Polyshok Impact Reactive Projectile for Military SPECOPS and LE SWAT

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by David Crane

Any military or law enforcement Spec-Operator tasked with employing a tactical shotgun for a living should take a serious look at the Polyshok I.R.P. 12-gauge shotgun round. "I.R.P" stands for "Impact Reactive Projectile", and this specialized shotgun round is designed specifically to maximize stopping power against enemy combatants or hostile subjects (especially hostage-takers), while minimizing the potential for over-penetration and collateral damage.

Polyshok I.R.P.
shotgun ammo would appear to be ideally suited for counterterrorism missions where hostage rescue is the primary goal. It’s DefenseReview’s understanding that…

USSOCOM and specific U.S. military Special Operations units and law enforcement SWAT/SRT teams that have tested the Polyshok I.R.P. round are extremely impressed with its performance.

Defense Review is always interested in new specialty 12-gauge shotgun ammo that can fulfill mission-specific military Special Operations (SPECOPS), law enforcement SWAT/SRT, and anti-terrorism/counterterrorism and hostage rescue requirements.

Click here to view a video that demonstrates "the problem with [conventional] tactical ammunition"–overpenetration of the intended target.

According to the Polyshok, Inc. website, "This video shows what can happen when 00 buckshot is fired in a residential neighborhood. In this simulation a standard 12 gauge load of 00 buckshot is being fired toward a house from a range of 30 feet. The buckshot penetrated a solid wood privacy fence, an exterior wall with vinyl siding, and two interior walls and still maintained lethal energy. Although 00 buckshot was used in this demonstration it very accurately represents the minimum penetration of practically all tactical handgun, rifle, or submachine gun ammunition currently in use. (All wall panels were constructed to meet or exceed national building code standards.)"

Click here
to view the overpenetration danger/effect of a 12 gauge shotgun slug.

According to Polyshok, "This video shows just a small fraction of the power of a 12 gauge slug. We have simulated shooting a standard 1 once slug toward a vinyl sided house from 30 feet. The slug passes through a solid wood privacy fence and easily penetrates the entire house with retained lethal energy on the other side.

While this is intended to illustrate a missed shot, the slug could still exhibit almost this same level of energy after hitting an initial target. In earlier tests we simulated shooting through an automobile before the round hit the house and it still penetrated all the way through with estimated lethal energy on the other side. Few people appreciate that a 12 gauge slug delivers a level of penetration and raw power almost unsurpassed in shoulder fired weapons. (All wall panels were constructed to meet or exceed national building code standards.)"

Click here
to view a video that demonstrates "the over-penetration issue" of conventional 12-gauge 00 buckshot against a human target.

Polyshok states that "this video shows the over penetration potential of 00 buckshot and almost all other types of conventional tactical ammunition after shooting through a dense viscous target (bad guy). After hitting and fully penetrating the initial target 00 buckshot passes right through two interior wall panels and delivers lethal energy to an innocent bystander two rooms away."

Click here
to see how this over-penetration issue is resolved.

In this video, "the Polyshok I.R.P. round is shot through a dense viscous target (bad guy) with interior walls, and an innocent bystander down range. This video shows the tremendous power delivered to the target with almost no danger to anyone beyond."

Click here to see how the Polyshok Impact Reactive Projectile (I.R.P.) stacks up against conventional tactical pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammo, regarding target over-penetration effect.

Click here
to view a multi-family housing demo.

The following is what Polyshok has to say about this tactical scenario: "Almost without exception, law enforcement agencies never want to shoot from one apartment blindly into another apartment. One of our major design concerns was to make sure that a missed shot would lose the bulk of its energy in a partition wall between apartments and pose as little threat as possible on the other side. In this demonstration we fire the Polyshok I.R.P. round into the typical minimum building code standard partition wall between multi-family units which consists of two sheets of 5/8" fire rated gypsum wall board on each side of a stud. We have left out the fiberglass insulation normally found in this type of wall as it offers no ballistic resistance. This "one-hour fire wall" is also used to separate offices and businesses as well. As you can see, the round penetrates the wall but lacks the energy to break our glass backstop ten feet away. It would be unlikely that anything more than very minor flesh wounds would be inflicted at that distance."

Click here to view an urban tactical demo.

Polyshok states "Polyshok ammunition is designed specifically to create the fastest incapacitation of a threat, in face to face confrontations in crowded environments, with the least potential of unintended injury, around or downrange of the target.

This video illustrates the massive energy transfer that makes the Polyshok I.R.P. both effective and safe. In this demonstration the .73 caliber, 540 gr. I.R.P. round hits a 1 gallon plastic container filled with water at over 1,000 fps just 10 feet from our glass backstop. Depending on the circumstances, in most cases the projectile will not exit a human sized target allowing shots to be taken in very close proximity to hostages or bystanders with minimal risk of unintended injuries."

Attack Dogs

"Many agencies have confronted trained attack dogs, especially during drug raids. Polyshok ammunition can be used against this type of threat with little or no over penetration, and will stop an attack instantaneously even against the largest and most vicious breeds."

Click here
to view a hard target demonstration of the Polyshok I.R.P. 12-gauge shotgun round’s performance.

The Polyshok, Inc. website states that "this demonstration is designed to prove that the ballistic polymer projectile casing doesn’t allow the projectile just to "splash" when contacting a hard target. Polyshok ammunition is designed to go through a controlled expansion process even when hitting the toughest targets. High velocity 00 Buck will bounce off the 16 ga. hot rolled steel plate seen in this video clip."

Residential Non-Masonry Exterior Walls

Occasionally law enforcement agencies are called on to return fire into a dwelling from outside. The most common non-masonry exterior wall materials in the U.S. are vinyl siding, aluminum siding, or stucco over a plywood or OSB substrate.

If the Polyshok does not hit a stud or other solid interior wall structure, it can provide a one to two foot zone, just on the other side of this type of wall, which can produce incapacitating or potentially fatal wounds. Within ten feet from the impact with this type of wall structure the round becomes non-lethal and will typically lose all its energy before exiting the first room.

Auto Doors and Body Panels

If only the sheet metal skin of a car door is encountered, the round will produce incapacitating if not fatal wounds to anyone just inside the door within the passenger compartment. However, our tests have shown that there are simply too many metal substructures such as side impact panels and internal structural framework hidden inside car doors, and bodies, to guarantee effectiveness. A better alternative would be shooting through the glass or shooting out the tires. Tire shots can be taken safely with little to no danger from ricochet."

Click here
to view a normal partition walls demo.

Polyshok states "In a situation where someone is shooting at an officer and takes cover behind an interior partition wall (or residential type door), the officer may return fire through the wall or door with Polyshok I.R.P. ammunition.

If the I.R.P. round does not hit a stud or other solid interior wall structure, it can provide up to a two foot zone, just on the other side of this type of wall, that can produce incapacitating or potentially fatal wounds.

Medically supervised tests indicated the resulting wounds resembled blunt impact type wounds, more than conventional gunshot wounds, with substantial tissue and bone trauma. The medical team deemed them comparable to a heavy impact from a baseball bat or even a sledgehammer, and considered them incapacitating with a high potential of lethality.

A safe non-lethal range from the exit point through this type of wall would be approximately ten feet with the possibility of moderate abrasive type flesh wounds. At this distance two layers of 11 oz. denim or tactical type clothing will dissipate the discharge to the point of a low probability of even minor flesh wounds."

Click here
to view an auto glass demo.

The above video shows how "the Polyshok projectile will penetrate both laminated and tempered auto glass at all but extreme angles, and can produce incapacitating and/or fatal wounds up to two feet beyond the point of impact.

For this demonstration we [Polyshok, Inc.] placed a piece of 1/2" thick structural plywood 2 feet behind a piece of OEM windshield glass set at a 45 degree angle. We then fired a Polyshok I.R.P. round through the windshield and through our 1/2" structual plywood "bad guy" without breaking our glass backstop 10 feet downrange.

Medically supervised tests indicated the resulting wounds resembled blunt impact type wounds, more than conventional gunshot wounds, with substantial tissue and bone trauma. The medical team deemed them comparable to a heavy impact from a baseball bat or even a sledgehammer, and considered them incapacitating with a high potential of lethality.

An important advantage of using Polyshok ammunition is that when fired into an automobile the total lethal potential is typically expended within that specific vehicle, and poses very little danger to other traffic even in the immediate vicinity."  

Store Front Glass

Polyshok states that "this is typically ¼" heat strengthened or tempered glass, and even though harder, offers slightly less ballistic resistance than laminated auto windshield glass. Polyshok ammunition will typically penetrate this type of glass at up to a 45 angle with little deflection."

Click here
to view a body armor demo of the Polyshok Impact Reactive Projectile (I.R.P.).

According to Polyshok, "the focused pressure wave created during a direct torso impact on soft body armor, up to and including NIJ STD Threat Level IIIA, can easily cause sufficient internal injuries to immediately incapacitate, and possibly prove lethal. However, the Polyshok projectile will typically fully expend all its energy without penetrating a single layer of Kevlar.
This video shows just how transparent soft body armor is to the effects of the Polyshok I.R.P. We covered a 2" thick concrete block with a NIJ Threat Level II ballistic vest panel and fired the I.R.P. into the center of the vest. Judge for yourself how the "bad guy" would react in this situation."

Entry team information:

"If the Polyshok strikes any solid object before hitting someone wearing body armor, as in the case of "friendly fire" where a round penetrates a partition wall and strikes an unseen officer, the potential of lethality or even serious injury is greatly reduced."

Click here to view a close quarter tactical/CQB (Close Quarters Battle) demo.

Here’s what Polyshok, Inc. has to say about it: "All too often violent offenders will use any available group of people as cover. This can range from a bank robber taking hostages, a gunman using a bus or subway for an escape, or even the terrorist looking to kill or wound the most people possible in a bomb attack. In any of these situations there are innocent people in very close proximity to the target.

To demonstrate the close quarter potential of the Polyshok I.R.P., we placed 2 one-gallon plastic containers filled with water 3 feet apart with a layer of denim cloth between them. (The denim is used to illustrate that normal clothing would prevent injury in this scenario.)

We then fired an I.R.P. round through the first container directly toward the second one. The water being carried by the pressure wave knocked the second container off the stand but otherwise left it completely undamaged.

Polyshok is perhaps the best ammunition ever developed for this type of situation. Even in the unlikely event the round does fully penetrate a human target, the possibility of inflicting unintended injuries downrange is almost nonexistent. Beyond two feet past the intended target the round could be considered, for all practical proposes, harmless."

Click here
to view a video of a ballistic gelatin test of the Polyshok I.R.P. shotgun round.

Polyshok states: "H.P. White, a federally approved testing agency, conducted ballistic gelatin testing and determined that Polyshok ammunition performed equally well against both bare and heavily clothed 10% ballistic gelatin. The pictures below are the actual high-speed photographs made by the H.P. White Laboratory.

Shot #1 is shot through bare gelatin. Approximate wound cavity dimensions: temporary–11 3/8" diameter; permanent–7 3/4" long x 5 11/16" diameter.

Shot #2 was shot through a heavy down-filled coat. Approximate wound cavity dimension–10 5/8" diameter; Permanent–7 1/4" long x 4 7/8" diameter."

And, finally, we have a door breaching demo. Click here to view it.

According to the company, "In this door breaching demonstration the Polyshok I.R.P. round is being used to open a locked and dead bolted door. The door is a heavy solid wood exterior model with contractor grade lockset and deadbolt, and an upgraded heavy duty striker set screwed directly through the door casing into a 4X6 stud.

The timer in the corner of the screen is running in real time and shows both the locked lockset and deadbolt being defeated in under 2 seconds. This shows some of the versatility of the Polyshok I.R.P. round which is designed to fill a multitude of roles while maintaining a very low potential for collateral damage and unintended injuries.

Click on this link
to read the Polyshok I.R.P. (Impact Reactive Projectile) Operations Manual (Ops Manual). It’s interesting reading.

Polyshok, Inc.’s
Vice President of Marketing is Jim Middleton. Mr. Middleton is "the former head of the Research and Development Program for the U.S. Navy Seals in Panama City, Florida". On his website, he states that he "was personally involved with some of the most sophisticated weapons systems in the world".

The following is the contact info for Jim Middleton, which we pulled directly off the Polyshok, Inc. website:

Jim Middleton
Vice President, Marketing
Polyshok, Inc.
2702 Woodmere Drive
Panama City, FL 32405
888-820-2010 Toll Free
850-625-9412 Cell
850-769-3619 Fax
Federal Tax Id # 56-2169497

Charles Glover is in charge of technical information for Polyshok. Here’s his contact info:

Charles Glover
Lenoir, NC
Voice: 828-302-4661
info@polyshok.com or tech@polyshok.com

Polyshok Impact Reactive Projectile for Military SPECOPS and LE SWAT by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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