PepperBall’s VKS Awarded U.S. Army Contract

LAKE FOREST, Ill.-( The United States Army recently announced that PepperBall® has been awarded a $650,000 contract for their Variable Kinetic System (VKS) non-lethal launcher to support soldiers with non-lethal force protection measures when out in the field. This decision is in support of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) Joint Force Protection Directorate.

The VKS has the same look, feel and fire control system as an AR-15/M-4 Carbine, and is proudly made in the U.S.A. It has been tested and recommended by members of the National Tactical Officers Association.

The VKS has the same look, feel and fire control system as an AR-15/M-4 Carbine
The VKS has the same look, feel and fire control system as an AR-15/M-4 Carbine

“We are truly honored the U.S. Army has selected PepperBall’s VKS to use as it’s non-lethal protection in its mission to defending the United States,” said Ron Johnson, CEO of United Tactical Systems. “Our VKS platform was the only non-lethal source that was capable of complying to the U.S. Army’s standards.”

The launcher offers a Dual Feed System, where a user can quickly switch between “Hopper Mode” and “Magazine Mode” during an operation for optimum versatility. A hopper has a capacity of 180 rounds, while a magazine can be loaded with either 10 or 15 rounds.

PepperBall’s VXR projectiles are compatible for the VKS launcher for high-intensity/crowd control operations. The projectiles can be effective out to 150 feet/50 yards, which is equivalent to half the distance of a football field.

PepperBall projectiles, filled with a proprietary irritant, burst upon impact, producing a strong kinetic impact and leaving a debilitating cloud that affects the eyes, nose and respiratory system.

For more information about PepperBall’s VKS launcher and its complete line of products, visit

About PepperBallPepperBall logo

The PepperBall system originates in a 1996 DARPA program. PepperBall projectiles are precision-manufactured with a proprietary outer shell and live active irritant compound engineered to burst on impact into a temporarily incapacitating cloud with no harmful impacts. PepperBall products are used by thousands of agencies across the U.S. and around the world, and offer a true non-lethal alternative with an unsurpassed safety record over thousands of incidents spanning 20 years. The company delivers professional certified training for users, instructors and armorers. PepperBall engages with military agencies, law enforcement, and Tier One industry defense and security partners to continue evolving safe, versatile, effective variants for non-lethal solutions and missions. PepperBall is a registered trademark of United Tactical Systems LLC, exclusive manufacturer and worldwide supplier of genuine PepperBall products.

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Did anyone else catch that the two individuals in the video, one from the manufacturer and one who sells the gun, were constantly flagging each other with their weapons? The seller guy started out by pointing his barrel right at the rep’s crotch! Lethal or not, a crotch shot at 1′ would likely be quite damaging. Might even be lethal if one had a low pain tolerance and a weak heart. At least they kept their fingers off the triggers…..


Two comments have now gone into AmmoLand limbo…

Melvin Harris

This is cool. A paintball carbine with spicy rounds. I like it.


This could lead to shooting your food to a new level!

Christopher Robinson

A horrible waste of taxpayer funds. Why does our armed forces need non lethal stuff?
Next we will be awarding contracts for non lethal tanks and artillery.


Because of potential collateral damage to women and kids during raids on compounds, for one example; for capturing targets wanted alive for intel development, for another.


Why? Let’s say you’re patrolling through town and, you’re confronted by a group an angry but unarmed civilians. Should your response be “lethal force” or, does this pepper ball gun make a little more sense now? We carried a shotgun with rubber slugs or, “foam baton” rounds (nerf grenades) for the M203 for situations like that. Keep in mind that this wouldn’t be a Soldier’s primary weapon but, could come in handy from time to time.


I bet the government has balls that will do a lot more than pepper a perp. “Not available” to the civy market of course. CS, flash-bang, solid “rubber bullet” type things, knockout gas, incendiary, etc. A whole new platform for non lethal, non penetrating or low energy lethal deliveries. Just imagine the possibilities!


This may look and feel too much like an M4. Really bad things can happen when Lethal and LTL can’t be easily differentiated.


Only when being used by bad guys. The scenario you imply is unrealistic. This IS a weapon, not a toy that could be mistaken as one.


Scenario 1: A Marine Recon SSgt is instructing a force on force class using dummy ammunition. He does not remove magazines with live ammo from the training area. He mistakenly locks and loads a magazine with live rounds, and shoots and kills a trainee. SSgt is convicted (I don’t remember if Manslaughter or Negligent Homicide), forfeits all rank and goes to Federal prison. Scenario 2. Transit police officer is arresting an unarmed but, in his opinion non compliant, suspect. Suspect is face down on ground. Transit officer shoots suspect in back with what he thinks is his Taser, but is… Read more »


My first reply is stuck in limbo.

It may pop up later.

I am not talking about cops mistaking a toy for a weapon. I am talking about cops or troops grabbing a lethal M4, when they had intended to grab a less-than-lethal pepperball gun, or vice versa. Either mistake could be lethal.