Non-lethal handgun

This is OSA, or “Wasp”. It is a Russian non-lethal, barrel-less, electrically initiated handgun. It is marketed as an efficient self-defence weapon, and has gained much popularity in Russia, since you can’t legally own a normal proper gun in Russia.

One of the main reasons for that popularity is that other self-defence pistols sold in the country, are military side-arms converted into gas and rubber-firing weapons by squeezing the barrel or welding in a couple of metal teeth. The ammunition used is a standard 9mm shell fitted with a soft rubber round bullet. When fired, the rubber easily compresses inside the barrel to overcome the obstacles. However, if a standard metal bullet is fired from such a weapon, it gets stuck in the barrel and renders the weapon unusable. Two main problems exist with such conversions: first, the rubber bullet bounces of the body without causing too much damage, and second, sometimes the bullet still get stuck inside the barrel, and the next fired round heavily damages the weapon. OSA has none of these inconveniences. It doesn’t have a barrel. The shell itself acts as a barrel. The ammunition is considerably larger, it is electrically primed and not struck, as in conventional ammo, and the bullet is a metal cylinder wrapped in rubber. The power is also greater. The 9mm rubber shell produces around 50 Joules of muzzle velocity, while the OSA gives 90. Anyway, it is still non-lethal, compared to a 9mm NATO handgun ammo giving at least 450 Joules of energy, 5.45 NATO assault rifle having at least 1800 Joules of energy, and 7.62 snipper rifle getting more than 3000 Joules of energy. However, initially OSA had 120 Joules of energy, but they were forced to lower it to 90 after a series of quite lethal outcomes from using the said non-lethal weapon. The ammo comes in a box, saying TRAUMATIC AMMO, depicting the rubber bullet with a stabilizer, and there’s only 4 in the box. It is also quite expensive, since the production is almost by hand, the shells have to be thick since they act as barrels, and the electric primers are also quite specific. Unconventional is always expensive. The caliber is 18,5 x 55, which is in the shotgun league, and the t stands for TRAUMATIC. So, let’s have a closer look. First, the exterior. OSA looks like nothing you’ve seen before. The only resemblance is to that Derringer 4-barrel pistol, also a unique weapon. It has iron sights, which don’t glow in the dark, assisted by a laser pointer, which is activated by a rotating switch on the side. The laser beam goes out of the dead center, between the barrels. The trigger has a medium pull with a definite step. It is not a trigger actually, it is a button. So as you can see the barrels (chambers) are quite thin, since they are assisted by the thick shells, which act as a liner. They also have an extractor, not an ejector. So here is the piezo generator. The markings around it indicate the order in which the barrels are fired. If one of them malfunctions, the next is fired instead. The ammo is ignited but a piezo puls, similar to a household piezo gas lighter. The loading is straight forward. You fill all the barrels with ammo, and clasp the gun closed. If you unlock it, the shells are gently extracted. The extractor spring also hold the primers in contact with the electric ignition outputs. The lower part of the handle has the strap hinge and an screw-out port for a lithium battery, which powers up the laser pointer. As you can see, my first barrel is loaded with a different ammo. It is in fact a piece of a military grade flashbang, fitted into the shell. It produces tremendous noise and light – in fact, they recommend to close your eyes while firing, so you could flee the area while the attacker is blinded. It also works like a charm on bouncing away dogs following you riding a bike, without actually hurting them. Among other ammunition available are pepper sprays and signal rockets. But most popular are the standard rubber-and-metal bullets. So let’s try it out. The sound is more like a shotgun. As you can see, the metal has a huge hole. We can how peek into the insides of the shell to see the powder envelop neatly opened. The bullet has a crack in the rubber to reveal a metal cylinder inside, as advertized. It also has lost the stabilizer, probably on hitting the metal. Well, non-lethal or not, but this thing can easily penetrate the skull of your opponent. And render you in jail, since in Russia the law inexpressly forbids to shot in the head or otherwise heavily traumatize offenders.

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