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Posted: 4/1/2002 6:02:23 AM EDT
Hey Bros, I need a launcher primarily for shooting Less Lethal rounds such as bean bags, foam baton, etc. with gas being a possible secondary use. I will be mounting to an M4 Barrel. Does anyone have any experience/input on this?
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 10:14:35 AM EDT
We have been looking into the same thing. Look at the 40 mm also. Alot of "gas" can be purchased in 37/40 mm and will work for both. Also, Masterkey makes a mount to put a cut down 12 ga. under an AR-15 for special rounds like breaching and less lethal.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 3:06:07 AM EDT
Most of the 37mm launchers designed to mount M203-style are not rated for anything except flares. It is not safe to fire beanbags or gas through these launchers. 37mm is considered (along with 12-Gauge) to be a "legacy" less-lethal round; it is obsolete but still in service until better technology comes around. M203s run about 2 grand (sorry) and their sighting systems are designed to lob military long distances, not to accurately hit point targets in close, which is what you would be doing with beanbag and stinger rounds. If you are going to spend that much, you can get a multi-shot Def Tech launcher with a holosight, and get pinpoint accuracy. There is also the matter of tactics; you really can't switch between the two systems (less-lethal and lethal) quickly enough to change your mode of operation in time to make a difference. You should have an officer designed for less-lethal cover, armed with whatever systems are available, or multiple officers armed with different systems. They should be covered by officers armed with appropriate lethal weapons systems.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 1:26:24 PM EDT
I've thought about the M203 style rifle too. I found out that a lot of the "ammo" that it on the market (less lethal etc) won't work in the guns I could afford. I'm not interested in taking the liability of loading my own duty rounds so it pretty well killed the project. Buzz
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 5:09:52 PM EDT
Another thing to consider with the underbarrel 37mm's is that longer barricade rounds will not be able to load, as the barrel does not slide forward enough for the long rounds to fit. Also, my experience has been that the 37mm beanbags may hit hard, but they're not nearly as accurate as 12 ga, or better yet, the 12 ga sock rounds. Another thing to think about is the DPMS launcher. It's an upper that uses your AR lower, is a break action, and is rated for 37mm gas (when I called and checked). Be at least an option. What reasons do you want it mounted to your rifle? Or can you use the 37mm as a seperate arm?
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 7:04:06 AM EDT
I appreciate the input guys! Let me share the thought process that I was working with that got me on this in the first place. My concern is not as much with the known situations where the deployment of the less-lethal stuff comes into play. Natez is right, there should be a cover officer and a L-L officer together in those situations. My concern is the unknown and/or unplanned situation that just falls in your lap that you don't have time to go through the call up routine. In looking at what is out there, My first inclination was the Masterkey system, but the Feds have managed to make that pretty tough to do. Ditto for 40mm systems. My admin won't approve, support or purchase BATF restricted systems. So I came to the 37mm as a last resort.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 9:25:21 AM EDT
My feeling is that you can't carry equipment to deal with every situation. If we did, we'd have gear, tasers, OC, hanging off of us from all over. However, we do carry a ton in the trunk. My personal opinion is that if you obtain a seperate 37mm launcher and keep it in the trunk, you will be reasonably equipped should you need it. An underbarrel one affects the balance and makes it a more awkward rifle to carry I think. The way my department does it, is that the 37mm launcher is kept in the SWAT van, so if needed one of the two gas guys have access. However, my shotgun has a pistolgrip buttstock so that if need be, my shotgun can be readily identiifed that it's can be assigned lesslethal, and all deputies are aware of this. (Some companies make these blaze orange, or other colors, but I don't care for these at all.). The majority of the bean bag rounds are carried also in the van, but recognizing that they might be needed before a callout, I was issued some for my squad (Some day we hope everyone to get issued them when funds allow). IF a situation falls into my lap along your lines, I feel that I can unload the lethal rounds in my shotgun enroute to the call, when I get there stuff my bean bags or socks in the tube, and go with a cover officer to the scene. I also carry a few rounds of 12 ga OC for car barricade or something similar. This theory seems to work for us, as if we need heavy hitters, then we have time for SWAT callouts. 37mm just seems way to inaccurate for beanbags when we tried them, and is used mostly for the gas deployment in structures. But you've gotta do what works best for you.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 11:41:50 AM EDT
Check out [url]http://www.37mm.com[/url]. You can find all the info you need there!
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 2:57:54 PM EDT
Our department only authorizes SWAT team members to carry/deploy beanbags (12 gauge). I am the only one on the team to use them so far and they functioned properly, although one of the rounds "slid" sideways and cut the suspect's leg. The suspect reacted in a text book fashion after the first round hit him in the solar plexis, but after he figured out he wasn't bleeding and there wasn't a hole in his gut, he kept fighting (after 5 more bean bags and later many baton strikes). The suspect was a 6'6" 280lb. Native American with a lengthy prison record for manslaughter (with his bare hands), assault on a police officer (and he ripped a K-9 off of his arm breaking the dog's jaw). I like the sock rounds better because they are less likely to penetrate. I carry an AR-15 and my sniper rifle in the car with me, so my 870 is a dedicated bean bag gun.
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