.44 Belted A.P

Seeing a round on another thread - a short, belted .45 round for a sniper rifle, made me take a look at a similar round I have had for at least 30 years. I purchased it from Tom Dunn, who sent me what little information he had, written on the back of a label copy. The box was a common Flambeau Handgun box for .45 & .44 Caliber. The stick on label indicated the cartridge is named .44 Belted A.P. Since it has a soft-nose, HP bullet, I ruled out “Armor-Piercing” as the meaning of A.P. Tom and I both felt it stood for auto pistol. The bullet weight is shown on the label, 240g JHP, and it has a catalog number of 429E196 from BALLISTEK, Kearney, Nebraska.

Tom’s message on the back of the label says: “John, this is all I have on the .44 AMP. I bought quite a number of ctgs from Ballistek - they were new wild-cats and obsoletectgs such as 257 Condor etc. John Donnelly was the honcho of Ballistek (last address is Lake Havasu City, AZ. He could, probably, tell you what gun was used. At one time, perhaps a year ago, he was hand loading editor of one of the magazines. Thanks. Tom”

Note that Tom used the caliber designation “.44 AMP” in his note, but that designation is NOT on the cartridge box, which as noted, says simply .44 Belted A.P. The .45 Automag cartridge was not belted.

The cartridge case used was a Remington “R - P 300 Magnum” headstamped belted case. The bullet is a GM SP HP of semi-truncated shape. The primer is a standard Boxer, with nickeled cup. Manufacture shows good quality workmanship in the conversion.

Dimensions are:

OA Ctg. Length: 1.608" (40.84 mm)
Case Length: 1.270" (32.26 mm)
Bullet Diameter at case mouth: 0.4215" (10.71 mm)
Case Mouth diameter: 0.44745" (12.05 mm)
Head diameter just above Belt: 0.510" (12.95 mm)
Belt Diameter: 0.532" (13.53 mm)
Belt width: Approximately 0.113" (2.87 mm)
Rim (Head) diameter: 0.5305" (13.47 mm)
Extractor Groove diameter: 0.4665" (11.84 mm

That is all the information I have on it. Does anyone know about when this wildcat was conceived. Can anyone tell me more about "Ballistek? Does anyone know what firearm this was intended for? If an “auto pistol” it would have to have been a big one like the Automag, or the Wildey. Does nayone have any other expalanation for the designation “A.P.” after the caliber?

Any further information will be appreciated.

I have no first-hand information about Ballistek, but Donnelly’s book, The Handloader’s Manual of Cartridge Conversions, talks about it some in the Introduction section, mainly about the Ballistek/NAI cartridge identification system. The book is an excellent and comprehensive reference guide to hundreds of cartridges, many of them wildcats and obsolete. Yours is not listed in the book.

John, this is a resume of what I have on “Ballistek Weapons Systems Division”:

This company was managed by John J. Donnelly and Lee W. McMorries and offered custom loaded ammunition in about any caliber between .17 and .577. In 1984 offered a new line of “tubing cases” made of a turned brass base soldered with silver to a thin brass tube. This was probably inspired by Maynard’s cartridges, which they also offered.

1978 - Box 1813, Kearney, NB 68847
1980 - Box 11537, Tucson, AZ 87534
1980 - Box 11537, Tucson, AZ 85706
1981 - 3450 Antelope Drive, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
1984 - 2014 Sunray Avenue, Odessa, TX 79763
1987 - 3450 Antelope Drive, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403

Except for some cartridge lists by LeClair & Davis I’ve never seen any of their products recognized in the “cartridge collectors’ world”, if you know what I mean. The reason is probable very simple, there is no such a thing as a “Ballistek” headstamp!

Thanks Fede. They sure jumped around a bit. I just can’t figure this cartridge being an auto pistol round. It is only slight smaller than the .458-1-1/2 inch magnum. If loaded as the case capacity and head strength would indicate, the recoil would be frightful.

John, I can confirm that the designation of this cartridge was indeed “.44 Belted Auto Pistol”. I found it in a 1997 cartridge collectors list as made by Ballistek from a .458 Win. Mag. case headstamped W-W SUPER 458 WIN MAG.

Fede - guess I had better put it back in my collection. I took it out several years ago, but threw it in a drawer of my desk rather than give it away or destroy it. . Thanks for the added information. Would it be possible to get a scan of that list? I have no documentation at all in my files for Ballistek other than the box label I described. I will, of course, print out this thread as well.