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It is not a good start for a story if the protagonists kill each-other on sight when they first meet. Unfortunately, my protagonists are very likely to do just that. They do need to defend themselves against nature, rivals and the police while they carry on their not quite legal activities. But there is a simple solution: Give them non-lethal weapons.

The setting is a futuristic space opera, with a bit of a western flavour. Think grease, rust and iron. The universe is not a well policed place, plus the starting place of the story is a planet where nature is a threat. People usually carry a weapon with them. For plot reasons, I don't want the standard weapon to be lethal. However it needs to seriously incapacitate the target for at the very least a few minutes, up to hours. It can paralyse, knock out, put to sleep, whatever; it's up to you, as long as your opponent is instantly not a danger any more. The effects must wear off by themselves in minutes/hours.

The standard weapon also needs to work against the various intelligent species you can encounter in this universe. You can assume that the vast majority of them share the same basic structure (carbon-based, breathe oxygen...) and range from the size of a big cat to the size of a rhino, the average being between human and horse. This is a wide range, so I'm perfectly okay with the weapon being sometimes deadly if not "dosed" appropriately.

Fashion constraint: the standard weapon must look more or less like a gun, use bullets and make a nice gun sound. A valid "bullet" for this question is some sort of charge you have to insert, which get ejected through the shell and doesn't stay connected to the gun; and that you can carry in a limited quantity.

Bonus points: It makes an open wound, even a tiny one. You can sometimes kill your opponent (hit a specific area, target too small?). Should you accidentally deliver a killing bullet, there is a remedy/a procedure you can do to save your target.

Thank you for your time.


EDIT : Several answers give interesting & complementary solutions. I accepted the one which gave a direct solution to "how does a non lethal gun could work". Other useful answers :

weapon is supposed to be lethal, but doesn't work well on all the creatures of the universe

if you want a gun, use a gun. and boost the defence of the characters with nanobots

immobilize opponents with sticky-expanding-sturdy-foam I like how this one works on every creature ever

Thank you all for all your interesting propositions !

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    $\begingroup$ Is something like a dart gun good for you? $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Oct 12 '15 at 19:22
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    $\begingroup$ The trouble with a lot of approaches is that while they may work on humans, they may not work on aliens, or vice-versa. One species' sedative could be another species equivalent of water - or PCP... $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Oct 12 '15 at 20:58
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    $\begingroup$ I am confused. You have two characters (Anderson and Smith) who are such bitter enemies that they'll instantly kill each other on sight. Anderson and Smith see each other, slap leather, Anderson is faster and Smith is paralyzed. Anderson....calmly stands on Smith's windpipe until he's dead. $\endgroup$ – Steve V. Oct 13 '15 at 0:13
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    $\begingroup$ I have a concern about this. You're looking to invent a tech that solve a rather remarkable amount of conflict early in the story. That suggests that Sanderson's First law applies, and the ability to resolve conflict with this device is proportional to how much the readers understand it. I'm concerned this particular set of requirements may be too "magical," before you can get the world on its feet, so the reader's wont be able to understand it much. You might want to look at less hand-wavey solutions to your characters killing eachother $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Oct 13 '15 at 6:19
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    $\begingroup$ @jhocking explaining the personality, goal, means, etc, of all my characters is out of the scope of the question ; and the question as it is is general enough to be useful to the community. I will not extend further why it came to this need, but I do appreciate you trying to find the best solution for my case, thank you. $\endgroup$ – Petit Lama Oct 13 '15 at 17:43

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Well there are two real world options that seem to fit the bill.

  • Tranquilizer darts. There's no reason a tranquilizer round couldn't be inserted into a .45 shell. This comes with a lot more force than a tranquilizer gun would normally have so you could certainly accidentally cause lethal damage with it. The idea of a six-shooter with tranq rounds is kinda awesome actually...

  • Tasers. Tasers would be a little different. Standard tasers shoot a projectile but it is connected to the "gun" you are holding by wires, the charge is actually held there rather than in the projectile. Conceiving a wireless taser round isn't too tough though. I can see a spring loaded round exiting the shell and barrel sprouting leads out of the front. The only difficult part is going to be getting enough charge stored in a small shell...some sort of advanced battery technology that could unload its charge all at once. This option is a bit less practical than the tranq gun. Again putting this charge into a shell gives it a lot more force and could kill someone, not to mention that even our tasers today can kill if the leads connect to certain parts of the body or if the target has pre-existing health issues.

Standard tasers seem to range (from a cursory glance of google search results) from around 25,000 to 50,000 volts. Most consumer batteries top out at around 10 volts...so there is some work to be done there...but I suppose you could just make a gun big enough to hold the battery from a taser...

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    $\begingroup$ Easier to conceive than you thought, as it already exists in the real world: The TASER X12 is a 12-gauge shotgun designed to fire the TASER XREP round -- basically a single-use TASER in shotgun-shell form. The downside? $160 per shell! $\endgroup$ – Kromey Oct 12 '15 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ I like your taser bullets. Let the power source be a capacitor (most likely a lot more powerful than todays models), and have them charget the moment they are put in the barrel. Then your gun can have some sort of dial to preselect the charge your capacitator will carry. That should make it adjustable enough. $\endgroup$ – Burki Oct 13 '15 at 7:34
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    $\begingroup$ @PetitLama I think it is impossible for the tranquillizer, you should take the pharmodynamics and metabolic fate per species into account, which already varies wildly for species from earth. As extension on the air taser, maybe you can scramble their brain a bit by a localized and fast changing magnetic field (ala (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcranial_magnetic_stimulation))? $\endgroup$ – Edgar Klerks Oct 13 '15 at 10:41
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    $\begingroup$ Tasers don't have 25 kV batteries, they have ordinary batteries used to power a high voltage power supply. $\endgroup$ – Doug McClean Oct 13 '15 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ As an electrical engineer, DougMcClean is right about batteries. Voltage can be stepped up in a number of ways, so a low voltage battery can power high voltage devices. Additionally, Burki is completely right about the bullet needing to be a capacitor. Capacitors can be thought of as very rapidly charging/discharging batteries. I think this would work fine even without specialized components on the bullet, just two barbs that deliver the capacitor's charge when they poke the target. Also, it leaves the small wound you wanted. Different capacities of capacitor handle different sized animals. $\endgroup$ – Dan Oct 13 '15 at 20:00
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The type of characters you are describing do not seem likely to be drawn to non-lethal weapons.

I would propose an alternate approach. Perhaps you can use the "various intelligent species you can encounter in this universe" to your advantage. It would be very difficult to design a non-lethal gun that was perfectly effective against all variations. It would be very likely, however, to design a gun to be very lethal to a particular race but not another. You may be able to use this to your advantage. Leaning on the failings of the technology might seem more realistic than a perfect piece of technology in a world of "Grease, Rustle, and Iron".

As an example: your protagonists are both bipedal humanoid creatures, but one is made of rock and the other is made of a firm jelly (or whatever). When the rock guy shoots the jelly guy with a gun that would utterly destroy another rock guy, it merely incapacitates him due to the differences in their biology.

It would be cumbersome to carry an entire arsenal around, for all of the various alien races, so you could have your characters carry the appropriate weapon for their species. The final advantage of this approach is that you can not only grant immunity whenever you want just by making the combatants slightly different races, you can also revoke it by providing one of them with the appropriate alien technology.

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    $\begingroup$ "The type of characters you are describing do not seem likely to be drawn to non-lethal weapons." -> The non-lethal standard weapon is the cheapest and more available weapon. I was going for that explanation, but anyway, I like your approach a lot. I might accept another answer providing a concrete answer to "how does it work", but I will use this concept as well. $\endgroup$ – Petit Lama Oct 13 '15 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ @PetitLama Thanks! I feel like one of the advantages of this approach is that you can pretty much turn it on and off at will. This could allow for interesting plot twists, if not abused. Plus, nothing says "Grease, Rustle, and Iron" like a real gun. $\endgroup$ – Brad Werth Oct 13 '15 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ Example: smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2174#comic $\endgroup$ – Owen Oct 13 '15 at 18:54
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Glue guns, anyone?

Granted, this may involve more handwavium than the other answers when it comes to paintballs that expand by a factor of, say, thirty, before congealing into a rigid, sturdy foam. Anyone hit is immobilized on account of either being stuck to the floor, or most of their joints being stuck together.

On the other hand, it doesn't have to pack in nearly as much variance when it comes to dealing with different anatomies - just aim for the center of mass if they're small enough to miss their legs. The reactions of the "bullet's" innards with the air will do the rest on impact.

Further considerations - the foam, per your requirements, should degrade over the course of a few minutes to a few hours (likely due to a slower reaction with a different atmospheric element), and may or may not be fatal if you manage to shoot someone in their oxygen-intake organs; death by suffocation is decidedly unpleasant, but the remedy is self-evident.

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Doesn't technically answer the question, but you could use increased survival technology instead, and still use the same weaponry. People could be injected with nanobots which regenerate them after taking bodily harm. Medicine could be sufficiently advanced that people could be revived after being dead for hours. Some races could just be plain resilient.

This way, you could use standard lethal weaponry which will incapacitate people (in the sense that they cannot operate until the nanobots finish regenerating them, or until their friends/lackeys retrieve the body and resuscitate them, or whatever the case may be). Also, you can come up with realistic ways for lethal combat to occur - bodies could be burnt to prevent resuscitation, EMPs could be used to prevent nanobot regeneration, and the resilient race could be weak to *blank* (much like DnD trolls are weak to fire).

If lethality against wildlife is not acceptable, perhaps the wildlife could be naturally tough, or an escaped experiment dominated the local ecosystem, or something hippies did to save the space whales works quite well.

If nothing else, this could be used in conjunction with other solutions which may not work for other races (robots might get fried by the de facto weapon which is tasers, but they they have fuses to protect memory and can be repaired later!)

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  • $\begingroup$ This was what I was thinking too, if you want something like a gun use a gun. The nanites could keep functioning and reproducing even after the fall of a technologically advanced civilisation, or in backwater dives where all advanced technology that can be picked up has already been stolen. Medicine is thematic if the nanites feed on ethanol. $\endgroup$ – gmatht Oct 13 '15 at 9:59
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The problem, as I understand it, is that contemporary nonlethal weaponry would work except it wouldn't account for a wide range of species as targets. The same round fired at small and large creatures may kill one while hardly affecting the other.

Here is my solution, which requires a little futuristic technology: Your weapon is a dart gun with some amount of an tranquilizer (like thiopentone, as suggested by @MontyWild) capable of incapacitating even the largest targets. The dart is designed to penetrate into the muscle tissue of the target, and then emits a high-pitched ping. A microphone on the dart records the echo through the blood stream and uses the data to estimate the size of the target and release an appropriate amount of tranquilizer.

This is already theoretically possible, but the challenge here is building a small enough dart in a cheap enough way. Speed is another factor. Any tranquilizer will take a short time to take effect, but that may be enough time for the opponent to return fire.

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    $\begingroup$ Dimethyltubocurarine is a poison; it'll 'tranquillise' a human all right - permanently. If you want something effective in low doses and reversible, try thiopentone (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_thiopental). However, either of these compounds may have no effect or an entirely different effect on an alien physiology. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Oct 12 '15 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ Well, it's a good thing I'm a mathematician. Whenever I try to actually build something, it breaks. In this case, someone might have died. $\endgroup$ – Alex S Oct 12 '15 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ Physical size isn't the only criteria needed. The example I've seen before for 'meanness' mattering with 3 animals that are roughly the same size is that the dose of tranquilizer that will knock out an elephant will only make a rhino drowsy, and annoy a hippo (who in turn will likely respond by goring/mauling/stomping/etcing the pest who just poked it with a pin). For known animals your smart dart could use a more sophisticated heuristic to determine dosing. $\endgroup$ – Dan Neely Oct 12 '15 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ You'll still run into problems that a dart big enough to punch through the thick fur of a bear which has the natural equivalent to a class III bullet proof vest (capable of stopping normal handgun bullets but not rifle fire); is going to do serious injury from impact on something like a person just from the kinetic force. $\endgroup$ – Dan Neely Oct 12 '15 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ @MontyWild Poisonous? Everything is poisonous when too much of it is introduced to the human body. From what I understand, Dimethyltubocurarine is a muscle relaxant and non lethal. Thiopentone is a better suggestion though, unless you want them to stay conscious, in small doses. $\endgroup$ – Necessity Oct 13 '15 at 0:04
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I'll second James's taser bullet idea. For the nonlethal round you're looking for, working across a large variety of lifeforms, but which share our basic structure, you've got to disrupt the nervous system to get a reliable stun.

I've got a few ideas to build on it:

Tech would have to be high enough to carry a power source on board the bullet. If it can fit that, it can also fit some sensors, like an acelerometer. An acelerometer can handle two things:

  1. Senses the impact, and shoots in thin, barbed spikes into the target. The spikes rather aggressively fasten the bullet to the body and also deliver the shock. It also gives you the small, but non-lethal wound you're looking for.
  2. The acelerometer then also controls the shock delivery. It can continue to deliver the shock as long as the target is still moving. So, a flimsy critter would go down quick, and then the T-bullet stops zapping them so it doesn't risk lethality; the charging rhino it keeps zapping as it gets closer... closer... oh crap! closer... until finally down. Potentially, it can also modulate the voltage to get to a level needed to stop the creature in question. This gives you some interesting add-on possibilities: you could walk away, and the T-bullet would continue to keep the target down as long as its power held out. Every time they woke up and moved, it'd zap them again. :-D Also, some quick thinking, but tough opponent could avoid getting knocked out by freezing. And if you're not there to see ('cause you shot and ran for your atmo-skipper, you yellow-bellied dog), they could slowly move to pull it off (it would have to allow some movement, else breathing would trigger it).

A problem with all this is that a basic google search says a taser doesn't/can't knock you out -- it just incapacitates by disrupting the nervous signals. And hurting like a mofo. Some people say it could knock you out if you ramped the power up enough on it. So, maybe it's just refined enough in your world to knock out; or maybe awake and incapacitated is enough for you?

Another idea: Same as above, but not a taser. Once the bullet attaches (yay spikes!) it sends out monofilament really thin so you have enough but not so thin it'll cut prehensile tendrils and wraps the target up.

Hey, why not have both kinds? Always fun to have to pick the right ammo.

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  • $\begingroup$ You want to wrap someone up in knife blades? How is that non-lethal? Consider that monofilaments are equivalent to knives, since they are so thin and because of their tensile strength can apply a lot of pressure in a small area. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Oct 12 '15 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @MontyWild You're right; I changed it. At what point of thickness does slicing and dicing stop being a serious risk? $\endgroup$ – Patches Oct 12 '15 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ That all depends on the target's physiology $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Oct 12 '15 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ For those geniuses that try to freeze, if it could rather sense when they tense there muscles, that may be more usefully. Staying relaxed in those conditions would be difficult. $\endgroup$ – Necessity Oct 13 '15 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ Yea, maybe monitor heart rate and whatnot? Though that'd be species dependent too. $\endgroup$ – Patches Oct 14 '15 at 4:34
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"Grease, Rust, and Iron" is the hardest part of this question - something about tasers and tranquilizers just doesn't give that hard and basic flavor of metal, gunpowder, and grease.

Instead, we're going to use a bullet, similar to today. It won't be designed for pure penetration, but rather it will be designed to deliver its payload far enough into the target for it to safely incapacitate them. It should be a bit on the smaller side in terms of power in comparison to today's guns, but different weapons and ammunition can still be sized appropriately to anticipated targets.

One possibility for "the payload" is that, on impact, the bullet compresses (this is a sci-fi answer, likely not realistic), causing materials at the center of the bullet to begin pulsing electricity which stuns the target for whatever length of time you deem fit - the charge only lasts so long and then they have a hopefully minor flesh wound.

  • Shooting a bear with a weapon sized to incapacitate a person is going to require more shots, but could get the job done.

  • Feasible to hit your target in a bad location, or to shoot them too many times, potentially causing major harm or death.

  • Unfortunately, using a weapon sized for an elephant is probably going to kill a person - but you don't see personal protection in the form of elephant rifles too often, hopefully "nature" is not too massive and ferocious, or hopefully they brought the big guns with them but didn't take those out to shoot each other.

  • If you're still looking for that excuse on why criminals, or semi-criminals, would carry non-lethal weapons - perhaps the charge within one of these bullets is capable of overcoming some kind of electromagnetic field or similar that police may use to deflect standard metal projectiles.

  • "The payload" could differ from bullet to bullet, or you could just make up and decide a single way you'd like it to work. Another example could be a bullet which releases nanobots that spread throughout a target, duplicating itself through the nervous system until it is capable of controlling them.

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If there is a lot of handwaving going on, then a potential fit for this would be a stasis-gun. This would work by firing a small packet of 'Slow-time' at your opponent, where 1 second real time = 1 hour of slow time.

Plenty of time to make your escape/shackle your enemy - and with zero ill effects from the weapon itself (barring environmental hazards that can be introduced to the scene).

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In author Neal Stephenson's latest novel Seveneves, which is partly set in space stations/habitats, where firing guns is likely to have catastrophic consequences, weapons have been developed which fire small robots at your opponent.

The robots are designed to incapacitate, rather than kill: when they hit the target they will grab on, and then crawl around trying to cause them as much pain as possible, without trying to kill them (although you could easily program them to go for the jugular, literally, or to blind or something more serious like that).

The idea being that having a robot crawling through holes in your armor/clothes and biting/electrocuting/whatever you will tend to make you lose focus somewhat on attacking your original target, or whatever you were trying to do before you got shot.

One of the features is that they have a short range after which they will deploy little parachutes to slow them down, so that for example they won't keep going and smash a hole in the space habitat wall. They're also usually reusable.

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Electricity

You could go with a piezoelectrical bullet. It would need to employ some really weird metamaterials, and release a needle on impact. The overall effect would be the same as a taser, with the positive charge being sprayed backwards with a nice corona effect.

The needle penetration would strongly depend on the victim's hide (either natural or artificial, e.g. a leather suit), and this would mean that a bullet would be either ineffective against a well-clothed opponent, or lethal against a less clothed one, unless we design really smart bullets - or guns.

Sound

Actually, mostly mechanical vibrations propagating through the body on contact. Even if there would be a loud sound

Another possibility is that the bullet actually administers a mechanical shock (the "bang" is on impact, not on firing), infra- and super-sonic, similar to a flash-bang grenade and capable of stunning an opponent. It would be very dangerous if shot against the ears or eyes (deafness and blindness would be a given), less effective against an arm or a leg even if the limb would be semi-paralysed for a time, and in the right - or wrong - conditions it could deliver either a small entry wound, or anything from a haematoma to a deep tissue lesion with possible necrosis.

Gun-men might develop a characteristic trait called livedo reticularis due to repeated surface lesions, as well as long-term deafness.

Needless to say, the bigger the target, the less effective the weapon, and vice versa. Also, some targets might be naturally immune (or terribly vulnerable) to the standard shock pattern, requiring special bullets.

This kind of bullet would also be effective against some materials, but not others. "Shielding" would be impractical, as it would require wearing special dampening materials, but e.g. very thick felt coats would lessen the effect.

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I would suggest an electrolaser.

Each "bullet" would be a self-contained energy source to power the energy beam, and the gun itself would be a smart gun that scans the target to determine the amount of charge to send out.

Smaller bullets would not affect bigger targets, but you can get more per clip. Bigger bullets let you take down bigger targets, but at the cost of magazine capacity. Also, double-barrel weapons can be used to deliver twice as many "shots" to ensure takedown the target.

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How about a nano-net? The shell contains a very fine fiber material that spreads out and wraps up the target. The thing you want is to simply stop the opponent from moving. Regardless of the kind of metabolism and chemistry of the components making up the body, you simply go for the outward result and stop the limbs from moving, binding them in place.

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To make a 'conventional' style gun non lethal, lower velocities would be required with a change from metallic bullets to break/shatter on impact bullets.

1) Shotgun Style weapons loaded with rock-salt filled shells could potentially be non-lethal in majority of cases. May be easily homemade/recycled with blackpowder and rocksalt.

2) Pistol alternative, powder filled capsule with a hardened rear (to withstand explosive charge when firing) and shatter on impact shell (to dissipate power/powder), may have accuracy issues over longer ranges but short range pistol "6-shooter" duels would hurt on impact without the penetration to kill, powder could be an irritant / toxin that could incapacitate whomever it hit for short period.

3) Rifle alternative, this would be the most difficult type of weapon to come up with. Rifles usually have longer range uses to pistols / shotguns and so use higher velocity rounds. Rubber, Wax and Plastic could all be used, if going with the non-futuristic styled weapons, Rubber & Wax may be preferred?

http://www.patriotheadquarters.com/5-non-lethal-ammo-types/

◾Rubber bullets – Won’t penetrate the skin, but will leave nasty welts that will require medical attention.

◾Wax bullets – These could penetrate the skin at close range or if they strike a sensitive body part.

◾Plastic bullets – Used by police for riot control. Also used for target practice.

◾Electric bullets – Metal or rubber bullets that release an electrical charge when they hit a target, much like a Taser or other shock weapon.

◾Bean Bag Rounds – Designed to incapacitate the target and leave large welts but not penetrate the skin

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Star trek type stunt phasers? Phasers are particle beam weapons so in theory they can cause a wound. You'll have to reload them with new magazine to replenish the "charges" and the pop can be explain as the "bullet" breaking the sound barrier.

They can be described as lethal but prohibitively expensive (for a bunch of backwater world outlaws) since the charges are hard to come by on the frontier.

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Consider a nerve agent pellet that causes a partial epileptic seizure.

  • nerve agents disrupt the nervous system. A partial epileptic seizure is caused by a disruption of the nervous system (brain).
  • make the nerve agent be in the liquid form and require it to hit exposed skin. Breaking the skin could make it lethal. Exploding into an aerosol might make it deadly and risks collateral damage.
  • a "lethal" round that just needs to hit the skin can be something like sarin.
  • there are antidotes for lethal nerve agents.
  • there are anti-epilepsy pills a person can be given to help end the partial seizure.
  • of course, partial seizures just cause spacial disorientation, deja vu, confusion and makes the person unable to defend himself. Best case, the person quickly finds a safe place to sit and wait it out. Worst case, the person falls and hurts herself / himself.
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I agree with James, a tranquilliser gun or a Taser seem the closest real world options.

But the Tazer might be the best option, as you could adjust the voltage depending on the size of the target. It would be harder I think the adjust the amount of tranquilliser required to be non-lethal rather than use a dial to adjust the voltage.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Dean, welcome to Worldbuilding. This looks very much like a comment than an actual answer. You could consider to extend it by editing you post. I also recomend to read the tour and peruse the help center. $\endgroup$ – bilbo_pingouin Oct 13 '15 at 11:57
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How about a weapon that projects a hologram or similar directly at the eyes causing severely disorienting hallucinations or distorting the surroundings so much that the target is incapable of fighting effectively? Or it could be the equivalent of pepper spray, some compound (or minute metal particles at high speed) that causes pain but isn't lethal. For the latter, another possibility would be the equivalent of the ol' shotgun full of rock salt. Small corrosive particles (salts, solid acids, lye, tiny metal barbs that dig in like quills) might be enough to make anyone stop what they are doing and head in the opposite direction, especially if a bunch of them penetrate about 1 mm into one's skin.

Another possibility might be a sticky net that expands (like a bolo?) as it flies from the weapon, and entangles the victim.

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That's possible to ionize the air by using a laser to make a path where the electricity can flow. Maybe that's possible to create a "beam" of electricity similar to what a tazer can generate to stunt an enemy at great distance. Better, you don't need an ammo.

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Bearing in mind the "grease, iron and rust" theme, I'll attempt to avoid any mention of lasers, tazers or loaded darts.

My answer here is reduced to suggesting a variation of an existing device which (if you live in the mainland US), is likely coming to a police station near you!

It is known as "The Alternative", and it is an add-on modification to the muzzle of a gun, making the first round fired (relatively) non-lethal.

It uses a bullet capture device which catches a live bullet fired from a gun. The first round is fired into it and together they make their way towards the intended target. It strikes with reduced concussive force spread over a larger area and is still very much dangerous... but considered less than lethal.

Alternative Ballistics

Your imaginary weapon may yet be able to utilize this idea and employ a similar capability.

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How about a monofilament net launcher. Not to be confused with a monomolecular filament net launcher, which would cut the targets into chunks.

Each filament is very slender and super strong, maybe a weave of monomolecular filaments, that is just slightly too big around to cut. Alternately, you could make the filament out of handwavium.

The delivery mechanism would be via shotgun that carries barbed weights linked to the netting. In order to get proper spread use a short barrel and maybe adjust wadding and weight design to get a good spread. http://wolfhillammo.com/12-gauge-exotic-ammo.aspx has some rounds that kind of inspired this. The Bolo Rounds look particulary nasty.

Of course the powder charge would be fairly low and the range is not great, but this is something you could play with.

For longer range, you might consider some of the explosive rifle rounds that detonate after a pre-determined distance as a delivery mechanism for the net.

Potential lethality would be from possible suffocation, stragulation, or simply bad luck with shot placement.

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protected by a CVn Oct 13 '15 at 13:30

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