Stink Bullets And PKD's Sheep Dip Isolator

The Department of Defense is looking for a few smart bullets - smart non-lethal bullets. The DoD solicitation asks for a booster/projectile design with a soft nose for delivery of a small payload.

The specification appears to insist on non-lethal ammunition that can be used in a non-specialized firearm. The smart bullet should be able to drop off the "energetic or booster" portion right after emerging from the muzzle of the firearm; only the soft nose of the projectile continues to the target.

The soft nose can be customized to deliver irritants, laughing gas or malodorants to individuals at the range limit of the firearm.

This request appears to be an evolution of an earlier idea, that of a mortar round that could deliver malodorant capsules to a specific area:

The remaining crowd, on reaching the area covered by the NL mortar rounds, steps on microencapsulated malodorants that break open, emitting an awful smell. As the crowd moves over the "gravel," many demonstrators stop, some continue, and dozens turn back!

The ultimate expression (working backward) is probably Philip K. Dick's Sheep Dip Isolator, from his 1965 novel The Zap Gun:

"We in the West," Febbs said, "have never smelled the Sheep Dip Isolator's implementing irritant. It's said to defy description... It descends in the form of condensation from a Type VI Julian the Apostate satellite. The drops spatter in an area of say ten square miles. And wherever they land they penetrate inter-mol-wise - intermolecularly - and can't be eradicated, even by Supsolv-x, the new detergent we have. Nothing works."
(Read more about Dick's Sheep Dip Isolator)

More non-lethal weapons:

Source articles include Nonlethal capabilities of the future and Laughing bullets.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/2/2007)

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