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Development of Standard for Less-lethal Kinetic Energy Rounds

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2007
7 pages
The goal of this research was to initiate a process by which kinetic-energy munitions can be evaluated, i.e., to establish the framework for the development of a standard.
Kinetic-energy munitions are used in law enforcement and military "peace-keeping" missions. These munitions use kinetic energy to transfer an incapacitating force with a ballistic impact. The goal of such munitions is to persuade an unwilling party to comply with lawful authority without the use of lethal force. Unfortunately, fatalities and severe non-fatal injuries have occurred. This report describes progress to date on the development of a standard for kinetic-energy munitions. As part of the suggestions for an initial standard, key areas have been identified, including round accuracy and the risk of trauma (blunt and penetrating). The evaluation of potential testing surrogates is the next critical step for an ongoing study. Key considerations will include applicability and feasibility of the testing techniques. Testing will be conducted to determine whether a proposed methodology will provide the expected results. Various surrogates have been identified for use in a possible standard. A new system for monitoring deflection in the surrogates, called Rib Eye, has also been identified. This system uses a non-contact technique for monitoring displacement and replaces the current mechanical devices. Any additional experimental work that must be conducted will be evaluated under a separate contract that will include the risk of eye penetration, evaluation of causation of known fatalities, and the potential review of new technologies that may be deployed by civilians. The description of the process thus far encompasses the initial meeting at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (December 2005), the end-user meeting Technical Work Group - Less Lethal (April 2006), and the manufacturer meeting (November 2006). 1 figure and 1 reference

Date Published: September 1, 2007