Short Stop–type .38 Mesko Special revolver ammunitions have been designed for incapacitation of humans without causing serious bodily injuries. Three types of those ammunitions differing in increasing amounts of gunpowder in the shell chamber and, consequently, increasing kinetic energy of the projectiles can be distinguished: Komar (Mosquito), Osa (Wasp), and Szerszeń (Hornet), respectively.
The aim of this study was to investigate the ballistic features of such projectiles in a gelatin model. Twenty percent gelatin blocks at 10°C were shot at with a caliber .38 ROSSI Special revolver from 5-, 20-, 50-, and 100-cm distances.
The deepest penetration was observed in the case of Hornet-type projectiles, which penetrated into the depth of 10 cm even when shot from 100-cm distance.
The results of the research demonstrate that none of the projectiles shot at humans from firearms can be regarded as “safe” because the inflicted injuries do not depend solely on the construction of the bullet, but also on the shooting distance. The use of theoretically nonpenetrating Short Stop–type ammunitions at a distance not exceeding 1 m may cause serious injuries, at times even as extensive as those caused by penetrating projectiles.