The rounds have several drawbacks. They're expensive, and illegal in many areas. They tend to jam up automatic or semi-automatic shotguns, and may even be dangerous to the shooter if used in such a weapon1. Besides the problems with the action, the thermite used in the cartridges is quite capable of doing significant damage to the bore of the weapon. On top of all this, there's the normal dangers that come from any incendiary weapon.
Allegedly these rounds were originally developed for riot control somewhere in Eastern Europe in the interwar period.
Game and Story Use
- It's pretty useless in normal combat situations, but if you face a foe that's vulnerable to flame it might be worth a shot…
- Specifically, it is almost completely useless in a standup fire-fight, but is likely to have significant psychological impact in an ambush - and then attract a lot of bullets.
- …but if your opponent is a swarm-shifter (or just a swarm) the ability to create a burst of flame could be very useful.
- If one of your players insists he has to have one, let him use it as an intimidation weapon, but make sure he also has to deal with the drawbacks, and make sure his enemies adjust their tactics.
- Making sure that the game rules accurately reflect the drawbacks of using this sort of ammunition might well persuade the PCs of that on their own.