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A sponge grenade is a riot control weapon, intended to be non-lethal, which is fired from a 40 mm grenade launcher to cause confusion, or otherwise temporarily disable its target. As a single blunt force object, it is best used when aimed at a particular individual.
The projectile weighs about 28 grams (1 ounce). It is bullet-shaped, with a foam rubber nose and a high-density, plastic projectile body.
It is "less-lethal" munition round for a 40 mm M320, M203 or M79 grenade launcher that provides temporary incapacitation through blunt trauma. Minimum engagement range is 10–15 metres, and maximum effective range is 50 metres. Velocity at 50 metres is 200 feet per second.
Potential for injury or death
If used improperly—such as at distances closer than 10 metres—injuries to the targeted individual could prove fatal. Used properly, the weapon is intended to cause no permanent damage, but may, in some cases, cause broken bones, head wounds or permanent damage to eyes. When fired at point blank range, there have been cases[specify] of sponge grenades causing death.