Shotgun FLEM


Innovative Security Defense Equipment, a manufacturer and importer based in France, is now offering FLEM projectiles for your shotgun.

FLEM, not phlegm, is a less lethal projectile that is designed to lower the risk of great bodily injury or death to the individual on the receiving end of it. According to the company, the FLEM has a larger contact area than traditional impact munition. This larger impact area spreads the force out when it strikes the subject and has less penetration capability and reduced risk for serious bodily harm.

FLEM is designed to be launched from a 12 gauge shotgun and comes in a 2 ¾” shell. When it is fired from the shotgun, it exits the barrel and rotates 90˚ so that the widest area of the projectile will hit the target. Innovative Security Defense Equipment states the proper use range is 5 meters through 20 meters. Closer than 5 meters increases the likelihood of great bodily injury or death.

Innovative Security Defense Equipment states the company will also offer 40mm FLEM projectile. While many law enforcement agencies employ 37mm and 40mm launchers, so do military units. Although completely different, the FLEM certainly seems to be less likely to kill than the “less lethal” Ruger 10-22 and SR-22 rifles currently employed by the IDF.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Having the projectile rotate 90 degrees is a pretty brilliant method of increasing the surface area.

    • thedonn007

      I would be concerned about the accuracy of this method though.

      • Dracon1201

        And reliability of the round. And what happens if it fails to turn 90°.

        • The Forty ‘Twa

          I imagine it would still be pretty damn painful.

          • noob

            painful for who?

        • Dave C

          The Brits used to use “baton rounds” out of 37mm launchers. The idea was to break up the mob mentality of people in crowds where things had risen to the level of a riot and petrol bombs/Molotovs and rocks were being thrown at the riot squad. Basically, the police would throw rocks back, but try to be more accurate. In apartheid South Africa and Venezuela and elsewhere the “less than lethal” included firing bird shot from shotguns into crowds. The Poles in the bad old days put dye in the water cannons to identify protesters for later identification and arrest. The “baton round” was to be used at long range, which frequently went out the window, or “bounced” off the ground. It was also supposed to be used on the lower extremities and never shot at the torso or head of a protester or rioter. The “baton round” was like shooting a polymer D-cell battery at someone, so the appeal of this new-fangled French less lethal method is readily discerned.

          • Nathan Alred

            Baton rounds like the ARWEN AR-1 are still in common use by law enforcement agencies in the US. They have a narrower distance “window” where they can be used than lethal ammo (too close and they might be lethal, too far and they don’t work at all.) But inside that window they are accurate and effective. They are ideally only employed where another officer is available as lethal cover if they don’t work.

      • buzzman1

        Be more concerned with limited range.

  • Nocternus

    I don’t know O thought shooting people in the shins with a 22lr was about the best less than lethal option I have ever heard of.

  • Kovacs Jeno

    OK, interesting, but what are the advantages over the normal rubber slugs and beanbags? Is there any?

    • AndyHasky

      Reduced chance of death or serious injury apparently…

  • derfelcadarn

    If one wished not to hazard great bodily injury or death to an individual one would likely not be shooting them in the first place. We will go on to assume that this individual is attempting to commit acts that place the shooter at risk of great bodily injury or death, why then would one wish to be magnanimous in response ? This “thinking” can only be seen as a fatal flaw. If the situation has risen to a shooting solution then a solution it must be.

    • Giolli Joker

      Your reasoning is sound in a self defence scenario, however in crowd control systems as this one might actually be needed.

    • Consider the following scenario: a deranged man is standing on his front porch waving a sword. He has threatened to kill his neighbors and his mother who is inside the unlocked home. Police officers respond and are standing in the front yard. Talking to the man is not progressing well due to his aggitated state.

      If the man is allowed to enter the home, there is a very real chance he will kill his mother. On the other hand, if he approaches the officers, or the officers attempt to approach him, the officers will likely have to use deadly force to stop him from harming the officers.

      A third option is to use a less lethal impact tool – such as the one described in this article – that can be deployed from a safe distance. Should the tool not work and the subject still pose an imminent threat to kill someone, deadly force by the covering officers can still be employed.

      The goals in this scenario are to (1) prevent the loss of innocent lives (the mother and neighbors), (2) protect the lives of the police officers who have responded to this man’s criminal actions and (3) if possible protect the life of the suspect. If the first and second goal can be reasonable assured through the use of covering officers armed with firearms, it seems that attempting to also preserve the life of the suspect is a reasonable course of action and not a fatal flaw.

    • kyphe

      “then would one wish to be magnanimous in response” the fact you don’t know the answer to this is just saddening and a large part of why US annual death tolls are higher than many nations wars. It’s not the guns it’s the attitude.

      • buzzman1

        kyphe – its also the areas where the shooting and killings are occurring -the inner cities, Chicago is in route to having 1000 murders this year and Baltimore about 400.

        Take nonwhite crime (and killings) out of the FBI crime stats and you would see the US would be the safest place in the world to live.

  • MANG

    I just clicked through to the IDF 10/22 story. The fact that shooting a .22 at a protester throwing rocks is their SOP, according to Steve’s source, is pretty ugly.

    • Cymond

      I was somehow under the impression that they had abandoned that method.

      • MANG

        Well according to Editor Steve’s IDF source last month, it’s still true…

        • Joe Schmoe

          It’s not used against the average rock throwing protester.

          Again, the .22 is used only in times where lethal methods are called for. The Ruger .22 is not considered “less lethal” in the IDF, it’s group in the same ROE as weapons such as the M4A1, M24, etc.

          What the .22 provides, is the greater ability to neutralize a person throwing a molotov for example, with less permanent injury, over penetration, collateral damage, etc.

          For the average rock throwing rioters, we have many less-than-lethal means; including rubber bullets, gas grenades, stun grenades, etc. Again, the .22 is only used where lethal means are called for. The only time I could think about where it would be used against a “rock” thrower, would be when there are civilians in immediate danger from those rocks (for example, throwing them at cars, this has already killed several Israeli civilians).

  • Halftone

    Not only would this not stop the bad guy,it would open you up to law suits. If you need to get your gun you need a positive stop to the bad guy. This is not it.

    • TJbrena

      A bad guy in custody is better than a bad guy in the ground.

      There’s different levels of force available to a LEO, and it’s best to use the lowest level of force effective. Not only to avoid excessive force lawsuits, but also to minimize risk of severe injury or death to involved parties and avoid escalation.

      Levels of force are:
      – Police presence
      – Verbal direction
      – Physical restraint
      – Physical force
      – Less-lethal weapons
      – Deadly force

      Hostage negotiators aren’t just there to stall for time while SWAT, HRT or foreign equivalents gets into take down the hostage-takers. LEOs would generally rather end a situation without body bags if at all possible.

      This is just an option that intends to be more effective (we don’t know if it actually is yet) in the less-lethal role than previous shotgun-based options.

  • me ohmy

    I’d rather just throw FLEM… they’ll be so grossed out.. they’d leave covered in snot.

  • john huscio

    Looks like a PMAG cover.

  • One_Jackal

    Citizens are not in the business of riot control. It is difficult to claim you were in fear of your life when you use a less than lethal projectile. I do not see a civilian use for this product.

    • JK

      Could load this last into the tube of a pump shotgun, preceded by normal SD rounds, so it goes onto the chamber first, then is followed up with slugs/buckshot/your choice of self defense rounds if the threat isn’t deterred by the less lethal option. Though it’s likely intended for police use and tactics. I didn’t think it was necessary for the author to spell out every single miniscule detail, but apparently it is. Get ready for fifteen page articles on TFB.

    • JK

      Guess there’s no market for pepper spray or Taser/Phaser/stunguns either.

  • MrSatyre

    Why would I want “to lower the risk of great bodily injury or death to the individual” I’m shooting at? I’m certainly not ever going to be shooting at someone who isn’t threatening my life, or those of any innocent person in my immediate vicinity. Sure, I get it: it’s probably geared more towards sheep control by sheep-dog LEOs—and maybe that’s the assumption one is supposed to make right from the start—but there’s no mention of that, so I’m going to put a big fat “no” down for this idea.

  • buzzman1

    But the IDF has to engage at longer ranges for the 10/22’s are essential. If you let a gas bomb throwing terrorist get within 20 meters of you then you are a dead man.

  • Jerryjackson

    Matt, why am I getting the impression that your claiming molotovs don’t cause extensive bodily injury? If this is the case, would you be willing to play the role of test subject?

    • Matt

      “If you let a gas bomb throwing terrorist get within 20 meters of you then you are a dead man.”

      Ok, then you should also agree there are not dead men.

      If you wear riot gear, there is not even “extensive bodily injury”, unless you can provide me as well with a list which proves the opposite.