Rubber bulletRubber bullets are rubber-coated projectiles fired from guns. They are usually non-lethal, unless fired at short range, but heavy enough to pierce skin. Rubber and wooden bullets are often used in riot control and to disperse protests.
The British use the name baton round. It was first used in the late 1960s, 25 mm teak cylinders were fired to control rioters in Hong Kong. The round and its later developments were widely used in Northern Ireland. The wooden round was soon replaced by a new development, which was commonly called the rubber bullet.
The initial British rubber bullet was 150 mm long, 38 mm in diameter and weighed about 145 g, it used rubberized plastic around a metal core. It was fired from a modified and lengthened Very pistol named the L67. The new rounds were first used in Belfast by the British Army in August 1970. Almost 56,000 rounds of this type were fired up until 1975. The instructions for firing the round indicated it should be fired at the ground so as to ricochet into the target. When fired directly the round could, and did, cause serious injury and a new type of projectile named the plastic bullet or baton round was introduced in 1972, initially used alongside the rubber bullet it eventually replaced it.