It's midnight. You're a cop patrolling the wrong side of town when you spot a mugging. The assailant is about 40 feet away, out of range of your stun gun. You shout, but he darts down an alley. It's a dead end. The crook picks up a bottle, hurls it at your head, and makes a break for the street. You draw your gun.
And so goes the "capability gap," one of the trickiest situations in law enforcement. For an officer in the field, this is a danger zone spanning 35 to 65 feet in which an assailant is beyond the range of Tasers and yet near enough to throw a deadly object, pushing an officer one step closer toward the use of deadly force. "Plain and simple, we need a less lethal option that works within throwing range," says Sid Heal, a retired commander with the Los Angeles sheriff's department and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense.
That's where the Extended Range Electronic Projectile, or XREP, comes in. Unlike Taser's conventional stun gun, which shoots tethered probes up to 35 feet to deliver an incapacitating jolt, the company's new XREP is a 12-gauge wireless projectile that can be fired up to 100 feet from any pump-action shotgun. It sails through the air like a normal slug yet induces muscle paralysis on impact. "It takes everything that's a Taser and puts it in a slug-like device," Heal says.
Logistically, the biggest engineering challenge was miniaturization. With a Taser, two probes attach to the assailant, arcing up to 50,000 volts of electricity, enough to penetrate clothing. The XREP, on the other hand, uses just 500 volts to allow for smaller circuitry. Instead of arcing the current, it sends it directly into the body via barbed electrodes that pierce the skin. Lead XREP engineer Mark Hanchett says the key isn't so much the voltage but the waveform. The current, shaped to mimic electrical signals in the body, jams the nervous system. "The waveform is the secret sauce," he says.
Since its debut last year, the XREP has been fired successfully four times in the line of duty. Taser is now working on a grenade version for the Department of Defense that will be capable of launching up to 200 feet. That tricky capability gap? Consider it bridged.
Design Highlights on the Electronic Shotgun Slug
Nose: On impact, four electrified barbs on the nose of the projectile hook into the skin, delivering a small, localized shock across a six-inch area. This is merely a prelude to the bigger shock that will soon follow. The force of the impact breaks a series of pins that allow the projectile's chassis to separate from the nose and dangle downward from a live copper wire.
Barbs: If the assailant fails to grab the wire to complete the circuit, six longer barbs on the projectile can also penetrate the skin. With the plastic sheathing removed on impact, the half-inch electrodes—called "chollas," after a fierce cactus plant native to Arizona's Sonoran Desert—pop out like spikes and swing into the body.
Hand Trap: The assailant's natural instinct is to grab the dangling wire and rip out the barbs, but the wire is pulsing with current—touching it allows electricity to flow from the first set of electrodes in the nose of the projectile to the assailant's hand, which contracts from the shock and squeezes tight around the wire so he can't let go. Electricity now freely flows through his body, causing about 20 seconds of paralysis.
Fins: When the slug leaves the shotgun, three fins deploy from its tail, helping the projectile stay on track as it sails up to 100 feet toward its target.
Transformer: This converts energy from the battery to discharge 1.3 milliamps of current for 20 seconds. The power is relatively weak; in comparison, a wall outlet delivers about 20 amps. More important is the way the current propagates and interacts with electrical signals in the body. "If you get the waveform right, you can overwhelm the nervous system," says Taser engineer Mark Hanchett.
Microprocessor: Once the circuit is complete, an onboard computer commands the voltage capacitor to fire, modulating the intensity, duration and shape of the current.
Power: Two lithium batteries power the microprocessor and electrical circuitry.
Shell: The circuitry is potted inside shock-absorbing plastic to ensure that it survives the force of the shotgun blast and collision with the target.
Awesome!, new jackass episodes here we come! :D
Before an criminal loving liberals jump on here an comment on how this is dangerous and could hurt people. Stop! This is for police to use instead of a GUN. This a awesome technology that will SAVE LIVES. Well done Tazer, well done.
Now I fully expect some remarks defending liberalism.
This technology is awesome and will save lives and I totally agree that criminals get too much public defense when it comes to the less lethal weapons. What people are really complaining about is the cop that is on a power trip anyway and shouldn't be a police officer in the first place, the one who pulls this out when someone doesn't have their insurance card or when a granny doesn't understand him. Really you shouldn't argue about the technology just its implementation but there will always be people who think getting rid of the weapon all together will solve the problem; What ever happened to night sticks? Those were less lethal.
this will save lives no doubt, i just want to know what they did to keep it from becoming an actual shotgun slug that's more likely to go through a person, than a disruptive no hands taser.
@ghost What did they do to keep it from becoming an actual shotgud slug? They only gave it enough propellant (i.e. gunpowder) for it to go ~100 feet. And since the entire projectile is the same size as a 12 gauge shell, it is not likely that it will blow a hole through anyone. Note that slugs and shot from a 12 gauge are more compact, thus delivering more force per impact.
@Aliasless, The new nightstick is the MagLight... Those things hurt more; I know personally.
In some country some models of taser, are used as torture.
Thats the problem, this is a shotgun, is more likely to be used right...
From the torquing that occurs from the fins for stabilization, I wonder how painful it would be when it rips into your flesh and tries to keeping spinning those long, sharp prongs. God, I imagine that would be more painful than even removing those fish-hook barbs found in regular Tasers.
some shotguns are smooth bore which means no rifling so little to no spin. the fins might be just to stabilize the slug like airplane wings and tail or fins on a rocket. But if it is spinning as it comes out the mussel and as it hits the assailant what is keeping the tasers from hitting and ripping out taking skin with it. ouch
or the torque from the spin is what beaks the pins holding the batters and housing the live wire letting the main mass continue to spin leaving the head with the probes in the person
flstick137 still less painful than a 9mm, .40, .45, or .38 slug......Or maybe not, becuase you won't be around long enough to really feel it.
Very very innovative. I wonder if the parts of the shells are re-usable.
I'm very curious as to how much each round costs. It has an "on board computer" and "Two lithium batteries", these will definitly cost more than lead.
I'm very curious as to how much each round costs. It has an "on board computer" and "Two lithium batteries", these will definitely cost more than lead.
@marcopolo1613 They may very well cost significantly more than lead, but when you look at the cost of a lethal shootout versus a TASER shootout... it's probably well worth it.
This seems like a positive step, but it may be a little much to assume the capability gap dead and gone. Keep in mind the time and money spent by the Israeli government to develop nonlethal weapons, such as rubber bullets, which ended up proving that there is no weapon can completely avoid lethality. I suppose we'll see how this one works out. The puncture wounds from those slugs might be nasty though, so lets hope that not too many crooked cops will take advantage of these.
I'm sure that being hit with one of those slugs will leave a nice little bruise and some painful puncture marks but, it's much easier to treat than a bullet wound. Imma firing my TAZORS!
Very sleek, but also very technical (and thus, fragile). I wouldn't want to have to trust that shell after much abuse to fire and impliment correctly. Also, there is a signifigant fire and wait time - if I'm firing, I want to know the affect of my hit quickly so I know when to keep firing.
Would you risk stacking these in a shotgun, or are they load and fire? Would you put live rounds behind them?
I'm all for shotguns for law enforcement, but they are not common there (apart from carriage guns in the trunk or side-seat). That is a good deal of weight to carry around. If you replace the side arm, however, to compensate for weight, you have the problem of actually leathal cops.
The odds of you taking a 45 or 9mm and surviving are very high. Particularly when the guy shooting you is an officer and likely already has medical help on the way. Odds of surviving a 12g slug or shot load is much less.
That said, there is already a less leathal round for the 12g - 8 shot. Not leathal, but a few hours of having little chunks of lead pulled out of your skin and fat will make you wish it was.
Imagine taking that in the back of the head, yowza. Whats wrong with a good ol bean bag gun?
if the electrical signals jam the nervous system what if you hit the spine or somewhere dirctly conected to the brain, would the persons brain shut down?
I think using a pistol woul work if the shell brakes apart in the air relesing some wires conected to a small power source.
Saw this a year ago at CES in Vegas. Awesome tool. Hope the people using it remember that it's LESS lethal, non NON-lethal. People die every year from Taser deployments. Just happened near my home in Southern Utah last year.
How do I know when some Guy breaks into my house whether this thing is fully charged and ready? I know my 12gauge slug is always ready!!!!
I just don't get it. A police officer is going to carry a pistol, a Taser, and now add a shotgun? Maybe they should be issued a pack mule as well.
I have a family full of cops and 100% against drugs!
I remember a black woman in Baltimore city being hit with a Tazer and dying from it.
Ive met cops several times defending Tazers.
But BLACK PEOPLE AND THE HOMELESS(whatever their race) HAVE A HIGH INCIDENCE TO diabetes AND HEART DISEASE.
A TASER TO SOMEONE WITH HEART DISEASE IS SURELY LETHAL!!!
I read about a cop hitting a guy on the ground with a taser repeatedly apparently because he wouldnt put his hands on his head or whatever. It killed him.
About a year or 2 ago, I read about a naked mentally ill guy in New York city who climbed out on a ledge, about 10-20ft up. Cops came, they called in a inflatable ballon impact bag whatever its called in case he fell. Instead of waiting for it to arrive, the CO on the scene ordered the officer to fire the taser. The mental guy prophetically told one of the cops if you shoot me with that youre gonna die too.
NOW HOW ARE YOU GONNA SHOOT SOMEONE ON A LEDGE WITHOUT SUFFICIENT CUSHOIN FOR IMPACT AND EXPECT THEM NOT TO FALL AND EXPECT THEM TO LIVE???
He fired the taser. The man of course went into convulsions from the shock; of course; and the man fell of course. I think he flipped when he fell, maybe falling on his head; and he died; of course.
2 weeks later, I read about the CO from the story who in the precinct locker room commited suicide. Prophetic words fullfilled. He shouldve listened to reason.
I guess in the right situation a Taser could be a good thing; but I read about so much abuse.
I'm pretty sure Sam Fisher has had this technology for years...
@ seanovandonovan-- so the answer is what? use a real gun that is almost sure to kill? yea brilliant. shut up, this is made to save lives
Sorry meant to leave this message right after the last one.
Whats wrong with pepper spray??? It works and is def not lethal. also Shotgun bean bags.
The Indian pepper Bhut Jolokia was declared the world's hottest pepper by Guiness. It is something like 100-1000 times hotter than a jalapeno.
Now the Indian government is going to "weaponize" it. They are going to make it into grenades. Mace would also work.
A shotgun shell filled with bhut jolokia.
In Hindi Bhut means big.
Assuming jalapenos make your nose run, an Indian guy at the supermarket said regarding the Bhut Jolokia: "it will send you running like a freight train".
Reminds me of the pulse wave myotron with its specific waveform mimicking electric signals in the body. Anyone remember the Black Widow? If I recall, there was a DARPA program years ago where they were researching how to modulate the myotron beam on an ionized path like an ultraviolet laser into order to make a "phaser" of sorts. I wonder what happened to that?
What next... Taser bombs.