Air Marshal-Sky Marshal-Anti-Hijack usage? … Yes? Unsubstantiated/maybe? No? add others?

First off … I am NOT and authority on the subject … I bet we can collaborate on a real nice thread and accumulate a lot of comments on the subject.

I would venture to say we have all have seen, or have case markings, stickers, labels, online posts, IAA Forum mentions and “stories” that say …. “this was used by sky marshals”; or “made for” or “tried”; or “advertised as”; or toted as “experimental”, etc., etc.

Very few have any “scholarly” information.

My “literature” search was this very Forum; back issues of the IAA journal (nothing found) and the internet, i.e., “Google”.

When you Google search for these typed in subjects

“Anti-airline hijack ammunition” …. About 1,640,000 results (0.63 seconds)
“Airline anti hijack ammunition” …. About 742,000 results (0.68 seconds)
“Sky marshal ammunition” …. About 2,120,000 results (0.53 seconds)
“Federal Air Marshal Service” …. About 8,260,000 results (0.67 seconds)

I found some Google posted questions

What ammunition do air marshals use?
“In early 2020, The Federal Air Marshal Service announced the agency will be transitioning to 9mm Glock 19 Gen5 and awarded Sig Sauer the contract for ammunition.”

Do air marshals use glass bullets?
“Federal air marshals say their guns are loaded with bullets capable of running through more than one person, metal doors and thick glass — too much firepower for an airplane. Jun 13, 2006”

I found a “YouTube” video … New bullet safe to fire on planes - YouTube

I found a US DOT report focused on the then unheard-of concept of passenger screening !!

Maybe we all can chime in and have a spirited thread about the subject?

I apologize in advance for my ignorance of the international landscape. My non-US drawers have many handgun loads with rubber, plastic, bean bag, frangible and “short range” projo variants that very well could fit the bill.

“Yes” = with some “solid” information

“No” = no good info to support its use (wrongly attributed) or previously discredited

“Unsubstantiated/maybe” = maybe a manufacturer sales posting, a mention on this Forum, a cartridge show or written case marking; not necessarily a “no” but I couldn’t find much to “support” it as a “yes”.










YES. (Lew Curtis)






(a hydra-shock bullet…full red base)









MAYBE (Buttweiler Auction Vol 2, No. ! item 147)

14)copper top


MAYBE (Buttweiler Auction Vol 2, No. ! item 148)

16)Frang screw top

17)Big HP

18)Extreme Shock
Extreme Shock





Fede … EOD (Alex) …Pete … Jeff (have at it !!!)

PLEASE discredit…huff and puff…yea & nay as you please

'add you own rounds as you see fit !


I don’t quite understand the whole thing here, but I get the point as it is to stop something/body.
Would the RIP work?

the basic concern can be summed up in a couple words -

avoid collateral damage

  1. to other people in the close quarters

  2. to avoid damage in a pressurized aircraft (apparently Mythbusters “busted” it as a myth)

I posed a question regarding “Special Purpose Cartridges” used by sky marshall in Sept 2016. Got some great responses! Hope this helps you. Tom from MN

I thought I searched all. Can u find it again and post the link or the full title ?

Pepper under the general ammunition discussion type in Special Purpose Cartridge. You’ll find great replies to my post. Tom

Is this the one?


#17 I have loaded into 38 SPL

Yes…I pulled most of those examples (in your thread) that I had in my collection and added them to this thread at the get go. I called them “unsubstantiated”…and not quite sure what would make them “substantiated” ? … other than the word from experts like Pete and Lew. I hope Fede chimes in too.

The only documented “Anti-Hijacker Ammo” use I am familiar with is .22 LR, used by ElAl sky-marshals in their Beretta Model 71 pistols. Not sure what Delta, SAS, GSG-9, etc. used, but I know the .22s were fielded and successful.

Any particular manufacturer, projo, etc., that I could add to my collection ?

Thanks John

The only 2 identifiable .22 rounds I recall from Israel were Eley tracers (E), with a box label that said “For Use In Beretta Pistols Only”, and Remington contract rounds with a REM ‘Tzadic’ headstamp.

The #13 I have as for them & referenced to IAA (or ICCA) 243-12 and ECCA (or ECRA) 368-57.
The #15 I have as by F.A. (haven’t looked in HWS for it) , RTB sale #4 lot 148 & IAA 243-16.

I’m not use there were actually used / issued but perhaps just tested? So perhaps “intended usage” might be an more acceptable range of useage?

Well the RIP should work with stopping but that is a relatively new bullet, All this work was done in the 1970’s -80’s (I think).

The rotator #15, was as the story goes, intended to “tip-in” instead of glancing off as some types of bullets do when striking the skull.

RTB sale #4 lot 148
IAA 243-16.

I stuck out looking for either

RTB I have catalogs by Volume and then number…I tried all of Vol 4 # 148’s

and is that IAA journal number 243 ?

#4 would be Vol 2 #1 in other words his 4th sale.

Yes issue / journal number 243 in the ICCA / IAA publications

The only Air Marshal round I have ever had that I knew was an Air Marshal round (i.e. specifically designed for that job) is your #5, the American Ballistics 38 Spl with the blackened bullet with the large HP. I’m very confident of the identification as indicated in the writeup because I got it directly from the owner of American Ballistics.

I am pretty confident that many of the others out there had that description applied after they entered the world of collectors like the IMI hst round with the steel darts inside the jacket and the top filled with a black rubber/plastic. It was being sold by a guy in Europe as Israeli Sky Marshal rounds. As I wrote up recently in the Journal, I eventually got in touch with the guy who owns the patent and who filled the bullets with darts by hand. These rounds never had anything to do with Sky Marshals. Thinking about it, maybe they would have made a good Sky Marshal round had the darts been aluminum, but then the bullet would have been so light it likely wouldn’t cycle the pistol!!! Just a guess.


This skymarshal round (bullet from Allegiance, complete round assembled by MEN) is not in use anymore. It is now being replaced by the Action 5 from RUAG.

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The Action 5 is no sky marshal round or so. Just to have it said.

My 2 cents.

I have four of them, I think :smirk:
From L. to R. S&W, Mesko and two times S&B.


Willem, these are “just” bean bags as used by LE and for self defense.