PepperBall Wins U.S. Army Less-Lethal Protection Contract

posted on June 19, 2018

PepperBall has been awarded a contract with the U.S. Army valued at $650,000 to provide Variable Kinetic System (VKS) non-lethal launchers designed for personal-protection use by Soldiers in the field. The purchase was made in support of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Joint Force Protection Directorate. The U.S.-made VKS has the same fire-control system and look and feel of a standard-issue M-4 and was tested and recommended by members of the National Tactical Officers Association.

“We are truly honored the U.S. Army has selected PepperBall’s VKS to use as its non-lethal protection in its mission to defend the United States,” said Ron Johnson, CEO of United Tactical Systems. “Our VKS platform was the only non-lethal source that was capable of complying to the U.S. Army’s standards.” 

The launcher offers a Dual Feed System, in which a user can quickly switch from “Hopper Mode” to “Magazine Mode” during an operation. The former offers a capacity of 180 rounds and the latter 10 or 15.

The VXR projectiles compatible with the launcher are designed for high-intensity/crowd control and are effective to 50 yards. Filled with a proprietary irritant, they produce a strong kinetic impact and burst on contact to release a debilitating cloud that affects eyes, nose and respiratory system.

PepperBall products are in use by more than 5,000 agencies worldwide, including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. The company, which originated under a 1996 DARPA program, sold exclusively to law-enforcement and military agencies until recently, when it branched out with a LifeLite product now available to the public. Its effective range is a more personal-defense-applicable 60 feet, although it packs a chemically identical, less-lethal projectile. The three-in-one unit has an LED flashlight, but when the launcher’s safety is disengaged a laser activates for aiming. Read more about the LifeLite Flashlauncher here.


riflescope facing right
riflescope facing right

First Look: Zeiss LRP S5 FFP Riflescope

Zeiss recently announced the launch of the new LRP S5 series of first-focal-plane riflescopes.

Review: Zev Technologies Core Duty Rifle

Zev Technologies has steadily increased its footprint in the firearm industry. Best known for placing its unique design spins on components for the most popular Glock and SIG Sauer pistols, this Centralia, WA-based company is also in the AR market.

First Look: Birchwood Casey 36-Inch Single Gun Case

Birchwood Casey is known for their targets and shooting support gear, and now they have just released a soft-padded case ideally suited for AR-15 and AK-pattern rifles, called the Single Gun Case 36 Inch.

I Carry: IWI Masada 9 mm Pistol in a KSG Armory Holster

In today's episode of "I Carry,"we have an IWI Masada 9 mm pistol with a Meprolight MicroRDS red-dot sight in a KSG Armory holster.

What is the Greatest Defensive Skill?

You can say what you want to about your favorite defensive school or those advanced-fighting techniques you learned, but the greatest defensive skill that a person can develop is simply awareness. I will freely admit that developing effective awareness is anything but simple, but being able to spot trouble before it is close enough to get in your face will certainly save you from a lot of trouble and possibly even some pain and grief.

Fightin' Iron: The Guns of George Mathews

Sometimes, custom gunsmiths don’t get credit where credit is due.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.