2 times 9mm Israëlian "Sky Marshal" cartridges, but the 3th?

Today I found a 9mm x 19 cartridge, at first sight a 9mm Sky Marshall, as questioned here on the forum earlier last years.
But this one is different, starting with the headstamp, witch is not Israelian at all…

Left to right:
Starline Brass, TZ and TZ

The material of the “Starline” is more yellowish and there are less balls in the bullet. At a closer look, the balls in the “Starline” looks copper- or brassplated, not the steelcolour as in the Israelian bullets. However, all the bullets are magenic, including “Starline”

“Starline” 99,8 grain
TZ 1-72 127,2 grain
TZ 4 -71 126, 6 grain




Does anybody (who??) has made a lightweight copy of the Israelian Sky Marshall’s?


I was told very early on that these were Guard Loads, not Sky Marshal. Note that they are dated about the same time Colt made the triplex squeeze bore loads for Israel (about 1970-71). I understood that the Israeli military wanted a round with a high hit probability but relatively little collateral damage. The squeeze bore Colt round was one alternative and this shot load was another. I have never heard it referred to by a knowledgeable source, but that doesn’t mean that wasn’t used by Sky Marshals. I would appreciate any information that supports this use.

I have a replica of this round with a Geco 9mm headstamp and non-magnetic lead bullets. I know it is probably 30+ years old. It came out of an old collection. I think that back when this Israeli shot load was extremely rare, a collector made a replica for his collection, not realizing the real load had steel shot. I suspect your Starline case load has a similar background. My replica also has lots of air bubbles like yours.

I could be wrong on both counts here. Somebody may have wanted to try out the Israeli load so made up a batch of bullets and shoved them in Starline cases.

The Colt loads were intended for use with a taper bore barrel. I have heard speculation that the Israeli shot load above was also intended to be shot from a similar barrel to break up the projectile so it would spread as it left the bore. As far as I know this is only speculation.

Johnny C will know a lot more about this and perhaps he will clarify the info above!


Lew, thanks for your repley again.
I do not have any more information about the 9mm “Sky Marshall”, even less then you have.
I do know the original “Sky Marshall” projectile breaks in pieces when you want it to unload with the unloadinghammer (like I did for a cutaway). So it sounds reasonable they will break in pieces also after firing, and spreading all the parts of the material and the steel balls.
Funny to read, that there is so less known about a, within the collectors world more or less wellknown cartrigde…
Everybody calls them “Skymarshall” but nobody know documented if they really are?


Lew, everything relatively reliable I have ever heard about these rounds is that they were tested for air-marshal use. I have heard riot loads, snake loads, survival shot, etc., but other than the box saying “EXPERIMENTAL”, nothing else is documented. Due to the time period of escalating terrorist hijackings, I’m going to stick with an experimental for air-marshal/El Al security, upgrading from Beretta .22s to something in 9mm.

Back to turkey basting!
Turkey was delicious!

Everything Old is New Again…Italy ( and Austro-Hungary) had “Guard” cartridges back in the 1890s, using a grooved brass tube, with lead Particles inside it; no need for a “squeeze bore” as the rifling of the Carbine “unravelled” the shot tubing, and allowed the dispersion of the “pellets” ( actually Hemi-cylindrical Lead pieces) which then quelled the "Riotous assembly"
with no collateral damage.

A similar “shot tube” system could be adapted to 9mm or .45ACP without much trouble, and the added attraction of being able to use it in unmodified barrels…Speer-CCI have been making “snakeshot” plastic capsules for years for a range of Revolver calibres ( and even now .22RF “ratshot”).

Re-inventing the wheel???

Doc AV

Jaco and Lew, the projectile loaded in the Starline case looks the same as the one made by SFX Ammunition (George Fisher) a few years ago. However, these were supposed to be inert rounds using IMI headstamped cases. Also, the pellets used are copper plated steel BB’s.

Here is a picture of the SFX version:

Maybe someone loaded a few cartridges using SFX bullets?



Thanks Fede, I’d forgotten SFX made them. The case headstamp is irrelevant. He used whatever brass he had at hand. My SFX replica of this load has the same Starline +P case as Jaco’s. It appears somebody decided to put a primer in Jaco’s.

He would also sell just the bullets of anything he had. When he went out of the bullet business, he filled a large box about 2’ square with all his leftovers, almost all bullets, and sent it to me. I passed on bags of it for a number of years and have seen these bullet, loaded into cases, at a number of cartridge shows.

Great eye Fede! As usual, you hit the homerun!


Hi Lew en Fede,
George Fischer is a very true possibity, and I suppose you both are right.
But? I have 20 “George Fischer” cartridges in my collection, different bullet styles and colour, differend cases and different headstamps. They all have a (outside looking) live primer. But they are all empty, all of them have a ‘tinkle’ inside. So not the “Skymarshall” in this topic. I have only one, so I will not open it, but I’ll put him in my database as “George Fischer”.

Thank you all for thinking about it and your repley’s !

Interesting! None of the stuff I got from him has a primer!!!


Yes, that’s for sure interesting Lew. I’ll take pictures asap to show you what I have of them. Specially for the headstamps too.
Grtz, Jaco

I have had trade stock of those Israeli rounds on my SLIC’s table for several years and the odd thing is that a portion of them had significantly “rusted” balls in the translucent plastic bullet…all had the usual Israeli headstamps. I do not think I have a SFX example.

Pepper, yours were all legit Israeli examples.

These are my “George Fischers”. Except the one with the ‘fired’ primer, all have a live primer and the ‘tinkle’ .

I have asked the the guy from who I selled these 20, and he told me… “Buyed the cartridges from a German collecor, who has got the projectiles from Lew Curtiss in 2013 and made cartridges using the bullets from Lew and 'whatever” live cases, but without powder.

It’s a small world :-)


As far as I know, George Fischer didn’t put these bullets in these cases. No question they are George’s bullets, but these are not the kind of cases he used.

John M probably was more in touch with him than I was and could know something I don’t… In fact John always knows something I don’t, many somethings!!! That is why I am pleased he is active again on the Forum.

It is possible somebody sent George a bag of assorted cases and asked him to stick bullets in them, and he may have done that!. His standard stuff didn’t have primers.


Lew - JACO seems to be saying that he bought those rounds from a German collector who had purchased some of George’s bullets from you and then loaded them himself in various cases with live primers, but without powder. That would agree with what you said above. I agree completely that those are not George’s dummy rounds - only his bullets. Personally, I would find the bullets, in that case, more interesting than putting them in cases no original to Fischer’s commercial endeavor in making dummy rounds.

Not much else I can add. I think the you, Jaco, and I are all in agreement with what they are.

John M.

Yes you are right John, and we agree. Changed the discriptions in my database.
Again a mystery solved :-)


Thanks John!

Jaco, sorry I had missed your comment under the photo! I suspect that is exactly what happened.


No problem Lew!

What do these Israeli experimental/sky marshal 9mm usually cost? I have an extra and I am considering selling it.

Inexpensive (off my SLICS table) And most anywhere I’ve seen them