Israeli 9x19mm Training Loads -or British?


The rounds illustrated below are reputed to be Training loads. The green bullet loads have an overall weight of 115gr (longer blt load with green cms) and 112gr (shorter blt with roll cm crimp). The purple bullet load overall weight is 120gr.

In spite of the IMI headstamps, all specimens I know of came out of the UK and the bullet shape is very similar to the British made SPLAT loads (far right in pic of British Loads) and to the Ceramic bullet loads by Radway Green (or at least in RG cases) and other loads with exotic British bullets. The problem is that these loads all have an overall weight of 130gr to 150gr except for one with a Blue-Green bullet on the far left which weighs 118gr.

Based on these British loads, I suspect that the two with IMI headstamps are either purely British loads, or loads made in the UK for testing by Israel.

Can anyone shed some light on the origin and purpose of the loads with the IMI headstamps?



Similar British Loads:


Regarding Lew’s comment about 9mm training loads: “… and to the Ceramic bullet loads by Radway Green…”

Are there actually such things as ceramic bullets? The only one I am aware of is in the Dardick Tround well drilling cartridge. I’ve heard about other ceramic bullets several times, but they have always turned out to be something else erroneously described as being ceramic. I’d think that ceramic bullets (unless they were enclosed in a jacket or sabot) would be murder on a rifled bore. If they do in fact exist, what purpose would a ceramic bullet serve, especially for a training round?


The information I have on it came in the two following emails. The photo that came with the emails had a bullet that looks identical to the bullets in the RG 83 and 85 headstamped cartridges illustrated. I’ve added at the bottom the photo that came with the first email.



[quote]Subject: 9mm Ceramic


I came across your article on 9mm ammunition collecting and wondered if this picture was of any interest to you.

It’s a 9mm rd with a ceramic bullet, the headstamp is 9mm2Z RG 83 (+the NATO mark), this came from a batch of ammo that was loaded for British Special Forces to test. It was an attempt to provide a non penertrating round, as I recall it in fact had more penetration than the standard 2Z rds.


[quote]To: Lewis Curtis
Subject: Re: 9mm Ceramic
Hi Lewis,

As far as I can remember the batch I had was 200rds produced although from what you say there must have been more produced for trials. Below is a photo of one of these rounds.

I was the armourer for an SAS regiment and some of these rounds were on trial. It’s quite possible that the SBS had some produced for trials as well maybe thats where yours came from. The rd was not adopted for use and the total quantity produced would I think have been no more than 400 - 500 rds. Quite a rare rd to have.



Sounds like an interesting person to maintain contact with.
I’ve never seen or heard of any Israeli rounds like that. I would lean towards a UK round in an Israeli case, a common occurance with Conjay experimentals.


I suspect that most of the British rounds were not training rounds and I didn’t mean to imply they were in the first post. I doubt the two rounds in IMI cases are training rounds either.

In this period there was a lot of interest in “non-sparking” bullets that were less likely to start a fire if used on an off-shore oil rig. There was concern about terrorists trying to take over a rig. There are other applications for such a round.



I’ve not heard about non-sparking bullets, and I doubt that conventional jacketed lead bullets (not AP) would spark on impact, despite what you see in the movies. Back in my youth, I did a fair amount of research on sparking characteristics of various metals and alloys in explosive environments, and found that the various copper alloys (brasses, bronzes, beryllium copper) were not prone to sparking. However, this work did not include any evaluation of bullets, so I don’t know anything definitively about that. I do remember that the Remington gallery cartridges of yesteryear sparked a lot when they hit metal shooting gallery targets, but I think that was the intent.

The early interest (pre-9/11) in frangible ammunition by both DoE and USMC was as a result of the need to avoid damage to shipboard nuclear reactor components and also shore-based nuclear power reactors, should a gunfight occur. The main concern was in preventing penetration of piping carrying pressurized reactor cooling water, etc., not preventing sparking, while providing adequate lethality. To the best of my knowledge, there was no consideration given to using ceramic bullets for this application.

I had heard, very unofficially but from reliable sources, that frangible 5.56mm bullets were found to perform extremely well on what were referred to as “special targets”. Significantly, the Army has also recently referred to testing the latest versions of the M855A1 bullet on “special targets.” Draw your own conclusions, as the Army has not defined that term.

  1. I do know that US manufacturers have used ceramic and other ‘dusts’ in forming frangible bullets (compressed with plastics, powdered metals, etc.). To the best of my knowledge it is a less common component than tin, etc.

  2. I have a lot of .223 ammunition from C&R Ammo; the product/part #'s have “DOE” listed in them. 42gr unjacketed frangible projectile, Winchester .223 HS; my understanding is that this was a candidate training frangible load for DoE. They also produced a jacketed 155gr .45ACP frangible load, supposedly for the same purpose/user. Hornady’s 62gr TAP Barrier, a typical JSP of standard construction (and unremarkable performance in my experience) was designed to meet a DoE requirement for shooting through fire doors inside buildings. I’me travelling down to a DoE facility in the fall to train some folks; I’ll pick anyone’s brain I run into.

  3. The color/appearance of a couple of the grey 9mmP British projectiles look very similar to standard 9mm and .223 frangible projos I’ve seen from Radway repackaged and sold here in the US. Federal and at least one other company had them for sale.

  4. Every test I’ve seen of frangible 5.56x45mm and 9mmP has left me underwhelmed, whether they are purpose-built antipersonnel rounds or nontox R2LP training rounds. Even standard heavy 5.56mm BTHPs do not penetrate adequately for many end-users.

  5. “Special targets” appears in the PMMAS Pdf on the M855A1 not as an actual type of anticipated end-use target, but as a subset of test target types used to predict battlefield performance on “unprotected soft targets” (‘special targets’ along with ‘gelatin’).

Ref : … 343750.pdf

The same term was used in an ILERSBA testing seminar using swine to simulate “soft targets”.

  1. I’ve seen ammunition overseas that was ‘dipped’ or painted after production, or by end-users, to further designate it’s type/application…Lew, maybe these are more common rounds with that applied? One group I trained with had a shooting where training ammo was used as opposed to ‘duty’ ammunition, and things did not go as planned.


Regarding the first loads pictured (green and purple colored projectiles) being normal rounds dipped later, the bullet shape is unlike that of any other Isreaeli rounds with the headstamp styles shown, that I have ever seen, dipped or not. They are definitely not standard rounds aht have had the bullets colored later. That said, I don’t have any particular opinions as to where they were loaded, the “originality” of the colors, etc. I just wanted to point out that the bullets are not normal for loads usually found in these cases.


MWinter, Thanks for your comments. Like John, I have seen an Israeli load of any sort that had the bullet ogive of these two cartridges. That is why I questioned whether they are from Israel.

The fact that they all come from the UK as far as I can tell, and the ogive is very similar to the SPLAT rounds by a company called SMS in London from about 1989 makes me think they are actually British. The SPLAT load is on the far right in the photo of British loads. I was hoping that someone had some insight into these loads.

I suspect that the bullet color was applied with then were initially loaded since they all have primer seal colors that match the bullet color.

They could of course be loaded in Israel with British bullets since there is a close connection between IMI and some of the people in this business in the UK. I have seen only three examples of IMI loading a fully colored bullet and in all three cases it is a very thin, transparent coloring. I have only seen a single example of an IMI case with a colored case mouth seal and that may not actually be an IMI load.