Saturday, June 5, 2010

"Less Lethal" Weapons

You can see the commandos with their "paintball guns" with the gravity loaders trying to shoot at the seamen. Iron pipes 20 - Paintball guns 0

When I heard about the botched raid on the ship my Israeli commandos using "paintball guns" that caught my attention. Apart from the infamous video of the commandos getting whacked by 20-30 guys with iron pipes. picked up on an article on Popular Mechanics website on Israel's "Less Lethal" arsenal. At the top of the list is the ubiquitous "paintball gun"

Popular Mechanics
June 2, 2010 1:03 PM

When Israeli commandos launched their assault on ships bound for Gaza on Monday, the plan was to take them without bloodshed. It was a tall order, but after decades of conflict the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has built up a comprehensive arsenal of "less lethal" weapons, many of them developed indigenously. These cover everything from controlling large crowds to subduing individuals. However, technology has so far failed to deliver a Star Trek–styled phaser that is both completely harmless and perfectly effective. Each type of weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses. And as the botched raid shows, smart tactical use of such weapons is essential or everything can go tragically wrong.

Paintball Guns
The commandos of Flotilla 13, Israel's equivalent of the SEALs, were armed with paintball guns. This was an unusual use for paintballing gear, but not unique. For crowd control, paintballs are usually replaced with solid rubber slugs or rounds that break apart and release a cloud of pepper dust. Standard paintball guns do not produce enough impact force to deter a motivated opponent; the U.S. military prefers the FN303 launcher, which has twice the muzzle energy. In this case, the paintballs do not seem to have been effective.

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