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What is a remote gun?

A Sublethal Remote Gun is a non-lethal weapon that engages a criminal without the user (homeowner, farmer, business person) facing the criminal.

Sublethal remote guns are designed to fight back against criminals while keeping the user safe. A remote gun makes the fight "unfair" because the only person that can lose is the criminal.

Technical overview

Frequently asked questions:

  1. Is it safe?
  2. How much does it cost? Where can I buy one?
  3. Is a remote gun legal?
  4. What is the bullet, how many shots do I get? How much damage does it do?
  5. What if children find the controller? Can they shoot me?
  6. Does it work when the electricity is out?
  7. Is it difficult to install?
  8. Do you ship to the US?
  9. Can it be used with real guns? Real bullets?
  10. Can criminals disable the remote gun?

 

Why use a remote gun?

There are 6 very good reasons why you should use Sublethal Remote Guns:

  1. Some armed response companies react quicker than others, usually they respond within a few minutes. Sublethal remote guns are armed and fighting within 4 seconds, fearless, lightning fast and exactly where you need them. When your family is at risk, seconds means lives. Sublethal remote guns actively fight back against criminals without putting you at risk.
  2. Using a firearm on a criminal in South Africa is a problem for the firearm owner/ homeowner. In the event that the criminal is killed, the SAPS have to open a docket for murder against the homeowner. The homeowner will have their firearm confiscated for ballistic tests and the homeowner will also have to appear in court. This is a huge burden on the innocent both in time and legal fees. In the event that the criminal was not carrying a firearm, then the homeowner may face jail time. Sublethal Remote Guns do not require a licence and they use non-lethal force, so the chance of serious injury is low.
  3. Using a firearm against a criminal places your life at risk. Why face up against armed criminals? Why put your life at risk when a machine can do it for you?
  4. Remote guns are so easy to use that there is no need to get out of bed in the middle of the night to check suspicious noises. Sleep better knowing that there are no threats outside.
  5. Remote guns are orders of magnitude cheaper that human security guards in the long term. See the page on Security Guard costs here. Remote guns can be used by businesses as force multipliers to reduce security costs. One unarmed security guard using remote guns can engage many armed robbers without fear of being hurt or victimised. Homeowners can rarely afford a 24 hour security guard on their property but Sublethal Remote Guns are affordable for many families.
  6. Remote guns give a disproportionate advantage to the defender. The criminal stands little chance of winning a fight against a machine. Knowing that their only option is to lose is highly demoralising for criminals.

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Can I try a Sublethal Remote Gun before I buy?

Yes, we offer various options for you to try out Sublethal Remote Guns so that you can make an informed decision. Please visit the Test a Remote Gun page for details.

No, you do not need a license for a Sublethal Remote Gun in South Africa. Sublethal Remote Guns use a Paintball gun as the main weapon. In South Africa a paintball gun is excluded from the Firearms Control Act

Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000: 5. (1) For purposes of this Act, the following devices are not regarded as firearms: (h) a paintball gun;

It is established that a paintball gun is a self defence weapon: an employee of Ethekwini (South African Government) used a paintball gun for warning/self defence which clearly shows that a paintball gun is being used for defence: www.saflii.org

It is important to note that paintball guns can cause injury and damage, so it is important to use a remote gun in the same way that one would use any other weapon:

What bullets are used in a Sublethal Remote Gun? How much damage does a remote gun cause?

The main weapon is a civilian paintball gun using nylon bullets (plastic), the impact on a person is very similar to a SAPS (South African Police Service) rubber bullet used in riot control - extremely painful but not life threatening. Paintballs are not recommended as they cause many more jams/ stoppages than solid balls. Remember that the bullets will get extremely hot in the South African sun and painballs do not store well in high temperatures. Pepper balls can be used but only the frangible solid casing type, which is not the type that most stores sell. Pepper balls with soft casings do not last long in the african sun.

The magazine can hold up to 155 bullets. It is not necessary to fill the magazine to the top. It is unlikely that more than 10 bullets are used in one incident. You should not have fewer than 50 bullets in the remote gun at any point.

Sublethal Remote gun bullet comparison


Bruise from a solid paintball bullet.

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Where are remote guns used?

Remote guns are used to protect something valuable, like a family, or to fight off criminals.

Remote guns on farms

Sublethal remote guns were designed and optimised for South Africa. Unfortunately most security equipment is not designed for the severe criminal threat that South Africans experience. A siren may scare off a criminal in Canada but in South Africa it takes a lot more to stop criminals.

Farms and small holdings are at a higher risk because criminals know that it takes a long time for armed response to arrive. Given enough time, criminals can break into anything. Remote guns don't allow criminals the leisure to break in at their own pace.

Why Sub Lethal? Why not Lethal?

It does not matter in South African law whether a suspect is guilty or not guilty, if you shoot and kill a criminal, then the Police have to confiscate your weapon AND have to open a case of murder against you.
Worst case scenario: if the criminal does not kill you, then you may end up in prison;
Best case scenario: you will spend a few months in court to prove your innocence and spend substantial amounts of money on legal fees.
So using lethal force means that you lose, or you lose.
When a suspect is shot with sub-lethal force, then:
Worst case scenario: the Police charge you with assault GBH.
Best case scenario: the criminal limps back with shattered confidence and tells others that your farm is too dangerous.
So sub-lethal force means that if you use the remote gun responsibly, then there is a possible good outcome for you.

How much does a remote gun cost?

Please visit the Buy a Remote Gun page for details . A remote gun costs much less than human security guards and have many advantages over security guards. Click here to view details of Security Guard costs in Johannesburg.

Security guard R26 000 to R70 000 per month 24 hour security guard service with
12 hour rotation in Johannesburg
Sublethal Remote Gun

R22 500 once off

Base model indicative price

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Can criminals disable the remote gun?

A Sublethal Remote Gun is diffficult to disable because in most cases it is mounted on a 6m (18ft) steel pole. The remote gun is able to fire down the pole to protect itself. In the unlikely event that a criminal gets to a remote gun undetected, and has the acrobatic skills to mount a pole 6m high, they would need great skill and courage to stick their hand in a loaded remote gun to disable it.

Shooting a firearm at the remote gun can disable parts of the remote gun it if a bullet strikes a power or communication cable or damages the weapon. We offer upgrades to the casing to make it more resistant to bullet strikes in the event that you are fighting a war on your property. The chance of a criminal scoring a lucky shot and disabling the remote gun during a shoot out is very unlikely as all the electronics are encased in steel housings.

Can children accidentally shoot someone?

The hand controller for a remote gun can be locked with a key. To arm the remote gun, the key must be inserted and turned to the ON position. Only then will the trigger button be active. A shot from a Sublethal remote gun is extremely painful and may cause injuries but is unlikely to kill or cause permanent damage. A shot to the face is very dangerous.

Is a remote gun difficult to use? What training is required?

A remote gun is extremely easy to use and requires a few minutes of familiarisation. Small children can easily use the Sublethal remote gun, which is why every controller has a key to lock the controller and prevent children from using it.

No formal training is required, a few minutes of testing is enough for most people to become excellent shots with the Sublethal Remote Gun.

Note that only responsible people should be given access to use the remote gun.

Does a Sublethal Remote Gun work during load shedding and power outages?

Yes, the Sublethal Remote Gun has a battery that can keep it fighting for 3 days without power. The duration depends on the battery and how much the remote gun is used, under tests the Sublethal Remote Gun often lasts 7 days on a 50Ah deep cycle battery. A solar panel and solar charge controller can be fitted to ensure continuous power.

What maintenance is required for a remote gun?

Sublethal remote guns are sold with maintenance schedules which need to be followed. Cleaning and maintenance is required every few months, depending on operating conditions and how often the remote gun is used.

Do you ship to the USA?

We get a lot of queries from the USA about the Sublethal Remote Gun. In 2018 we do not ship to the USA because we are manufacturers only and sell locally in South Africa. If you are interested in importing Sublethal Remote Guns please contact us here.

Can it be used with real guns? Real bullets?

If a person can withstand the pain from a solid painball bullet, then they can probably withstand the pain from a real bullet. A shot from a solid paintball bullet is more pain than most people can handle. The Sublethal Remote Gun system is built to be modular but we do not allow, encourage, endorse nor will we assist you in fitting a firearm to the Sublethal Remote Gun platform. Standard firearm bullets are not compatible with the weapon system on the Sublethal Remote Gun. Lead bullets of the correct caliber are unlikely to work (we have not tested this) and must not be used.

Installing a Sublethal Remote Gun

Sublethal Remote Guns have been designed to be easy enough for a farmer on a remote location to install and maintain it themselves. Alternatively, ask us for a list of installers in your area. Installation typically takes a few hours and does not require specialist tools. Below is a brief overview of the installation process (do not use these instructions for actual installation. Use the Installation Manual):

  1. Dig a hole 1.2m deep for the 6m or 8m pole (100x100x2mm steel tube). Dig a trench for the cables to where the user will be.
  2. Run the wires from the house through the 6m pole.
  3. Depending on your installation, either
    - mount the pole with the Sublethal Remote Gun fitted to the pole. Note that the Sublethal Remote Gun weighs approx 18kg (40lbs.)
    - mount the pole without the remote gun, then put up scaffolding or use a cherry picker to fit the remote gun to the pole.
  4. Insert and connect the battery to the battery box. Connect power. Plug in the comms cable and CCTV cable.
  5. Test all functions
  6. Fill in the trench, close the electronics access hatch, ensure the battery box lid is on.

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This page was last updated on 14 June 2019.