Electric Bullets Tested
As well as establishing the functionality of the ShockRounds(TM) Electro-Kinetic bullets, the demonstration confirmed that they can readily be fired from standard issue 37 mm smoothebore firearms from Federal Ordnance, Arwen, Defense Technology and H&K. The successful testing of the EK100 series of the ShockRounds(TM) Electro-Kinetic 37mm rounds took place at the Tucson Laboratory from 17 June to 21 June, 2005. The Electro-Kinetic (EK) series of ShockRounds(TM) less-lethal impact rounds is a hybrid kinetic/impact munition with a Piezo-ceramic element designed to provide increased effectiveness to officers in handling crowd disturbances at distance. Multiple tests were performed using fully functional EK prototype rounds fired from a smoothbore police issue 37mm firearm in order to verify the ShockRounds(TM) Electro-Kinetic projectile’s aerodynamic and ballistic characteristics during flight. Projectile orientation, propellant charge, gas checks and drag stabilisation were also evaluated, modified and then successfully tested throughout a range of distances and velocities. The prototype firings generated invaluable data that will be incorporated in the next series of ShockRounds(TM) Electro-Kinetic projectile tests. The EK100 series ShockRounds(TM) projectiles utilise a mass striker assembly that is centered in the bore of the projectile with a piezoelectric element in the nose of the round. Upon impact the striker system allows EK100 series projectiles to harvest the maximum voltage from the kinetic impact on the piezoelectric ceramic element with little influence from the target material. In addition to the launcher test firings, a series of over 120 separate static tests were made of different mass weight/striker combinations of the Electro-Kinetic ShockRounds(TM). The results of the static tests are being reduced to a statistical model to be used for further design modeling of piezoelectric materials and energisation performance in future ShockRounds(TM) production. The successful conclusion of this test series has proved the functionality of the initial ShockRounds(TM) design and more importantly proved that ShockRounds(TM) enabled ammunition can be fired and generate a charge from a standard issue firearm. The company’s CEO, Marshall Couper, said that the move toward less lethal methods of law enforcement is gaining momentum. “Our piezoelectric bullets are expected to significantly reduce officer injuries and even save lives by enabling law enforcement officers to more effectively control unruly crowds from a safer distance – outside of what is termed ‘the rock throwing range’- therefore safe from Molotov cocktails and other projectiles that are often thrown at them as has recently been witnessed even in Sydney Australia” he said. “Our ShockRounds technology, which can be incorporated into most types of ammunition, delivers an electric charge on impact which serves as a deterrent to riotous behaviour or other hostile activity. “While the worldwide market for less-lethal weapons is worth US$500 million annually, the bigger market and attraction for Harrington Group is the multi-billion dollar lethal ammunition market. The ShockRounds technology being developed for that market will introduce a new level of stopping power through the addition of electric shock capability,” Mr Couper said. The ShockRounds enabled lethal ammunition is also expected to save lives as the increased stopping power of ShockRounds is expected to result in less shots being fired in a confrontation, thereby reducing the risk to law enforcement officers as well as to bystanders.