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NIJ Takes the RAP

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This article describes a nonlethal law enforcement device called the ring airfoil projectile (RAP).

Developed originally in the late 1960s by Abraham Flatau, an aeronautical engineer who worked for the U.S. Army, the RAP was produced by the Army in the 1970s but was never used. Two versions of the RAP were developed: the sting RAP and the soft RAP. Both types involve a 2-inch diameter rubber ring banded with a special paper wrapper. The soft RAP also includes 18 cavities embedded with tear gas designed to release on impact. Neither version is lethal and will not break bones, even when fired at point blank range. During the 1990s, Lt. Col. Matt Begert discovered the RAP while researching nonlethal weapons for military use. Flatau and Begert soon partnered to bring the RAP to the law enforcement and corrections industries. The RAP is currently being tested by three agencies: The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Date Published: January 1, 1998