While I’m sure 9 out of 10 rioters prefer being shot with a rubber bullet over a regular one, there’s nothing pleasant about being hit by a small object going a couple hundred miles per hour. And at close range, “non-lethal” ammo can easily be just as lethal as something made to kill. Lund Technologies, in a Defense-funded project, has proposed a new weapon system that uses hydrogen gas to propel its projectiles (that’s a lot of “pro”s), and implements a rangefinder to determine the distance to the target, and adjusts the thrust accordingly.
The idea, I suppose, would be to incapacitate the target but not permanently. Because wars are more frequently being fought by small forces inside cities (as opposed to thousands and thousands in large battlefields), civilians are in constant danger from stray bullets. Of course, no one wants to catch stray fire of any kind, but if I had to take a shot to the leg, I’d rather it was a rubber round going just fast enough to hurt like hell, and not a 7.62mm meant to go straight through me.
It’s still in the early stages right now, but with any luck they’ll be deployed before the next time I take it to the streets.