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Keywords:

  • forensic science;
  • TASER XREP ;
  • cadaver;
  • blunt impact trauma;
  • penetration;
  • injury risk;
  • biomechanics

Abstract

TASER International's extended range electronic projectile (XREP) is intended to be fired from a shotgun, impact a threat, and apply remote neuromuscular incapacitation. This study investigated the corresponding potential of blunt impact injury and penetration. Forty-three XREP rounds were deployed onto two male human cadaver torsos at impact velocities between 70.6 and 95.9 m/sec (232 and 315 ft/sec). In 42 of the 43 shots fired, the XREP did not penetrate the abdominal wall, resulting in superficial wounds only. On one shot, the XREP's nose section separated prematurely in flight, resulting in penetration. No bony fractures were observed with any of the shots. The viscous criterion (VC), blunt criterion (BC), and energy density (E/A) were calculated (all nonpenetrating tests, average ± 1 standard deviation: VC: 1.14 ± 0.94 m/sec, BC: 0.77 ± 0.15, E/A: 22.6 ± 4.15 J/cm2) and, despite the lack of injuries, were generally found to be greater than published tolerance values.