is a registered trademark for a nominally non-lethal hand-held weapon used mainly by law enforcement officers in riot situations as an alternative to lethal firearms
, baton rounds
, and plastic bullets
. It was developed by French
hunting firearms manufacturer Verney-Carron
. The weapon exists in two versions of caliber 44/83. The super-pro version features vertically stacked barrels and is made from metal alloys, while the compact version is made from lighter composite materials
with the twin barrels side by side. Both versions of the weapon can be used to fire a variety of ammunition although a soft 44 mm rubber ball is the most common.
According to the manufacturer's own publicity, the Flash-Ball's standard round packs the stopping power
of a .38 caliber handgun
but considerably less kinetic energy per sq. cm thus making it unlikely to penetrate the body of a normally clothed person even at ranges down to 5 meters. This said, various human rights
groups have expressed fears that the widespread deployment of such weapons could result in police being less likely to apply non-violent
tactics when dealing with potentially dangerous situations.
One death due to cardiac arrest in France has been attributed to the Flash-Ball... Read More