Regardless of how many times your favorite TV policeman fires his gun every episode, the truth is, law enforcers try to avoid gunfights when working around city streets. That’s because missed shots can easily hit innocent civilians (and shot glasses), making them quite the unsafe proposition. That’s why these Limited Range Projectiles from the US Army could seriously change the game.
Designed to reduce collateral damage, the bullet is designed to self-destruct within a certain range, ensuring any bullets fired won’t be able to go much further past your target. That means, instead of hitting civilians or properties, the bullets will automate detonate while airborne, minimizing the chances they’ll cause any further harm.
Granted, these Limited Range Projectiles aren’t exactly stocked up in the armory yet. Instead, it’s currently under development by the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. The way it works, though, is still fascinating all the same. Under the patent, the bullet will include both a pyrotechnic and a reactive material, with the pyrotechnic immediately being ignited upon launching out of the barrel, in turn causing the reactive material to ignite and burn. Upon burning to a certain point, the reactive material essentially renders the bullet unstable, causing it to explode, lose its trajectory, and simply drop to the ground.
The Limited Range Projectiles tech is currently being applied to .50 caliber rounds, with plans to expand to others if tests prove successful.