The case of the Chinese 9mm

A TFB reader sent this into us about the Chinese Type 05 Police revolver in their new 9mm round. China adopting a 9mm revolver for their police forces is old news from last year, however the particular round they’ve adopted has apparently been featured on the Chinese CNTV station, and a look at the gelatin test and some of the comments made by the Police forces bring about some questions about the actual round .Our reader was gracious enough to make GIFs out of the footage and translate it for us from Chinese (excerpt from e-mail is unedited)-

The Chinese have field their Type 05 police revolver for sometime now, and recently i had saw a Chinese documentary show about the Type 05 9mm cartridge.
But i’m astounded by their claims….. and by the way, the quotations i’m about to write is their official opinion.
“unlike a military cartridge, a law enforcement cartridge can not be too powerful, as it needs to subdue the perpetrator and at times wounding but not killing the perpetrator, so that the perp can be brought back for questioning and trial”
“if the police handgun is too powerful, that could cause injury to innocent by-standers.” and it is obvious that they are taking over-penetration much too seriously.
I’m shocked, that’s the most outrageous claim I’ve ever heard.
no fleet yaw, no expanding , no cavity….. and with a muzzle energy of less that some .22 LR loadings.

Even more absurd, they claim the Type 05 9mm round have “superior stopping power while dealing much less wound to the target”

GIF image of the 9mm round being fired into ballistic gelatin. Ballistics isn’t my strong suite, but I would even say that there seems to be alot left desired of the permanent wound cavity. 

The Wall Street Journal had this to say about the bullet-

The “05 Chinese Police Revolver” is an unusual weapon, and that’s apparently the point. Government and private experts say Chinese ballistics engineers specifically designed the weapon to minimize risks associated with introducing handguns into a society that has little experience with firearms.


Named for the year it was developed, the police revolver with a length of 186 millimeters (7.3 inches) and weight of 650 grams (1.4 pounds) is designed to fire 9-millimeter-caliber ammunition, of both the rubber and regular varieties. Sometimes fitted with a wooden grip, the six-shooter is accurate up to 25 meters and is considered simple to operate, reliable and durable, according to statements in recent years from the Ministry of Public Security.


But beyond practicalities, he added, “They also choose nonstandard (proprietary) ammunition to make ammo supply more complicated for criminals who might obtain revolvers from policemen.” In other words, even if a gun is stolen from a police officer, finding the correct ammunition to reload it could be difficult because technically only the police would have access to it.

Using proprietary ammunition in order to prevent criminals from using it is nothing new to law enforcement. The Greener Police shotgun, initially intended for riot and prison police was introduced after World War One and used the same concept of only being able to fire shells specifically made for it. However, criminals soon found a way around this by wrapping thick paper around existing shotgun shells so they would fit in the chamber. In addition, criminals aren’t exactly going through boxes of ammunition at the cyclic, and thus a single box of stolen shells would probably go a long way in the criminal world. I suspect a similar case might be the same with this Type 05 in finding a similar larger or smaller caliber.

The round in the middle is the rubber bullet made for the Type 05

The round in the middle is the rubber bullet made for the Type 05.

For comparison, this is from a gelatin test of an American 9mm round shot from a commercial handgun.


Much thanks to 黃 良健 for the look into it!


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • Matrix3692

    Actually, It’s me.
    I forgot to mention my user name on TFB……because I’m previously used to sending tip over the tip link……

  • Matrix3692

    And by the way, i think i have miss used the term “Fleet Yaw”, and got corrected in another forum. It’s suppose to be “Yaw”

  • Alex Nicolin

    Actually penetration is not a linear function of velocity. Sometimes slower bullets tend to penetrate more due to the fact they fail to yaw and deform on impact. A fluid filled medium, like flesh tends to absorb more energy when the velocity is higher. So a slow FMJ bullet si actually very likely to pass trough the body intact, without shedding much of its energy in the process, unless it hits bone.

    • iksnilol

      how does that work? From a physics perspective (I am a bit rusty there).

      • Risky

        Drag is a exponential based on the velocity of the object. Just like it might take twice as much power for a car to go only 10% faster at high speed due to wind resistance, the faster the velocity a projectile encounters tissue (since it behaves like a fluid), the more drag it will encounter than if it were traveling slower.

        • iksnilol

          That… that actually makes sense. Man, high school physics paid off. 😀

        • Jo

          Doesn’t quite make sense. A bullet travelling at 300m/s may have much more drag than one travelling at 250m/s, but by the time it slows down to 250m/s it will have the same drag, but it still needs to slow down to 250m/s first, so a bullet at higher velocity should always penetrate more than a bullet at a lower velocity, unless there is some other factor at play.

  • me

    Is tethering your sidearm a good idea?


      Its a old practice. Watching old hong Kong actions movies. Uniformed cops carry a six shooter with teather attached to the duty belt, but those were colonial days under British. But then again other than Muslim mass knife attack, there are very few instance of cops using guns, most street cops still don’t Carry firearms.

      • st4

        My memories of old Hong Kong action movies consist of diving belly down onto a cart and ventilating multiple bad guys in suits via Beretta in each hand as you speed down a hallway.

        • MAUSERMAN

          Classic Jon woo, but watch more movies from other directors. you will see, especially those movies with a lot of Uniform cops.

          • iksnilol

            Dude, you got it a bit backwards. It isn’t Classic Jon Woo, it is simply classic by virtue of being Jon Woo 😛

          • MAUSERMAN

            I grew up on that stuff, sad part is very few people know anything about hongkong action movies here in the US.

          • iksnilol

            Completely agree with you. It is especially horrendous how many cuts Hollywood uses. They got that from Hong Kong movies IIRC, though they overdid the cutting. Just look at the Bourne Identity. Way too much cutting.

            Film in general I am saddened because people think it is only Hollywood who can make something worthwhile watching.

    • Tons of militaries and LE forces today use some kind of tethering to retain their handguns. Our military uses it extensively overseas with M9s as an example. When 99 percent of the time your pistol isn’t being used, it’s at more risk of accidentally falling out of your holster, especially when its another piece of gear, similar to your NVGs, kevlar, etc.. and also when you have a rifle to fit with in the first case.

      • LAMan

        +1 on that. I’d bet a cold Coke that if I sat down with my old copy of “Small Arms of the World,” the great majority of military handguns sport a lanyard ring. I was career Army and lanyards were always mandatory. As some of you have explained, it’s essentially a “dummy cord.” (Oops, there’s that pesky military jargon again 🙂 Personally, I found it handy, but I also planned to unhook it if I ever had to pull my sidearm for close combat.

    • Paladin

      It’s intended to make it difficult for the handgun to be misplaced or stolen. I’m not a big fan of tethers though, I don’t like unnecessary cords and such hanging off of me since they can snag.

      • That’s why a *proper* lanyard has break aways, which can be achieved by just using metal hooks that won’t support body weight.

        For a cop, the lanyard ought to have a break away near the body, for the same reason cops shouldn’t wear ties unless they are clip ons.

    • Zebra Dun

      For Cavalry, and guard where retention of the hand gun is a must.
      if some one grabs your pistol you might want to get it back.

  • Roger V. Tranfaglia

    Underpowered or not that bullet will still kill you if it passes through a good size artery or vein.

    • Zebra Dun

      Yup, the old poke a hole enough times will make you leak train of action.

    • Hyok Kim

      1. Situational Awareness

      2. Shot Placement

      3. Penetration

      4. Expansion

      5. Increase in 3. and 4. can only come at the expense of another.

      6. 2. depends on the cost and recoil of the ammo, cheaper,and lower the recoil, , more likely the practice, more the practice, higher 2.

  • Mouldy Squid

    Pedantic spelling and grammar correction incoming!

    “a lot” not “alot”. “suit” not “suite”. “the cyclic rate” not “the cyclic”.

    I like this site a lot. There is a wealth of great information and some very interesting articles. However, whenever I see a lack of proofreading for simple spelling errors or grammatical mistakes, my estimation goes down. I appreciate all the hard work you guys put in to provide us with informative and entertaining articles, but an extra couple of minutes to fix such simple mistakes before posting shouldn’t be too onerous. Good communication is the key to success.

    • I really need to tighten it up on the grammar, however “the cyclic” is quite often used within the Marines as it gets shortened, and everyone knows you mean rate at the end of it. Just a tidbit of transitioning…

      • Mouldy Squid

        Oh, sure. I understood it too, but jargon should be avoided where possible in formal writing.

        • iksnilol

          It isn’t really hard jargon. It is just shorthand. Just like when a car is made in 1964 you just say it is a ’64 instead of saying the whole year.

          • Mouldy Squid

            And in formal writing ’64 should be avoided also.

          • Zebra Dun


    • Hyok Kim

      School Marm

  • hikerguy

    I’ve wondered why, when in the past they rolled over dissidents with tanks, but now are highly concerned about not killing suspects by using a low powered 9mm revolver. The Chinese police also only use submachine guns in 9mm instead of military rifles to look not so….military. I guess the government now does listen to the average folks on the street. I’d hope so.

    • Steve Martinovich

      Dead prisoners don’t make for very good slave labourers in the People’s Liberation Army factories producing Western goods.

    • TDog

      It should be noted that many weapons manufacturers are not allowed to sell non-lethal items to governments deemed authoritarian or otherwise “not like us.”

      So in the end it’s tanks and AK’s rather than tear gas and rubber bullets.

      It’s what we call the law of unintended consequences.

    • Chi Wai Shum

      You have to understand that other than the police, there is also the so called armed police in China, which is equipped with mil spec fire arm. The less powerful firearm is likely just a way for the armed police to differentiate themselves.

      • hikerguy

        Yes….I see. Thank you for clearing that up.

      • Balls

        They are the gendarmerie in China.

    • Friend of Tibet

      google “let’s talk about tiananmen, my hearsay is better than your hearsay” and you might be surprised how little you know about the 1989 event. And “rolled over dissidents with tanks” doesn’t really reflect what really happened. Even the the famous tank man did not get run over but instead got pulled off the street.

      Now back to the police firearm issue, Chinese cops have probably the most insane firearm regulation and restriction when it comes to firearm usage. especially after 1990s. Most cops don’t even have firearms. That’s why when kunming terror attack happened the cops had to stop those attackers with bare hands and simple tools and waiting for armed police.

      Been to both US and China for years, US cops and Chinese cops are like total opposite when it comes to firearms.

    • Also, if the cops are underarmed compared to the military, the military can put down a revolt based around cops or stolen cop guns more easily. That’s the theory.

      • Hyok Kim

        Actually not really. Police are considered politically more reliable than the average conscripts in the army. Originally Police were recruited from the politically more reliable elements of the army from the founding.

        There had never been a mutiny by the police as far as I know, even though there was at least once a spontaneous mutiny by the army rank and file, and Mao almost lost his life during the Great Leap Forward.

        • I suspect they are more worried about the cop *guns* than the *cops*. The cops (and thus, their guns) are, by necessity, in amongst the people, where the cop guns can more readily fall into revolutionary hands (or as they would phrase it, *counter* revolutionary hands).

          • Hyok Kim


  • Ed

    Looks interesting but I wouldn’t trust every claim that come from China’s commie media.

  • I think the unstated cause of the low powered ammo is to prevent the pistols being used effectively by criminals and insurgents. Considering Mao armed his initial insurgents with weapons captured from Nationalist forces, I’d be amazed if that wasn’t taken into account.

    • Spencer W

      That is probably one of the reasons it is rimed too.

    • John

      I wonder. For example, could those revolvers handle a “Magnum” load? The criminal underworld has probably analyzed these weapons and figured out how to mass produce them or ammunition for them as soon as they filter around in force.

      Or they’ve decided they’re not worth the effort and just stick with Soviet and Western-type weapons.

      • iksnilol

        Probably ain’t that hard to make ammo for it. Just read “expedient homemade ammo” by P.A. Luty and you’ll see what I mean.

      • Matrix3692

        negative, this particular revolver can only handle .38 Special level pressures, using anything hotter would not be a wise move.

  • USMC03Vet

    This is hilarious coming from a state with mobile execution vans.

    GG, China. GG.

    • TJbrena

      IMO,the funniest thing from China all year is that story about Chinese police seizing a shipment of 40-year old meat being sold by shady marketeers. The best part is that it wasn’t even frozen the whole time.

    • iksnilol

      America has also mobile execution vans. At least I know they bought some in the 80’s or 90’s.

      • Zebra Dun

        Citation and web page please.
        Not that I don’t believe you I just want to study them.
        For purely academic purposes of course.

        • Iksnilol

          Ah, a saint and a fellow scholar I see.

          Here’s what little I could find: ” the state of Delaware in the United States of America purchased a mobile lethal-injection chamber in 1986.[1″

          I found that on Wikipedia under “Execution Van”. Here’s the citation/source thingy:

          • Zebra Dun

            Now that is illuminating!
            I wonder how they managed not to include a mobile hanging gallows LOL well it was Delaware I had though only Texas would be so modern.

          • iksnilol

            I was surprised as well. They were like 11 years ahead of China. Don’t know what to say about that. Is that good or bad?

            I haven’t really found out much about it. Stuff like who made the van or vans, who made them, did they use them and if so how many times? If you find something I didn’t find, give me a shout if you don’t mind.

          • Zebra Dun

            Will do, I bet this was for counties and areas that could not afford a death chamber and did not want to ship the condemned to another area to die.

          • iksnilol

            That’s the same justification China used. I don’t know what to say, on one hand it makes sense on the other it’s a bit sick.

    • Friend of Tibet

      Have you even been to China before this non-sense?

      With that logic, I guess you can also say US is a state where cops execute people on street…………

  • sam

    I like the stubby cylinder; efficient size for a non-magnum non-black-powder cartridge. Probably never be allowed to happen, but I’d take one for $150 or so.

    • iksnilol

      Kinda reminds me of a bigger Detective Special.

      • sam

        Hmmm, yeah. Accordingly I do like the light/medium Colts and Smiths. Take something like that and make the frame window tighter, I’m all about it.

  • Goody

    It’ll be sad to hear about all the upcoming failed summary executions. By failed I mean “Officer had to reload to transition between targets”

  • derfelcadarn

    Roll the clock back a hundred years and you have the .38 S&W

  • HM

    I want one!

  • Sean

    Only about a thousand policemen in shanghai require to carry the revolver, and only police in the major cities get them. The majority of the public security officers are still unarmed. And they have to fill a report every time the weapon is pulled. Before the revolver were required carry, police have access to military surplus pistols, they just leave it at the station.

  • Fengcheng Wei

    Let me show u something

    • Fengcheng Wei

      Type 05 9mm cartridge plastic core.When i got this round, i wondered why its muzzle energy is so low.With 17mm case length, i once believed that it should be as powerful as 380acp until a cop told me that its core is plastic. Yes, plastic, not steel or lead

    • Fengcheng Wei

      Type 05 9mm plastic core. Yes, plastic core, not steel or lead. That’s why its muzzle energy is so low though its case length is 17mm

  • davidio flavio

    Wow, what a backwards country.

    Imagine, making an effort not to kill the people they protect and serve, unlike us, who provide our cops with surplus machine guns, and ammo that’s so lethal, the manufacturer’s won’t sell it to lowly citizens.

    I guess the old adage about “if one innocent person dies, then the policy is wrong” doesn’t apply to forward thinking countries like ours, where our cops don’t see a punishment when they kill who they protect and serve….

    Freaking little yellow commie bastards, none of the “freedoms”, we have and yet they don’t automatically get the death penalty if someone with a badge is having a bad day.

    So 1800’s I guess….

    • Zebra Dun

      I’d say it’s B/S, lots of people in China and get them all lined up from front to back and ya may need to penetrate two or three per bullet.
      Just guessing.

      • Hyok Kim

        FMJ all the way!

  • Friend of Tibet

    It is sad to see so many American’s have absolutely no idea what China looks like today other than cold war propaganda…….

  • MrApple

    It’s a kinder gentler bullet.

  • zeprin

    Did they, the Chinese, just reinvent the .38 S&W/.380-200?

    • richard kluesek

      or perhaps the 9mm Federal, which was a ‘rimmed’ 9mm Lugar used by Charter Arms.

    • With a less effective bullet…

  • LCON

    reinventing the wheel with a Square,