Friday, August 28, 2009

Defeating Tasers And Other Non-Lethal Weapons

We've seen the images of police tasering kids and grandmothers. We've read the stories about people who have died shortly after being tasered.

I've listened to the arguments from proponents of the Taser system that the Taser did not cause the deaths of people who had been shot with the device.

If we use the same logic when it comes to firearms, I guess it is true. The gun didn't kill the person who was shot. It was the resulting trauma from getting in the way of a high speed projectile that actually killed the person.

Take a look at this poor unfortunate Taser victim.

What is the common guy or gal who wants to go out and exercise their First Amendment Right to do? None of us want to be shocked, smacked by rubber bullets, or microwaved.

Defeating a Taser is simple, in theory. Electricity always takes the path of least resistance. What you need to do is provide a path that has less resistance than your body for the electrical charge.

The surface resistance (skin) of the human body varies. Depending on how dry a person's skin is, resistance can be measured, on average, from 100,000 ohms to around 1,000,000 ohms. However, a Taser is designed to insert a pair of darts past the surface layers of skin into the very moist (and conductive) layers below. There the resistance tends to be around 1,000 ohms.

Theoretically, the electrical path of least resistance would be anything less than 1,000 ohms. In reality, you want something at least half that, say around 500 ohms.

The barbs ( yes, they are barbed like a fish hook) on the Taser projectiles are designed to penetrate one inch of clothing, and insert the barb a little less than one half an inch into your skin.

Police are trained to shoot for center of mass. Hence, they aim for the torso. Unfortunately, a Taser's projectiles do not have the ballistics of a traditional firearm. See the photo of the unfortunate victim in the link above.

People get shot in the back, arms, legs, head, chest based upon a variety of factors.

Heavy, thick, loose fitting clothing will offer some protection. Think of something like an oilskin duster.

Right now, there's a company out there called "Thor Shield" that sells a fabric to defeat a taser. They will, of course, only sell to law enforcement. A page that shows their product shows something that suspiciously looks like a carbon fiber / kevlar blend. They say it is polyester, but I'm not sure.

Carbon fiber fabric is conductive. I *think* its resistance is around 270 ohms. If anyone out there has a definitive number, let me know. Couple this with the strength of kevlar, and I think you'd have a fairly formidable barrier.

You can buy carbon fiber / kevlar fabrics at USComposites and make your own outer garments or line that oilskin duster, but it can get pricey.

Remember, you have to have enough thickness to keep the barbs from making contact with your skin.

At my job, we use something similar to this: Flexbase Electronic Materials. We use the G900106 style material to shield against unwanted magnetic and microwave energy. It is a copper foil over a mesh fabric.

Crude armor can be made with little more than cardboard, duct tape and heavy duty aluminum foil. Sandwich the aluminum foil between the two layers of cardboard.

Set one layer of cardboard flat, use an adhesive like 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive to affix the foil to that layer. Allow to dry. Again use the adhesive to glue the next layer of cardboard on top of the foil.

Cut and shape the resulting "armor" into breastplates, chausses, greaves, pauldrons, etc. Once you are satisfied with the shape and fit, use duct tape to seal the edges and reinforce the piece. The items can be held in place on your body using duct tape, or Rip-N-Grip tape.

This will also provide *some minor* protection against rubber bullets.

A more sleek garment can be fabricated using neoprene as used in wetsuits. Add a layer of carbon fiber on the outside, and voila'. Something like this can easily be worn beneath street clothes.

If you really want to take on the goon squad, you can resort to Motocross Body Armor. Couple this with other pieces like shin guards for soccer, and similar, and you'll be sure to have your dance card full!

This will defeat rubber bullets, and Taser barbs (you may still have to make improvised armor for exposed areas). Adding a layer of copper backed fabric would work to deflect some microwave energy.

Do NOT forget your head and face. At least have a pair of ballistic glasses with you.


HermitJim said...

Thanks for all the good information, buddy! I always learn something here!

shinerbock said...

Good info, its a messed up world we are living in.

ErinAndBrad said...

Excellent post Cat!! Great info! Don't forget the tin foil hat too LOL! I need to wear mine more often I think!