officer is aiming towards a brightly lit target and has to line the sights up the "old fashioned way"- i.e. using the gaps beside the front sight blade- rather than relying on the white dots.
  • Officers will need to train with it and I presume the units won't be cheap, particularly at first. How will less well-funded departments afford them?
  • Use of the unit will mandate tactical doctrine that strongly discourages double-taps, as this would undermine the whole purpose of the unit. "Shoot Until the Threat is Stopped" is a LOT simpler to understand and execute than "Shoot Only Once, Reassess and See if the Threat has Stopped, and Only Then Shoot Until The Threat Is Actually Stopped."
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Old February 12, 2015, 07:32 PM   #4
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Rubber bullets have been around for a long time as have been the bean and shot/gel bags for shotguns. Even pepper spray grenades have been around for a while and would be better cause you cant fight when you cant see.
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Old February 12, 2015, 08:05 PM   #5
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This was at SHOT this past month. All i can say is
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Old February 12, 2015, 08:11 PM   #6
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Another politically correct effort to save "innocent" criminals lives while endangering the lives of police officers.
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Old February 12, 2015, 09:44 PM   #7
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It is called "deadly force."

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Old February 12, 2015, 09:49 PM   #8
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This might perhaps work on average Joe's who might've broken a small law but if they have to use it on real criminals I'm afraid it would get some cops killed.
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Old February 13, 2015, 12:00 AM   #9
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It just seems like a very bad idea to me... you're going to point a real gun loaded with real bullets, put that contraption on it in the heat of the moment, point it at a non-deadly threat, and pull the trigger?

I can see so many things going wrong there.
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Old February 13, 2015, 01:47 AM   #10
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Exactly. You have (hopefully) 1 non-lethal shot and then everything else is lethal from the same platform? That requires a lot of focus to sort out in the heat of the moment (where any adrenaline may make you inadvertently squeeze the trigger multiple times without realizing it).

This can't be marketed to cops, who are already issued tasers. Which makes it even worse, as civilians will generally have less training and experience in stressful situations.

If you need lethal force, use a firearm. If you don't need lethal force, use something else.
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Old February 13, 2015, 01:50 AM   #11
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If that is the goal, would it not make more sense to have some sort of simunitions type round?
Lower velocity, modified projectiled.
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Old February 13, 2015, 09:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikakiah
This can't be marketed to cops, who are already issued tasers.
I don't see any civilian market at all for the doodad. I think cops are the target market, no pun intended. I believe that it's intended to capitalize on the growing perception that Tasers are simultaneously less effective and more lethal than originally touted, not to mention the increasingly bad publicity. ("Don't tase me, Bro!)

OTOH...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikakiah
If you need lethal force, use a firearm. If you don't need lethal force, use something else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armed_Chicagoan
...you're going to point a real gun loaded with real bullets, put that contraption on it in the heat of the moment, point it at a non-deadly threat, and pull the trigger?... I can see so many things going wrong there.
This hits the nail on the head IMHO. There are simply too many things that can go wrong when deploying this unit. The major perceived advantage- averting wrongful-death lawsuits and bad publicity stemming from shootings of unarmed suspects- would evaporate when a cop simply pulls the trigger a second time, or worse yet, accidentally kills the suspect, himself, or an innocent bystander during a botched attempt to mount the unit on his pistol!
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Old February 13, 2015, 02:55 PM   #13
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I think the "problem" this is designed to address is not that there are too many unnecessary police shootings, but that there are too many people who automatically want to label legitimate shootings as unnecessary. Its all about PR. Do bad shootings happen? Yes. Do cops sometimes draw and fire their sidearms when there are still non-lethal options available? I'm sure it happens. But they are the extreme minority. The people marketing this product are trying to make a buck by inflating the issue to make it seem like there is a need for a "solution," but the reality is that altering a lethal weapon to become a non-lethal weapon solves nothing. Guns are lethal for a reason, and when a LEO needs a sidearm to defend his or her life, or the lives of innocent civilians, that is not the time to have some contraption attached to it that makes it less effective for its intended use. Batons, pepper spray, tazers, even a dedicated beanbag gun are all reasonable gear, but so is a gun that shoots honest to goodness bullets. I see nothing but potential problems arising from this product.
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Old February 13, 2015, 03:54 PM   #14
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A really stupid idea. One that the manufacturers hope will be legislated into existence- very much like "microstamping."
If you can convince inept lawmakers that your idea is good, and they pass laws requiring it, and you hold the patent.....well, you get the idea.
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Old February 13, 2015, 05:49 PM   #15
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I saw something about this device on a network news show, and I apologize that I can't remember which one. I remember thinking that the price was reasonable, but that was about the only good thing about it. It installs loose enough for the bullet to knock it off and send it downrange, so it won't stay on in the holster. The user has to draw then mount the device, causing both a delay and risk of shooting himself in the hand. Utterly useless, but the Ferguson police department was said to have ordered them. I wish I was kidding.
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Old February 13, 2015, 07:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailGator View Post
Utterly useless, but the Ferguson police department was said to have ordered them. I wish I was kidding.
Because that would've solved the issue that occurred... . Maybe there's 1 scenario this device would save a life. Any conceivable scenario of the Ferguson incident is not it. I can't begin to conceive the logic behind that purchase.
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Old February 13, 2015, 08:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailGator
Utterly useless, but the Ferguson police department was said to have ordered them. I wish I was kidding.
The article says Ferguson is "considering" buying the system:

Quote:
The maker of a gun attachment called The Alternative has just wrapped up his company’s first-ever police training for the device, with the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, which is considering buying it, six months after a police officer shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
I suspect this company will be bankrupt in less than 1 year
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Old February 13, 2015, 10:46 PM   #18
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I just can't understand this. To my mind, shooting is equal to killing. If you are not willing to kill you should not shoot.
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Old February 14, 2015, 10:57 AM   #19
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A firearm is not a deterrent nor a threat. If you are drawing your firearm it to use DEADLY force against a threat. Not scare the threat, not a warning shot. Deadly force.

There are tasers, pepper spray, bean bag rounds etc for less lethal use of force. This is a foolhardy product capitalizing on the hysteria surrounding a couple current events in this country. I really hope that police forces don't fall for this or buy it to help assuage the hurt feelings of the public.
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Old February 14, 2015, 11:13 AM   #20
teeroux
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So the idea is to use less lethal force by shooting suspects with a device that depends on a deadly bullet to function?! That could never go wrong.
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Old February 15, 2015, 03:41 PM   #21
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You've got to be kidding . . . what's next, a book with a binding on both edges so you can't open it up and read what's on the inside . . because it might be offensive or contain information that someone else might not agree with? Just another example of how far things have gone and the total lack of common sense there is out there . . .
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Old February 15, 2015, 05:53 PM   #22
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If it works as intended, it goes to show how surface area of projectiles are inversely proportional to energy and sectional density.

The larger the surface area is, the more magnified the energy and sectional density of a projectile has to be in order to overcome the large surface area.

This is why these retarded 9mm vs 45acp discussions make no sense, because there is no practical difference in millimeters when energy and sectional density are similar.

A 8.5in bowling ball weighing 13lbs and traveling at 45fps creates 556joules of energy with a sectional density of 0.18.

A 45acp ball round weighing 230gr and traveling at 850fps creates 502joules of energy with a sectional density of 0.162.

Which is more lethal?
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Old February 15, 2015, 07:07 PM   #23
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If I could throw a bowling ball 30 mph, and could carry 10 or 15 of them concealed, it might be an option. It is still very deadly.
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Old February 15, 2015, 11:22 PM   #24
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For some time there has been a movement in the U.S. to disarm the police, either completely, or at least to prohibit use of lethal weapons. IMHO, this is just another part of that idea. The argument goes that as soon as non-lethal weapons are available for medium distance use, police will be required to give up their conventional firearms.

Some folks urge total disarmament of the police, arguing that gentle persuasion and the majesty of the law are sufficient to stop criminals and prevent crime.

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Old February 16, 2015, 12:23 PM   #25
Nakanokalronin
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They already have bean bag rounds for shotguns,tasers,pepper spray and ASPs to be "less than lethal" If they're drawing their sidearm it's not a "less than lethal" situation.
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