GECO Defensive Bullets ca: 1980's?

Does anyone remember a bullet like this, which I am fairly certain was marketed in the U.S. by GECO?
I am certain I have at least one box somewhere, (or I am loosing more of my memory than I thought).
The hole ran through the bullet, and the plastic tip was there to facilitate feeding, I believe I remember the plastic tip blew out after it was fired.
The bullet was entirely made of copper. (I heisted this image from something I found online and photohopped it as a rough exampe).


In 1976 it was decided that in view of rising left-wing terrorism the police needed more powerful handguns than the 7.65 mm Browning. This started the development of new requirements for handguns and ammunition and 9 mm Parabellum (9 x 19) was selected as the cartridge to be used.
The handguns adopted were Walther P5, SigSauer P6 and Heckler & Koch P7. German police had around 1975 undergone a reorganization from being partly local to state based. Each state adopted the pistol model it found best.
The bullet you show is the Action bullet developed by Dynamit Nobel around 1977, which deformed in a human body, but also could punch a hole into an automobile tire. The basic design (channel through the entire bullet) was taken from a short range cal. 50 training round.
MEN developed a competing design by Hans Schirnecker, called Quick Defence (QD 1).
Politicians decided not to adopt these very effective bullets. The cops in the street continued to use ordinary ball cartridges. On October 18th, 1977, federal policemen of the GSG9 used Action 1 ammunition to finish off the murderer/hijacker team in a Lufthansa airplane at Mogadischu airport. British officers had helped to ensure forced entry into the plane. Action 1 from that moment until quite recently became the mainstay of GSG9 9 mm ammunition.
General police issue of this type of police-specific ammunition, meanwhile modernized, started as late as 1999

If memory serves me correctly these were sold as “BAT” Blitz Action Trauma rounds. I had a box of these for a while.

My answer to the this thread accidentally ended up on the also current thread concerning RAUG Section charts of these bullets. I do not know how to move it, and think simply typing it here will confuse matters. If some of the Forum officers know how to move the answer from that thread to this one, I would appreciate it.

John Moss

John, following the link above, I see:

So, I guess my mind is not [totally] shot, as that is exactly what I remembered, and the correct timeframe. I am now certain I have at least one box somewhere in my reloading/ammo room!

I do remember seing/selling only the copper bullets with a red [? colour blind, I am] plastic insert, and only with the GECO name on the box. Action-Geschoss does sound like the name I am remembering.
This round is what turned me on to the GECO brand.

Thanks to all for helping to validating my memory!

I am not familiar with a red tip round, unless the Action 6 round has a red tip, and that would be something very current. I never saw just the bullets offered for sale in the USA (or in Europe, for that matter) for any of the Action Series cartridges. Do you have a picture of the box.

MEN made ammunition times with red-plastic tipped bullets, however. They are a different story from the GECO/DAG/RUAG rounds, however.

John Moss

I have several of these Geco rounds. The caps are brown / brass colored. Came from the Ulm proof house. Will look them up.

I did mention that I am colour blind… I remember seeing red, but it could have been anything close to red.

I never saw projectiles alone, it was always loaded cartridges.
I am still looking for the box I am certain I still have, which I last laid hands on probably in the late 1990s’.
The only thing I know for certain is that I did not fire them, as I am a .45 ACP~.44 Magnum guy.

To fire up your collector’s enthusiasm a little, I should mention that a .357 Magnum Action cartridge also was offered. At least a Dynamit Nobel data sheet from around 1980 exists. Action bullet mass was 7.5 g and muzzle velocity 440 m/s (test barrel). This is surprisingly slow compared to the ordinary FMJ, which had am 10.25 g bullet fired at 445 m/s. Fear of over-penetration may have played a role.

I remember the .357 Magnum well. It was also sold thru Checkmate Arms. At the time, the European collectors didn’t even know it existed. One of my friends visiting me from Germany, bought a full box of it at our store. The retail price then, as I recall, for both 9 mm and .357, was US$50.00 a box of 50 rounds. That was a pretty big price in the 1980s, even though ammunition prices were quite high then. I remember not long before our store closed, one of the clerks brought me a receipt a customer had brought in. He had lost the magazine to his 6.35mm Beretta Minx, and wanted to be sure he got the right thing. He was also worried that having the gun with him with no proof of ownership might get him in trouble. The Pistol was 39.50 when he bought it, but the box of 6.35 mm ammo, 50 rounds, was nine dollars and change. At the time I saw the receipt, which was in my own handwriting from years before, a similar pistol was about US$135.00, and a box of 6.35 mm ammo was still right around ten bucks!

Of course, for years, there were only about three or four U.S. Ammunition Companies, and not so very much importation of “new” commercial ammunition. In short, not much competition in that field, and two of the major producers were know to agree to price their ammunition about the same,.

Still, the Geco “Action Trauma” rounds were expensive!

John Moss

John Moss

Here we go:
Box and ammo 357 Magnum Geco:

and here an excerpt from the GunMagazine VISIER describing the various (old) types:



These are the ones I found in my collection, as stated earlier, they came from the former Ulm proof house manager.

1 Like

The Effectnose-Geschoss of 7.15 grams is somewhat different from the “Action-Geschoss” series of cartridges, although I guess one could say they are related. The Effectnose cartridges are a bit earlier, and with a totally different projectile construction, basically a grey plastic capped soft point bullet. My box, identical to the one shown above, has the lot number printed right along with “LOS DAG” and is lot 1/76. I have a box I think might be pre-production, as it is a standard blue Geco commercial box of the times, only with a white, reproduced, typed small, white over- label marked "7.15 g EFFECTNOSE-GESCHOSS in the upper right corner of the top of the box.

The tie-in with the later Action rounds is, I believe, that they were all developed in an attempt to make “hard-nose,” in these instances plastic, to give the West-German police more effective ammunition for pistols and machine pistols while still getting around the law prohibiting Police from using soft point or hollow point ammunition (my understanding from a recent Forum thread is that this law was rescinded some time ago). Evidently, the courts ruled these were still “prohibited cartridges.” That probably spelled the demise of the Effectnose-Geschoss. The Action series continued, but was bascially an export round at the time, with much of it going to police in the Netherlands.

If I have this story wrong, I hope one of our German friends (Peelen?) will set it straight. I got this information, contemporary to the production of the first Action rounds, from several German sources within our hobby.

john Moss

I do not know much about all these action-numbers but I obtained a cartridge with some “story” in connection with this thread: this one should be used by the Austrian police . The seller told me the cartridge was far too weak but accepted because of the higher risk of more powerful ammunition. Police gave it a nickname: the name of the secretary of interiors at that time because he approved this so called weak stuff. Correct? Incorrect? Never found some material about this story. And oh, yes, what is it anyway?

John, it was a purely political decision that Police should only use FMJ rounds like the military. There is and was no law which required it. Bundesgrenzschutz, border police, was different, because the officers had combatant status.
It is my understanding that the sole purpose of all the plastic caps, including the metal shroud of QD1, was to ensure reliable feed in the weapon.
because the 9 mm FMJ easily goes through the human body, German politicians decided that it was a brilliant idea to make a less powerful 9 mm FMJ cartridge. That firearms need a certain power of the ammunition to function reliably, was ignored. In an ironic tribute, police officers called it inofficially “Hirsch Schlapp” during its short life. Note, that was in Germany.
The Hirsch Schlapp had an 7.5 g FMJ bullet, while the bullet you show is of a different type. I do not know anything about the developments in Austria.

Edit: The Schlapp had 12 percent less muzzle energy that the ordinary 8 g FMJ.

The Hirsch-Schlapp was only in NRW, not elsewhere.
It was to recognize by a blue primer annulus, versus the normal red one…

The shown Action1 one from Dugjans (this looks like one, if you look on the bullets exterior and the brown plastic-cap) is maybe a work of a homeartist, like Maler Klecksel, as we called him here. I will not say a name here…,under use of bluish marker Color on base and casemouth.

Also no Proofrounds , as they where NOT marked like that, so we can exclude blackbased “Güteprüfpatrone”, as this was a specific proofround for the Army.
Other blackbased ammo exists in Germany in normal fmjs, for the proofhouse, made by SM on a special order–(Red boxes and blackbase of the case), but not on an Action 1-3 type ammo. A weaker load on an Action-Bullet would also contradict the Idea of slight openeing of the front area…

This shown cartridge has nothing to do at all, with the Hirsch-Schlapp.
The Hitsch-Schlapp cames on normal bluish Geco-Boxes with a blue Rubberstamp in Starform printed on the outside of the box.
Here the ammo:


Hey, here an enlarged frontpart of your ammo:

It shows the typicall compressed lines of the A1 bullet Family and the brownish plaste-cap. and the distribution of the color on the case and bullet is not in the way it would look, if Geco/DAG would have applied it.
Under the basecolor you can still see the red primer p.a…

At the time the Hirsch-Schlapp was introduced, NRW had not accepted any Action-typ bullets, so, alone from that, i dought the Story from the Ministrys Secretary:-))


Peter - thanks for the comment on the Hirsch-Schlapp bullet (can someone translate that into English?). I have one of those Geco boxes with the blue star on it that I received empty, and never could get a straight answer as to why it was marked that way.

This brings up another question. There is a Geco 9mm LUGER headstamp that has a single, six-pointed stick-figure star (some would call it an asterisk) at the 3 o’clock position on the headstamp. The star figure on my box is eight-pointed, but would these cartridges marked with the star relate to the “Hirsch-Schlapp” loading? I have never seen any explanation for the marking that I can recall. I realize that the round you show has only the blue primer seal to identify it as a “Hirsch-Schlapp” loading, but some of the ammo with the single star on the headstamp was sold commercially, and I guess the real question is whether or not that had anything to do with velocity.

Geco commercial ammo we sold in our store originally had a box-marking of “fur Pistolen und Maschinenpistolen.” That was later changed. A customer of ours chronographed the load in the with the first marking on the box - pistols and machinepistols - and found them uniformily (he tested all fifty rounds) to be about 100 fps. higher velocities than those from a newer commercial box with that marking. An obvious, purposeful reduction in velocity for the commercial loading. I don’t recall any change in the headstamp markings or mention in catalogs about the reduction in muzzle velocity, at the time.

Also - Peelen, thanks for the correct explanation on the “hard nose” action cartridges. I think the confusion must have come in as a result of the combatant status of the BGS, which WOULD raise a legal question in regards to their use of anything other than FMJ ammunition. I honestly don’t see the need for the plastic tip simply to insure good feeding. Hollow-point and soft-point 9 mm Para loads have been made for almost the life of the cartridge itself without any particular problems in feeding in quality, well-designed firearms, but then everyone has different requirements.

John Moss

I forgot,
it also existed in 38 Special with Action 3 !! bullets and brown plastic cap, whereas the A3 in 9Luger exists with brown and green caps…
Dynamit-Action3-Box Dynamit-Action3-BS-C-%20Loch%20in%20Kappe-MS-farbGesch