Amron 32 New Police for Colt Cobra

Can anyone shed some light on the story behind this box of .32 NP? I assume this was produced on contract for some government agency. I can’t who would have been armed with a gun firing such a pip-squeak cartridge.

I am only answering this to bring it back up to the top with the hope that someone knows the story of this incredibly fascinating box. Almost makes me wish I collected revolver cartridges (only “almost”).

In 1963 and 1964, I was assigned to the 380th Military Police Detachment (Crime Lab) at Oakland Army Terminal, California. We took our ANACDUTRA with the 60th Criminal Investigation Detachment, at the Presidio of San Francisco, just across the Bay from Oakland. the Criminal Investigators there carred 2" barrel Colt Revolvers. I cannot honestly recall if they were Cobras or Detective Specials. I also assumed at the time that they were .38 Special caliber, but never actually inquired. Although already having between seven and eight years Army service, that was the first time I knew that there were any U.s. Army personnel carrying concealed weapons while in the standard Class A uniform.

There must be some specific reason why Amron mentioned the Colt Cobra on the label, since the Detective Special, a steel-framed version of the aluminum-framed Cobra (actually, vice-versa is more correct), since any load safe in a Colt Cobra is safe in a Deterctive Special as well, of course.

I bring this up only in case there is some connection to the military with Guy’s great contract-style box from Amron. It appears to be some sort of contract, not for commercial sale.

I hope someone has an answer for this ammunition. It is an incredibly interesting label.


I know nothing about the box, cartridges, or your question. But, as you know, I have an opinion on most things and this is one of them

Most of my adult life I was a competitive pistol shooter. As such I had many LEO friends who also competed and many who did not. I don’t mean to denigrate any of them here but one thing I learned is that most are, how shall I put it, not very good when it comes to shooting pistols. As the power and recoil of the pistol increased, their ability to control the situation decreased.

So, it is natural to arm them with a “pip-squeak” cartridge to give them at least some semblance of control over their weapon. Shooting the bad guy anywhere on his body is certainly preferable to missing completely.

This is nothing new BTW. It’s one of the reasons cops in the old days were usually armed with anemic weapons. And it also explains situations, such as one I read recently in the Phoenix paper, where the cops had to shoot a bad guy who was shooting at them - 46 rounds fired and 12 of them hit.

But, I don’t blame those brave LEOs. The fault is ours. They are not given the resources to become familiar with their weapons. If the taxpayers would be willing to shell out a few bucks so those guys could practice more than the few qualifying rounds that are required, we’d all be better off.



John and Ray,
Thanks for the input. I quite frankly don’t know who (or when) Amron was, other than ‘A Gulf + Western Systems Co’ as noted on the box. The name is familiar, but as my interests are primarily on the older stuff, I can’t recall where I have heard of them before. A google search turns up lots of Amrons. I only got this box because it was not overly expensive and it intrigued me. I’m always picking up boxes with the intention of breaking them up and selling the individual cartridges on my web page. Unfortunately, when they are full, I have a tough time breaking them up and just add them intact to the box collection, as is likel;y to happen with this one. A collecting friend of mine considers it to be a 100% loss when a box is added to the collection. That seem pretty accurate, as I seldom turn loose of a box once its been catalogued.

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]Guy

“cops in the old days were usually armed with anemic weapons”


Perhaps in old days the people were also “anemic” (not as fat as today), and such ctges were good enough ???

Guy - I think you should keep that box. It is a great one. If it was an equally interesting auto pistol box, I would have been pestering you so much for it that you would have either gone out looking for tough guys to alleviate the problem, or surrendered it to me just to get some peace of mind.

Other than the FBI, that I used to shoot with and for the most part (90%) were quite competent shooters, I have shot with some police officers and I agree with your assessment of police marksmanship. I think out of necessity, and with the additional Federal funds all police departments now seem to get, they are getting better, though. We have had some cops who were cowboy shooters, and they are all quite good at fast shooting at man-sized targets, and especially good with the shotguns. Of course, they are as I mentioned, “interested,” meaning they enjoy shooting and don’t have to be beat with a whip to get them to practice or even come to qualification firings.

Of course, the cops that are “interested” shoot very well.

Your “light recoil” theory is very sound. I think that is why the .38 Special was so popular. I think I read that at one time, before they got interested in bigger calibers like .357 and auto pistols, that something like 90 to 95% of the police in America carried .38 Specials, and of course in Europe, for the most part, the calibers were even smaller. Even now, the popularity of the 9mm shows an unwillingness to deal with any recoil to speak of in more effective calibers, although due to advances in bullet design, the 9mm Para is a much better cartridge than it once was. I even carry one now, since with age, I have become somewhat recoil sensitive in my hands, and for that reason, no longer carry my lightweight Colt .45 Commander. I simply don’t shoot it at the level I used to, or that satisfies me. For self-defense, if you can hadle the recoil, it is hard to be “over-gunned.” Some of the new monster magnums do make that possible, I admit. One does not need a rhinocerous shooter for self defense.

Amron made a lot of ammunition. At one time, they made all or most of Browning’s house-brand of ammo, and they at least supplied some cases to Speer. they also made some ammo with only the caliber on the headstamp, for Centennial Arms, I think. I have an aluminum-cased 9mm with the Speer headstamp, but Speer seemed to know nothing about it, so I think it was an unauthorized use of their bunter, for experimentation identification, by Amron. They made some small arms ammunition, 9mm and .45 for sure, with their own “Amron” headstamp. I think after they got out of the commercial ammo business, they continued to make aircraft cannon rounds, but am getting out of my field here. I don’t know if they even still exist, I am ashamed to say.

I should have thought to go to Chris P’s .30-06 book earlier, but he has the Amron company history. This partricular box of cartridges had to have been made between 1968 and 1972, when Gulf + Western Industries was the parent company. It is likely that the box was made after about 1970 when, according to the book, Amron introduced a line of ammunition for law enforcement agencies, which included .30-06, thus securing the company a spot in Chris’s book. Thanks (again) Chris for a most useful book.