Every so often I get a sample of ammunition - usually less-lethal but sometimes just a specialty munition - that doesn't warrant a full review on its own. This week's review is going to cover two such samples that I received: first is the Lightfield Nova-DR 12g distraction round. Second is the Extreme Shock handgun ammo that I received in loadings for .380ACP, 9mm and .45ACP. Let's start off with the 12g distraction rounds and then move into the handgun stuff.
Lightfield Less Lethal Research forwarded me a couple boxes of their new NOVA-DR Distraction Rounds for testing. Designed for use in 12 gauge shotguns the NOVA-DR rounds are obviously more compact, easier to store and easier to transport than contemporary hand-thrown flash-bangs (NFDD). At an agency price of about $3.25 per round the cost savings - where the NOVA-DR can be substituted for an NFDD - are also significant.
Along with the rounds I received a print out with some information about the rounds to include intended use, advantages and training requirements. You all know me: I always take such information with a grain (or five) of salt because I consider it mostly sales-hype. In this case there is some very good info available. In the Intended Use section Lightfield states:
The NOVA-DR is intended as an indirect fire diversionary load. It should never be fired directly at persons. (emphasis mine) The intense blast signature and flash are intended to serve several purposes.
It goes on to list the intended purposes as:
- Entry teams can deploy the NOVA-DR to mask team movement or entry by discharging the NOVA-DR at a point away from where the team is operating.
- The NOVA-DR can be deployed at the entry point or within the structure as an alternative to hand thrown NFDDs
- Ideal in the Corrections environment for Cell Extractions and Disturbance Control
- Can be used as an alternative method to control or redirect dangerous animals
The larger value of the rounds can be found in the list of advantages, only a couple of which I'll list here:
- No ATFE controls for purchase, inventory, storage or transport
- Little or no risk of fire, no fragmentation
- Easy to carry; not heavy or cumbersome like NFDDs
- No costly and repetitive user or instructor certifications
- Significantly less expensive than hand thrown devices
I added the emphasis about the user and instructor certifications. For smaller agencies with even more restrictions on budget but no less requirement for special services, those savings can be signficant. I would even go so far as to suggest that these rounds may be invaluable to properly familiarized patrol officers in active shooter / immediate response situations. Prior to any use though it is imperative that agencies insure minimum training or "familiarization" is completed. Such should include basic firearms training (duh) as well as familiarization with all applicable or related federal and state case law, as well as local and agency guidelines, use of force general orders, SOPs, etc.
Now, with all that said, I discharged several of these rounds during a range day with a couple other firearms instructors. We were all quite thankful for our ear protection (most of us wear earplugs AND muffs). The energy delivered through the sonic blast is intimidating indeed. If you're not expecting it, and/or aren't familiar with it, it can be plain scary. I highly recommend (as does Lightfield Less Lethal) that any intended or authorized users be made familiar with the blast under controlled training conditions.
For more information visit Lightfield Less Lethal online (link below).
Now let's talk about this Extreme Shock handgun ammo I recieved...
I received two types of Extreme Shock ammo to test: The first was the Explosive Entry Enhanced Penetration Round abbreviated as EPR.
The second was the NyTrillium Air Freedom Rounds abbreviated as AFR.