Dardick Tround Tool Cartridge

This is a tool cartridge that consists of a standard .38-caliber, green, “Fortiflex” case, brass primer holder with D C .38 headstamp, and nickel primer. Inside is a tool projectile, or “stud,” that I have not been able to identify and would appreciate any help you might give in identifying exactly what it is. The stud is 22.7mm/0.894" long and the back part has a diameter of 9.5mm/0.374" with a W “headstamp.” It is made of zinc-chromate-plated steel. The red plastic covering of its pointed tip has expanded petals to act, I assume, as a bore rider to keep the stud straight in the bore of whatever device fires it and maybe lubricate it as it hits whatever it’s being driven into. A Fortiflex gas check is loaded between the propellant and the stud. The cartridge cannot be fired in a Dardick pistol with a standard .38 caliber barrel; its diameter is too large, and in fact two of my specimens have already cracked open because of the oversize stud being forced inside the .38 case.

It’s a mystery. Please help me solve it. Thanks.

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what can I help you with ?

I have lots of tool rounds…several sales booklets

not sure what you are asking

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Ramset 3/8" drive pin number 3338 shown on the sales page looks like Mel’s example.

The measurement of 9.5mm is also very close to 3/8".

Could these be someone’s own creation, and not a real loading?

Pepper, slowly you are scaring me!
This looks like “Tools R Us”.


has they say…you “ain’t seen diddly yet”

more photos tomorrow…but maybe new tread…tools rounds & related ???

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Pepper and Falcon; I think you nailed it. It’s a Ramset brand, Tru-Set fastener, 3/8" drive pin, number 3338. Pepper, please send me a nice color copy of that first page that includes the 3338.

Jeeze! I’ve been trying for over a month to find out what the projectile was and you guys did it in an hour. Thanks!

Is it likely that this is someone’s fantasy invention?

Hi Mel
Have I think same as you show with the tip below the case mouth about where you show it. While this one is in a clear case, of ??? material, but seems to be a longer fastener, Typical {as yours} brass “DC .38” pocket & flat nickel primer.
Dardick tool clear case

I have 2 that appear to be the same as the one you have shown in this post. I also have one that is similar to Pete’s. I see at least one difference.


Two? Two? :thinking::thinking::thinking::thinking:. Me ???

Falcon; No, these are not someone’s fantasy. These and other Dardick Tround tool cartridges are legitimate, although rare. Dardick also made a tiny .22 Tround with guncotton inside to power its “Nailmaster” nail gun. The plan was for Dardick to make the ammunition and Black & Decker would make and market the hardware. Pete’s round has a gas check; Zac’s doesn’t. These clear case variations have cases made of Lexan.

EOD kinda asked…see a new thread with my smattering of tool rounds

The fasteners look to have a different body-shapes too.

Thanks, I was not aware there were other examples until the others were posted.

Your description of the fastener having being forced into the undersized case made it sound suspect.

Is there any more information on the device these were fired from?

Pete; I think the triangular shape of the cases may cause a slightly distorted view that makes them look different, but I think they are the same.

When I mentioned and showed the W “headstamp” on the stud, I had no idea of what the W stood for. Now that Pepper sent me a great, crisp copy of the Ramset literature, I think I know. This was on the bottom of the cover:

So I guess this is an area of Winchester cartridge collecting that nobody thought of. There’s just no end to it.

Think your right Mel. Blew them both up to same DPI & same size & I could see the forward step in the shaft in Zac’s.

the plastic-material used in the Dardick Trounds does not seem to be a very strong material. I have a 9 mm Dardick of tround of green plastic, that simply is a holder for a normal .9 mm Luger cartridge. When I got it it was in mint condition. Several years after acquisition, I noticed the plastic cartridge holder (the tround itself) had split from the head almost 3/4 of the way up the case.

The trounds using normal ball ammunition inserted are to me, a silly concept. Nothing changes the effectiveness of the cartridge, but the bulk of each cartridge in its holder. (tround) is almost doubled, making a way oversized feeding mechanism from that of a normal 9 mm Pistol. My 9 mm version had a very short shelf life to boot, considering the decades-long storage life of normal ammunition if same caliber and effectiveness, not to mention the bulky pistols designed to use it.

Of course, this makes them more interesting to the collector. Failed concepts provide a nice array of scarce ammunition specimens, and the Dardick concept was certainly a failure, at least when applied to small (?) firearms.

I don’t collect Dardicks, except for the two that take a normal, fully loaded cartridge as simply a holder for that round, so I cannot comment on the usefulness of the Dardick industrial cartridges, which either way, are a totally different story, perhaps.

John Moss

John- We need to wait for Mel’s book and it will surely explain why they had the “regular cartridge in a Dardick case” versions. Along with a ton of other info. Mel’s research and writing is absolutely superb!

I have Mel’s books in my library, and will certainly get any future ones that he publishes, as long as I am still active in the hobby. I agree that he is an excellent writer and researcher, and a good friend, by the way.

Regarding the “need to wait for the book” for forming an opinion of the Dardick Pistol and ammunition (again - I exclude the tool cartridges which I know nothing about), my personal opinion will not be changed. I considered the whole project as pertains to handguns to be a fool’s errand, much like the Gyrojet. Time proved me correct, as far as I am concerned, with both types total failures, including even informal trials of the latter in VN.

This doesn’t change their collector’s interest at all. Of course they are interesting to those who collect that type of cartridge. I have a couple of Dardicks only because they utilize a regular cartridge, except make it bigger and clumsier by sticking them in large holders not as sturdy as the rounds own brass casings, and to my knowledge, accuracy problems (severe to say the least) with the Gyrojet made it relatively useless. Still, I have a few Gyrojets because the gun made for them technically was a self-loading (semi-automatic) pistol, which is and always has been my collecting field (at one time, including the pistols).

John M.


I’m sorry to read that your mind is already made up regarding Dardick Tround firearms and ammunition regardless of facts put before you. There are many reasons a company or product can fail in the marketplace and based on my objective research, most of these have to do with financial strength or management ability. I don’t want to start a debate and I’ll save most of my stuff for the book, but here are a couple of broad points:

  1. The Tround adapter cartridges were not meant to be the primary ammunition in the Dardick Model 1500 and 1100 pistols, which were designed to use the Dardick-made Tround ammunition. Instead, by having inexpensive adapters available, the shooter could also fire other cartridges with a bullet diameter of about 0.355 inch; the 9mm Parabellum, .38 Auto, .38 Special, etc. These pistols had quick-change barrels. Turn a straight-slot screw 90 degrees and pull out one barrel, stick another in, and turn the screw back. Some adapters were for the .30 Mauser. The pistols had selectable firing pins; turn a screw one way for centerfire and the other way for .22 rimfire (LR or Magnum) through the .22 barrel that was included with the pistol. The one common thing was the standard Tround case, and the adapters were designed to be reloaded many times. In 1958, when design began on the guns and ammo, a 15-round capacity (Model 1500) or 11-round capacity (Model 1100) was pretty innovative compared to the Colt and S&W revolvers with 5- or 6-round cylinders. Plus, the pistol’s in-grip magazine could be reloaded at any time without having to open a cylinder and eject fired cases. By removing the barrel, the action could be quickly installed in a carbine conversion. These features gave the shooter lots of ammunition choices with only one basic action to buy.

  2. The main reason for the Dardick design was for military high-rate-of-fire weapons. On the battlefield and in the air, times of engagement were getting shorter and shorter with far less time for a shooter to identify a target, aim, and fire. Because of the Tround system’s design, rates of fire of 30,000 rounds per minute were achieved with a .31 caliber, 8-barrel HIVAP gun. That’s 500 rounds per second or 62.5 rounds per second for each individual barrel . Theoretical rates of fire were higher.

More later. Right now I plan to introduce the book at SLICS 2022, Covid allowing.

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