South African company Less Lethal Africa (Hangar 4, Stand E8) manufactures rubber bullets for shotguns, rifles and pistols. Its 9mm rubber bullet offers the advantage of accuracy, as there is no recoil and less noise. “This avoids the problem of ‘shooter’s flinch’, which often occurs with conventional ammunition,” said chief executive Donald Rickard.
“Police armed with less-lethal 9mm rounds can stop crime with less lethal force.” He stated that the minimum safe range for its 12-gauge shotgun rubber bullets is 20m, but they recommend law enforcement officers start shooting at 50m as a tactic to ensure crowds disperse or criminals stop their behaviour when fired upon. “Using rubber bullets effectively at such a distance will cause a bruise but likely no fatalities.”
Another innovation from Less Lethal Africa is a conversion carrier and bolt group that allows for full auto fire. The 5.56LLA x 45mm rubber bullet fires full or semi-auto out of an M-4 rifle. The conversion group turns the rifle action into blow-back. This is essential because less-lethal ammunition does not produce enough pressure to cycle a firearm’s action.
The company’s products are recyclable and with the high cost of lead clean-ups, trainers are increasingly turning to its rubber bullet products, which are also comparatively more accurate than previous less-lethal options.