A new handheld electromagnetic gun launcher for controlling riots called the CS/LW21 has been revealed by China. The gun, developed by China North Industries Group Corporation and other tech teams, was showcased on the state-affiliated CCTV-7 during a military technology program.
According to a report by South China Morning Post (SCMP), the gun uses coin-shaped bullets that can penetrate wood and break glass bottles but is touted as a “non-lethal” weapon to minimize harm to humans.
“The gun is designed like coil guns, which use electric power to accelerate the projectile,” Lei Fengqiao, the gun’s designer, Lei Fengqiao, told CCTV.
“When the nine-level coil is electrified, corresponding magnetic fields are formed, which allow the bullet to be sucked out by a relay race method.”
The gun’s shape and trajectory of rounds allow for superior control and multiple-point impacts. The gun uses electromagnetic force instead of traditional gunpowder methods, enabling the shooting strength to be adjusted based on distance or target type.
The gun’s design is simplistic, without unnecessary components, making it more manageable and user-friendly. It is powered by a built-in lithium-ion battery that can fire hundreds of rounds when fully charged, and the charging time is brief, with minimal temperature effects.
The CS/LW21 features a double-chamber magazine that enables continuous shooting and quick reloading. The gun’s front-mounted display panel shows bullet capacity, firing mode, rail temperature, frequency, and battery level, while its sight is easily installed.
The bullets’ shape and trajectory make them easy to store and transport, and in field tests, they effectively penetrated double-layered 3mm-thick wooden planks and shattered glass bottles.
These “non-lethal” weapons have a small recoil, quiet firing sound, and no flash, smoke, or rounds, making them ideal for use in crowded places. However, using electromagnetic weapons with pointed, body-piercing bullets could result in more damage than conventional weapons.
According to the SCMP report, the electromagnetic pistol’s capabilities raise concerns about human rights violations in riot control practices.
Nevertheless, in densely populated regions where conventional firearms can trigger fear or violence, the electromagnetic gun’s quiet firing sound, lack of flash, smoke, or ammunition, modest recoil, and cost-effectiveness make it a more appealing alternative.