Arizona Sheriff Adopts Russian Less Lethal Pistol

We have blogged about Russian and Eastern European less lethal rubber bullet guns many times before, but I never expected to blog about a Sheriff’s Office adopting them in the USA. In addition to a handgun and a Taser, Deputy officers in Pinal County, AZ will now be carrying Russian OSA PB4-2 Traumatic Pistols. This pistol was identified by my good friend and fellow Editor Gabor Vass of the Hungarian gun magazine Kaliber

The OSA PB4-2 fires an interesting cartridge, The 18x45mm encases either a round plastic/rubber composite bullet, a flasbangh/stun compound, a flare or pepper spray. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office will be adopting the rubber ball version. The bullets are ignited electronically. Pulling the trigger generates an electric pulse that fires one of the four chambers. No firing pin needed, much like the famous, and long dead, Remington Model 700 EtronX rifle.

18x45mm Cartridges

18x45mm Cartridges

The .70 caliber balls have about 66 ft/lbs of muzzle energy, about half that of a standard .22 LR cartridge. The bullets deform on impact, spreading out the energy and avoiding penetration. At reasonable distances they should not kill an adult shot in the body. At close range they can cause significant harm to the body and the brain (WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS. NSFW).

The pistols were most likely acquired from a relatively new company called Defenzia. This Brazilian company recently opened up shop in Arizona and are importing a range of less lethal pistols, ammunition and holsters. The company plans on making a smaller caliber version available to sale to civilians.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • M.

    He’s probably going to kill someone with this and the media is going to eat him alive

    • DaveP.

      Just as likely that there’s going to be an officer killed while holding one of these, and no matter if the death could be in any way attributed to the OSA the firestorm will be on.
      Or you’ll have an “Oscar Grant”, where an officer under stress thinks he’s drawing one of these to ‘insure compliance’ (and don’t y’all just love that euphemism?) and instead pulls his service pistol- and doesn’t get clued in until after the shot.
      Any way it goes- I can see a lot of ways this can go bad wrong.

      • Kovacs Jeno

        Think it as an alternative to Taser. Misuse/fatal error is a possibility, but most of these simply depends on _training_. Like any other device in law enforcement, being it a K9, a patrol car, or a non-lethal pain compliance device.

        • raz-0

          I think it would be pretty easy to argue that presenting their officers with three (Assuming they don’t ALSO have a baton and OC spray) options to choose appropriately might be asking for problems and certainly staking the deck against successful training that works in the field.

  • I don’t think “russian” and “non-lethal” are words meant to go in the same sentence

    for reference, look up the Moscow theater hostage crisis

    • SP mclaughlin

      850 hostages, 50 Chechen rebels, 180 body bags
      Mission accomplished

      • Victor Lourenço


    • Bill

      In fairness to the Russians, the Chechens don’t negotiate, so as their history has shown, it was going to end badly; the goal was to have it end less badly than it might have. The main screwup was not forewarning the area hospitals to lay in enough of the antidote to the drugs they used. If that had been done properly, hostage deaths would have been lower.

      That, and the fact that life is cheap in Russia.

      • micmac80

        Life is at least as cheap in US , just count the deaths caused by police,

        • Rock or Something

          Just as cheap? Not if the city or local government is involved. I doubt Russian police and the city have ever paid multi-million dollar settlements to the family of the deceased, regardless of intentions.

          “The Chicago City Council signed off on a $5 million settlement with McDonald’s family even before the family filed a lawsuit, and city officials fought in court for months to keep the video from
          being released publicly. The city’s early efforts to suppress its
          release coincided with Emanuel’s re-election campaign, when the mayor
          was seeking African-American votes in a tight race.”

          • micmac80

            Maybe settlement arent cheap but taking lives sure is at 1000+ people killed by LEO , that are numbers aproaching a small warzone not a first world country.

        • Bill

          First YOU count the number of police officers, the number of arrests made yearly, and the number of police/citizen contacts. You’ll find that the number of deaths caused by the police is minuscule in comparison.

        • ozzallos .

          Is that The Truth About Guns I smell?

        • buzzman1

          You men life is cheap among gang bangers. Chicago is well on its way to 1000 murders and Baltimore 400. How many people did the cops murder? Grey killed himself BTW.

        • SoulInvictus

          Or that they shoot over 10,000 dogs per year.

    • Zugunder

      Yeah, lol! But Russians far behind Americans in civillian casualities when it comes to dealing with terrorists tho…

      • Bal256

        Lol, no, Russian wars have far higher civilian bodycounts. Unless you pretend that the Soviet-Afghan war, the first and second Chechen wars, and the current onging conflict with Russian involvement in Ukraine never happened.

    • nanoc

      Close to 85% of the hostages survived. That’s a pretty good rate considering that there where close to 50 terrorists. If you think that US forces would have done better then your delusional this isn’t Hollywood where the good guys save everyone.

      • Sulaco

        The other larger contributing factor in civilian deaths at the Moscow Theater was that there were not enough trained people and equipment to treat victims of the “knockout” gas, (Spetnaz refused to inform first responders what they had used). Most died after being moved from the scene and laid on their backs, dying of suffocation. Most would have survived if they had been placed on their sides AND given forced O2 until they could breathe on their own…

        • Tom

          Or dosed with Naloxone which would of brought them round very quickly.

          None the less considering what the Russians were dealing with they did well to end things with so few casualties.

          • Sulaco

            Ya, it was a real no win situation. Reading some of the stories of the Spetnaz that were there is just heart breaking and I considered adding a Spetnaz Lts. name to a tat over his sacrifice of his life rather than allowing some hostages to be killed. Courage, true courage knows no nation.

        • Wyatt Earp

          The “knock out gas” was an extremely lethal dose of fentanyl, a narcotic. The deaths were from ancillary causes of fentanyl intoxication.

          Tom, having used naloxone throughout my career; all cases of narcotic intoxication can be reversed by naloxone (Narcan®). Many of the victims were dead before medics got to them–particularly since the cops kept them away. Too much narcotic and you get complications like congestive heart failure, which requires intensive care. Then there’s aspiration of one’s own vomit that leads to chemical pneumonitis.

          The cops should have let the medics in, as soon as the shooting stopped. However, neither the American, nor, apparently, Russian police are interested in people they just murdered.

          • Sulaco

            Wyatt you were good uptill that last sentence. That is a statement of insanity. If you read about the number of cops at that scene who died and the Spenznaz that sacrifice their lives to save people as well as the sobbing soldiers that watch their people die….well you sir are a fool!

          • Tom

            Using Fentanyl was a desperate measure but the Russians had little other choice, any sort of anesthesia is problematic under the best of conditions let along flooding a large area with a massive dose. As I understand it many of the deaths occured as a direct result of hostages being not in the best of health after several days captivity.

            The Russians should of had medics go in with Naloxone right away but alas they did not. We can speculate all we want of course but had the Russians done nothing then we can be almost certain all the hostages would of died. Unfortunately sometimes when you try and save everyone you only end up getting everyone killed.

      • SP mclaughlin

        I recall Bruce Willis saved quite a few people singlehandedly back in the ’88 LA Fox tower siege 🙂

        • Rex Krom

          I thought it was John McClain

        • DIR911911 .

          nakatomi plaza to be accurate

    • Tassiebush

      I think that even though they screwed up the after care of the hostages leading to many unnecessary deaths, it was still the most successful hostage rescue that I’ve heard of in such situation.

    • guest

      How about you go fornicate with yourself. What a stupid comparison.

  • derfelcadarn

    After seeing photos lethality seems like a viable option

    • Kovacs Jeno

      From point blank range to the softer parts of the head, even a low powered airgun can be fatal.
      The large and relatively slow rubber slug is a “non-penetrator” if it hit the upper body, as it is designed.
      It is also very quickly loses its energy, no big risk of deadly richochets or overpenetration. After 25 yards it is practically harmless.

      In Russia underground/metro police forces carry OSA pistols, it is much safer to employ in big crowd.

      • Anonymoose

        Aim for the head with a flashbang and fry their face…Sounds kinda like a video game weapon.

      • GreyGeek77

        Except that the link to the Russian web site had X-rays which show a penetration through 70% of the brain – probably fatal. Ditto for the photo of the hole in the chest just above the left nipple, or the hole in the wrist. “Non-penetrating”? Hardly.

        • Джон Доу

          Well, according to the description of last photos, all those wounds are non-penetrating despite of their scary look. The x-rayed wound was made by close up shot in the temple, the place you can make a similar trauma with a hammer or even a screwdriver.

  • micmac80

    wonder what it costs both the gun and the ammo

  • iksnilol

    Would these count as DDs in the US?

    • Kovacs Jeno

      I have doubts: there is no barrel. Nor smoothbore, nor rifled, zero barrel length.

      • Ken

        In the US, barrel length includes everything in front of the breech face, including the chamber. It can also be argued that the cartridge itself is a barrel. It expels a projectile by explosive force (and does not fall under exemptions like antiques), so it’s a firearm in the US

        I believe they meet the definition of DD, unless the ATF grants them a sporting exemption (like shotguns and various rifle cartridges larger than .50 cal).

      • Blake
  • Bill

    Actually, while there’s going to be difference in kinetic energy, it’s nearly given each Deputy the ability to deploy impact munitions without having to dig out a shotgun or launcher. And the equivalent devices in the US can be just as lethal used at too-close range or aimed at the wrong body part. Heck, blanks are lethal when used improperly.

    I really appreciate a LE CEO who is willing to think outside the box and try something new, and knowing what I know about Pinal County I’m confident they’ll get a thorough test.

    • Sulaco

      Been a cop for a long time before I retired. Even then I felt like a Christmas tree with all the mandated stuff hanging on me. The total weight of equipment ran upwards of 25 to 35 pounds depending on what you were assigned too. Even worse now.

      • Bill

        I heard that. It’s a good thing I put on some pounds, there’s no way to fit all that junk on a 32 inch waist. I REALLY think that doing what a lot of European countries do and mounting some of it on an external vest or harness is a good idea, so we’ll never do it.

        • Cymond

          I saw cops in Atlanta GA wearing ‘plate carrier’ type vests covered in MOLLE pouches. This was early Sept 2015.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I like how on the last shot he shoots the target in the balls.

    • MrEllis

      Chopper, sic balls.

  • Nick

    Expect common Taser reactions to apply to this device, should it ever become famous in the media. If a Deputy there doesn’t use it, it will be controversial. If a Deputy does use it, it will be controversial. Nobody tells firemen how to put out fires, but everyone’s an expert on use of force, and the expert opinion is that the police are wrong.

    I’m not saying Tasers aren’t valuable tools for law enforcement, but they brought about many more lawsuits than they prevented (justified or not).

    • Bill

      They may or may not have brought about more lawsuits; I haven’t seen any figures, but as TASER use increased, the injuries to bother officers AND suspects decreased. We got sued plenty when our only option was older, ineffective chemical agents, choke holds, and baton/flashlight strikes, that caused any number of broken bones, concussions and other injuries.

      • Sulaco

        Don’t kid your self there have been lots of local and Fed lawsuits against the Taser, most wanting money claiming long term damage, then it was a “torture” device and the ACLU has and is trying for a Federal ban based on all the above. The stats don’t mean anything to them of our government masters its just another opportunity for graft.

        • Bill

          The ACLU wants a lot of stuff they’ll never get, and guys get sued for not smiling at people, or smiling too much. The fact remains that the people who are getting tasered today would have been beatdown with Maglites 20 years ago, and suffered far more damage. TASER Kool-aid drinkers may play fast and loose with some of their figures, but all in all I’d rather be Tased than have a broken knee from a PR24.

          • Sulaco

            True that. But the ACLU and the left don’t care about saving lives only on inforcing PC and getting paid at our expense.

          • MrEllis

            I’m firmly on the left and I was trained in ECW and more violent techniques extensively. I’ll most every time opt of ECW usage when it’s allowed. In some situations poor training causes injury and in some situations poor judgement or character does, but deployed properly I’ll take ECW over impact weapons, chemical agents and open hand force any day of the week. Mind you like any tool or technique used to apply force, when used improperly it can cause damage or death. Only Morgan Freeman can be considered a non-lethal force, he can lull a subject to sleep with his soothing vocal cords, the rest of us rely on less than perfect options.

      • GreyGeek77

        Increased law suits are partly because juries consider plaintiffs in law suits against police as winners of a lottery and usually think the deep pockets they they are dipping out of is not theirs, which may be true if they are on welfare.

  • Vitsaus

    Seems great for dispersing hippies, or uncooperative types, but against some guy on PCP, not so much.

  • alexmegelea

    Living in the “comunist” eastern Europe, I probably know all the non-lethal and less-lethal weapons. They all suck, they’re good just for riot control. This one is hard to carry and its accuracy is low. The best non-lethal pistol I’ve shot are Fort, made in Ukraine, but not fot the russian market, cause the russians have some limitations that make them almost useless.
    Why do they need those surrogate weapons? They can shoot them criminals in the leg with a real weapon.
    They are also dangerous because a trigger-happy guy will shoot this “non-lethal weapon” thinking “I’m not gonna kill him anyway”, if it’s a real one, he’ll think twice.

    • Tritro29

      Wow that’s some BS, straight out the Bull. Hard to carry? Huhu, yeah maybe you should check with French & Belgian police who struggle around with basically what’s an oversized grenade launcher (Flashball) or some of those useful but horribly expensive FN303P’s. Best non lethal pistol being FORT, that has got to be one of the most dumbfounded trolling from Ukraine lately. Guess what, you just registered today, specially for this Ukrainian chest beating. Get a life.

    • Kovacs Jeno

      Hard to carry? LOL
      That is BS.
      The OSA PB4-2 is shorter and lighter than a PPK.

      Length: 130 mm
      Height: 119 mm
      Width: 39 mm
      Weight (unloaded): 0.35 kg
      Capacity: 4 cartridges

      And its 10-12 gramm 16 mm bullet is surely more effective than even the most powerful .45 Rubber Fort pistol’s less than 2 gramm one.

      • al

        The ammunitions matters. Yes, the russian AKBC ammo is powerful.

        • Kovacs Jeno

          91 joule is the energy limit in Russia for non-lethal guns (OOOP), no matter what caliber it is.

          • GreyGeek77

            And the bottom line for lethal energy is the ability to pass through a 1.25 CM pine board at 100 meters – 106 joules. Yet, pneumatic rifles delivering only 30 joules have been known to kill.

          • Kovacs Jeno

            But those energy figures are meant for normal metallic bullets, with high density. The traumatic bullets are large diameter, elastic ones, usually with low density compared to lead or brass.

            The frontal area of a OSA bullet is at least 10x more, than a .22 LR’s.

          • GreyGeek77

            So, what am I to believe? Theory, or the photos my lying eyes see?

          • Kovacs Jeno

            The photos in the accompaniing article represents a very marginal percentage of the actual use! And mostly suicide attempts. Shooting with such traumatic guns to the upper body is practically never lethal, the bullets won’t reach vital organs, or in case of some thicker clothing, not even penetrate into the body.
            Since 11 years we have tens of thousands of traumatic guns in my country from 40-120 joules usually and no one was killed.

    • al

      Hard to carry doesn’t mean big, it’s thick and if you are used to carry a real gun, it’s gonna be awkward with this strage-looking wannabe gun. Have you guys shoot that “gun”? The commercial video it’s not very realistic. If you really want spent money on a non/less lethal weapon, better look for Grand Power, Alfa Proj, CZ or Fort (the best choice).

      Tritro29, u got me, Eisnstein, I’m trying to advertise Fort guns, that’s why I’ve registered yesterday.

    • MrEllis

      In the United States we have litigation. You shoot to stop and to stop only, never to wound. The Force matrix most of law enforcement proscribes too would justify the use of this in a less-lethal situation and not the use of a firearm. In most instances if a cop can use a gun they are trained to do so. Only in special circumstances is less-lethal used in a lethal force scenario. Time being the issue in all of them (too little to swap weapons or long enough to prepare less-lethal).

  • MeaCulpa

    In soviet Arizona less lethal shoots you.

  • Southpaw89

    So its basically an easier to carry alternative to a shotgun with a beanbag round. Seems you would want someone with a real firearm backing you up before relying on this.

    • Bill

      That’s standard practice in the States, so having seen Soviet and Russian cops and the way they handle suspects, I’m positive that they use this with plenty of backup.

      • MrEllis

        In Russian I imagine they just use these on old ladies and small children. Maybe as a joke on each other.

      • I dont’ think Russian police uses commercial civilian less-lethal devices like Osa. I’m not even sure there is a widely issued police shotgun, let alone standardized beanbag rounds. There is a 23mm “prison riot gun”, KS-23, but it’s basically fading into obscurity in far corners of armories. Regular cops are provided with tear gas in spray cans, their sidearms and carbines when on patrol (AKS-74U). Don’t know about riot cops, but never seen them with shotguns either.

        Just checked real quick, judging by what was news throughout the years, Russian police did adopt shotguns… in 2006. A Saiga variant and a traditional self-loader (weirdly, no pumps; even the article itself states that they followed the example of US Army M1014… but what about light rounds?). There are standardized rubber bullets, but they also have been adopted recently and slowly, and were used much, much rarer compared to their widespread use in some countries. Concerning Osa, it seems to be only adopted for use by military police, and only recently.

    • Kovacs Jeno

      “So its basically an easier to carry alternative to a shotgun with a beanbag round”

      Exactly what it is. Also ballistically cca. eqivalent of a 12-ga rubber slug from a Rem870.

  • nobody

    So, who wants to take bets on how long it will be before an officer uses one of these to gain compliance in a situation where someone is peacefully resisting arrest and ends up seriously injuring/killing the person?

  • Worth mentioning that its official manufacturer’s designation is “barrel-less weapon” – the cartridge case reaches all the way to the muzzle, which A) allows for inexpensive light alloy or even plastic to be used for the “barrels” – which are essentially just frame elements; and B) effectively and elegantly removes the risk of homemade lethal conversion.

    The Osa was among the very first less-lethal self-defense devices on the Russian market, and it and its offspring (like 2-shot versions and clones) are so prominent here that the official name of the entire civilian, less-lethal weapons class in our gun laws always includes “and barrel-less weapons”.

  • GreyGeek77

    The news video clip “quotes” the distributor as saying “no one has been killed” by the use of that weapon. A link to a Russian website shows X-rays and photos of several lethal outcomes.

    • nanoc

      Someone has mentioned that the photos where of suicides. So they shot themselves point blank. They may mean that when used by a person against someone else they have never killed anyone. There is a reason they are called less lethal.

      • GreyGeek77

        “someone” was wrong. The editor introduced the article:
        “By publishing this material, we hope that it will make the owners of traumatic weapons again (and someone could be and for the first time) to think about the consequences, which may result from improper travmatiki application. You must to realize that, despite their “Non-lethal” is in your hands serious weapon requires a balanced approach in the application, and the pursuit of “Joules” should not become an end in itself. Photos, cast in the article – it is not an attempt to shock reader. Just reality”

        The article states that these weapons were used to stop “hooliganism and suicides”, not that the photos were examples of suicides. Supposedly a “non-penetrating” weapon, several examples were given, with X-rays and photos, to show that the fired projectiles did indeed penetrate. The distances involved were between less than a meter out to 12 meters.

  • ft

    Did I read correctly? The police now have to carry this in addition to a taser, and a firearm?
    The must have some fat cops with huge waists or they got holsters all over themselves.
    A girl was killed in Boston with a rubber bullet so don’t tell me that this can’t kill someone.
    Not a good idea as far as I am concerned unless they re arrange how and who carries. If they work in pairs, let one carry that and the other carry the taser. They are making the cop have to make too many split second decisions as to which weapon to go for and where it is on his body.

  • Tom

    Unfortunately our politicians seem quite convinced they can fight a “humane war”. The consequences of which is that we seem to spend both blood and treasure on wars on both wars that our not our concern or that we will not win due to a failure to use necesssary force.

    People today would do well to remember why so many German towns have no buildings which date before 1940. No one enjoyed carpet bombing German cities or nuking Japan but it was necessary to bring such evil regimes down.

  • buzzman1

    Can any of you actually read what was on the link? Those rounds didnt come from the rubber rounds. They came from the second from the right and had to have been fired at an extremely close range.