“Killer Market” For Non-Lethal Ammunition?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Although the headline at marketwatch.com proclaims Killer Market: Growing Demand for Non-Lethal Ammunition, the correct term is less lethal ammunition. None of the companies selling so-called “blunt impact projectiles” use the N-word, or suggest that firing one (or more) of their rounds at a human is guaranteed to be non-lethal. (Lest we forget, beanbags can kill.) But the less-lethal industry is saying that their ammo is handier than a TASER and less politically messy than firing actual bullets at actual people. Yeah, that political thing. That’s key . . .

The non-lethal weapons market is expected to grow from $5.2 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion by 2020, according to Markets and Markets, driven by the rise in protests in emerging markets and a string of high-profile police shootings in developed markets like the United States.

The Associated Press reports that more than 20 North American cities are testing new less-lethal alternatives to bullets – called “blunt impact projectiles” – that cause excruciating pain without killing the target. For example, Security Devices International Inc. SDEV, -1.52% a defense technology company, hired Micron Products Inc. to make rubber-bullet alternatives with silicone heads that expand and flatten upon impact.

According to the report, sixteen law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and six in Canada have purchased the projectiles, including SWAT units in Los Angeles and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. The agencies see the new ammunition as a way to bridge the gap between TASER International Inc.’s TASR, -0.50% devices and their service weapons as a way to bring down targets without risking major injury and the ensuing legal implications.

Good luck with that whole “wait, which ammo am I firing?” challenge. The idea that less lethal ammunition somehow protects the police from excessive force lawsuits (if not wrongful death lawsuits) is also on shaky ground. Still, we’re talking investments here! Less lethal weapons don’t have to be perfect, just profitable. Besides the less lethal firearms industry knows a place where those concerns are not such a concern . . .

[Lamperd Less Lethal Inc.] has spent a lot of time drumming up interest in the launchers and its other products at international security trade shows and other events. Through these venues, the company has seen a lot of interest among large governmental customers, including several in the Middle East. Landing just one of these multi-million dollar contracts could make a big impact on the stock that trades with a market cap of less than $5 million.

In the end, non-lethal weapons and ammunition continue to grow in popularity as governments look to control protests and law enforcement looks to avoid unintentional deaths and the legal implications that follow. Companies like Lamperd Less Lethal are uniquely positioned to capitalize on both of these opportunities with their crowd control launchers and non-lethal ammunition that could create recurring revenue opportunities.

You in?


  1. avatar Ralph says:

    So I’m supposed to use a less lethal weapon against a BG who is trying to use a more lethal weapon against me.

    Why, that hardly seems fair, does it?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Well, of course it is! You, personally, have been keeping that poor, misunderstood child down for the past 500 years, he now *deserves* some payback!

      Yeah, I’m not going to give it to him, either.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        In my neighborhood, that poor downtrodden child is most likely to be white. But he and his buddies will bleed red.

        1. avatar WedelJ says:

          If it’s a white kid, don’t worry. A local homeowner defending his house against an youth home invader doesn’t make the news cycle if the kid isn’t a minority.

  2. avatar SpecialK says:

    If there was such a thing as less lethal ammo which gave me the same probability of a stop as lethal ammo, I would be all in. It would also be neat to have lunch with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. Federal HST for me, and 00 buck in the Mossberg.

  3. avatar Scrubula says:

    Aside from shotgun shells that break bones without piercing the skin I see no potential market for less lethal projectiles except for political purposes.

    And riot control. But if people are smashing the doors of your home/business down I think using anything besides normal bullets would be stupid.

  4. avatar Bigdiogi says:

    Shouldn’t that headline read, “Non-killer Market…”?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      If they’re going to try to sell their stuff to me, the headline should read “Non-Killer Non-Market.”

  5. avatar Anon in CT says:

    I have a cop friend who tells me that the ARWEN is pretty good against the knife-weilding guy who is high on PCP. Like any tool, there are appropriate and inappropriate uses.


  6. avatar Fred says:

    People want what they can’t have.
    I think politicians in particular are keen on the idea of non-lethal weapons up until they are given options. Then these are passed over for official use and get regulated to hell. Without a public or military market to provide the extra millions needed for development, the venue doesn’t really exist.
    No bucks, no Buck Rodgers.

  7. avatar David says:

    Maybe someday there will be viable non-lethals, but most of these seem like they would have labels stating something along the lines of, “prolonged exposure may lead to inflammation, and irritation.”

  8. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Am I the only one that thinks that stupid plastic gun thing looks like a big plastic fish? Between that and the clown nose thing, if the bad guy should die laughing at the cop, would that be called lethal farce? Could the cops be sued for inflicting lethal humor on the poor victim?

  9. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Am I the only one that thinks that stupid plastic gun thing looks like a big plastic fish? Between that and the clown nose thing, if the bad guy should die laughing at the cop, would that be called lethal farce? Could the cops be sued for inflicting lethal humor on the poor victim?

  10. avatar Seth says:

    The best reason I can think of for less lethal ammo is to protect bystanders who might get hit when officers spray bullets at a bad guy and so few actually hit their target.

  11. avatar HolmiumST says:

    The most less lethal less-lethal weapon I know is a crowd control EM gun, It shoots Electralmagnetic pulse that reacts with nerve system to create a burning sensation in the target’s brain without causing physical or visible injury to the target. It’s quite intriguing.

    1. avatar Jordan says:

      FYI for all: That “EM device” was the second device shown in the video at the beginning right after that rusty cannon looking device. It is indeed very cool, or hot depending on which end of it you are on.

  12. avatar jandrews says:

    Less lethal options have their place. The important thing is that we do not allow them to be considered *acceptable in place of more lethal options*.

    There is no substitute for a firearm in a situation that demands a firearm.

  13. avatar Lee says:

    I wouldnt take anything published on marketwatch serious.

  14. The findings show the officer was killed because he fumbled his magazine while switching from non lethal rounds to his JHP rounds in an effort to save his life do to a perp who was high on flakka.

  15. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

    Can you get a less lethal 9 mm round? Or.38 magnum? I would be in the market.

  16. avatar Ulla Lauridsen says:

    Forgot to notify

  17. The “less lethal” rounds are for police since they kill more people every year not to mention shooting 80 rounds and only making one hit. Pass the word. mrpresident2016.com

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