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Flexible baton round

The flexible baton round is the trademarked name for a type of non-lethal[?] kinetic projectile, it is more widely known as a beanbag round. It is typically fired from a shotgun and is used by civil and military forces, mainly in the USA.

The shotgun type round consists of a strong nylon fabric bag filled with around 40 grams of lead shot. This bag is then fitted within a standard 12-gauge shotgun shell. When fired the bag is expelled at around 70-90 m/s, it spreads out in flight and distributes its impact over about 6 cm² of the target. It is designed to deliver a blow that will cause minimum long-term trauma and no penetration but briefly render the target prone and immobile. The shotgun round is inaccurate over about 6 m, has a maximum range of around 20 m, and is unsafe to use below 3 m.

The weapon was developed and first used in 1970. The first US fatality was in 1971, there has been around a death a year since then in the US. The round should only be fired at a target's extremities, strikes to the chest or head can be lethal.

Larger rounds, designed for 37 mm or 40 mm weapons, are also available.

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