We’ve covered some AP projectiles the last few days, so how about one that won’t penetrate anything?

As I mentioned with the Sting RAG and Soft RAG yesterday, less lethal riot control was the topic of day in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Robert C. Mawhinney of MB Associates (MBA) came up with one of the first bean bag rounds for 40x46mm grenade launchers. He filed a patent application on 21 May 1970, just weeks after the Kent State shootings. Mawhinney received US Patent #3,710,720 in January 1973.


The 40mm MBA Stun Bag round featured a 3-inch diameter canvas bag containing about five ounces of #8 or #9 shot. The Stun Bag round was later modified for use with 37mm gas guns. These required a rifled muzzle attachment in order to spin the bag open and flat.

MBA even came up with an elongated baton, the Stun Gun, that would launch the Stun Bag rounds. You could hit your target with the Stun Bag, and if he still had some fight in him, you’d be able to apply some additional percussion therapy. There was also a CO2 powered version for civilians, dubbed the Prowler-Fouler.

MBA Prowler-Fouler

But Mawhinney wasn’t done. He wanted to scale the technology down for the common .38 Special/.357 Magnum service revolver. Mawhinney filed a patent application in August 1971, and received US Patent #3,762,329 in October 1973.


The .38 Special Short Stop fired a 1.2-inch flat canvas bag containing #12 shot, weighing roughly 65-70 grains in all. Muzzle velocity reportedly exceeded 1,000 fps at the muzzle, which dropped to about 120 fps at 100 feet. MBA warned that it might be lethal up to 20 feet, but that sounds optimistic.

Three different variants can be found. The prototype Short Stops used a black plastic cap taken from a ball point pen. Early production Short Stops used a yellow Speer shot cup, while late production used a red plastic cap.

1 Comment

  1. Mike says:

    Used by the USAF as an anti hijack round, usually carried by the loadmaster underneath his flight suit in a shoulder holster with a few hp .38 rounds as well.


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