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.

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