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PhaZZer EqualiZZer Air Carbine

PhaZZer® Electronics has aggressively entered the less-lethal market with two carefully developed, beta-site tested devices. The PhaZZer devices are clearly superior to the earlier attempts by other companies, and in fact are direct, feature-by-feature competitors to the existing products.

The Enforcer cartridges are interchangeable with the TASER® cartridges. The EqualiZZer projectiles are interchangeable with PepperBall® projectiles. (The Enforcer ECD was covered earlier. Go to www.hendonpub.com, Resources, Article Archive.)

CO2 Launcher

The PhaZZer EqualiZZer is brand-new to the less-lethal toolbox. This is a CO2-powered launcher that fires a wide variety of .68-caliber paintball and PepperBall cartridges. The semi-automatic carbine has an effective range of around 120 feet (40 yards) providing a long-distance, less-lethal option.

The PhaZZer EqualiZZer is based on the very high-end paintball launchers. In fact, the EqualiZZer has the same feel of an AR-15, and actually has tighter tolerances and better machining than many generic AR-15 platform rifles. The EqualiZZer uses an open-bolt, blow back action. The bolt of the EqualiZZer must be fully to the rear (out of battery) prior to pressurizing the system to pulling the trigger.

The EqualiZZer top-feed, spring-fed magazine holds 18 rounds of ball projectiles, either Impact, Pepper or Training. The projectiles are powered by a 7-ounce or 9-ounce CO2 refillable cylinder (1800 psi) housed inside the adjustable buttstock. The average velocity of the first 20 projectiles is around 320 fps, while the second group of 20 projectiles average around 290 fps.

Picatinny and Weaver

The EqualiZZer is equipped with a number of attachment rails—over the action, under the receiver, and on three sides of the barrel. On top of the receiver (on both sides of the breech) is a Weaver-style rail that holds either the long PepperBall magazine or the tall Electric Dart magazine. The Picatinny adapter under the receiver is intended to mount to the Picatinny rail on the PhaZZer Enforcer ECD. This dual EqualiZZer–Enforcer setup gives both close-range and long-range less-lethal options.

Around the barrel is a three-way Picatinny rail designed for a variety of lights, lasers, sights and vertical foregrips. Our test version had a green laser aiming sight. The bright green laser pointer is actually needed regardless of the projectiles being launched. The iron sights on top of the ball projectile magazine are extremely small and the tall, dart magazine blocks traditional fixed sights. A vertical foregrip is a part of most EqualiZZer kits. A high-lumen white light could be easily mounted on the side opposite the laser pointer.

We fired nearly a hundred PepperBalls from the EqualiZZer at a variety of ranges. Bottom line? As a .68-caliber launcher, the PhaZZer EqualiZZer is fully as accurate and as effective as the current options. It is easy to load, easy to fire, easy to get hits. Everything works like it is supposed to.

Electric Darts

The CO2-fired paintball aspect of the PhaZZer EqualiZZer is conventional and straight forward. It uses game-proven and street-proven projectiles with well-known, police impact munition effects. On the other hand, the EqualiZZer also fires electric impact darts. This is very definitely the micro bevel on the cutting edge of less-lethal options. Many attempts have been made over the past 20 years to get a launchable ECD projectile. The now-abandoned, shotgun-fired, TASER Extended Range Electronic Projectile (XREP) is one recent attempt. This PhaZZer development is very promising.

The PhaZZer EqualiZZer uses a rechargeable electric dart. The electric dart is basically a tiny capacitor, which is something that stores electrostatic energy in an electric field. The dart is instantly charged as it exits the vertical box magazine and enters the chamber. The dart instantly discharges as the nose contacts the target.

At the tip of the dart’s nose are two small needles, spaced ¼-inch apart. When these tiny probes both contact the subject, the electric circuit is complete and the capacitor discharges. Electronically simple. Mechanically simple. Very functional. Very clever.

Charged in Magazine

The electric dart is an extremely light, fin-stabilized, bullet-shaped projectile. It is made to fit one way in the magazine—it cannot be loaded incorrectly. A specialized magazine holds up to six darts. These electric projectiles are charged in the magazine with a 9-volt battery. As the dart moves to the bottom of the magazine, the tiny probes make contact with an internal set of contacts that instantly charges the dart as it passes down the magazine.

In the charged condition, the dart carries a voltage of about 2000 volts. The two needle probes are just ¼-inch apart, which is basically the same point of contact. As such, the purpose of the dart is to act like a drive-stun to this one location, as opposed to neuromuscular incapacitation, which requires more voltage and a larger dart spread.

The typical ECD produces about 0.3 joules of energy. In comparison, the electric dart produces 0.4 microjoules, a tiny fraction of the ECD energy. On the other hand, no one stands around very long when being stung by a wasp or hornet, and these bees don’t slam into you with the force of a paintball.

Emerging Technology

The PhaZZer Electronics electric dart bullet is very new, developing technology. Obviously, with ¼-inch-long needles on the front edge, there are point of impact concerns with the electric dart. Some of this concern is eased by the fact that the electric darts fly remarkably true.

The range of any impact munition is not determined by impact energy, but by the long-range accuracy. The impact munition must be accurate enough not to stray into no-strike zones. Both the launched balls and the electric darts have the same accuracy and the same effective range. We got torso-size groups from both at 25 yards. Bottom line? This dart is, in fact, the next step in the elusive goal of a long-range, electrical deterrent…and all fired from a modified paintball gun!

Published in Tactical Response, May/Jun 2014

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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