Bakelittfabrikken


#1

I just received my 2018 NAMMO Bulletin, and among some really
good articles, was a short article on Bakellitfabrikken, of Norway. Some
really up to date facts I was not familiar with. The article was evidently
prepared by someone named Trond Bergerud, so credit for this information
belongs to him.

Bakelittfabrikken was found in Oslo in 1946. It was there that the company
invented the world’s first plastic blank ammunition, in 1953. In 1955 they moved to
the city of Aurskog. Just prior to that move, in 1954, Bakellittfabrikken was awarded
a contract with the Norwegian Army for the production and delivery of plastic blanks
in caliber 7.62 x 63 mm (.30-06). In the late 1950s, they introduced a short-range
training round with enabled live firing and training even within limited space and
safety zones.

Over the years, development continued and the blanks and short-range cartridges
were developed in many calibers, from 4.6 mm up to 40 mm. The company also
collaborated with weapon manufacturers in the development of blank firing attachments
and training bolts for different weapons.

Licenses to manufacture plastic ammunition based on Bakelitt’s patents were granted to
various company’s. The company was also involved with the development and manufacture
of civilian products, including a plastic boat designed and produced under the name “Pioner”
(spelled with a single “e” as shown here) in 1959, and much later in 1994, there was also an
electric two-seat “micro car” originally designed with a plastic chassis. It was one of the first
of the electric cars and was used during the Winter Olympics at Lillehammer in 1994.

In 2005, the company;s ammunition production unit was acquired by Nammo, and renamed
Nammo Bakelittfabrikken AS, a legal entity owned by Nammo Raufoss AS. In 2016, the group
decided to merge Nammo Bakelittfabrikken AS with Nammo Raufouss AS, and the merger was
established July 1, 2017 with Bakellitfabrikken AS officially becoming part of Nammo Raufuss AS.

As is well known in our collecting fraternity, Nammo has become a very important player in the
world-wide ammunition production business, along with a Swiss Company RUAG.

I was reminded by this article that Bakellittfabriken had developed the (usually) blue-color short
range plastic cartridges, but had never given thought to the matter that most of these are identified
as being of German manufacture. It brings up the question of whether the German rounds were
actually made in Norway, or produces their own under license. If the latter, does anyone have
documented information that Bakkellittfabriken ever actually produced the blue plastic training rounds
in 7.65 mm Browning and 9 x 19 mm Parabellum? I ask about these specifically since they are
within my own collecting interests.

In passing, I learned something else from the 2018 Nammo Bulletin. I had always thought that Fabrica
de Municiones Palencia, of Spain, was a Spanish Government facility. Whether it was or was not, on
October 16, 2013, Nammo agreed to purchase the factory, and took responsible for the work force and
everything else pertaining to the factory.

This was an excellent issue, including mention of Nammo’s purchase of Berger Bullets, operating under the
name of Capstone Precision Products, operating in Arizona and Missouri.

Hope this is of some interest. It is most certainly not, nor intended to be, a complete history of Bakellite or anything else. Just some facts to help fill in the store of that important company.

John Moss


#2

It’s worth noting here that Bakelittfabrikken absorbed the smaller company PLAMIL (or Plamil) which were the ones that came up with the “beak” shaped “break lines” for the plastic blank rounds. These had a much shorter safety range than the regular four-line petal shapes on other blank ammunition. Both types are still in use in the Norwegian military today, NM126 having the short four-line break lines, and the NM134 is long with the beak shaped break lines. The former is used in the FN MAG and the latter in MG3, AG3, HK417 and the few other guns in 7,62x51 we use.

The rounds from the right are:
NM126 7,62x51
NM9 7,62x51
NM9 7,62x51
NM134 7,62x51
NM134 7,62x51
NM9 7,62x51
7,92x57
NM11 7,62x63
NM11 7,62x63
NM11 7,62x63
7,62x63 movie blank
7,5x54 French blank
DAG 7,62x51

Ole


#3

Ole - Thank you! Can you supply the date (even just the
year) that they absorbed the Plamil Company? I remember
when it happened years ago, but had forgotten about it.

Also, i see that you show a black DAG blank. Are those actually
made, either in part or totally, by Bakellitt?

I have been trying for a long time to identify all of the various plastic
blanks and short-range plastic (blue) cartridges in my collection, but
without much luck. Some are well know, but others are not. I no
longer even trust headstamps, since there are so many instances of
one company making ammunition for another company with that
company’s headstamp on the cartridges.

John Moss


#4

John,

Great thread.

The 2018 Nammo Bulletin referenced by John in his beginning post above:

The Bakellitfabrikken article begins on page 26.

Brian


#5

John,
The merger was in the 70s. I have a copy of an old article on BF and the Plamil productions, I’ll find it when I get home and see if it has the specific year or date.
Ole


#6

John,
I don’t know about the blue short range rounds, but Huck appears to have been the first foreign company to obtain rights to produce the Bakelittfabrikken/Ringdal blanks. There is some evidence that Bakelittfabrikken provided some components to Huck and SFM in the development of their blanks. but no evidence I know of that production blanks from Huck, DAG or SFM were ever loaded by Bakelittfabrikken. I doubt that they loaded short range ammo for DAG.

The articles were in published in Journals 467 and a correction in 468 in 2009.

The only Bakelittfabrikken short range rounds I know of are the red and blue case rounds below with the steel ball in the tip being developed for Sweden.
Plastic%20SR-L1104

The box for the blue cast round is below:

Bak-blue-shourtrange%20plastic%20box
(from Woodin Laboratory Collection)

It is interesting that the short range sample for Sweden is Blue. Could imply that they also did the prototype short range development for DAG.

Cheers,
Lew


#7

Lew, this label says
“50 cartridges, blanks, plastic
for 9mm PIST. (pistol) and mp. (maskinpistol = machine pistol/SMG). 30 pieces
BF lot:
Mnd = måned = month Nov=november År = year
Swedish type (Reduced)”

PLAMIL existed around the mid 70s, my article is from 1985 and it says “about ten years ago”. It existed only for a couple of years to my knowledge before it was absorbed by BF. I reckon they produced the plastic blanks for max 2,5-3 years.

Here are some photos of Norwegian short range ammunition and the boxes for both plastic blanks and SRTRs.

The rounds from left are
7,62x63 Kortholds M1F1
7,62x51 NM8 (old type)
7,62x51 NM127 (new type)
7,62x51 NM127 (new type)
5,56x45 NM250

.38 Spl from DAG
9x19 from DAG
7,65x17 from DAG

Speer indoors .38 Spl trainer


#8

Ole,

Do the Norwegian blue plastic training rounds you show in your picture have
headstamps? Do they have any markings molded into the plastic on the sides?
I have eight variations of the blue plastic training round with plain aluminum case
heads, as opposed to brass heads. The one I judge to be the earliest has a domed
nickel primer, and a darker blue plastic case and bullet that is not transparent at all.
It also has a slightly longer bullet than my others. One of the eight is not blue at all,
but rather a brown/copper color plastic. Five of the eight have primer cups marked
“DAG” in a triangular format. With this marking, there are examples of nickel, copper
and brass primer cups. I have many different boxes for this type cartridge, all from
Geco or DAG (of course, the same company under different names).

(for Lew, also) The problem I have with the identification of the country either making
loaded, finished blue plastic training cartridges is that over the years, literature from
Bakelittfabrikken has shown a full line of these rounds, pictured as finished product.
This includes the article from the 2018 NAMMO bulletin. However, I have never seen
a box for this type made in Sweden. I am excepting the BF box for the “Svensk Type”
short range with steel ball, as it is a special case. Every time I have bought or traded
for one of these short range plastic rounds, they have been represented to be, either
anecdotally or with the box label as Geco/DAG products. Again, many have a DAG-
marked primer, although this is not conclusive evidence since DAG sells primers as well.

The question simplified, in light of catalog renderings, is "Where are all the Norwegian-made
blue plastic training rounds (specifically 9 mm and .32 auto, in the case of my interests)???
Does anyone have a box for the ordinary type, reflecting either total manufacture or containing
parts manufactured by Bakelittfabrikken? I have never been offered one of these represented
to be of Bakelittfabrikken manufacture, and again, have never seen a box for the standard form
of the pistol rounds. I cannot speak to the rifle rounds here, because I pay no attention to them.

Lew - The red “Svensk Type” you show with the blue one, evidently both in the same photo and not
two merged photos, is interesting. I have not seen it. It is especially interesting to me in that
it has no brass or aluminum head? Is this round a finished case, primed or unprimed, or is it
merely the plastic portion not yet completed by installation of the metal head? I ask, because
if one adds a metal head to the cartridge, it is not the same case length as the blue one - in fact,
it is slightly longer without the head than is the plastic portion of the blue one. It looks like with
a metallic head assembled to it, it would be almost a 9 x 23 mm??? Is there any known
explanation for the different case length?

John Moss


#9

John,

Some of the Bakelittfabrikken rounds in 7,62x51 have mould marks on the side of the plastic body (letters or numbers, seemingly depending on caliber/cartridge). The old NM8 type has a small letter on the side, the new NM127 lacks these marks. Most of the red blank rounds have the mould number/letter.
The only ones with actual headstamps are the 5,56x45 blue and red rounds and the 4,6x30 red blanks.

I’ve personally not seen BF made 9x19 or 7,65x17 as blue short range, only red blanks in the former. Also in 7,5 mm Nagant and .30 US what regards red blanks.

My personal collection of red blanks of Norwegian manufacture has these calibers:
4,6x30 mm MP7
7,5 mm Nagant
9x19 mm
.30 US/7,62x33 mm M1
5,56x45 mm
7,62x51 mm
7,62x63 mm
7,92x57 mm
12,7x99 mm
40mm Bofors L/70 trainer adapter (fits a 12,7x99 blank round in the back)

Blue plastic short range:
5,56x45 mm
6,5x55 mm
7,62x51 mm
7,62x63 mm
12,7x99 mm (also with tracer)

I have 5 variations of 5,56x45 with different primer material/color/finish, different annulus sealant, and different head/case lengths. In 7,62x51 there are more variations of both NM9 NM126 and NM134 what regards head material/color, case color, mould marks, and primer types.
You are right in that the longer type is the old NM8, the new NM127 is shorter and has a slightly more rounded bullet tip. The heads are also longer and has a better grip on the plastic case/bodies.

As for the Swedish round, I imagine that the barrels used for the short range guns had special chambers that would not allow regular ball ammo to be chambered…? Might have to do with it. But since the Swedes used a myriad of 9mm calibers Norway didn’t use I’m not going to be too certain. I’m sure @Amkat has more to add here!

Ole


#10

How about some 50BMG BF/DAG/GECO love

Top row is AAI and Action MFG blanks
Middle row is BF/DAG/unheadstamped SRTA and SRTA-T rounds
Bottom row is DAG (red) blanks, Plamil (red/orange) duckbill blanks, DAG blue (uses 308 blank inerts), white dummy, SMI blue/white blanks, GECO blanks


#11

John,
Here are my DAG plastic short range rounds—mostly blue. The first two blue on the far right with the flat tip are red and green tracers. Tip image below
DAG%20Short%20range%20plastic-AL-base-tracer



The one with the black line on the base came out of the DAG workshop and occur with a number of color strips. Note that two of the rounds have DAG 9mm Luger molded into the side of the plastic case.

For completeness, below are my brass base short range rounds.



Note the one 4th from the right has no powder in it, otherwise it is identical the the 1st on the left.

Cheers,
Lew

PS: I almost forgot my rare experimental with reinforcing ridges on the outside of the case that was picked up on the DAG test range!

image

Which, in fact, is what happens when a normal round is fired from a weapon with a fluted chamber!!!


#12

Lew, for 9x19 illiterates like me, the lower row with brass heads is all Geco then?


#13

EOD,
As far as I know the brass heads are all Geco/DAG. All but three have DAG primers or have Geco/DAG headstamps. All were given to me as Geco rounds and the white and red are early Geco experimentals.

Note that similar rounds were made in Spain.
I have never seen a Norwegian box for any of these rounds and never had anyone claim to have one that was made in Norway, regardless of the head material.
Lew


#14

Lew, thanks for the clarification!


#15

Lew - like you, as I mentioned before, I have never had anyone claim a
blue training round passed to me was from BF Norway, nor have I seen a
box for one. Guess I got a little confused in viewing a picture above that
is posted as being “Norwegian Training rounds in a collection,” but reviewing
it, I see that the three pistol calibers shown are identified as DAG, not as BF.

A total review of everything I have on BF Norway, including spec sheets, catalogs
of plastic cartridges, etc., would indicate that they never produced the blue plastic
rounds in any pistol caliber. Wonder if they ever produced any of the plastic case
with bullet only, for manufacture of other parts and assembly in other countries?
There really is no indication of that in my literature either, although there is mention
of the licensing of many foreign countries to utilize the patents.

The blanks continue to be a problem in sorting out. French ones are fairly obvious, due
to the longer pre-fracture grooves in the mock bullets. Spanish ones are headstamped,
as are Finnish, so they are not a problem. Positive ID of a couple of 9 x 23 Largo versions
is less easy to pin down. Some say they were made in Spain. Others say the red blank
was made in Norway and the blue plastic Largo made by DAG. There is a red plastic blank
in 7.62 Tokarev supposedly made in Norway for Finland, but I can only find anecdotal evidence
for that, no real documentation at all. Perhaps someone has a definitive answer on those
calibers.

An interesting subject, for me anyway,but while there is good information in articles, catalogs, and
the like, the story is still only half told, and that half with only about 60% documentation.

JLM


#16

John,
A German language document on Huck states that Huck used some Norwegian made plastic cases for some of their early development. it appears that SFM may have done the same thing. other than that, the production 9x19 items were made by the country indicated as far as I can determine. No Norwegian items were sold under other labels.

Having said that, BF had the design talent and I believe probably developed the basic items and transferred the production capability to others. No proof of this unless someone finds the BF records or for example the DAG records indicating that they did the short range design all on their own, or perhaps the Spanish records indicating who gave them the license for the short range blue plastic rounds, DAG or BF!!! Maybe somebody has the records. My bet is that they would show up in PO in Spain if anyone had the right contacts!!!

Cheers,
Lew


#17


#18

I believe that Bakelittfabrikken made large amounts of the plastic clips used with 5,56x45, certainly in short range and blank sorts, here’s a picture I mined years ago from some of their promotional material that was available on-line;

I’ve no idea whether they supplied clips to other manufacturers.

Peter


#19

BF has made clips for both blank and SR plastic 5,56x45 as well as blank 4,6x30. They also made several versions of magazine loaders (using 10rnd clips), one type which fits both G36 and Stanag 4179 mags (an internal block is inserted for use with 4179 mags), and one specialized type for the MP7.

Ole


#20

John, here is a bad picture of two boxes of 9 x 19 DAG blue plastic rounds in one of my ammo-crates. They are in the lower left corner of that crate. I’m at work, so I don’t have access to my collection until this weekend. I also have a Geco box with .32 blue plastic short range ammunition, but I have no picture of that box here at work.