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From: (John Schilling)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Rubber bullets
Date: 18 Dec 1995 23:27:02 -0500
Organization: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Lines: 49 (Kevin Richard Gowen) writes:

#   Please excuse a novice's question...with all the talk recently on this 
#newsgroup regarding shooting to stop instead of kill, would the use of 
#rubber bullets be a viable option for individuals who want to stop 
#instead of kill? What is the effect of rubber bullets? Do they serve to 
#stop an aggressor, or just make him more irate. I personally think if you 
#don't want to consider the death of the assailant, you should draw mace 
#instead of a gun. I guess my main question is what is the effect of 
#rubber bullets on an assailant? Thank you for your time. Replies by email 
#or posting equally welcome.

One frequently hears of "rubber bullets" and the like being used by police
in riot-control scenarios.  

Such projectiles are, within reasonable limits, an effective of dissuading
and even incapacitating rioters.

What is usually not pointed out, is that these "rubber bullets" are *not*
suitable for use in anything remotely resembling an ordinary firearm.
The projectiles in question are correctly called "baton rounds", and
are fired from grenade launchers of 37mm to 40mm caliber, or occasionally
from oversized adaptors on the ends of military rifles.

Such weapons are unreasonably cumbersome for general defensive purposes,
and so are not really an option for civilian self-defense.

Rubber or plastic bullets small enough to be fired from a pistol, as our
esteemed moderator has pointed out, cannot be counted on to do more than
anger someone.  Well, according to Murphy's law you can probably count
on them *killing* a person, if that person happens to be an innocent
bystander hit by mistake.

And you'll get no argument here that people who aren't willing to kill,
should stay away from guns altogether.  Perhaps Mace would be appropriate;
more likely simply complying with whatever demands the attacker makes.

*John Schilling                    * "You can have Peace,	       *
*Member:AIAA,NRA,ACLU,SAS,LP       * or you can have Freedom.	       *
*University of Southern California * Don't ever count on having both   *
*Aerospace Engineering Department  * at the same time."                *
*            *          - Robert A. Heinlein     *
*(213)-740-5311 or 747-2527        * Finger for PGP public key         *

From: Jonathan Spencer <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Rubber bullets
Date: 19 Oct 2000 07:15:12 -0400

In article <8s70kv$4ip$>, Andrew Walls
<> made me sit up when he said:

Hi Andrew!  :-)

#European police use "Baton Rounds" (commonly called rubber bullets)

The baton round is made from plastic (hard PVC), not rubber.  They are
35mm in calibre, about 4 inches in length, and weigh 4.5 ounces (135
grams). They are of a straight cylinder form whereas the rubber bullets
of the 1970s were made from rubber and spitzer shaped.

#that are
#fired from a 37 mm grenade launcher.

In the UK they're fired from the L69 HK general purpose riot gun, not a
grenade launcher.

#They leave the barrel at quite
#a rate but loose speed quite quickly,

Muzzle velocity is around 250 fps but they retain their velocity quite
well.  (The faster you push a bullet, the more rapidly it loses velocity
whereas a slow projectile tends to retain its velocity better.)

#I guess that if you owned a grenade launcher registered with the BATF as a
#"Destructive Device" you would be able to buy these rounds in the US.

The 37mm version of the M203 (which is 40mm) is used by the USCG as a
signal flare and line launcher.  I understand that this device is not
subject to controls in the US.  One turned up in London, attached to a
converted-to-full-auto AR15 type rifle.

--Jonathan Spencer, firearms examiner

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