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January 18, 2010
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Less Lethal with a Laser: The PepperBall SA-4 Launcher

New PepperBall offers laser guidance and portability

By Scott M. Bruner
PoliceOne Product Editor

When it comes to less lethal munitions for police officers, there’s quite a catalog to choose from, but the release of the PepperBall SA-4 Launcher raises the stakes.

The SA-4 launcher is the newest evolution in PepperBall's selection of pepper-spray launchers. Deviating from PepperBall's stock of carbine rifle launchers, the SA-4 is a handheld, 4-shot launcher meant to provide mobility in addition to hot pepper's effectiveness in establishing compliance.

"The feedback we got from police officers was that the carbines worked great but they wanted the PepperBall concept on a belt," Monte Scott, national sales and training director for PepperBall, said. "The SA-4 was designed so officers wouldn’t have to go back to their cruisers to get a launcher."

The SA-4 may only fire four shots, as opposed to its carbine brothers which can fire up to 200 rounds, but what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in impact. The velocity of a pepper projectile releases 20 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. The other thing that's different from other PepperBall launchers is that the regular launchers have two grams of PAVA powder while the SA-4 has 3.8 grams.

"The three components the SA-4 offers is the improved kinetic energy in the projectile, the powerful powder irritant, and the psychological impact of seeing the launcher," Scott said.

The SA-4 has four settings: a safety mode, a firing mode with a laser, and a firing mode without the laser. Unlike the CO2-fueled carbine PepperBalls, the SA-4 launcher is powered by a 9-volt battery using an electric primer to launch projectiles. The launcher is accurate up to a distance of 30 feet. PepperBall also offers a custom Blade-Tech holster for the SA-4 launcher.

The PepperBall SA-4's purpose is to provide a less lethal option that can not only quickly incapacitate suspects, but provide a psychological advantage for police officers. The SA-4's recommended applications include preventing suicide by cop, hostage rescues and subduing intoxicated individuals. It is only available for purchase by law enforcement, corrections, or the military.

"I was dealing with a non-compliant individual but after the shock and surprise of the impact, and the effect of the powder, he put his hands up and followed commands," Sgt. Mark Parsons of the Tulsa Police Department said.

PepperBall Technologies, Inc. has a long history in the development, manufacture and distribution of less-lethal weapons for military, government, law enforcement, corrections, private security and consumer markets. It is the largest supplier of non-lethal PAVA-based launchers and projectiles. Visit them on the web at http://www.PepperBall.com/.

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