New to my collection 9mm RecoilRound Swiss Made
Gyrojet - these are interesting. I have not seen that headstamp, nor the ones
without headstamps, on this type before. I have this same type with headstamp
AM 9mm HAA. I am told the “HAA” is a lot designator.
There are other types as well. I have one with headstamp AM 9mm 06.00 (I am
assuming this is "June 2000:) but while the “case” is the same, it has a blunt
translucent-white plastic projectile, with five, bullet-shaped vent holes in the nose,
that I am assuming is some sort of marking/training cartridge.
Another one, while attributed on the box label to Crown Aircartridge, Ltd (English-
language label), which I was told was a British Firm (possibly erroneous information)
although made in Switzerland, has a blue-plastic bullet, with no vent holes in the nose
but the same shape as described above for the translucent white one. The case is
identical in shape, except that the head is shiney (silver-color) metal, while the body
of the case is brass color. I am not at all sure what the loading is - short range, marker
or blank. The primer of this one is approximately half the diameter of that of the other
two rounds. It has a headstamp utilizing the Geco “symbol code” for the date, of a
backward “L” and a “T” turned on it side with the top turned to the left ( “95”) which if
the same as Geco, would indicate a 1995 manufacturing date. At the top is the
word “Crown” and at the bottom 9MM0 (the “MM” while in capitol form, is smaller
than the “9” or the “0”). The box label for this one (I have only a photo copy) reads,
in five lines"
Crown Aircartridge Ltd.
Part No. 01-08-00
Cal. 0/S 9mm x 19mm.
These cartridges look like the cases are turned steel, except for the brass-colored part
of the third one I have mentioned. They do not look like aluminum, but they are absolutely
and completely non-magnetic. If I am not wrong, I think actual stainless steel is non-
magnetic (there are ss alloys that do take a magnet, I believe), but I do not have the metallurgical
knowledge or experience to identify the case material.
I envy the two variations in your box!
Since I have not seen the AirMunition system until now, I have a basic question: The “aircartridges” shown above do not have a marker projectile so when one of these aircartridges is chambered and “fired” does this cause the gun to recoil by releasing a charge of compressed air?
Around 15, maybe 20 years ago I met a firearms instructor from Southern California who operated the AIS PRISim simulator that uses these AirMunitions cartridges. He would travel around California and visit various law enforcement agencies to train them in his $800,000 simulation trailer. All state of the art computers and video cameras ran the “shoot-no-shoot” live action videos that could be controlled to produce multiple actions and outcomes of the “bad guys” on the screen. If the trainee failed to use clear voice commands to the “bad guy”, the instructor’s assistant could instantly change the “bad guys” action to draw a weapon, draw a wallet, comply with commands or even run away.
The instructor had several handguns (SIG 226, Glock, Beretta, S&W revolver) modified for the AirMunition cartridges. The guide rods in the pistols were laser units so that every shot on the screen by the trainee was recorded by the computer and was able to be tracked to see all the hits or misses. Each individual trainee’s scenario was then burned to a DVD for their training files. The training pistol when fired would force the slide back and eject the spent cartridge (with nearly zero felt recoil).
Each of the 9mm (7.8x21mm) AirMunition cartridges are extremely expensive, more than $50 each! They were “loaded” with compressed air and the loader looked almost like a conventional single stage reloading press. Once the seals inside the cartridge is damaged that cartridge is now non-functional and they are NOT repairable!
The cartridge that John Moss mentioned (brass colored) is named Pyrosafe Man Marker (paint pellet) and the paint pellet can be replaced with a blue or pink rubber pellet. These are fired with a conventional type primer and all the gasses from the primer are contained within the case itself. Once they are fired they cannot be reloaded. These one-use cartridges are probably just as expensive as the air cartridges! There is also an air cartridge that can utilize the paint or rubber pellets and is silver in color (silver case for AirMunition and brass for the Pyrosafe).
Other AirMunition cartridges that are/were available is 38 Special,12ga, 37mm and 40mm. Unfortunately I never got the chance to inspect any of these rounds.
I don’t believe that AIS PRISim is around anymore as they used to have a very in-depth website which I can no longer find any trace of it.
Correction: The laser unit was actually in the barrel and was not the guide rod.
Thanks for the additional information.
Sounds very similar to the Beamhit marketed Laser Marksmanship Training System.
Leon - great information! Thank you for posting this.
The rounds pictured above are blanks powered by air pressure and manufactured in Switzerland.
These guys started as Crown Air Munitions Ltd at Bexhill upon Sea in East Sussex, UK in about 1995. They produced the Crown Air cartridge (below top right) which used an air pressurized cartridge to autocycle a weapon. The original rounds used the Geco letter code on the headstamp and were dated 1995. This round has a brass body and a steel head which moves back on firing and cycles the weapon. Later rounds were guarenteed for 500 firings but I have no data on the Crown cartridge.
Crown, or rights to their cartridge were reportedly bought sometime before 2000 by a company in Holland, but I have no details. The website is http://www.airmunition.info/. The Sales manager is located in Viterbo, Italy and the rounds are manufactured by WIDEC SA in Moutier, Switzerland. The US distributer was located in Norcross GA, but that phone is disconnected.
John is correct the original headstamps after the move from Crown included dates like HAA and JAA which were apparently 2000 dates with the first letter being the month.
Below are the basic types in my collection.
The round at top right is the original Crown round with the Crown headstamp. The next three in the top row are the three basic Air Munitions types, marker, blank and training. This training rounds is actually a Crown product from 1995 with no headstamp, but the later training rounds with AM headstamps are identical.
The bottom row are Pyrosafe rounds which appear to have been added to the product line sometime after 2002. I have a pre-production round from 2002. Most of my Pyrosafe rounds are from 2008 or later. All are unheadstamped and have both heads and bodies made of brass. The Pyrosafe rounds are a low cost alternative to the very expensive air cartridges. Instead of compressed air they have live primers and a small internal charge (as I understand it) to provide the gas pressure to drive the head back and operate the weapon. Extreme Shock sold these Pyrosafe marking rounds in 2009. The Pyrosafe rounds are not reusable.
If someone has information on the actual ownership of this company, please post it!
Back in 1999, someone in Argentina came with the idea of using the AIS PRISim system to evaluate every single individual purchasing a firearm for the first time in order to obtain his license. The AIS package included a Beretta 92 pistol, a barrel/laser, 50 AirMunition cartridges, a compressed air reloading press, a desktop PC, software, and a projector. Also, they sent an American representative to set-up the whole package in our improvised shooting range.
I had the oportunity to test this pistol and reload the cartridges, and it was a fun experience. However, the software was very difficult to calibrate and some of the cartridges failed to work after about 1 month of repeated use. One of the problems was the reloading bench, because you had to watch the pressure level indicator until it reached the required pressure, but it raised so fast that it was almost impossible to stop on time. Overpressure caused several cartridges to fail and, as mentioned by Leon, we didn’t know how to repair them.
Also, our shooting range was so small that the expended cartridges started to punch the wall so bad that we had to improvise a net to catch them!
Lew - you mention that the “CROWN” headstamp round has a brass
body and a steel head. Since the head is non-magnetic, is this what
I unscientifically call “true stainless steel,” as opposed to a stainless
alloy? None of my Aircartridges with what looks like turned steel
components are magnetic at all.
John, I have been told from the first that they are a non-magnetic steel alloy-ie Stainless steel. I haven’t seen that written anywhere.
Thank you. They DO look like turned stainless steel, and not at
all like aluminum. I wish I knew more about the processes involved and
the differences in metals and the “chemistry” of making them. But then,
I probably would not understand them anyway. After all, I’m the guy who,
in my catalog, described bullets and primer cup materials by color, such
as “silver” for anything that wasn’t brass or copper-color, for years before
I knew what GM, GMCS, CN, CNCS, etc., etc. meant.
Long time ago I get these from a police officer of a training school. At that time he told me they are very expensive.
Sorry to revive this old thread.
I am sorting out an old collection of air pistols and have come across some of this Crown airsoft ammunition.
I’m having trouble finding out anything about it!
Does anyone know what pistols would have used it?
I’ve got a gas bottle, some of the plastic pellets and some of the cartridges.
I’ll post pictures later.
Are you located in the UK?
If so, be aware that the pistols that use these pressurised air cartridges were banned in the UK in 2004.
They are now what is known as “Section 5” prohibited firearms and in the same category as pistols firing live ammunition.