In law enforcement worldwide, there is growing aversion to the use of lethal force, no matter how outrageous the provocation. To stop criminal activity, gain compliance through attitude adjustment, and make the arrest while keeping the lawbreakers alive is the new objective.

Safeguard Lives with Rubber Bullets

Demand for less lethal ammunition is in a high growth phase and Less Lethal Africa is at the forefront of new less lethal impact technology.

Less Lethal Africa is an OEM, with outsource factories located in Africa and around the world. These enterprises load and ship our ammunition on our behalf and under our direction.

We use the term "less lethal" and not "non lethal" to describe our ammunition because incorrect use can cause serious injury, even death. Some penetration is accepted as "less lethal". The clay test at 20m should have average penetration of less than 60mm. Less Lethal ammunition should only be used by persons specifically trained in its use.

For more information on what to expect from "less lethal", we refer you to our article "What to expect from less lethal bullets" below.

See also "Differences in Less Lethal vs Regular Ammo" below.

double ball rubber bullets manufactured by less lethal africa


  • less lethal bullets for rifles and pistol are small and light and need to travel fast or they will not hurt at all.

  • small bullets may penetrate at recommended min 20m range, (although hitting energy (joules) are not high)

  • some penetration is accepted as "less lethal". The clay test at 20m should have average penetration of less than 44mm (less lethal clay, 20 degC)

  • big bullets can have high joules but no penetration (a needle goes in much easier than a ball, given the same hitting energy)

  • always aim at legs to keep the bullets “less lethal”

  • in practice there should be VERY few cases of penetration at 20m (causing a small hole in the leg)

  • police will shoot at min 20m which means MOST shooting will take place at a range greater than 20m

  • you can expect 80% of shots fired to fall within a 30 cm circle (or better) at 20m 

  • less lethal bullets can be fired from conventional weapons but there is no pressure to cycle the weapon. Manual cycling will be necessary unless a simple bolt conversion kit is installed. This will allow full auto fire of rubber bullets.


double ball for police and military



  • Accuracy is lower for less lethal ammunition.  A hit on a man sized target or a 30cm group at 20 meters is considered the norm.

  • Less lethal ammunition is lighter and does not build up anywhere near the pressure of standard lethal ammunition. This means that while rubber bullets are great for automatic rifles, the rifle will need to be cycled manually, unless a simple conversion kit is purchased for the firearm. There simply is not enough pressurized gas volume to cycle the action for automatic fire without the conversion kit.

  • Hitting energy or ft/lbs at 20m is the critical spec. Direct impact Less Lethal ammunition is built for a striking energy of less than 90 - 100 foot pounds (ft/lbs) at 20 meters. More than that could be lethal. Some penetration is accepted as "less lethal". When dealing with regular lead or jacketed projectiles, where velocity is a key measurement, with less lethal projectiles the impact energy of the projectile is the critical factor to be considered. If one were to fire a 5 grain (gr.) rubber bullet and a 437 gr. lead ball at the same velocity of 2500 fps, they are not going to do the same damage at a given distance. The 5 gr. 5.56 rubber bullet will have impact energy of 70 ft/lbs. while the 437 gr. lead ball will have impact energy of 6,060 ft/lbs. So clearly the hitting impact is the important number which needs to be addressed in the specifications of less lethal impact ammunition.

  • Rifle sights may need adjustment, depending on the firearm. Rubber bullets are much lighter than lead bullets which means they loose velocity much faster, hence in some cases sights will need to be adjusted to match point of aim with point of impact.