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Test Methodologies for the Assessment of Less-Lethal Kinetic Energy Rounds

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2009
38 pages
This project used existing knowledge to develop a testing methodology for assessing less-lethal kinetic-energy munitions; and results from testing the use of these methodologies are presented in order to assist law enforcement agents in making informed decisions.
The results reported represent the most commonly used bean-bag style, kinetic-energy munitions used by law enforcement officers. This round style was selected due to its popularity among law enforcement and peace-keeping officers. The rounds are meant to be the first of many round types to be characterized by the testing methods. At a meeting held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on December 5, 2005, draft standards for both blunt and penetrating impacts were presented. A process previously followed by NIST was determined to be the appropriate path to follow. Following this process, the next step involved determining the requirements for kinetic-energy less-lethal devices. As part of the development of the proposed testing methodology, an evaluation of currently manufactured kinetic-energy munitions was conducted. Two key aspects of testing were proposed, including performance of the round and injury risk. The parameters evaluated include accuracy, precision, penetration, and the viscous criterion. The methodology for testing each of these features is described in detail. 17 tables, 3 figures, and appended draft National Institute of Justice less-lethal kinetic-energy test standard and individual round results

Date Published: March 1, 2009