Bulgarian Ammunition Industry - Company Relationships

I have the following questions about company names dealing with ammunition in Bulgaria. I have not found this information after much searching on the internet.

These three companies are are located in Kazanlak, Bulgaria.

Arsenal 2000: Does anyone know if this company still exists under the name Arsenal 2000 Ltd. or any other form of the name “Arsenal,” and if so, does it still manufacture ammunition, specifically 9 x 18 mm Makarov caliber?

Ballista: Is this firm still in business. Did this firm ever actually manufacture ammunition, specifically 9 x 18 mm Makarov “Bean-Bag” rounds, the same in 9 mm Parabellum, and/or 9 x 19 mm Para ammunition in ball tracer? It is known that some of this ammunition was made for Vertex Ltd, also of Kazanlak, Bulgaria. What is the relationship between the two firms? The Ballista 9 x 18 mm Makarov “Bean Bag” rounds appear to be identical to the formerly-names “STOP Cartridges” from Arsenal Ltd. Does Arsenal still make them, and if so, are thos sold by Ballista actually made by Arsenal?

If Arsenal 2000 Ltd still exists (there website material all seems dated before 2011), do they own either/both Ballista and Vertex? If not, does anyone know the owndership relationship between the three companies, if any? Is it just coincidental thay are all in Kazanlak?

Has any “Ballista” brand CF metallic ammunition of any caliber or loading been seen outside of Bulgaria, or does anyone have any of the “bean-bag rounds” of the Ballista brand? If so, can they report the headstamp(s) here?

Any help given, as quickly as possible, will be appreciated. No guesses please. In this case, I need positive information. Copies of any any documentations (scans, etc.) will be appreciated. I do NOT need scans etc. of non-arms and ammunition information, expecially about VERTEX.

Thank you.

John I guess you kow their websites:



Their business in Canada:

Their business in the USA:

I have no other info than what is given on their websites.
Looking at their product range I have the impression that cartidges are only being loaded by them.

Here what their main site is saying:
[b]Vertex Ltd. (Vertex EOOD) was found in 2004 with its headquarters in Kazanlak, Bulgaria. Just eight years later our team has grown up to more than 50 people, skilled in manufacturing and commerce. Nowadays we have own manufacturing facility in Maglij and three retail/wholesale shops. Our network of dealers allover the country to more than 30 different companies.

Today our goods are proudly manufactured under the Ballista ® brand that stands as a synonym of quality and value added services.For more than eight years our 14 mm signal cartridges and flares have been successfully sold not only in Bulgaria but also in Canada. The brand name for Canada is Tru Flare ®. Our esteemed collaboration with the commercial team of Tru Flare has brought us to continuous development of our market position.

The valuable qualification and long-term experience of our staff allows us not only to support a constant range of signal and hunting ammunition but also to engineer products on a certain customers’ demand improving the technical specifications of the end product and paying special attention to the individual face of each inquiry.

We’re focused not only at the ammunitions but throughout the last years we’ve devoted our efforts in manufacturing in various pyrotechnic good for the military industry. That made us valuable and recognized partner for many factories in Bulgaria and in Europe.

Apart from our manufacturing activities we’re a distributor and importer of wide range of hunting and sports goods and accessories. This gives us the exceptional advantage to suggest to our dealer full line service delivering to them signal and hunting ammunitions along with other numerous hunting and sport items to be sold in their retail shops.

I guess you knew that already.
Did you consider to send them an e-mail and ask?

Arsenal is still present:
The were exhibiting on the last Eurosatory in 2012.

The company designated “Arsenal 2000 JSCo” became the general trade representative of “Arsenal JSCo.” since about early 2007 (the adress of both companies is the same). English language publications of products by this company reflects several different designations used at the same time (i.e. “Arsenal Co.”, “Arsenal Corp.”, “Arsenal Ltd.”, “Arsenal J.S. Co.”, “Arsenal JSCo”), but the one always used in Bulgarian language documentation is “Arsenal AD”. Their current trademark was used since March 11, 1994.

Fede - so, it seems that Ballista is simply a brand name for ammunition made by Vertex. That is odd because their box labels say “Made by Ballista for Vertex,” quite the opposite. From a standpoint of websites, though, it does make sense because I could find no seperate site for Ballista - it is under Vertex.

No, I have not contacted them. I have had very, very poor results contacting either European or American ammunition companies. By “American,” I include Central and South America. The result is that I seldom waste my time trying anymore. An exception in Europe was Izhevsk, who were extremely helpful to me far beyond any other company I have ever contacted for any reason.

Regarding your information, I had only a very small portion of it Fede - as usual, you have been a huge help, even though all my questions floating around in my head are not yet answered. Probably never can be until someone who understands collecting actually acquires or at at least sees and handles some ammunition from Ballista. In pictures, their 9 x 18 mm “Bean Bag” cartridge looks exactly like the Arsenal-produced “Stop” cartridge.

John, “Ballista” used to be a different company designated “Ballista Ltd.” and their address was 34 Tsar Ivan Shishman Str, 6100 Kazanlak. In 2010 Vertex Ltd. applied for this trademark which now owns.

I believe that those “Stop” cartridges are all Arsenal products because this company patented several designs describing rounds with percussion and traumatic effect projectiles.

John, these Stop cartridges in 9x19 and 9x18 are currently offered by NITI EAD of Kasanlak. Note that the cartridge in picture looks like one of those KOPP headstamped cartridges reported before.

nitibg.com/index.php?option=com_ … =7&lang=en

Fede - The “Stop” cartridges from NITI EAD in 9 mm Makarov caliber appear to have a different shape bullet than those shown either on the Ballista or the Arsenal websites. The 9 mm Para is the same as the Ballista, but appears in the picture on NITI EAD’s wbsite to have a yellow plastic projectile casing (What is the proper word for these plastic “bullets” that basically drop away and the bean-bag inside continues on its way? I wouldn’t call them sabots, but perhaps that is the correct name???)

Have any of our European members ever seen any of the Ballista or NITI EAD cartridges?

I have both the Kopp and the white plastic blt Bulgarian rounds, but have never seen the Yellow blt version! Has anyone actually seen one of these rounds?


John, it looks to me that those pictured on NITI’s website are different 9 mm Parbellum loadings (2.7 & 2.8 g), the ones shown on front using KOPP cases and those in the boxes probably using Bulgarian copper/steel cases. Here is a picture of a round loaded in a KOPP case: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10106

Fede - I don’t agree with you on that, if we are talking about the same pictures. It may be you mean different elements of the picture than do I.

I am referring to the full box of cartridges with white bullets, on the left of the picture. They are in CWS cases. They are clearly shorter (seen by where the sides of the box go to in relation to the mouth of the cases) and the bullet appears to be a different shape than those in the other two elements of the picture. I agree that the ones with yellow projectiles in the box on the right, and the loose rounds scattered in front of the two boxes in the picture, are both 9 mm Para and probably represent the two loadings.

I personally believe the ones on the left are 9 x 18 mm.

John, you are right, after downloading the picture I noticed that the ones on the box at left have a shorter case.

John, I found this picture of a can full of 9x18 Stop cartridges made by NITI and advertised at Military Arms SOPOT 93 held in Poland in September, 1993. These are loaded in copper clad steel cases headstamped 10 91 and with red primer sealant.

Thank you Fede.