Pogojet: A Non Lethal Long Distance Round

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Jeffery Widder has taken inspiration from the Gyrojet of the 1960s. His non-lethal round, called the Pogojet, is said to be able to deliver consistent non-lethal energy not only at close distances but at longer range distances as well.

The Pogojet —whose official name is the Caseless Telescoping Less-lethal System—is unique in that the propellant burns inside the round, pushing on a piston that propels it forward. The action resembles a pogo stick, hence the name. Once the piston reaches its full extent, the exhaust gases can be vented sideways, so the round continues forward at the same speed, or directed through holes in the base of the round like rocket exhaust to give as much extra kick as required. This is the ‘jet’ aspect of the Pogojet, which Widder compares to the old 1960s Gyrojet rocket pistol.

According to Popular Mechanics, the Pogojet reaches a consistent average of 82 meters per second velocity. Which is about 267 fps and because of the adjustable velocity, this projectile is effective to 100 meters. Far beyond conventional non-lethal kinetic projectiles. Widder plans to link up a laser rangefinder and that will help control the velocity.

The Pogojet will use a laser rangefinder—technology that already exists for small arms, but is mainly used with military grenade launchers. The Pogojet will interface with a rangefinder to ensure that the right muzzle velocity is automatically selected without any manual control. Building the interface is one of the next steps in the project. But the key element, the variable velocity system, has already proven highly reliable.

 

Below is a picture of the Pogojet round pre-fired.

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Here is the round after it is fired.

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Rear shot of the Pogojet round.

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Conventional non-lethal rounds are slow and large. They flatten to dissipate energy over a larger surface area so the force is not concentrated to one spot. The pogojet is designed to be small and shoot flat. But due to it’s regulated velocity it impacts with low energy.

“It’s like a bee sting. It’ s only over a small area, but it is intense enough to be effective.”

There is a risk of a small caliber projectile causing damage to eyes or mouth. However his argument is that the pogojet is accurate and since it is accurate it can be aimed at a less dangerous area like the torso.

His dream is that it can be utilized and mounted under AR15s and M4s used by Law Enforcement and Military. Another feature, due to the pogojet design, is that it is semi-automatic by nature. So faster follow-up shots can be made compared to conventional non-lethal devices.

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Here is a short clip of him test firing it. The video does not show much other than it fired.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Bullet Is Fine

    *Evil Capitalist rubbing hands*

    How can we take glorious achievement of Soviet ingenuity and make it like weak wristed man. Let us of being making bullet into piston instead of piston inside case, so as to make look like space rocket failure instead of true slav raifu.

    TL;DR

    Its the 9x39mm inbred American cousin

    • 624A24

      The AS and VSS fire conventional 9x39mm ammunition.
      The S4M, MSP and PSS are the ones that fire ammunition with internal pistons.

    • iksnilol

      The VSS has literally nothing to do with the Pogojet.

    • EHW2

      I just want to point out I love the choice of username, Mr. Bullet Is Fine

  • hking

    Yeah mounting a non-lethal platform on a lethal platform is such a good idea………

    • Kyle

      Glad I’m not the only one who noticed the potential for serious “Oops” there

      • But as long as the Pogo round hits first you can claim you “Tried” to use non-lethal force first.

        • Schadavi

          As long as it hits at all…

    • David Hambling

      Very true – but it is already done with the M4

    • CountryBoy

      We’ve already seen a deputy (albeit a part-timer of questionable training) who killed a suspect after reaching for his gun thinking it was his Taser.

      This platform would take some intense training to become reflexive so the operator “selects” the correct trigger for the social occasion. Otherwise it may actually make things worse.

  • USMC03Vet

    Only if the bad guys have to use non leathal force first.

  • Bill

    I like the name. Hard to demonize in court or the media. Even though pogo sticks have probably caused more broken arms than something else that caused a lot of broken arms.

    If it only feels like a bee sting, how about making a round with a capsule full of bees? They’d be PISSED when they arrived on target. Or a man-portable steam powered bee catapult, adopting technology from aircraft carriers.

    • Nicholas Chen

      We can call it W.A.S.P.P Weaponized Assault Stinging Pest Projectile

    • Kivaari

      Even FNs less lethal gun has killed. I don’t know how much saturation in the defense industry the FN has. I suspect there will be a few takers, at least for testing.

    • Anon. E Maus

      And naturally, this thing will still be branded a “dangerous weapon” over here and banned.

  • livingonenergydrinks

    Here is a better idea, why not build a system that uses conventional ammo, and then has a series of variable ports along the barrel in which pressure could be released, and or rerouted to help slow down the ammo. Then a sensor determines the distance to target and adjusts the values so that the right amount of pressure is used to push the bullet out of the gun.

    • tts

      I like your idea but if the sensor goes haywire or the ports get clogged or something then you’ll be shooting a lethal load which would be a major no no.

      IMO I’d use your idea but switch to semi custom ammo. Make it chambered in standard 9mm/.45 case but change the projectile to a rubber or bean bag bullet with less powder to lower the projectile velocity to something less lethal at all but close range. If something goes wrong with the sensor or mechanism then it’d be much less likely to kill someone.

      Have a switch or control to turn off the gas port system so you can shoot regular full power lethal ammo in your chambering of choice and there you go.

      • livingonenergydrinks

        Very Valid Points.
        It would definitely take some time to workout the issues. Gun would probably need redundant sensors for that purpose. I like your idea of rubber or bean bag bullet.

        • JamesRPatrick

          If there’s any possibility that a regular lethal round can be chambered and fired out of it, then you’ve got an issue. I’d use a casing of typical brass construction, but sized/shaped such that common rounds won’t fit in and/or fire from the chamber.

  • Kovacs Jeno

    Interesting idea, however not necessarily viable.

  • Lance

    More useless crap to stuff on a M-4/M-16.

    • Kivaari

      It would be nuts to slap it on to any rifle or shotgun. Every time I see some new less lethal toy on an M4 I think of negligent discharges and how an OC or Mace canister on a long gun is just dumb. I suspect, with no evidence, that almost none of those devices we have seen over the years has sold more than a few dozen. Then when the buyer figures out how dumb an idea it was it graces the arms locker until thrown in the trash.

  • PK

    Oh good it’s in public eyes now. This is mature technology and it’s about time it gets widespread coverage!

  • I want to know how they’re stabilizing the projectiles…

    • Kivaari

      They will need rifling since it is the law.

      • Cynic

        wouldn’t that make it a dd since rifled 37mm non lethal launchers are generally a dd.

        Secondly because this isn’t legally a firearm (I’d assume) being less lethal it doesn’t appear to be covered under the nfa.

        Like the pepper ball/rubber bullet guns you can buy with that weird ammo or training guns aren’t regulated.

        • Kivaari

          If the bullet Is expelled by combustion it is a firearm. 37mm “gas guns” are exempt. This is a firearm. A firearm of this kind needs to be rifled. If not it has the elements making it regulated. Smooth bore pistol. Destructive device being over .50 caliber. Another post brings up the silent aspect. I like the concept for other people.
          I prefer the projectiles to leave the gun at 800+ FPS and concentrate the energy across a 9mm diameter lead bullet. Anything less gives the bad guy too many options. I know of one case where a 37mm less lethal round did not stop the suspect, and that suspect fired one round that is said to have killed one cop and injured 5 more. I suspect the one bullet may have hit 2, and that the others were shot by fellow officers.

    • David Hambling

      It’s rifled.

    • Kivaari

      Looks like angled ports like the Gyrojet.

    • Kivaari

      If the breach face is sturdy, the piston would hit that, giving the equal and opposite reaction. It say waste gas is sent out the sides then out the rear like the Gyro Jet. It is a clever concept. It would likely give very variable velocity. If it depends on the equal and opposite function, how hard the gun is held in the hand will determine what the speed would be. A soft hold will slow the projectile. Being held in a vice, would allow similar velocities. It just can’t be consistent from person to person or to the shooter simply changing the hold used.
      I suspect it will make a crack as the piston impacts the breach.
      It will likely never get very far since people want to practice and each round will probably cost $10 each.
      Original Gyro Jet guns were interesting. But being made to the same high standards of a cap pistol and having almost no power up close and poor accuracy that made barn walls safe.

  • Kivaari

    Like the Gyro Jet it will need rifling and be less than .50 caliber. The Gyro was hindered by the first being 13mm (not the 12.7mm – .50) and was smooth bore. Unlike the GJ, this will be at speed, whereas the GJ needed distance to get up to speed. It is interesting. I find adding a pistol like device under a rifle is a bad idea. It is like having the first TASERs sized and colored to look like a Glock 17. Several people shot other people thinking the less lethal device was in hand. Adding them under the carbine is asking for someone to blast the suspect with a real bullet.

  • Mystick

    That is one fugly “device”…

  • gunsandrockets

    But the cost of ammunition! Yikes!

  • Cynic

    Also illegal in the USA without a 200$ tax on each round the atf considers them silencers.

  • JoshCalle

    I’m not a LEO, or an expert on the subject by any means, but I don’t like products like this. Escalation of force should be: verbal < Bare hands < Baton/taser/mace < Gun. Don't complicate things by trying to invent the magic harmless perp off button. Bee stings don't put down a determined man, much less a crackhead. The only thing this is good for is being misused against a protestor or an overly sassy drunk who didn't need to be shot with it.

    • Bill

      And we have proven tools like OC and TASERs for that, except using OC can’t be used in CA against protestors, so you end up with a lot of back and joint injuries among both cops and perps, instead of just a bunch of hippies bawling and growing snotcicles.

  • Paul J

    Wow, ingenious.
    Imagine this system for a caseless grenade for grenade launcher.

  • Aaron E

    As an NTOA trained less lethal instructor there are several problems I see with this device. I like the concept, and look forward to alternatives to current less lethal munitions, but I’m just not sure about this one.

    Don’t change aiming points – including the chest is a bad idea. Current bean bag munitions have that area as a lethal hit area. Aim higher – expect shots through eyes, ears, mouth, neck, etc.

    Shooting at greater distances will require some sort of optic to ensure proper round placement.

    A metal bullet with a small amount of non-metallic covering isn’t a great idea. Shooting metal at someone (even slower) has a lot of risks.

    Smaller projectile may cause a “sting” but may cause more damage/injury due to focusing the energy in a smaller area. That could mean soft tissue tears, and even bone breaks on smaller bones like hands, knees, etc.

  • Kivaari

    At least the mount on the carbine should have been parallel to the rifles barrel. Better yet, simply never attach such a device to a real gun.

  • Kivaari

    I think the S&W .44 piston buckshot revolver of the Vietnam War era is better, and it failed.

  • tenmillimeter

    If I were facing this it would be impossible to determine that it was not an actual weapon being fired at me. Especially attached to a lethal firearm…it’s bound to incite escalation through lethal force response.

  • jcitizen

    Most of the weight is forward of the Pogo, so it could be self stabilizing that way, but a small push with the jet exhaust holes at an angle would not hurt.

  • jcitizen

    You hit that on the nail head – I have to admit, that I would want at least on non-lethal choice if the situation permitted, but there are few situations that permit it.

  • Zebra Dun

    It’s always non lethal till someone gets killed by it, then it becomes less lethal.

  • CavScout

    LEA’s wouldn’t attach these as non-lethal weapons, to lethal ones. Much less an AR. Just saying…