British Spartan/ROTA 9x19mm rounds

I made these images today and thought I should share them. British 9mm Parabellum are an underrated area of collecting. They have some incredible cartridges. These were made by Enfield or by Radway Green.


The two bullets bottom left are more gold than brown. Note that I think some of these are not really Sparten/ROTA bullets. One is obviously pressed metal (third bullet from left on bottom) and some are ceramic, not plastic. The second and third from the top left are examples. One came from a ex SAS guy who obtained it while on duty, the other came from Herb W, who also gave me some of the bullets below. The story with the ceramic bullets, and perhaps some of those below are that they were made for the SAS for use on oilrigs and intended to be “non-sparking”. It was only later that I heard of the SPARTEN program. I would not be surprised if the non-sparking work was buried in the SPARTEN program to conceal it. In fact, it may be that the Spartan program was created to hid the work for the SAS.




Does ROTA = Royal Ordnance Training Ammunition?


Hi Lew,
there is some information on the 9mm SPARTEN/ROTA ammunition on TonyEs site

his comment about small numbers of L13A1 being appoved for service use seems to be correct as I ‘dug out’ these two projectiles from the sand backstop of a military range last year.
This range is predominantly used by the MoD police.

P8270006 P8270007

Atb Tony

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Sorry, I should have given the only reference I know to this ammunition. That is Peter Labbett on UK 9x19mm pages 26 and 27.

Great items! I have never seen items this color and none of mine have the mold codes on the base! Hope you dig up some more of them for the rest of us!


From a previous discussion concerning British developments in the area of frangible/no lead ammunition:

ROTA reference-

Photo posted by forum member "Muskey"

Enfield work on plastic/ceramic, frangible bullets-


One has to ponder if lead and copper produces sparks?
And thus why the program was needed at all?

On an oil rig also ricochets would matter much. First for possible hostages which naturally will be around and secondary for not piercing any technical gear which may cause more threats like steam pipes, fuel pipes containers with liquids (making the steel floor slippery - something very un-needed in such ops). And last but not least ricochets also would pose a danger to the unit running the operation.

Box ROTA 5,56x45P1080812 P1080817 P1080809

P1080813 P1080811 P1080814

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