For non-lethal crowd suppression, the British army fired baton rounds that whilst painful should not cause long term injuries to those struck with them. Tonight we have an example of an inert practice round used with the L104A2 launcher, the current ‘riot gun’ in service with British military forces. The round is cylindrical and painted grey:The baton itself can be seen poking out of the top of the casing and is a black rubber cylinder with a slightly rounded end:The base of the cartridge has a brass insert where a .38 blank would be located to launch the round:This can be clearly seen in a cutaway:The baton round is marked in white on the main body with the words ‘ROUND 37mm AEP L60A1:A further letter code of ‘BBB’ is on the opposite side of the casing in much smaller white letters:The official description of the weapons system is:
The attenuating energy projectile (AEP) forms part of the common weapon system approved for use by members of the police service or Her Majesty’s forces in the UK. Operational use of the AEP in the UK police service is limited to authorised officers who have been specifically trained in use of the system.
The approved AEP (designated as L60A2) is fired from a 37 mm breech loaded weapon. The approved launcher is the Heckler and Koch L104A2, equipped with an approved L18A2 optical sight.
The projectile has been designed with a nose cap that encloses a void. This design feature is intended to attenuate the delivery of the impact energy by extending the duration of the impact and minimising the peak forces. It thereby delivers a high amount of energy to maximise its effectiveness, while reducing the potential for life-threatening injury.
Reducing the rate of onset of the impact force and reducing the magnitude of the peak force, have both been shown to reduce the severity of injuries in human impact.