5.56mm semi wadcutter?!?!

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Reader WarWolf emailed me this photo. It looks like it is a 5.56mm NATO round loaded with a semi wadcutter shaped lead bullet. weird. Can anyone identify the round and/or read the writing?

Would the ridge not cause chambering problems? Maybe the intended use is in a single shot rifle or pistol.

UPDATE: Mystery solved. Koko’s comment below:

This is a plastic bullet that was devised to provide the IDF with a bullet enableing a non-lethal way to stop Palestinian demonstrators during the first Intifada (1988-1993).

The bullet was to be fired at demonstrator legs – but ended up inflicting more drastic wounds then initialy imagened – even killing on accution.

The ballistics of the bullet proved to be strange – after a while the standing orders were changed to the ammunition to be used only by a trained designated shooter from a fixed ground position – then the bullet was dropped altogether and is not used today (as far the I know).

The load was also reduced – as noted on the package – this forced to shooter to manualy load the bullet after each shoot.

Makes sense that it needed to be loaded single shot!

Thanks to everyone for the translations and comments.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Anthony Falconi Anthony Falconi on Apr 11, 2012

    I recently purchased some Israeli ammo similar to these but made of copper with orange tips , they must be a tracer version of some sort.

  • Booji Booji on Nov 09, 2012

    neato, haven't seen those in 20 years! full translation of the box reads: "20 rounds 5.56mm, reduced energy, standard (as in not tracers), plastic projectile"

    the plastic looked grey and glittery because it was filled with metal powder to give it a bit more mass than raw plastic and the step was designed to slow it down.

    about 50 meters of range if you were lucky and had a lot of practice. targets were invariably running and jumping around so it wasn't easy to hit them in the legs like we were supposed to. still, lots of kneecaps got popped.

    despite the shape they would feed just fine from the magazines of the M16 and galil.