I came upon an article today that opened my eyes to a weapon that would seem like a toy (by American standards) but has killed several times here lately. This is a weapon that anyone 18 or older can buy and posses.
MOSCOW, March 19 (Itar-Tass) — A policeman, who was shooting from a traumatic pistol in the Moscow metro on Thursday evening, protected himself from an attack and shot for self-defence, the press centre of the Russian Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass on Friday.
I read the article and at first thought that they translated the words traumatic pistol in correctly, so I went looking for what it really should be called. I was thinking pneumatic pistol as in BB Gun. I found out that this is a real type of pistol and here is a little bit about what one is:
This particular pistol is called “Leader” and is a non-barreled pistol of a traumatic action, which is destined for use as a civilian self-defence weapon and allows shooting with the cartridges of the caliber 10х32Т equipped with rubber bullets.
This pistol is developed on the basis of the famous pistol of Tokarev’s system “ТТ” patterned by those of the years 1930 and 1933. “Leader” is a self-loading pistol. The automatic reloading of the pistol is done due to the stock kick.
The automatic cycle includes:
– extracting and ejecting the used case;
– cocking the firing mechanism;
– chambering the next cartridge.
I was intrigued by non-barreled and what the traumatic cartridge is about. This weapon looks and feels like the real thing. I have seen them and held them before. I had a typical, just a air gun (BB gun) attitude. Boy was I wrong! This is what I found on the cartridge:
Abstract:The invention relates to cartridges for a portable barrelless weapon for self-defence. Said weapon can be used by civil persons for self-defence by shooting with traumatic elements. The inventive cartridge comprises a cartridge case, a powder charge, an ignition element embodied in the form of an electrical ignition fuse and a gas generator pressed into the cartridge case, in addition to a traumatic element embodied in the form of a rubber bullet provided with a metallic core which prevents the extraction of the bullet. The bullet is rolled inside the body of the gas generator. The electrical ignition fuse and the gas generator can be embodied in the form of a single part or be embodied separately. The cartridge case can be made of a high resistant aluminium alloy or reinforced plastic material. The inventive traumatic element for a barrelless weapon is made of a flexible metal and embodied in the form of a bullet provided with a metallic core which prevents the extraction of the bullet. The bullet consists of two parts, i.e. the head part and the tail part connected to each other with the aid of a strap. The tail part of the bullet has an external diameter which is less than the diameter of the head part. The bullet can be made of rubber. The invention excludes the possibility of bad wounding by the cartridge and the bullet at a distance equal to or greater than 1 meter and ensures a stopping effect at a distance equal to or less than 10 meters.
That answers all my questions so I examined several articles of incidents in Russia that involve this type of gun. This gun seems tame in comparison to normal weapons that use gunpowder to expel the projectile, but it seems that they are not so tame…
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has expressed discontent at the situation with traumatic guns, which are actually sold without any control. “No one knows what happens with this pistol in the future, where it is used and with what consequences. It is sold to everybody – to people, who have previous convictions and who are already brought to criminal responsibility, and to people, who have mental disorders,” the president elaborated.
Medvedev demanded from Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev to draft new tougher regulations to handle the traumatic guns. “Other types of weapons are subject to special regulation, and this dangerous type of weapons, which often cause injuries and death, is insufficiently regulated in our country,” Medvedev stressed. “It is necessary to put the situation in order, work out proposals and report to me within ten days,” the president ordered.
According to the Interior Ministry’s statistics, about 1,500 crimes with the use of traumatic guns have been committed for the last five years. More than 60 people were killed, and other 600 people were injured in these crimes.