No. 15 Sting Ball Grenade

This hand-held, hand-thrown grenade has an initial 1-second delay fuse, after which the fuse assembly is discharged at low speed away from the main charge. After an additional 1-second delay, the main charge detonates. This produces a loud sound, a bright flash of light, and the distribution of approximately 180 rubber pellets of .32 caliber size. Pellets travel up to 50 feet from the point of detonation.

The Sting Ball Grenade may be used for crowd control, personnel incapacitation, or to clear facilities of personnel.

After detonation, the rubber pellets rapidly lose velocity. Individuals struck by the pellets at long range are unlikely to notice anything or suffer any injury. Within 50 feet of the detonation, however, individuals usually notice an intense stinging at the site of impact. Because of the relatively low velocity and the character of the projectile (rubber), penetration beneath the skin is not usually expected. For those close to the site of detonation, however, penetration of the pellets beneath the skin is common. 

Superficial penetration is treated by removal of the pellet, debridement of any dead tissue (rarely needed), thorough cleansing of the wound tract with large amounts of sterile saline, Ringer's lactate, or even plain water. Make sure to remove any foreign material (clothing threads, dirt). Then apply a loose gauze, and allow the wound to close spontaneously. Skin edges should not be primarily sutured. Administer tetanus prophylaxis. Deep penetration is treated just like any other low to moderate velocity penetrating wound from a foreign body.

Any pellet injury to the eye can be very serious and vision-threatening. If the operational setting allows, immobilize the eye (patching or eye cup) and arrange for transportation to a definitive care setting.

More Information on Hand Grenades

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
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