12-Gauge Bean Bag Round

This round is fired from a standard 12-gauge shotgun, and consists of a fabric bag filled with small (#9) lead shot. It weighs a little less than an ounce and a half. 

After firing, the cordura nylon bag expands and strikes the target more or less expanded to its full size of about 2 inches square. On striking an individual, it delivers a strong blow to the body, briefly stunning the subject, without penetrating the body.

The Bean Bag Round may be used for crowd control, personnel incapacitation, personnel seizure, or to clear facilities of personnel.

After firing, the speed of the bean bag round falls off rapidly, and it falls to the ground after 150 feet. For this reason, injuries from this round depend on the distance and area of the body struck by the round. Beyond the maximum effective range of 50 feet, any injury would be unlikely. At shorter ranges, bruising can be noted. If the round strikes the head, the injuries can mimic those of a blunt object striking the head forcefully. At very close range (20 feet or less), the injuries can be fatal.

More Information on Non-lethal Weapons

More Information on Operational Safety

From Operational Medicine 2001: Health Care in Military Settings
CAPT Michael John Hughey, MC, USNR
  January 1, 2001

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, 2300 E Street NW, Washington, D.C, 20372-5300
United States Special Operations Command, 7701 Tampa Point Blvd., MacDill AFB, Florida, 33621-5323

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