Toy designers' variable velocity gun plays for keeps


David Hambling explains the "VVWS", the "Variable Velocity Weapon System" from toy design firm Lund & Company that can fire either lethal bullets or low-velocity, non-lethal rounds:

The version of the VVWS currently being developed would be a purely non-lethal replacement for the FN303. The key advantage is the ability to vary the muzzle velocity; no details have been released, but this may be controlled automatically by a laser rangefinder. At short ranges, it will have a low muzzle velocity, ensuring the impact is safe; but the speed can also be increased to extend the maximum range beyond what can currently be achieved.

The VVWS will have a maximum range of 150 meters, compared to a range of 50 meters for the FN303 for point targets. Longer ranges are sometimes quoted for the FN303 but these seem to refer to using it to deliver volleys of "pepperball" rounds to saturate an area with a cloud of PAVA pepper powder. The military do not use this type of ammunition, being confined to impact rounds which, unlike paintballs, are hard and shatter on impact. (Paintball-type rounds are also available for marking with washable or indelible dye).

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