CSAEOD was prodding me a while back to take a photo of this cartridge and I finally found some images I had scanned earlier. This piece turned up at St. Louis a couple years ago and all that was known about it then was the basic obvious information…it was a “taser” like cartridge for the 40mm grenade launcher.
The black plastic body that resembles a 40mm flare projectile is actually a sleeve that remains attached to the aluminum cartridge case after firing. The design was probably configured like this as the cartridge is intended to be used both in military 40mm grenade launchers as well as police 37mm gas launchers. That way a single standard projectile can be used with either size case by changing the wall thickness of the sleeve it is fired from.
As is often the case with experimental cartridges one either has the specimen and no information or the data and no cartridge. After a couple years, I recently found some additional information on the Net to help identify this round. It is known as the Sticky Shocker, and is produced by Titan National Security Solutions, and is part of the larger development of less than lethal munitions for crowd control. It was developed with the support of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Administration.
The Sticky Shocker is an EMD weapon, providing Electro Muscular Disruption through 50,000 volt pulsed shocks delivered from a battery power supply through the protruding barbs at the nose of the projectile. They are apparently concealed until after firing or impact when they advance through the recipient’s clothing and adhere to his skin. One would think the kinetic impact of being struck with such a large projectile would be enough to subdue a subject without trying to electrocute him after impact. But apparently the muzzle energy and range is much less than a normal 40mm grenade.
The base of the cartridge is configured like the M781 practice grenade with a .38 caliber or similar blank cartridge pressed in to supply the propellant charge, not the high-low pressure chamber of the normal HE grenade. Unlike the 375 meter range of a normal grenade, this was intended to be used at about 10 meters, so it presumably won’t put a 40mm hole clear through your chest on impact. There is no headstamp on this example.
It did seem ironic to me to use the yellow and black color code as the bumble bee like appearance might be a hint of what’s about to be delivered through the front stingers.
While poking around looking for information on this round, I noted other developments in similar electric shock ammunition using piezoelectric projectiles delivering both impact and electrical pulse. Some of these experiments were as small as normal pistol ammunition so there should be some intersting bullets in the near future…and more odd stuff for Pepper to collect.