BAT rounds and box

Thought some folks might find this interesting. Rummaging through my “stuff” today and came upon this opened box of 9X19mm BAT ammo. Did some testing of the ammo when I was with the NYPD Firearms and Tactics Section. One of my responsibilities there was as head of Research and Testing. Dirty job, but someone had to do it… :-)


Very nice find Rich!

I have always loved the BAT import packaging…evil little devilbat logo and the “anti-bootlegging seal” are great.

The ammo itself has always been of interest to me, but that particular box is honestly one of the ‘holy grail’ items I’m trying to get into my collection. Leave it to the Germans to put a “snazzy” product in a low-key box (all the other BAT boxes I’ve seen are pretty subdued, even dull!)…and leave it to US to put it in some eye-catching packaging.

None of the stuff I get to test these days is that cool. It’s getting to where a lot of police pistol ammo products perform very similar to one another.

It wasn’t the Germans that were responsible for the packaging. The importer, Phil Engeldrum, was trying to hide the factory markings of the Geco box, which include the proper product name “Action Safety”.

The “BAT” overlabel is found also in red color print on white. In fact, I had not seen the black one. I have the red one over both the police boxes and the commercial boxes. While some of the literature I have on this cartridge from Dynamit Nobel A.-G., refers in text to the "Action Safety Bullet, titles and box labels all refer to it simply as “Action-Geschoß” (Action Bullet), on both the commercial and police boxes. The cartridge came out about 1981, and has a 5.6 gram bullet. Like many of these “wonder bullet” rounds there is more than one type of the Action bullet.

The box shown appears to be one of the police boxes, with overlabel. If it is, it will say:



The Action Bullet cartridge was made in .357 Magnum also, which initially, seemed to be unknown to German collectors. A good friend of mine and well-known German cartridge collector saw them and heard of them first while visiting us and the store I worked at, and saw them on the shelf. He had never heard of it. This round was not in many commercial catalogs, whether domestic or export. I have not looked through all my catalogs to see when they started showing it, and when they stopped it. RUAG has resurrected a form of this round commercially, and currently.

“BAT” supposedly stands for “Basic Action Trauma” round, but I can find nothing in my Geco source material so describing it. I certainly don’t have all the literature that the factory ever produced on these cartridges, so can make no further judgment on the origin of that term. However, it sounds suspiciously like American advertising hype.

By the way, if you could see the whole labe in the picture, you would find that the bottom line of print starting as "“Manufactured by Geco Div…” gives the "Action/Safety designation, along with the bullet weight, but it is wrapped around the box and on the box pictured would appear on the end of the box. The red labels are identical in content to the black one shown.

John, the .357 is found in Germany only with some Polices in some of our federal states. Those using .357 are very few.

John wrote:

"By the way, if you could see the whole labe in the picture, you would find that the bottom line of print starting as "“Manufactured by Geco Div…” gives the “Action/Safety designation, along with the bullet weight, but it is wrapped around the box and on the box pictured would appear on the end of the box. The red labels are identical in content to the black one shown.”

John, for the record I photographed all the verbiage that I could see which was written on the box.


I really should have said that the tearing open of the box obscured the term “Action/Safety” on the box. If you look on the the fron of the box you can see the last word at the bottom is “Action” but on the end flap, where the label curves around, you can see the last two letters of “Safety” (“ty”) just before the bullet weight, just as I said. It is interesting that they show the bullet weight as 5.4 grams when original Geco labels and literature shows it as 5.6 grams.

Too bad the box is in rough condition, since as I said, I had not seen the black over label before, only the red ones.

Just trying to remember how to post pictures. These were done last year and came from a case (1000 rounds, 20 boxes) of the Geco BAT from Dynamit Nobel, Made in Germany. Side of case marked LOS DAG 2/88. Suprized to see that Check-Mate Arms Co, CA was “exclusive distributor” in the states. The cardboard case was taped with duct-tape that left old crusty adhesive over the top and side that has a blue sticker. Any ideas on how to remove the old adhesive without destroying the other label?
More pictures to follow. wolf

Jack I’m back

What exactly are Action Bullets? I played around with + and - in IAA search, to no avail, too many “action” and “bullet” entries with no connection to this topic.

Action bullets were originally an attempt by Dynamit A.-G. to develop a round that would get around the restrictions on German Police against Soft Nose and HP ammunition. The plastic cap was “hard nose” but it blows off (via the hole through the bullet, clearly visible in Wolfgang’s nice pictures, and that leaves a hollow point. The German courts, or whoever decides what the police can use in Germany, didn’t buy it, so they were offered to other countries and commercially.

MEN made a similar thing called "Deformation geschoß, There have been lots of variations of those two, and the Dutch Police have used most of them.

The Geco Action and MEN Quick Defense projectile families have grown over the years, and are still being produced.

He couldn’t hide the plastic tray,so very Geco

Vince: The average US gunowner has no clue about Geco. Their ammunition simply has not been widely distributed here.

Dan, Depends, I think, on the part of the country. Our store carried Geco ammunition as we could get it, especially in 9mm, for years, and our customers knew it well and sought it out.
One time we bought 11,000 boxes of a “rare” (at Chicago show three weeks before) 9mm headstamp with “GEND.” on the headstamp. That was kind of fun, because I had turned down one round at the show for 50 bucks, because only three rounds were there (never could figure out why that makes a cartridge “rare?”). We paid 5.50 a box for it delivered, and sold it for somewhere around 8.95 or 9.95 a box. We sold all 11,000 boxes out of our store, none to dealers.

Over all, I think Geco is perhaps a bit better known in the USA than you think. Most German brands are not, however. RWS is well known for its .22s, but thats about the only reason. MEN is not well known at all, although some large surplus importations have been made. RWS will become better know if RUAG continues to push its “orange-box” RWS Brand ammo in the US, as they have recently.

Please, any help with the glue from duct tape?

Lighter Fluid works in many cases without disturbing the printing ink on the box…try in an inconspicious place first…I’ve soaked entire boxes in it to remove tape and glue and it does no harm to the box, and when dry, leaves no traces it was ever there…


There are lots of interesting Action loads. Below is a photo of ones in my collection. The top row all have SINTOX headstamps. The second row are an assortment of other DAG headstamps.

The variations pictured include different plastic tip colors, different bullet materials, different case finishes, and sometimes no hole in the tip or different size holes-which can be seen in this photo by the flatness of the tip. Many of these are experimental loads.

One of the most interesting is the Action round with the bronze color tip and the black bullet. This came from a police unit in North or South Carolina and the order by the police apparently specified the distinctive black bullet.

The black tip round second from the left on the bottom row is the Action 5 load and the orange tip load 4th from the rightis the new Action NP which Gyrojet recently posted on the Forum.

Below are to rounds that I overlooked in my collection when I made the scan above. The first is an Action experimental with a red tip and a DAG hst from 1977 and a the second is a blue tip training load with no hole through the bullet.

There are undoubtedly many other variations that I have not run across! Another interesting area of collecting.



A belated update to this thread.

In the early 1990s I tried some of this ammo that had previously been reliable and found that I encountered numerous failures to detonate in firearms that the rounds had previously been reliable in. This was a mix of BAT ammo that came from different lots. Some of it was labelled as BAT ammo that came in plastic packages that held 10 rounds; other came from 50 round boxes from the original European manufacturer.

In the late 1980s I fired over 100 problem free rounds through a variety of handguns–A CZ75, a Glock, an HK P-7. However when I tried replicating this 5 or 6 years later I found that one out of 8-10 rounds failed to detonate. Some fired after a second attempt while others did not.

I reported this to a friend in California and he tested his ammo and reported similar results.

This ammo doesn’t have much of a shelf life. I still have some laying around that I might test for the heck of it.

While this may be interesting collectable ammo, I would not keep this in a firearm intended for defensive purposes.


Wolf, you might try Goo Gone. It removes Scotch tape residue, but I have not tried it on Duct tape. I would use it with care. Bill