Africa Aerospace & Defense 2014

Fast machine gun goes less lethal [AAD141]

17 September 2014

Less Lethal Africa (Hangar 4, Stand B10), a leader in the manufacture of rubber bullets and plastic cases for less lethal ammunition, recently fired its ammunition through the Dillon Minigun, which, said CEO Donald Rickard, “met and exceeded all expectations. Gun owners now have a less lethal option without needing any conversion of the weapon”.

The Dillon Aero M134D Minigun is a 7.62mm, six-barrelled, electrically driven machine gun, which fires an amazing 50 rounds/second. Another new product is the new 12ga Double Ball, which is fired out of a pump shotgun.

The South African company, whose rubber bullets are manufactured in South Africa through its associated company, Republic Arms (Pty) Ltd at Jeppestown, and elsewhere for worldwide distribution, is taking advantage of a growing aversion to the use of lethal force, no matter how outrageous the provocation. The new objective is to keep lawbreakers alive while making an arrest.

Although described as ‘less lethal’, the company points out that if used incorrectly, its ammunition can cause serious injury, even death, and should be employed only by persons specifically trained in its use. At the same time, some penetration is accepted as ‘less lethal’. The clay test at 20m should have average penetration of less than 60mm.

Less Lethal Africa’s range for its ammunition or rubber bullets is a minimum of 20m, although it is recommended that shooting start at 50m or even longer. Even at 20m, hitting energy is not high, and at more than 50m potential wrongdoers are most likely to run away when being fired upon, but are not at risk of serious injury at that distance.

“The same result is true for Less Lethal Africa’s 762 fired from the Dillon M134D Minigun. It is accurate and reliable at 20m, but there is little energy left in the bullets at 50m. This is a function of the bullets and a safety feature. You are not going to do damage beyond 50m,” said Rickard.

(325 words)