Exclusive: First Photos of Curious Lethal(?) Chinese 9x20mmR Type 05 Police Ammunition

    Last month China’s Ministry of Public Security began allowing beat-cops on patrol to carry guns. The gun approved by the Ministry is the obscure Type 05 Police Revolver, first published online by Max Popenker. Max wrote at World.Guns.Ru

    The ammunition, which is apparently based on old and rather anemic .38 S&W (9x20R) round, retains enough muzzle energy to pose a threat to any unprotected low-grade criminal at short ranges; and even if this gun will fail into wrong hands, any police body armor will be able to stop the bullet. The muzzle velocity for standard round is given as 220 m/s (720 fps). No bullet weights are given, but we can expect this round to be ballistically similar to .38 S&W, thus having muzzle energy about 220 Joules (160 Ft-Lbs).


    Max also published a photo of the 9x20mmR rounds chambered by this gun, a jacketed round and a rubber bullet round. Here is where it gets interesting: a photo has just surfaced on Chinese forums showing a cross-section of the bullets (I believe TFB is the first English-language website to post them). It turns out that both bullets are potentially less lethal. The rubber bullet is what you would expect: a long polymer bullet. The jacketed bullet is interesting. It has a copper jacket covering a block of high-density polyethylene at the front and a lead disc at the base. The lead base looks like it makes up around 40% of the total volume of the bullet.

    9x20mmR Type 05 Ammunition-1


    According to the specifications also published in Chinese forums, the bullets weighs 123 gr and has a muzzle velocity of 721 fps. This works out to a muzzle energy of just 142 ft.lbs. This is the same muzzle energy as a high velocity .22 LR and less than a hyper velocity .22 LR. Penetration would be a lot worse than a .22 LR owing to the larger caliber and expansion of the polymer components.

    The specifications …

    type 05 chinese

    English translation …

    3. Primarily technical data.
    Caliber: 9mm
    Total cartridge length: ≤30mm
    Total cartridge weight: ≤12.6g
    Bullet weight: ≤8g
    Muzzle velocity: 220m/s ± 10m/s
    Average peak chamber pressure: ≤1100kg/cm³
    Average accuracy(fired from a fixed mounted ballistic device, at 25m range): R50<2.0cm

    The Chinese authorities may have had the best of intentions when they decided to arm the police with less lethal ammunition, but this decision may backfire on them (no pun intended). The Chinese Police officers will soon discover that neither of these two rounds will stop a criminal in his or her tracks. This will lead to police shooting their guns in situations that do not justify lethal force because they will assume that the bullets will not kill. This scenario has played out wherever Tasers have been introduced in the West. The difference being that Tasers are non-lethal. Bullets, rubber or lead, can be lethal. This is why we call them “less lethal”, rather than non-lethal. Col. Cooper was absolutely correct when he said nobody should point a gun at anyone or anything they are not willing to kill or destroy.

    Thanks to Matrix3692 for the information and translation.

    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!