.223 Austrian Short Range


Was sold to me as anti-terrorist?
5.56x45mm/ .223 plastic? core in copper washed steel cup. Brass case. Headstamp - HP/ .223/ 5.56 with C over F on primer.
A fleck of metal fell off at the last second, creating a deep scratch in plastic that couldn’t be sand out. Its still a keeper.


Short range cartridges or short range automatic


Short range extremely frangible, for use inside airplanes??


Short range practice, but not frangible. The plastic core is fairly hard, much like the material used in the East German 7.62x39mm Ubungspatrone. Wolfganggross, can you confirm the material hardness? I had a sectioned 7.62x39mm version of this load, but no longer.



My impression of this type in 5.56 from Hirtenberg has been that it is NOT tactical ammunition, but rather just a training load? The “anti-terrorist” part sounds like hoperbole. Am I right or wrong?

John Moss


As said already it is a simple practice cartridge for short ranges.


Israel used short plastic training rounds in 5.56 for “anti-riot” operations, but I have heard of no similar use for the rounds above, or for any kind of “anti-terrorist” use.


Thanks for correcting that. Went to gun show yesterday (sat) in Columbia SC and found a complete box of these, figures! 20 Cartridges, cal 5.56, short range - lead free, Hirtenburg


the same cartridge Hirtemberger is also used as short range by the Italian FF.AA.


I’ve seen the same cartridges on online auctions sold as ‘air marshal’, ‘anti-T’ , etc…if memory serves one seller listed it as a ‘hollowpoint’ since the case stamp had ‘HP’ (Hirtenberger Patronen) on it.

All the info I have indicates that very few low-ricochet/frangible loads are requested or selected for antipersonnel operations (despite marketing claims), and many times a unit or team will select an existing frangible training load for these limited applications (use aboard ships, oil rigs, etc where ricochet at close ranges is an actual consideration). FAMs currently issue a bonded JHP to ensure adequate penetration through seats/headrests etc.

FWIW when I ran these cartridges in a 16" 1/7" Colt AR15 they failed to cycle the action, and were destructive on standard steel training targets (they’d often stick about 1/4" into the target face).


AKMS sorry didn’t see question about core hardness. Its as hard as a PVC bucket. Soft enough to receive that scratch in core at last sec of grinding. It went too deep to try and sand out. Would have went beyond halfway point. Need to find out how to test hardness of different materials. Esp. steel to help with AP questions.


I doubt that the scratch is actually a scratch. I have sectioned a comparable cartridge, also made by Hirtenberger, identical headstamp and primer marking but the plastic tip is slightly different than the tip seen above. My sectioned model has an identical cavity in the bottom of the plastic core as well as a small air bubble, trapped during the molding.

Several variants of this cartridge exist (picture ripped from another post):