Using Less-Than-Deadly Force: The Traumatic Pistol

The Russian “trauma-pistol,” called the M09 or PB4, “Self-Defense Weapon.”

American police must start to creatively think “outside the box.” 

Let me say this and say it forcefully: The killing of persons in standoff situations with edged weapons must stop if community trust and support are to be regained!

The way to do this is through both training and technology development. Much has been said about American police being thoroughly accustomed to shooting at “center-mass” and doing so whenever they feel a life-threat. 

In the area of training, police can be re-trained to slow-down, dialogue, de-escalate and even to retreat to save a life. But they need effective instrumentality that will help them be more confident in approaching potentially dangerous situations involving suspects with knives and club-like weapons.

The following is one such technology development by a Russian firm — the ‘traumatic pistol’ that has four, 12-gauge sized rubber bullets that will knock a person out and down at close distance. It bears strong consideration.

We need to start thinking about options and better methods. Here’s one of them and it comes from yesterday’s post on the website “War is Boring.” 

“Police departments across America are under increased scrutiny after a series of highly controversial police shootings — many caught on video…

“Given this current climate, it’s no surprise that police departments are looking closer at less-than-lethal weapons. Electroshock weapons — marketed under the brand Taser — are now practically universal among American police forces.

“In Arizona, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is buying something unusual next year — the M09 self-defense weapon. It looks a lot like a pistol for shooting distress signal flare, but the Russians have a more colorful name for the hand cannon. They call it the pistolet travmatichyeski, or ‘traumatic pistol.’

“Designed by Russia’s state-owned Research Institute for Applied Chemistry in the mid-1990s, the first version appeared on the market in 1999 as the PB4 or Osa, meaning ‘Wasp’ in Russian. Engineers steadily improved on the basic design, leading to the M09.

“The stubby handgun has no barrels to speak of and no sights, save a laser pointer. The less-than-lethal pistol holds four 18.5-millimeter cartridges – 12 gauge to most Americans – ready to fire in separate chambers.

“However, the rounds are shorter than traditional shotgun shells. The color-coded cases can hold a single steel-cored rubber bullet, a small explosive charge to stun opponents, pepper spray gel, a bright flare or a distress signal.

“The PB4’s most impressive feature is its electrical firing mechanism. Regardless of which chambers are loaded, the gun can ‘see’ if there is a live cartridge and fire it first without having to cycle through the positions individually like a revolver.

“Right now, Pinal County is only planning on buying the rubber bullet rounds for the M09…

“The Russian manufacturer has already sold versions to Israeli and German police, among other European, Central Asian and Middle Eastern customers…

“’The M09 offers a less lethal option with greater accuracy over a greater distance than any other less lethal weapon available to us,’ [Pinal County PIO Mark] Clark explained. “It is a unique option in that it is a pistol that the deputies can have ready on their gun belt if the need arises.”

“The M09 can reliably hit targets up to five feet away. The pistol weighs less than a pound – lighter than the popular Taser X-26 stun gun…


“Unfortunately, no such weapon is ever entirely non-lethal. Officers must be carefully trained to shoot rubber bullet or other less-lethal projectiles in order to avoid inflicting serious injuries or even inadvertently killing people. In 2004, a Boston police officer killed Victoria Snelgrove with an F.N. Model 303 – a sort of high-powered riot control air gun – as the city celebrated the Red Sox’s win in the World Series. Snelgrove bled out after the projectile hit her in the eye. A unintentional hit to the face from the M09’s hard-hitting rubber bullet could be just as dangerous…”

To read the entire article CLICK HERE.