Polish Traumatic 38 Spl

Hi, friends!

Here are a couple of images of disassembled traumatic (стоп-патрон = Stoping cartridge) Polish cartridge MESKO in caliber 38 Special.

Here we go!

Prior to disassembling:

Plastic “bullet”, bag with pellets and the case:

Plastic “bullet”, torn bag, scattered pellets and the case:

Case, propellant and the wad between powder and bag:

The wad:

And all bunch together:

These are the bag, plastic “bullet” and the base of the case:


1 Like

So, was this intended to be a less-than-lethal round, i.e., beanbag? It would seem so.

Nice one! I’m glad to see this disassembled since I only have one each of these cartridges and can’t bust them open.

That white one is the “Mosquito” which had a more tame charge (or more tame beanbag load?) as compared to the two others apparently. The others were the “Hornet” and “Wasp”


These are old story, made by MESKO (Skarzyko-Kamienna) during the first 90ies, inspired by the US “Short stop” ammunition, in several calibres (one was a 9 mm Makarov), and supposed to be used by Security personals in airplanes.

It seems that MESKO made them in close collaboration with the Czechs (Sellier Bellot)

An interesting point is that the cases are either made of brass, [i]or brass[/i]-washed steel… the last ones having light knurled grooves around the top third of the case, as seen on the ‘Hornet’ and ‘Wasp’ first pictured here.

This point I discovered by chance when I brought my first specimens from Warsaw in 1991 and tested them with a magnet back home (something I use to do for every new addition in the coll.).


PR, You make a great point. I’ve learned, probably too late, to weigh and use a magnet on all my cartridges, and have had quite a few surprises. Some of the best rounds in my collection were just ordinary until I rediscovered what they were when I took a magnetic or scale to them long after they had
entered the collection.

Good Advise!!!


Yes, but these rounds are lethal in the ranges from point-blank to approx. 1.5-2 meters, before the bag could outstretch by the rotary motion.

I came across some images of packaging online recently for these Mesko .38spl rds:

Mesko%203 Mesko2 Mesko%201

I found them at this Polish retail website, and they seem unusually inexpensive at 9,0 Zloty each (if I am understanding that correctly), which translates to around $2.50. If they mean 9,0 Zloty per rd, then it would be a $30 box of 12rds. http://sklep.magazynuzbrojenia.pl/pl/c/38-Special/8

Excellent images Matt! Thank you for sharing!

Reconstruction of labels from early types of packaging