6 "Non-Lethal" Weapons That'll Make You Wish You Were Dead

#3. Taser XREP (aka Electrified Shotgun Shells)

The problem with a Taser is that you've got to be pretty close to make it work, about 20 feet or so. A number of companies are racing to fix that problem, developing non-lethal bullets that can hit you with rib-shattering force from a distance, and then deliver an electric shock just to rub it in. Because you can never be to careful when it comes to hippies and protesters.

Once again leading the charge is Taser International, the company you may remember from such YouTube videos as Don't Tase Me Bro. They've developed their Taser XREP, a shotgun round that hits you, sticks to your body, and delivers a 20-second shock while you writhe on the ground.

Why It Won't Kill You:

It operates on the same principle as the supposedly-safe Taser (the XREP is basically just a Taser that can be fired from a further distance and without the need for a connecting wire). If used properly the Taser won't do any lasting damage (according to Taser International and the police anyway. Human rights groups have a slightly different view).

Why You'll Wish it Had:

Fun fact: Tasers are named after Tom Swift, the adolescent adventurer from the Tom Swift novels (it stands for "Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle ), which is something you can think on while you curl up in the fetus position, muscles convulsing and contracting involuntarily, nerve endings screaming out in pain.

And that's assuming you're capable of thought after being hit by an electric bullet, you may just be instinctively clutching at the electrode darts impaled in your lower back but which you can't quite reach because a cop's knee is on your arm and his foot's in your face.

Or, maybe you can console yourself with the fact that it didn't hit you in the eye.

#2. The Pulsed Energy Projectile (aka Magic Missile)

The Pulsed Energy Projectile (PEP) used to be called the Pulsed Impulsive Kill Laser, before they toned it down for PR reasons (and because the acronym is basically "pickle"). It's mounted on a truck, plane or helicopter and fires an invisible laser pulse at a target.

On impact the pulse creates exploding plasma, which is exactly as painful as it sounds. It's like having five flash grenades strapped to your head and then exploded at once.

Why It Won't Kill You:

The PEP sounds like it should kill you, what with the whole "expanding ball of plasma" thing. Also, according to a Department of Defense document, it can "literally chew through target material."

However, while the weapon can be modified to kill people, the developed version won't, assuming it's used responsibly. And there is, of course, no reason at all to assume soldiers in a war zone or police officers in the middle of a violent riot would ever use it any other way. Ever.

Why You'll Wish it Had:

A document obtained by an anti- biological weapons pressure group revealed that the weapons contract between the Office of Naval Research and the University of Florida (who apparently develop weapons now) called for researchers to find the "optimal pulse parameters to evoke peak nociceptor activation" or, in other words, the best way to inflict absolute maximum ball-crushing pain on a target's nervous system.

The expanding plasma created by the PEP triggers nerve cells and can create unpleasant stimuli, such as heat or cold. A fine tuned PEP could create the sensations of being burned, frozen or dipped in acid- all without causing any actual visible harm.

All this is on top of the fact that a 2003 US Naval Studies Board found the PEP produced temporary paralysis as well as pain. Or perhaps that's just the body trying to figure out what the fuck has just happened to it.

#1. The Vortex Ring Gun (aka The Fart Gun)

The vortex ring gun works by creating a cone-shaped pocket of supersonic pressurized air. When this hits the target (Read: hippie) it should knock him over.

Wait, that's not the best part.

A chemical, like an incapacitating agent or a malodorant (a bad, choking smell) is also injected into the air pocket. So it's basically a powerful, bad smelling wind that will knock you of your feet. Yes, it's like having Robocop fart you over.

Why It Won't Kill You:

In demonstrations the weapon has knocked down a 160-pound mannequin from a distance of 10 meters, and is believed to be effective from up to twice that range. Getting knocked over isn't going to kill anybody, right? Not unless you're standing on the edge of a building. And what's so bad about a little stench on the side?

Why You'll Wish it Had:

Malodorants are actually pretty freaking awful. It isn't just a bad smell, it's a chemical weapon that induces nausea, gagging and vomiting. It's also possible that Malodorant's violate current chemical weapons bans with many believing that "Malodorant's do have a physiological effect and toxicity is not limited to lethality."

We're not sure what that means exactly, but you should probably stay away from anything that has a "physiological effect" and "toxicity", regardless of what it's "limited to."

In case those non-life-ending weapons didn't scare you enough, check out The 35 Most Insane Halloween Costumes from Around the World. Or find out what the military does with its time when not developing pants-soiling technology in The 10 Most Bizarre Military Experiments.

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