back to article Taser rolls out taser-on-a-roll, new military zapbomb deal

Everyone's favourite flying-cattleprod maker, Taser International, has won a new contract with the US military. The firm also announced a new "peel and stick" conversion kit for police riot shields, allowing their outer face to function like a sort of portable electric fence. Under the new military contract, the Pentagon's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Electric shock riot shields

    I thought these were unlawful? I seem to recall some hoo-hah about a UK company which made similar items.


  2. Anonymous Coward

    Terminator style...

    Quote - Whatever's next? Electrified body-armour suits? Gauntlets? /quote

    "Talk to der hand", spoken with an Austrian accent of course.

    Mines the oil, petrol - and electrical resistant - rubber suit...

  3. Daniel O'Regan

    Electrified face masks

    Surely a simple water pistol will make these a stupid piece of protection? If it'll jolt anyone touching it by hand, the voltage should surely give anyone wearing wet clothes a bit of a jump?


  4. Steve
    Thumb Up

    Riot police

    How'd that work in the UK then, it rains 90% of the time, I can just see a bunch of flat foots jumping about as their own shields discharge into each other and themselves.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Keep away visitors...

    I'd like to roll it out on a mat, ideal for evening mealtimes and Saturday mornings to ward off double glazing salesmen and Jehovahs Witness Respectively

  6. hugo tyson


    "What's next?" Electronux![1]

    [1] as used by Judge Dredd.

  7. The Cube

    Perhaps the tin foil hat brigade had a point

    Some suitably conductive clothing, forming some sort of faraday cage would not only stop people reading your RFID credit cards, stealing your digital passport and identity card details from 100m away, but also bugger up the tazer. Once 'tazed' you can simply grab hold of bystander hostages and dump the offending volts into them until PC Plod works out that his new toy is bugger all use and resorts to the normal police thuggery of beating up the public with a Baton (caveman with stick?).

    Mine's the one with the steel mesh lining and the lightning conducter hanging from the hem...

  8. XML slave

    Flawed concept

    Using electrical current to incapacitate someone is pretty much only useful in the law enforcement field. Given, there are times when soldiers want to take a combatant alive, but they're best bet is really to rely on the currently existing technology of Flashbangs, rubber slugs, and excellent martial training. Because the soldier never gets to select his environment electricity purely for the sake of incapacitating is well...a gamble. Flashbangs and rubber rounds have fewer drawbacks and environmental weaknesses. (Keep in mind, most soldiers aren't going to care if the guy they were trying to incapacitate is accidentally killed instead. HQ might whine, but what enlisted man is going to care?)

    Given, there are some very cool developing technologies in the riot control / incapacitation field. I just don't think TASER is going to be one of the more prominent ones for soldiers.

    Also, note of clarification. Lead shot in a shotgun is indeed prohibited by most US military units with the notable exception of Special Forces. Indeed there are much fewer limitations on Green Berets, Rangers, Delta, Seals, and Combat Controllers.

  9. Shinobi87

    scrap that idea

    lets just put big spikes n the shield! if you walk into it its your own fault!

    mines the suit of plate mail!

  10. Ash

    The Taser Shotgun Cartridge.

    Isn't that like firing at a person a C-Cell battery with a couple of carpet tacks taped to the front? I'm not sure of the physics behind it, but i'm pretty sure that the incapacitation won't be from the electric discharge, but from the several broken ribs, or blunt trauma to the head when the guy ducks for cover...


  11. Graham Marsden

    @2000AD - Hugo Tyson

    Actually it was Johnny Alpha aka Strontium Dog who used Electronux!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the day of the electric cop would seem to be upon us"

    For non-military use now: why don't we equip our loads of CCTVs with Taser-like cattleprods? Eventually, the days come upon us when the cops no longer need to go out on the dangerous streets - in fact we will hardly need any cops at all but some morons sitting in front of rows of monitors and remote-launching electroshocks will rule the roads!

    Now tell me this is just fiction!

    EAfH, scared.

  13. David Adams
    Thumb Up

    It's such a simple idea!!!

    "some morons sitting in front of rows of monitors and remote-launching electroshocks will rule the roads!"

    Hope you don't mind if I steal that idea, i've just thought of a great Real Life MMORPG!!!!

    It's the natural progression from the experiment where they let people on a council estate in London watch live CCTV feeds.

    Just give them a joystick and an on screen target and it will keep the kids off the streets!

    Government will love it, staffing costs will be zero, they might even make money out of it for a change!

  14. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Humane assault rifle?

    To humanely slaughter your opponnent by first stunning him then shooting?

    I'm sure that will meet approval in some circles.

  15. bsop

    AC - Keeping Away Visitors

    I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you were joking.

    Your plan is marvelous. I would even be tempted to patent your idea, but, you know, maybe - just maybe - the leather or rubber soles in most shoes would stop the effectiveness of your latest "cunning plan."

    PS - Just so you know. There probably are better ways to keep Jehovah's Witnesses at bay. You know, like asking them nicely. Double glazers, on the other hand, I don't know what would keep them away - they're actually SALESMEN...!

  16. Spleen

    Re: 12:58

    I've got a better idea. Equip every citizen with electrified barbs in the skin that can be activated by remote control, thus saving the futureplods from having to aim the CCTV cameras.

    Altogether now, "If you aren't a criminal then you've nothing to fear."

  17. gareth

    a few points

    @ Shinobi87

    how is a farady suit going to help you if you are getting tazered tazers don't rely on ground as they assume you are insulated from the ground by shoes. which is why 2 electoreds are fired a positive and a negative

    as for the shotgun capable tazer i saw it demonstrated on a dicovery channel documentary called future weapons and i think ti would have lots of military applications especially with the use of pump action/combat shot guns. they where giving figures of range similar to the lethal range of a 12 guage with shot

  18. Luther Blissett

    The Reg defence desk

    If the Reg needs a defence desk it should get Dawkins to advise on how to evolve toute de suite into pterodactlys (or whatever the ones with teeth are called). We can't have someone/something else stealing the Vultures' carrion from under its beaks.

    The sky is blue not so that vultures can go for a quiet glide after lunch to aid the digestion, but to promote deep thought. (The sea also is blue, but that is to promote awareness of the ever-present danger of taking a wrong dive, aka dialectical error).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @David Adams

    No problem, just donate me 5% of the fortune you make!

    "they might even make money out of it" - people will have to pay, say a congestion charge, to lower the probability they'll get tasered? No that sounds like fun!

    Btw, the R in MMORPG gets a whole new meaning, such as Real.

    EAfH, awaiting his share of a fortune.

  20. Philip Perry
    Dead Vulture

    Shotguns in U.S. Military

    Well, I was in the Marines back in the first gulf war days, in a "Special Operations Capable" unit (MEUSOC). We were an amphibious raid unit that used Zodiacs and modified Boston Whalers. Our Scout Swimmers were all equipped with pump-action 12-ga shotguns. Nobody said anything to us about any prohibition, but then we were kind of a weird unit.

    Also, we were told about 40mm shotgun shells for the M203. You heard me right; a 40mm shotgun shell. Although I think instead of lead shot it fired steel shrapnel. They never issued us any; I think they knew we'd do something stupid with 'em, like skeet off the fantail of our ship with dishes stolen from the mess hall...

    Still! Think how much fun THAT would have been to shoot! "Sarge, didja get 'im?" "I dunno! All I can see is a huge grease spot!"

  21. TeeCee Gold badge


    You read that and think: "violation of rights".

    I read that and think: "can you stick it on a bog seat?"

    Does this make me a bad person.....?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Spleen

    No bad. However, how to equip every citizen when no one really knows who and where the citizens are? Just remember the recent election which seemed to me more like some second-world banana republic system - go to the polling station and claim who you are. Or your neighbour. Or bloody anybody else.

    (Once upon a time, some decades ago, a teacher of mine used to have a similar idea...)


  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Bsop

    Jehovah's Witnesses are also salesmen. They're just selling something else.

    About the only way to get rid of them is to tell them that you're a Catholic blood donor who just _loves_ little boys / girls (delete as deemed appropriate), and have they got any little boys / girls with them? Yes, oh DO come in <BIG grin>. That usually gets rid of them.

    You can explain it all to the nice police officers later, when they stop tazering you.

    I'm sure Paris likes big boys.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Taser, after years of denying any possibility whatsoever of a taser-induced death, just yesterday admitted (Braidwood Inquiry, Vancouver) that the company's products result in one life lost for every 70 saved. Taser chief Smith then tried to connect those deaths to 'falling down', which obviously leads nowhere. It appears that they've finally acknowledged the risks, and thereby opened themselves up to unlimited liability for all the deaths that they've previously denied - and those yet to come.

  25. Robert Malmquist

    Electric protection 1930's style

    My high school geometry teacher told us about a rig he build as a teenager.

    He used a tilt switch from a pinball machine as trigger, and a "spark coil" from a Model T (a vibrator and high voltage transformer package). Ground was by a chain dragging on the road connected to the coil minus , and the whole body was hot, insulated by the tires.

    If someone bumped the car or started to climb in they got bit good.It was comparable to an electric fence.

    Then one day a fellow who had been bit stopped by while our genius was washing the car, reached in, and flipped the secret switch to turn on the rig.

    Bare wet feet and wet hands made for an exceptionally low loss path, and theinventor was flung unconscious to the ground. Lucky he didn't collapse onto the car.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Taser Repel Laminate Film

    I'd put it against the walls in alleys behind bars, and then mount nightvision cameras.

  27. Dr. Mouse

    @I read that and think: "can you stick it on a bog seat?"

    Gone are the days of a simple cling film covered toilet. :D

    I like your thinking. Does that make ME a bad person?

  28. Philip Perry

    TRUE STORY: My religious door to door experience

    Ok, back when I was in college, I spent a year or so in Phoenix, Arizona, where it can get up to 120 degrees in July. So I was living in Tempe, and dating a rather pretty, sexually open minded older woman, and one Saturday morning we were relaxing after a LOT of sex when the doorbell to my apartment rang.

    I got up stark naked, very sweaty from the heat, and holding a small towel over my groin, answered the door. It was two Mormon missionaries, about 18, who wanted to tell me all about Jesus and Joseph Smith. They were dressed identically in black pants and button down white shirts. I was about a head taller than they were, and about a hundred pounds heavier, with tattoos all over the place.

    I opened the door, looked them up and down, and yelled back into the apartment "Babe! The virgins are here! We can do the sacrifice! Guys! Come in! Come in!" They took off, and I didn't see them anymore after that.

    Good times.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    military vs. home use

    "This is because regular cartridges throwing lead shot are frequently considered illegal under the laws of civilised warfare, much like "dum-dum" expanding bullets - though they are legally fine for police use."

    The reason that the police use those 'mushrooming' bullets is to prevent hitting anyone else because the target gets to absorb all the energy from the bullet instead of it piercing through the person and into someone else you don't want to hit. That's why it's so odd that we in the U.S. can't use them but the police can. You don't want to shoot an intruder and have the bullet keep going into something else in your house (like the kids, family pet, dishes...).

    Warfare is different than home security. Soldiers on both sides realize the importance of a good clean kill as opposed to a nasty wound that you'll suffer from and maybe die from... hence you don't use those type of weapons. It's a tit-for-tat type of scenario. What you do to someone else can be done to you, so kinda play nice. No one gives a rat's a$$ about some petty crook entering your home.

    If you want a real nasty bullet, try the round from the AK47. The shock wave on that really disrupts tissue.

  30. Steve Mann

    Nothing New

    Tell you what, that piccy of the assault rifle C/W underslung break-away Taser pistol reminds me of the "Johnny Seven" gun my friend Brian had when we were kids.

    Does it come with a compass in the rifle stock?

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Why all the batteries??

    I prefer just plugging the fence, car, door, what have you into the mains :)

    120 (or 220 for those on the other side of the pond) and all the amps you could want

    8 )

    BTW ever see this guy walking down the street ...


  32. Anonymous Coward

    @Electric shock riot shields

    Found a couple of references for you:

    They're not directly illegal as such but are highly restricted under arms sales control regulations, and unlicensed trading in them is a crime.

    Of course, today's story is about Taser corp in the States, so our local laws aren't directly relevant.

  33. Michael

    @ AC

    >>>Taser, after years of denying any possibility whatsoever of a taser-induced death, just yesterday admitted (Braidwood Inquiry, Vancouver) that the company's products result in one life lost for every 70 saved. Taser chief Smith then tried to connect those deaths to 'falling down', which obviously leads nowhere. It appears that they've finally acknowledged the risks, and thereby opened themselves up to unlimited liability for all the deaths that they've previously denied - and those yet to come.

    Hardly. In the same way that Glock is not responsible for someone dying from a gunshot wound, Taser is not responsible for someone dying from the RCMP zapping him several times.

    People who want to hold the manufacturer responsible for the results of the product being used against them just need to be slapped.

    I'm going to sue Fisher-Price because they're little plastic shovel can be used to fling sand into my eyes.

    The fact is sometimes things have unintended effects. In the same way that under certain circumstances, taser hits can result in death, gunshots can result in failing to kill a suspect, little plastic shovels can fling sand at people, and razors can cut you.

    To say that the Taser corporation is responsible is just idiotic and deserves a good slapping.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Assault rifle with a taser attached.

    LOL, it sounds like something from the old "Innovations" catalogues. Coming soon from this range:

    Heavy artillery with a tickly-stick attached.

    Tank with a comfy chair on the back.

    Submarine with a pointy stick.

    Sharks with frickin' pea shooters.

    Nuclear bomb with a paper bag underneath to burst and make a loud pop.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Ever heard of a short circuit Gareth? (Never mind capitals and punctuation), where electricity takes the path of lowest resistance? Thats where a mesh suit would come in.

    Nothing to do with being earthed or not.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Squirting Electric shock riot shields

    Riot police with electified shields ==> carrying a loaded Super Soaker being proof of intent to assault a police officer.

    "Is that SALTY water in your Super Soaker, little Johhny?"

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @military vs. home use AC

    'Soldiers on both sides realize the importance of a good clean kill'

    Bullshit. Fragmentation/shrapnel weapons are issued and used because a badly wounded soldier who is unable to fight ties up resources like nothing else, slowing down and radically reducing the fighting efficiency of his team as well as demoralising the others who saw him shredded. A clean kill or wound is relatively easy to deal with and has much less effect than a screaming, bleeding lump of flesh that you know by name.

  38. Mark

    Electric cop already been done

    Seen "The Running Man"?

  39. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Interesting perspective

    So, soldiers prefer killing their opponents "cleanly" as a . . professional courtesy ?

    I don't think so. Today, warfare is waged on the principle of "overwhelming force". You assault your enemy when you're sure that you have 10 times whatever resources you need. You go in, and you blow anything that moves to smithereens to make sure it won't fire back.

    And if they could just call in a precision airstrike and carpet bomb the area they would, but there's that nagging little problem called collateral damage which makes it not always possible.

    It has nothing to do with any "I'll kill you cleanly if you kill me cleanly as well". It's a lot more "I'll blow your ass to Kingdom Come before you blow mine away".

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