03/17/2010

Combustion-powered less lethal weapon coming soon

The Lund Variable Velocity Weapon will enable an operator to dial up from 200 fps to 450 fps in an array of existing projectiles

By Scott M. Bruner
PoliceOne Product Editor

It didn’t take long for the technology sector to get interested in the less lethal market. Lund Technologies is working to release what the innovative company says is the world’s first combustion-powered, less lethal weapon. The Lund Variable Velocity Weapon (LVVW) offers the operator the ability to adjust the velocity of a fired projectile.

"It meters a measured amount of combustible gas into the combustion chamber. It can meter different amounts of gas into the chamber, not unlike how you change the speed of your car with more or less fuel," Bruce Lund, founder and owner of Lund Technologies said. "This makes it possible to raise or lower the velocity of the projectile fired."

The LVVW is an evolution of Lund Technologies work with hydrogen combustion — the company has worked on a number of hydrogen concepts, from hobby rockets to lawnmowers.

Lund’s hydrogen work was discovered by an Illinois task force designed to identify new technologies that could be of use to industry or the government. They were quickly put in touch with the Department of Defense, which was intrigued enough by the technology and asked Lund to work on a variable-velocity less-lethal weapon.

Although DOD approved the further work, they asked Lund to move away from hydrogen, toward a more cost-effective, and commercial-viable fuel. MAPP gas is what powers the projectile shot from the LVVW.

"It can fire a number of different projectiles. The one we’ve been working with is a fin-stabilized paintball in use with the military. We were asked to build the system around existing projectiles, such as the FN 303, instead of developing our own," Lund said. "It can fire anything from the fin-stabilized paintball to any type of non-lethal sphere, including ones that produce a powder material on impact."

According to Lund, the main advantage of the LVVW for law enforcement is its versatility in the field. The velocity of the weapon can be adjusted from 200 fps to a maximum of 450 fps. The variable velocity allows the officer to be able to use it at short range at the lower setting and from a distance with a higher fps.

"With it, you can maintain the same impact and effect from the projectile – if you want to stop someone close you can, if you want to stop someone far away you can do that, too. Rubber bullets and TASERs can only function at a single distance. This gives an officer a greater control of the situation," Lund said.

It is also, unlike other projectile launchers which often require a large air compression tank, a fully-contained unit and the LVVW can fire up to 1,500 projectiles before the fuel container needs to be replaced.

Right now the LVVW exists solely as a prototype but Lund expects it to be ready for manufacture by the end of the year.

Lund Technologies, L.L.C. is an affiliate of Lund and Company Invention, L.L.C., an award-winning toy design and product invention company based in Chicago, IL.

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