9mmP Bird Bomb


Back in 2003 I picked up some Bird Bomb cartridges that I later discovered were made by ELD Enterprises of Prescott AZ. They were described as smoke tracers that blew up with a puff of smoke and a loud noise. I didn’t fire any (not something to shoot on the indoor ranges here in Atlanta) so I can’t confirm this performance, but it was essentially described as a self destroying tracer. Reportedly, in 2002 the US Coast Guard bought some to use for warning shots-don’t know if that is true or not.

I have not seen these offered again since I bought them. A few months ago I found out the identity of the maker and contacted him to see if he was still making them, or any other exotic ammo. Now he only loads shotshells, and had not made or sold the Bird Bomb cartridges for 5 years or more and didn’t think he had any. I told him I was interested if he found he still had some to let me know. He recently wrote me that he had found a few mixed in with some stuff from a firing demo from quite a few years back. I bought them and was pleased to discover that they were somewhat different from the ones I had gotten in 2003.

The latest Bird Bomb has a much darker purple tip in a distinctly different shade. The bullet also has a distinct step, apparently from the reforming process that was missing, or much less distinct on the earlier bullets.

There is no end to what people are producing. I will eventually find a place to shoot a couple of these and will let you know how they perform.




Here is a video of some .45acp skyburst tracers being fired:



I remember a story about the USAF using the ELD 12 gauge bird banger (that’s what the AF called them) rounds to scare off birds around runways. One such firing caused some sort of catastrophic failure of the shotgun barrel causing serious injury to the firer’s hand. I have no details. I do remember it caused quite a stink at the time. AF also used regular bird shot loads to shoot birds, and I have personally been on several such runway “hunting” expeditions at Randolph AFB, none of which was very successful. The last AF bird rounds I saw were 2" (not 2-3/4") Eley 12 Ga shot loads (don’t ask me why or where they got them, as this was at Lackland AFB, in Texas, not England). The AF has a program for mitigating runway bird hazards, called BASH (bird air strike hazards).

I think the AF now uses stationary propane cannons located near runways for scaring birds. They fire at random times when flight operations are underway and birds are present. I have a friend who works for a contractor that installs and maintains these propane cannons.

Also see jonesfish.com/products/648/Propane-Cannon.htm for some interesting regulatory information about bird bombs and propane cannons.


[quote=“DennisK”] The last AF bird rounds I saw were 2" (not 2-3/4") Eley 12 Ga shot loads (don’t ask me why or where they got them, as this was at Lackland AFB, in Texas, not England).

The British do have a stock number for “cartridges 12 bore, bird scaring” and yes they are shorter. Basically an Eley Impax cartridge .


The Eley 12 gauge ammunition I saw at Lackland was loaded with shot, not pyrotechnics. I don’t remember the shot size, but it was small. This was maybe 5 years ago. As this ammunition is not intended for hostile purposes (except maybe against birds) it can be purchased as a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) item, as can shotguns for bird control purposes. I performed a market study for the purpose of determining suitable shotguns for Air Force bird control purposes, which covered all of the available lower-price over-under shotguns on the market. That was a requirement so the bores could be easily checked for obstruction, something much more difficult if pumps or semi-autos were to be used. The previously-described barrel blowup was thought to have been the result of a bore obstruction.