Russian firm turns super soaker into nonlethal weapon

With the summer heat upon us, Russian cops want to show that they know how to have fun in the sun. Special Materials out of St. Petersburg has proposed an "electro-hydrodynamical" weapon as a nonlethal alternative to current methods, which include irritant gases, tasers, and beanbag launchers. While considered nonlethal, tasers have resulted in death, gases can cause medical complications, and a beanbag shot at high speed can break ribs or do more serious damage.

Special Materials' beefed-up squirt gun essentially electrifies its liquid ammo and blasts a stream of water out of its nozzle at 200 feet per second. The gun should be able to knock someone down at 20 feet, though at 12 feet the stream fans out to about a foot in diameter. So instead of all the pressure concentrating on an impact area, like a beanbag, the team hopes the water stream will feel more like getting hit by a giant bag of rice. A water hand-cannon would also be amazingly easy to refill and discharges only water, alleviating any ammunition concerns and after-operations cleanup.

While you probably never want to see guys coming at you with this at your next big pool party, it sounds like a smart addition to the nonlethal armory.

Wired, via Übergizmo