9x19 ARCANE - info wanted

Is there anybody who has detailed info on the ballistics and gas pressure(s) of ARCANE (copper solid) loads? In particular the 9x19 is of interest.
Do catalogs or advertisements exist? Or maybe test reports and cutaways?

Here the patent in case somebody is interested.

US000004819563A_all_pages_Bodet_Arcane.pdf (205.3 KB)

I found references for both French and Argentine “Arcane” ammunition, but no advertisements or specifications, except for a reference in the French magazine,
Gazette des Armes n°142 juin 1985”.

EDIT TO ADD: Everything I am finding seems to combine or classify the “KTW” bullet design and the French “ARCANE” as the same thing, or at least showing no real differentiation, although we know there is a significant design difference.
The 2011 volume of “Wound Ballistics” simply mentions it in passing, along with the “Tres Haute Vitesse”, which they show in cross section:
French THV

I am guessing you have checked these older IAA posts, but the pictures are all missing:

Jack, yes I saw the old threads but there no ballistic data is given.

Comparison between KTW and ARCANE is because of both being solids. Despite the somewhat more pointy design of the ARCANE.
The THV does not compare here in my view since it is a different technical approach.

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Hi Alex,

I have a document regarding Arcane-Ammunition. It is a collection of articles published in different french-, english- and german-speaking firearms- or weaponmagazines. I got this appr. 35 years ago from the company, which made this ammo, together with sample bullets made at that time.
In the articles there are sometimes different bulletweights mentioned.

For the 9mm Luger:

Bullet-Weights: 4,5 gm/65 gr, 70 gr, 75 gr

70 gr/1792 ft/sec (4 1/2 inch barrel)
V2 from a Beretta 92S: 535 m/s
V3 from a FN GP35: 543 m/s
75 gr/1868 ft/sec (possibly testbarrel)
1780 ft/sec (factory-data)

Pressure: 45000 psi

Hope this helps!

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Rainer, very interesting!
Thanks a lot!

I was not aware of the 3 different bullet weights!

Is any of your bullets coated like mentioned in the patent?

Sorry neither the bullets (9mm and .44) nor .38 and .357 cartridge

I don’t think the Arcane rounds ever got out of the test stage. The only box I know of came from a French Doctor/collector who was very close to the inventor/founder of Arcane, Fabrice Bodet. The box is only a mock-up.

Arcane bullets came in several weights and shapes. Most are copper and there is a round in Europe that appears to be a steel bullet.

The only official test of these bullets that I know of was done by the USAF Armament Lab at Eglin AFB. Bodet apparently sent about 10 of each of three styles of loaded rounds to the lab and they tested them and were not impressed. As far as I know there was not even a report written. The rounds tested are below.


I have never seen any data on the performance of these rounds.



thanks for the great informations.
Do you also have the velocities of the other Arcane calibers?

Thanks in advance.

Lew, thank you, this puts it all into relation! I was sure you would know more on this.
The flat tipped one is new to me.

The flat tipped variant is the one weighing 65 gr. It was designed for the .380 Auto cartridge.

A round similar to the one on the right in the picture, has been tested by the Dutch Police around 1982. The Arcane round was used in gelatine penetration testing. I suppose it was fired from a Walther P5 pistol, because that was the pistol the Netherlands police used at that time, and other cartridges used during these test were fired at gelatine blocks with a walther P5.

E0: 641 Joule
V0: 535 m/s
Bullet weight: 4,48 gram
Hit energy at 10 m: 510 J
Rest energy (10% gelatine block, probably 30 cm length): 225 J

EMZ, thanks!

Do you maybe have something on the pressure?
Seems it is a bit excessive.

I have a flat tipped 9 Luger, headstamp W-W 9 mm LUGER. And some poor information:
First picture should be the result of a shot, penetrating 50 cm of modelling plasticine.
Second the same but with an “ordinary” 9 Luger.
And third are some data about velocity and energy.


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The one Arcane tested for Dutch police has heasstamp: W-W 9mm LUGER

Sorry, I no more information about this test.

I know the Dutch military tested two different type of Arcane bullets (.357 Magnum, one with pointed bullet, and one with ogive bullet) on autobus windows, also somewhere in the Eighties. Tests were to see how different bullet types interacted with auto glass.
Dutch Military Police “BSB” and Marines Close Combat Unit were equipt with .357M Ruger revolvers in those days.

In addition to the four calibers duqjans mentions above, as Fede indicated they were also made in 9x17 browning (380). according to information I had from the French collector who was close to Bodet. He recorded that all the bullets were lathe-turned from solid copper bars.

The address was:

Laboratoire Arcane,
B.P. 20 92410 Marnes La Coquette
Paris (I think it was Paris)

Bodet’s products were tested by was the Chief of National Police Shooting Team, at a Police Shooting and Training Range close to Paris.

Quote from a note I have:
“He also experimented for a time with the .308 NATO (sic) calibre and was in touch both with the Police and Army’s Special Forces. they discovered that rifling was too quickly destroyed by Arcane bullets, as Bodet, who was by no means an engineer, neither a ballistician as he pretended, only managed to fill the case as much as he could (!) with a mixture of his own, obtained by mixing diverse brands of French and foreign powders, the cases being so full that powder got badly compressed with the result that you may expect, ie over-pressure, primer expulsions, broken cases, a.s.o.”

There is also a rumor that Bodet wound up in jai in the early 2000s!



You say of the Arcane bullets that most are brass, but the three you show in the picture are all copper, and EOD’s opening statement only mentions copper. I have a few of these types and all of mine are copper, the only material I have seen on Arcane 9 mm projectiles (all the other pictures here are in black and white, so material cannot be discerned).

Do you have photos of some of the Arcane brass bullets?

Also, for the record, I have an Arcane loaded with a sticker on it it indicating it was made by PMP (South Africa), in 9 mm. The bullet is quite ordinary, and copper, to the THV types. Surely a copy of the most-seen French version, if not actually a French bullet simply loaded by PMP. The headstamp is * HP * 9mm. Is anyone familiar with any testing of this type done in RSA? The round came from there, but that is not any kind of evidence it was made or even loaded there. I have left the tag on the round “for the record,” but am not sure at all that the information on it is correct (or not correct, for that matter).

John Moss

John Moss

The November/December 1981 edition of American Handgunner has my article on the Arcane. I tried to upload it just now but the file size was too large. You can find Handgunner files online.

The 70 grain 9mm had a MV of over 1700 fps from a Browning High Power. The 45 ACP had a 120 grain bullet at over 1600 fps. The 45 would perforate 64 layers of Kevlar plus 5 1/2 inches of wet phone books. The 70 grain 9mm would perforate 70 layers. Both would perforate two 1/16 inch thick layers of steel. The 45 would even perforate a Second Chance K30 insert which was designed to stop 30 Carbine.

Fabrice Bodet sent some Arcane samples to Jeff Cooper who gave them to me to test. The 45 acp was way over pressure and bulged the case head. Fabrice sent me some unlaoded bullets which I experimented with and found HS-6 worked well for the 45, nearly duplicating his velocity at much less pressure.

When the article was published Gus Augustyn from the Secret Service in Beltsville, MD called me and I sent them some samples. Bob Nosler asked for a visit in Bend, OR but they decided against manufacturing them. I had already become acquainted with Richard Davis from Second Chance body armor during the course of my test. He supplied me with armor whenever I needed it. Ramon Lopez from International Defense Review called and that is how I began my career with Interavia/Janes for the next 15 years.

I still have quite a lot of this ammunition. All the calibers are conical.

Additional articles were published in The .45 Auto Handbook (1981) and South African Man (February 1982). These compared the Arcane to the KTW, Remington Highway Master, Western-Gothic A.P., Glaser Safety Slug and 16 other bullet designs.

Bullet Performance in the 45 Auto (Feb 1982 SA Man).pdf (3.1 MB)

This was the first article I ever wrote and not up to my later standards but has some interesting data. I liked the 120 grain Arcane. It caused explosive head wounds on medium sized game and one inch diameter necrotic area on feedlot cattle. It was more effective than even a Keith style SWC which left a diameter sized hole through tissue, and far superior to the new Hornady FMJ FN which was an improvement on the FMJRN. I later determined that copper, zinc, or bronze handgun bullets should not be lighter than the Sectional Density of a lead ball (0.10). For a .451 the 140 grain proved very versatile.


Snap shots from my collection. These are the cartridges that I described earlier on.

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Lew, excellent info!
This explains why the 9x19 have a pressure of HPT loads!

IDR and EMZ, thanks a lot for the info, much appreciated!