What, Exactly, Is Being Shot At Protesters in Ferguson?

Aug 15 2014

The black cylinder on top is a .60 cal Stinger made by Defense Technology. Here’s a description from the company:

This StingerĀ® 37 mm 60-Caliber Round has a 8 in. casing and contains approximately 42 60-Caliber rubber balls. It utilizes black powder as the propellant which will usually disperse the rubber balls in wider patterns than its 40 mm counterpart. The StingerĀ® 37 mm 60-Caliber Round is most widely used as a crowd management tool by Law Enforcement and Corrections. This 37 mm round has a velocity of 250 fps/76 mph and has a maximum effective range of 50 feet. It is most suitable at close to medium ranges of fire.

The metal canister pictured is also made by Defense Technology. I’m not 100-percent sure, but I think it’s a Triple Chaser Grenade. Here’s the summary on those bad boys:

The Triple-ChaserĀ® CS consists of three separate canisters pressed together with separating charges between each. When deployed, the canisters separate and land approximately 20 feet apart allowing increased area coverage in a short period of time. This grenade can be hand thrown or launched from a fired delivery system. The grenade is 6.5 in. by 2.7 in. and holds an approximately 3.2 oz. of active agent payload. It has an approximate burn time of 20-30 seconds.

Defense Technology is owned by Safariland. (Here’s some more background on Safariland.) In 2012, Safariland was sold to Warren B. Kanders who, according to the Rich Register, has a net worth in excess of $180-million. Defense Technology also makes an array of chemical projectiles and aerosols.

Defense Technology’s slogan is “We Are Your Force Option.” Not sure what that means, but it sounds tough.

Safariland’s slogan is “Together, We Save Lives.” Way more friendly.

Behold the 12-gauge Super Sock Beanbag Projectile made by the Pennsylvania-based and generically named company Combined Systems. Here’s the spec sheet. The company warns that “Shots to the head, neck, thorax, heart, or spine can result in fatal or serious injury.”

Here’s what The New York Times had to say about Combined Systems in 2012:

The company, which counts the Carlyle Group as an investor, describes itself as a “tactical weapons company” and has been accused by journalists and human rights groups of selling tear gas canisters and grenades to Arab governments.

Last year, Amnesty International said Combined Systems had shipped a total of 46 tons of ammunition, including “chemical irritants and riot control agents such as tear gas” to Egyptian security forces.

Good to know.

These are probably .40 mm wooden baton rounds. Defense Technology is one company that makes these, and here’s the spec sheet. They’re intended to be “skip fired,” which means that you shoot them at the ground in front of a person rather than directly at them. Though the company says they may “be direct fired at the discretion of the operator.” So fire them at the ground first unless you don’t want to.

When they’re fired at less than 30 feet away, getting hit with the projectile “may result in minor injuries.” I wonder how close they were when one of the wooden baton rounds struck this guy:

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