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Axon wants to make handguns obsolete for manstopping

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by labnoti, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    For a while now, I've thought if anyone could displace Glock's leadership position in law enforcement sales, it would be Axon. Axon has been growing much faster than Glock, they've gained the agility to pivot into more than one product and market, and they've attained single-vendor contracts with most of the ~18,000 police agencies in the US. Technologically, there is no reason they couldn't produce a Glock-comparable striker-fired semi-auto 9 with MRDS, integrate it and the holster into their cloud-based hardware/software subscription-based ecosystem and sweep that market into their portfolio. As it turns out, Axon founder Rick Smith's vision and mission are in fundamental contrast to that opportunity. From the time he founded Taser based on Jack Cover's technology in 1993, his vision has been to enable the stopping of people without killing them and thereby make killing people to stop them obsolete.

    Now we know that Taser didn't do that, and that even today those weapons are not as effective as a handgun when a lethal aggressor must be stopped. But we also know that handguns themselves leave a lot to be desired in "stopping power." We constantly debate cartridge effectiveness, bullet performance, ballistics, gel tests, statistics, training, shot placement, number of shots needed, tactics and on and on, and the only conclusion we can come to is that we just can't be that certain a handgun will stop an aggressor before they can kill, and that it's especially dubious to depend on a one-shot stop. We also know not to conflate killing with stopping, and that while killing is often the result of shooting someone, the meaningful goal is always to stop the attacker immediately.

    "I have set a goal that in the next 10 years, we will have non-lethal weapons that outperform police handguns. That is going to be a game-changer because cops are not legally authorized to be an executioner. When they kill someone, it is not because they are out to kill that person. Instead, it is because when they do so, lethal force is the only way to reliably stop a critical threat. However, that will not be the case for much longer. We have a clear line of sight as to how we can outperform lethal force. We believe we will be able to stop someone faster without killing them." Rick Smith

    I realize the skeptic will want to see such a thing before they believe it or give the concept much credibility. What we know is that handguns have not meaningfully gained stopping power in over 120 years. We have seen the stopping power of large handguns shrink into smaller cartridges with better bullets and lighter handguns, but we have not seen handgun technology improve in a way that people can be stopped faster and with more certainty. The bullets are not doing anything fundamentally different than they have been for over a hundred years. Handgun stopping power is not improving and there is no vision to realize its improvement (probably due to regulation squashing innovation).

    Because of this, it seems highly plausible that energy weapons will displace handguns. Whether the technology will ultimately be less lethal or not remains uncertain. It would seem the critical goal to focus on would be faster incapacitation, because that is where handguns fall short and are quite vulnerable.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterh...-plans-to-make-bullets-obsolete/#1faca7c677e3
     
  2. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I look forward to arguing about the most appropriate setting for my star trek blaster if I want to use it for bear defense. Or will I need a separate woods blaster?
     
  3. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Phasers for wildlife. Blasters are for defending against storm troopers of intergalactic totalitarian tyrants. But we can debate phaser or blaster for EDC?
     
  4. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    The only way to achieve that is with a planet without people.

    That is a very tall order. Though I am not really that concerned with saving the lives of homicidal miscreants, the concept of a non-lethal that effectively incapacitates near 100% of the time is a laudable goal, particularly in instances where a threat is erroneously perceived as a deadly one.
     
  5. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Phaser.

    Specifically in the 40 watt range.
     
  6. kBob

    kBob Member

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    He has a new product that is basically a two weight Bolo with very strong sticky string between the weighs fired from a thing like a cell phone.

    It can whip around a victim and keep them from normal walking of tie down their arms.

    I have to laud him for adding ID chaffe to the Taser packs, the original grey pistol grip flashlight Tasers were appearently used in a number of crimes such as kidnapping and some said were being used by police indescriminatly and as a torture device (the originals also functioned as a wand or sorts with two extendable "radio arials" that could zap a person, but you gave up one of your dart and wire packs for it)

    I suspect that last feature was the origin of the hand held zappers often mis identified as tasers that were first of all pretty useless and second of all again accused of being a torture device...and they did work rather well for that and frequently left no marks

    My Daughter on seeing the Bolo immediately invisioned being attacked with one.

    -kBob
     
  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’d be interested in the perspective of officers, after being handed a pamphlet of data extolling the stopping superiority of the new less-lethal technology, knowing full well the bad guys on the other end won’t be equally castrated, and will be carrying lethal options as they always have.
     
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  8. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Member

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    Brings back bad memories of when I took Taser certification. They are some interesting technology, but if of fails, its is spectacular. I have seen subjects tased and it just simply didn't work. I remember the first time, he admitted after we got him cuffed that he felt "something," and he knew he'd been tased, but it wasn't incapacitating. (I've seen the same thing happen with various OC formulations too.) Sometimes the toys just don't work as planned. God forbid you use one on someone with a cardiac issue. (Nobody will care that you didn't know about their cardiomyopathy, or you were within guidelines.)

    Its a great tool when it works, but you have to hit them with both barbs, and they have to "NOT" be blocked by something that would be nonconductive, and you need to back the Taser officer with one with a REAL weapon just in case it fails. Except for the Taser X3, its a one shot deal, and if it doesn't work, you are standing there at the bad guy's mercy if\when it fails. They also have a drive stun mode that allows you to use them like the cheap stun guns you see at the flea market.

    The Taser is already old tech, and soon to be obsoleted by news ECWs on the market. The Phazzer is more incapacitating and safer according to the folks who look at such things, cheaper, uses a rechargeable battery instead of Taser's "digital power magazine", and comes with a warranty. First time I looked at price and such, Tasers were ~$1200 and if they broke, they'd be happy to send you another one for full price. They went nuts when other companies took the idea and ran with it.

    These things are marketed as the Star Trek phaser that will allow you to bring any bad guy down and into compliance as if by magic. Reality simply doesn't work that way. It'll be a long time before the ECW is a replacement for the firearm, mainly because its use is still much more specialized than a firearm. I wouldn't carry one as a primary weapon, and I wouldn't advise anyone else to do so either.
     
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  9. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    "non-lethal weapons that outperform police handguns..."

    I'm not so sure it is. The performance of police handguns or just handguns is not that awesome. In fact, a careful analysis reveals they suck at stopping or incapacitating people.

    Forget about tasers. This is not about tasers. It cannot be about tasers. Tasers have already run their course. They are what they are. Nobody is arguing they outperform handguns or that they can or will displace handguns. This has to go far beyond anything like a taser. Axon has already pivoted away from taser technology 10 years ago as a dead business model. They've moved into a subscription-based integrated hardware/software evidence management ecosystem. I was thinking that they could integrate something like the Mantis X10 Elite Shooting Performance System to tie duty handguns into their evidence management datalogging. If I was on their board, I might be lamenting leaving the opportunity in the lethal-force segment untouched, but I can see Smith's whole vision is still fixed on non-lethals. That could be a good thing if they're able to deliver a break-through on man-stopping tech. I mean, what's the Gen 6 Glock going to do? I think we know what it's going to do. Will Hornady's 9.5mm Creedmoor change anything? People are talking about the accelerated adoption of MRDS on duty guns. We can be sure that will not be more than a blip in the stats.
     
  10. kenboyles72

    kenboyles72 Member

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    Demolition Ranch did a video on some non-lethal devices, link below starts at the bolo wrap, but you really need to watch the whole thing, very entertaining.

    Link not going the right part, just go to 9:50 for the bolo wrap

     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  11. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    So, not trying to be negative but all i gather from this is lots and lots of words to dance around what the specific product is. I gather its a taser type thing, correct me if i'm wrong. The police software and integration is of no interest to someone who isn't involved with law enforcement. If it shoots a disabling laser or something i could see some interest but i attempted to read the whole article and it seemed to be very vague on what the heck they're trying to sell that would rival even a 22lr.
    No one who is normal wants to harm another human. Less than lethal is a fine alternative but the question remains , how can there be so much research and talk of integration but apparently there is no product. If there is, i certainly didn't see it or read how it is any different than a taser.
    I think it would be a good tool but take the place of hot lead, nope. Maybe in another 100 years something may exist. A battery powered super taser thing would be useless if there were multiple attackers and still could never be a sure thing to stop a big guy pumped up on god knows what. Did i miss the important part of the article or am i just missing the point completely?
     
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  12. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    That bolo doohickey will work great... until it’s actually used. When it wraps up a psychopaths legs doing nothing to his arms which are holding a weapon, who will be the one to blame and who will be the one held financially responsible (because that’s all it’s about anymore, another argument probably not appropriate for THR) for the lives lost and damage done by an enraged incapacitated person who can still freely fire a weapon, stab, detonate bombs, throw molotovs...

    I’m still of the mind that a public gallows is the best deterrent, and that the best tool for stopping a threat is a few pieces of 00 buck at 1300 FPS.
     
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  13. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Shotguns work extremely well, last I looked. Problem solved.
     
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  14. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    Photon Torpedoes
     
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  15. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    Like everything, if it actually works, one 300 pound idiot, with a heart condition, and blown out on meth, will violently resist arrest and die. It will then be banned from police work.
     
  16. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I dunno about phasers, but I am pumped for lasers.

    Lasers were developed for industrial and medical fields (I think), so I guess a laser gun is not "a weapon of war designed to only kill".

    I say bring on the laser guns.
     
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  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    It would be handy to have the stunner that Miles Vorkisigan said "made it possible to actually shoot first and ask questions later."
    It should be accompanied by the polyencephalographic veridicator or any of several drugs including fast penta or pentabarb, or the induction of primary and secondary state so as to ensure reliable testimony.

    Unfortunately all fictional and about as likely as Mr Smith's bafflegab.


    A short pulse laser powerful enough to replace a slugthrower would be a nasty weapon.
    As it burned a hole in the assailant, the vaporized tissue would expand smartly.
    Probably leaving a bigger hole than a hollowpoint.
     
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  18. CeltKnight

    CeltKnight Member

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    During my career in LE, I've seen pretty much every "less lethal" device fail in an epic fashion. Our Taser guy (who was NOT my friend and held a great deal of animosity towards me) insisted in my Taser certification that I had to take a "full ride" including being shot with the barbs and not given the alligator clip hookup most got. I told him that was fine, but I needed him to sign a waiver. When he asked why I told him that my reaction to pain was violent and if he shot me with his (goodness graciously darned) Taser and it didn't stop me I was going to whip his (sitting muscles). He was about twice my size but he thought a moment and just handed me a Taser and a holster and my certificate. I made it a point to hand my Taser off to every new rookie that came along because I'd seen them fail so many times I had zero faith in the damn things. They worked great for intimidation but the actual performance was worst than hit-or-miss, I'd say they worked about 20% of the time or so. WAY too many variables.

    Maybe we just grow our bad guys tougher here in south Alabama. I dunno. ;)
     
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  19. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    What about trying to subdue some one inside a car or other barrier? Taser's and Mace does not work then.
     
  20. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Member

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    If this were the case, then why is Axon constantly spending good money after bad attacking any and everyone who produces an ECW? Just yesterday I got a notice about them suing Phazzer and a few others over cartridge design. If it was believed to be dead tech, why bother?

     
  21. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Tazers can work well, but they need some spread between the barbs, The more spread, the more muscles are likely to be disabled. If they're very close together, not so much.

    I was present when people tried it out, none could last more than a fraction of a second before slapping the mat to end it. I decided not to be a test dummy. lol
     
  22. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    But what about the controversy over if the officer had it set to stun, kill or vaporize??
     
  23. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    That's a good point. Bullets have fairly good barrier penetration capability compared to sprays like OC or sticky foam and contact weapons like tasers both of which can easily be defeated by heavy clothing and a motorcycle helmet, not to mention a car. I suppose it won't be long after Google and Apple are controlling all the cars that the police get access to override, but a rogue "self" driven car (that is controlled by the occupant) is necessarily quite good armor for crash protection and therefore any relatively blunt object penetration as most non-lethals would be.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not impressed with the current state of less-lethal tech and I suspect it may be a mistake to focus on less-lethal. A focus on faster, more certain incapacitation might give a better result because like I wrote earlier, handgun stopping power is not that impressive.

    It seems to me that any tech that still depends on aiming a projected object or beam is too vulnerable to operator error. Targeting and fire control need machine automation to eliminate the error humans are prone to under extreme duress. But even an autonomous drone, alien face-hugger, or flying monkey would still have to get into the car before it can access the target. That's a pretty big leap in tech -- certainly more than 10 years.
     
  24. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    They sucked against Davis and Twinning, and they sucked against Platt and Matix, and they sucked against Phillips and Matasareanu. There's a reason they're pretty much relegated to breaching now. Certainly they work better than handguns, but they're not practical for constant carry and the hassle it would be to carry one everywhere outweighs the marginal improvement in performance.
     
  25. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Marginal improvement? Pull the other one, it's got bells on.
     
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