For those interested in “exotic handgun ammunition” I am happy to say that I have joined the IAA. I was taught about ammunition by my husband, Robert Ellis, who invented the Omnishock back in the 1980s. I have learned much from him and his friends that we now have shared in common for the last two decades.
I have raised our children who now have pushed me to “set the record straight” on their fathers work in this field. It is my intension to tell the story as it was, both the good times and the rough times, as the process of developing a new product in a niche market is a great challenge. No ego games here, just the facts. I look forward to sharing what I have learned on this forum as well as learning from other members.
Omnishock was invented in Hollywood California and on a recent visit there we acquired a fair size collection of his old work from friends of his that had kept what my husband had given them as he developed this seminal bullet design. His oldest childhood friend had been a key player in bringing Omnishock to market. I was very pleasantly surprised when he bestowed upon me a collection that my husband had thought long since gone, but in fact had sat collecting dust in the very same location in which these rounds were first loaded by another company once own by he and my husband. I will be active in creating a museum of sorts that will be kept by our family and, per my husbands and my families wishes, we will offer other items from this rare collection to fellow aficionados who are interested in adding these varieties to their own collection.
As this will be part of a legacy left to our children, we are also interested in acquiring, over time, items that we know that Robert made but have been scattered through time past. For example, the Omnishock had its first major debut at the Great Western Gun Show in Pomona California. At that show, a number of display pieces that contained the projectile in various stages of expansion, cast in acrylic were on display to help people understand just what they were looking at and how this new round differed from anything that was ever on the market before. Some of these were sold or given to folks that just had to have them. We no longer have any of these and would like to acquire a couple of them if someone is willing to part with any from their collection. At this show, a looping video of how the Omnishock’s performance compared to the Winchester Silver Tip and the Glaser Safety Slug compared when shot through and into different test media was played. My husband said that it was great at showing how the Omnishock had bested these other rounds, but after a couple of hours of this continuous loop, it began to drive him nuts! LOL! I assume all folks who have worked at a trade show with such a demonstration know just exactly how he felt! Now, I have no copies of this video, then on VHS, of corse, and about twenty-five of them were given to the press and potential distributors at that first show, many more at shows to follow. I would love to have one now! The list of things like the Omnishock Tee shirt’s, Posters, and even photos of machine gun shooting “hotties” wearing those shirts would be grand.
In closing, many thanks to all who have taken an interest in Omnishock, posted photos and made comments both positive and negative. We can learn from all sides and love open minds!
For those interested in “exotic handgun ammunition” I am happy to say that I have joined the IAA. I was taught about ammunition by my husband, Robert Ellis, who invented the Omnishock back in the 1980s. I have learned much from him and his friends that we now have shared in common for the last two decades.
Welcome, and thank you for starting the discussion on these interesting projectiles and your family history with them.
I had thought the original inventor / proprietor / retailer of the Ultrashock was Alex Goodrich out of La Canada Flintridge, CA, and that the name then changed to Omnishock out of North Hollywood. Based on what you’ve so far said, this is not correct, and I welcome any corrections. It’s a bit long-winded, but I’ll just cut & paste the write-up that I have on Omnishock here, which is data collected from various 1980’s magazines, collectors’ notes, etc…:
Originally appearing under the name “Ultrashock”, this dual-purpose load was the invention of Alex Goodrich who ran the Ultra-shock company out of La Canada and/or North Hollywood, CA. Around late 1983 / early 1984, these started appearing in very small numbers at gun shows and with some dealers in & around Southern California. By early 1985 however Ultrashock had J&G inc. and B&B (Bumble Bee) distributing for them to both law enforcement and the general public, and Ultrashock became available nation-wide with B&B advertising in Shotgun news. The cartridges were originally only available in .38spl, .38spl +P, and .357mag. The .357mag was supposedly limited to law enforcement only distribution through J&G, while B&B distributed the .38spl cartridges to any dealer, and through Shotgun news. It was around mid-1985 when the cartridge started gaining some level of minor notoriety, that Ultrashock changed its name to “Omnishock” and this would be the name to which most everyone recognizes these cartridges as today. The publicly available packages of .38spl Ultrashock were initially offered in wooden boxes which held 6rds each for $6.00, or else came in MTM plastic cases in quantities of 18 or 50. The police-only .357mag was available in MTM cases of 18 for $21.00. These types of packaging (especially the wooden box with “Ultra-shock” label) are exceedingly rare today since the Ultrashock name was only used for a little over one year, and was mostly local distribution to California only at this time.
After the name change to Omnishock and when distribution became slightly more national for the .38spl cartridge, a custom plastic case was used which held 6 cartridges and which had a clear flip top with the name, caliber, and a red graphic of what an expanded bullet looked like on it. These are the most commonly encountered cases today, but are still quite rare to find an actual case. The bullet design for either the .38spl or .357mag loading consisted of a standard Hornady 148gr hollow-base wadcutter which was inverted, and which had a hole of about 1/16" drilled into the base of the hollow opening. At this point a #8 metal screw of either steel or stainless steel was screwed into the hollow opening with the threads digging into the 1/16" drilled hole. This projectile would be seated into its casing, and finally have a small #6 lead shot peened by hand (with a hammer) into the slot of the exposed screw head. Some of the later Ultrashock, (and all of the final Omnishock) bullets would have equally-spaced vertical scoring lines extending halfway down the bullet sides to aid in expansion, and a picture of the supposed complete expansion of such a bullet became the logo of the company later on. The final grain-weight of the Ultrashock bullet becomes something between 163gr to 166gr. The last step on original Ultrashock bullets was to brush a bronze metallic paint on the head of the bullet for aesthetics, and even this was eventually not done on later Ultrashocks just before the switch over to Omnishocks.
In 1985 when the name switch to Omnishock occurred, the entire process remained the same except for the fact that a red epoxy paint was used to conceal the slots on the head of the screw, and the bullet used was eventually something around a 105gr bullet of the same type, which when completed, added up to a final projectile weight of around 118gr, (although they were advertised as 125gr). The brass casings were all commercial, and were either Federal or Winchester with Winchester being the more common. The whole point of Omnishocks was to achieve maximum expansion of the wadcutter and create a large impact surface which would spin and shred as it entered a victim. The whole notion of the steel screw being something of an armor piercing element (as per the BATFE’s list of suggested pistol caliber AP loads from the 1986 federal law) was a total afterthought, although this screw often would detach and pierce much deeper into tissue or Kevlar than a typical lead bullet ever could. Many tests have shown that the screw and bullet separate nearly half the time without really achieving the wadcutter expanding via threading, and that two impacts would be recorded on a target from both the screw and hollow wadcutter separately. The screw would usually always keyhole when this happened and was not an effective penetrator in this sense. When the screw did engage the bullet properly, expansion was achieved, impact was substantial, and the screw would often separate on impact and penetrate deeper. On Kevlar, a penetration of over 20 layers was reported in tests by the LAPD explosives firearms unit in early 1985. It is safe to say that the bullet had relatively questionable terminal effectiveness which would sometimes result in a separated core, a fragmented impact projectile, or a solid un-separated projectile. Actual “armor piercing” in so far as soft body armor penetration, is a threat only some of the time when the screw remains intact to the target, and then separates upon initial penetration.
Although their distribution increased through 1984 to 1989 Ultra/Omnishocks would remain somewhat unknown and law enforcement showed little to no interest in them outside of some limited testing in Southern California mostly. Even when the federal importation & manufacturing restrictions occurred in 1986, Omnishocks skirted by for a while, until the ATF noticed them, at which point Omnishock switched over to using an aluminum screw to avoid any scrutiny or legal issues. Omnishock was never prosecuted, but the ATF did later add the original steel-screw Omnishock to their list of banned bullet types in the federal anti pistol-caliber AP law. By late 1989, sales of the Omnishock were fairly stagnant as the experimentation phase of interest from departments and collectors wore off, and around this time the manufacturer would experiment with using aluminum and stainless steel screws. This was to no avail, and by 1991 Omnishock was essentially finished production. Collector specimens today are not uncommon at cartridge shows and are usually limited to .38spl, and sometimes .357mag. When the name change initially occurred in 1985, Omnishock did dabble with making similar steel screw-core bullets for cartridges in calibers of .22lr, .380ACP, 9mm, .44spl, .44mag, and .45ACP. The 9mm and .380 are the most commonly seen of these other calibers, (although relatively rare compared to the .38 & .357) while their design is something similar with a black colored 4-finned hollow point bullet (Genco style) with a small screw core, and red epoxy head. The .44’s and .45ACP are very rare. It should be noted that not all Ultrashocks or red-tipped Omnishocks will necessarily be attracted to a magnet, since some of these had non-magnetic stainless-steel screws.
I am particularly interested in info on the below packs, which appeared in South America, and are a relatively unknown packaging type, but do look to be original quality:
[color=#0000FF]Wow! Quick reply and a very detailed but flawed history of the Omnishock. Please look U.S. Patent # 4,665,827 and you will find that Omnishock was invented and patented by Robert Ellis in Hollywood CA. In fact, He also had to invent the machines to mass produce the projectiles. Alex Goodrich hand made projectiles with a drill press and mini-bladed saws and them simply used a sheet metal screw as a core, sometimes tapping a piece of bird shot into the cross head of the sheet metal screw to "hide that it was something other that a hardware store screw. His idea for a wooden box for a container was interesting. No, Ultra-shock was never granted a patented and has nothing to do with Omnishock.
Hi, thanks for the reply and the patent number. So “Ultrashock” was Alex Goodrich making low quality copies of the Omnishock, early on when Omnishock first came out? My info about Alex and Ultrashock / Omnishock came in part from an old journal article from the AFTE (Association of Firearm & Toolmark Examiners) - a group of law enforcement ballistics forensics technicians who have a periodical journal printed with articles. In all the discussions over the years among collectors, I don’t recall this account ever being corrected or a different take being offered, granted - there was never very much info in print to go on, and memories were fuzzy.
My wife was supposed to do all the posting here, but I had just jumped on to see your post and thought I would reply. This is Robert Ellis, and I am the humble inventor of the Omnishock. Yes indeed, the story of Omnishock is not as it was relayed to you exactly. As you correctly stated, the 1980s was a while ago and “memories got fuzzy.” But my kids have asked my wife to pressure me into telling of the true story as they have grown up with a copy of the patent on the wall, ( not my only patent) and they thought that history should be corrected. Everything that you see under the Omnishock name was developed and made by me. I welcome any questions and am happy, as my wife stated, to tell the truth about both good points and well as the negative parts of the history of the Omnishock.
No Omnishock ever used stainless steel, it was 7071 T6 aluminum that I switched to after the BATF fiasco! What a joke that was. So the magnet test is just for steel or aluminum.
I won’t make any negative comments about Alex Goodrich or his products, but that is how he made them. The wooden box was clever! The Patent speaks for itself as to who invented them and I have all of the historic paperwork and articfacts to prove that. I will be happy to share with the forum the tidbits such as that it was not an epoxy that coated the tip of a screw, but powdercoat appleid by the folks that made them for me at J&S Screw Company. As you interested and obvisiously well informed, I could even send you a sample of the cores, projectiles, and some other tidbit. NObody else reading this need ask. DK got here first. ;-)
BTW DK Sir,
Your design looks pretty awesome! Glad to see talented minds at work!
Hello Robert, and thank you. The web design (if that’s what you meant) is something assembled by webmaster Aaron Newcomer, and uses photo & digital art elements from a few people / sources.
Thanks for the clarification on some aspects of early production. I belive some of the cunfusion comes from the fact that the most commonly encountered Omnishock is the .38spl or .357mag, of which both seemed to often have a design that looked to be a typical screw (with slots in the head) which head a tiny protrusion like the lead ball, and which were then coated with red. I see what you mean by the powdercoat on the later-design versions, especially the auto-caliber bullets which all look to have the specially ordered screw you mention which have a smooth head w/ no slots, and these look to have the red powdercoat.
I guess my question would be: Did the early & common .38spl & .357mag Omnishocks tend to have real screws which had something inserted into the slots to round it off before red coating, and was this later changed into the specially-ordered screws with the perfectly round head which are seen on the auto-calibers? And/Or would any of these typically encountered early .38spl/.357mag Omnishock-looking loads possibly be copies/counterfeits along the lines of Ultrashocks which were just trying hard to resemble the Omnishock? Many collector’s presumptions about the link & timeline of Ultrashocks to Omnishocks is that the Ultrashock seemed to so closely resemble an uncoated proto-version of what many had always assumed were the early .38spl Omnishocks. Of course counterfeiting things like this isn’t too hard, which is why I ask about the specifics of the early .38spl loads in case there is a way collectors can identify one from the other.
I have seen similar problems like this happen from certain specialty loads imported in the 80’s like the Geco Action-1, which was rebranded, and essentially taken over in popular lore as the “B.A.T.” by Check-Mate Arms, and as the “G.A.S.” cartridge by Personal Protection Systems, both trying to steal another design to pass off as something else / something more than it was. That seems like just the sort of things which could happen to your Omnishock in the early days before the internet when faking something from one coast to another would be easier to pull off via guns shows & newsletters.
Thanks for any info.
I found time for a few other Omnishock facts of interest, just for the historical value. Your earlier thread stated that the brass used for the Omnishock was either Federal or Winchester. In fact, most of the production brass came from Midway. As Ultra-Shock and Omnishock got their history’s blended in this thread, I would like to unravel this knot for collector. Further, The Ultra-shocks were based on already manufactured projectiles that were then hand altered with a jigs, a drill press and small hand saws as needed. The wooden box was also hand made. Two color stickers labeled them. The other packaging was off the shelf stuff that also use hand affixed two color stickers. As your tread also correctly states, the slices made in the Ultra-shock where uneven, again because of their hand made nature. Using a modified projectile from another manufacture was, no doubt a limiting factor in many ways. Omnishock was totally different in how it was made.
Every bullet ever sold by and as an Omnishock was made, until a very late version to be described later, was made by swaging new lead in a custom machine that I designed using custom made punches and dies of my design. The first commercial design used a custom 1/4 jacket of copper, that had most of the bottom removed so that the expanding member could pass through it after impact also helped control expansion and to give a body of substantial weight that would aid penetration should one or more of the expanded blades break off in a target. It was also important to control lead fouling since pure virgin lead was used for the bullet’s main body for it’s qualities of maximum ease of expansion and malleable qualities that held everything together. What had been commonly become known as the “screw” in the middle was used as an expanding member. As the first calibers developed were .38 spl (in flavors of a -P, regular, and a +P) and the .357 mag. I wanted a “law enforcement safe” round and so chose a wad-cutter profile for this expanding member. In contrast, the Ultra-Shock’s cross head screw design actually help it to cut the fabric of body armor. As Ultra-shock bought off the hardware store self product, this is what they could get. As you also know, there are always machine tolerances to deal with, so having called out for a very high quality piece to be made, I designed and had the screw like cores made to these specifications. This was just the first commercial design, and packaging was important to me. Thus the I designed the custom plastic Jewel cases with the hot foil stamp that said Omnishock, and the die-cut foam inserts to protect the rounds in the case. It was a nice box for ammo at the time. Bloody expensive and the die cut inserts were too soft to hold the bullets perfectly in place during shipping. A good start though! LOL! :-) . That should clarify some issues for now and gives some details into the construction of the Omnishock. I will post more later and will learn the GUI of this forum so that I can post other information as well. Thanks again!
Yes, Frankly there were many attempts to copy the Omnishock. Some actually were some good that I had to check lot numbers with my known dealers and at gun shows. As you say, it was “pre-internet days” and I ran into a lot of these petty “idea’ stealing” situations. I think the patent and its awarded claims speak for themselves. That is why that was the first thing I quoted to you. In the 1980, the proof was in the patent/paperwork. Oh, BTW, yes the patent drawing show a screw, but that what was for patent protection as well as making it easier for the guys in the patent office understand everything.
Less than 200 prototype Omnishocks ever use a screw and these were all shot or have there whereabouts know to me in a handful of friends collections., never sold. Again, so that everyone gets it, no screws in and Omnishock. Only the screw-like devices made for me by J&S Screw company. They were on Laurel Canyon in North Hollywood, but I believe the are now out of business. Jay Shwatzman was one of the owners that I dealt with. They all had the Red Coating and were smooth, no slotted, phillips or any other kind of making in them. If you see any such mark, it is not an Omnishock!
Interesting, and thanks very much for the info. I would say, that in light of all this, around half of the supposed Omnishocks which I have ever encountered, were seemingly fakes / copies then. I will update & re-write all the info I have to reflect all of this.
That is most kind of you! This is not a one side interest though. I am interested in updating and expanding all of my knowledge as well. All I know is that I love to learn and there is much I don’t know about many things. My Omnishock journey is not over. In fact, it is about to enter a new stage. I am bringing out an updated version of the original patented designed, (the patent has now expired of course) that today’s materials and manufacturing techniques make possible. In addition to that, I have a new patent pending that is rather interesting. So I am excited that my family has has joined IAA and the legacy will continue.
One of the things I missed about being away from the ammo is people like yourself and others here on the forum who are interested in the technology of things. Omnishock is an interesting bullet design. But it is just one of many interesting designs. Part of the great joy of this interesting journey is the people I have met. Imagine my very pleasant surprise when my friend who had saved all of this collection of my past work also gave me something else that is priceless to me. Joe Zambone, the inventor of the Mag-Safe ammo and I shared a fair amount of time discussing all things ammo back in the 80s. In the collection I was just gifted from by my old friend and business partner in T&R Ammo ( a small re-loading company) was a hand written letter from Joe along with some of his prototype projectiles that we shared some ideas on ! I was floored to find them. I hope to look him up soon and find that he is doing well in whatever he is currently doing. When I was first starting out in Omnishock, I had a potential investor fly me out to Freedom Wyoming and was able to meet Dick Casull. What a great guy! I will tell a funny story some time about that meeting that was quite embarrassing for me, that had to do with me having an AD with a never shot before gun that his company made for him. Let’s just say I am glad that the gun landed in a pile of soft building insulation! He loved my design and we tried to work on a few things together.
The negative side of things and the people that were not the good guys or who ripped me off; that’s their problem. Life’s to short to bother with those things in most cases. Anyone who claims to have done this design before me… I pose a simple question to: If they invented or marketed something covered under my patent, then I think that between the US Patent office and my attorney firm in Beverly Hills CA, Blakely, Sokelov and Zaffman, would have caught it if for no other reason than protecting their own errors and omissions insurance, don’t you think? Some were more obvious than others.I just figured if people needed the money or the ego boost, or whatever, that badly, let them have it! I was doing just fine in my little niche. I was in my mid twenties and I was getting to do cool things and meet some very impressive people! That was enough for me. So it looks like it will be a bit of long winded work to set history straight, but for my children, it’s worth it! Thanks DK and all who read this!
Robert, if when you say “hope to look him up”, and you mean Joe Zambone, I’m sorry to say that he died as a result of injuries from a motorcycle accident 15 years ago in New Zealand. The company was purchased and is now based out of Florida.
Myself, and some others in the forum possess many of his original oddball prototypes for Magsafe (with all the different color green / blue / yellow epoxy fillers) and we could post photos & info here to compare notes.
It is good to hear that you are looking at getting back into the ammo business. There are many unique & oddball projectiles out there today, especially solid copper & frangible types. Glaser is still doing their thing, and have just revamped their Pow’Rball with a new “urban” tactical 9mm version. There are a handful of European types that we don’t usually see, and Browning is to release a new specialty-looking pistol projectile at the upcoming SHOT show.
What I haven’t seen is anyone going full tilt with a multi-specialty load such as a fragmenting or multiball tracer, or a solid copper expander with pre-fragmented core. I am biassed of course towards the interesting & unique specialty loads like what Joe, you, Howard Angel, Fuzzy Fletcher, Tony Trezza, etc… used to load.
Wow! That is very sad news to hear about Joe. He was indeed a friend and a Gentleman as fine as I have known. I will have to break out the camera and start posting what I have of his as well as my own stuff. I turned him on to my sabot maker and and he worked with them on some rounds. I have the first batch of the sabot based rounds that he made using the same sabots I used on my .44 mags. along with his hand written letter. I will miss him.
On a happier note, you may be getting some or all of your wish with what I am up to now. How does one send you a private message from this forum? My e-mail box is a total mess but you can send me your contact info if you like at email@example.com. Thank you good Sir!
Hi Robert, that’s interesting about the sabot maker you mention turning him onto since I have one or two .44mag rds like that which are attributed to him. They look out-of-character as far as the rest of his typical material, but your explanation makes perfect sense - he would certainly take an interest in more velocity! Sending private messages is done by clicking on the little “PM” icon at the bottom of any user’s messages that are posted in the forum. Most users also have an “email” icon, which can be clicked on to send an email (usually this auto-launches whichever email program is your default), or you can right-click on the email icon and copy the email address into the email program of you choice when creating a new email.
DKConfiguration, your information was pretty much right on. The originator of Ultrashock was indeed Alex Goodrich out of La Canada Ca. Only Alex Goodrich didn’t live or work in La Canada, Ca - he lived in Los Angeles proper and that is where the shop was located that made the wooden boxes for Ultrashock. The ammunition itself was made at my house in La Canada, as I was Alex Goodrich’s partner. The bullet was his design, but I was the one who tuned it and made it work. I still have the original large cardboard advertising photos for the cartridge as well as several 8 x 10s showing the expanded bullets - some were pretty artsy photos. The original Ultrashocks were only sold in 357 magnum, as that was the only round that actually worked as advertised. I couldn’t get the 38 specials to both expand as well as penetrate. By adjusting screw depth and hole size, I could get the 38 special to open up great, but it would blow up on a leather jacket. If you got the 38 in a snobby to penetrate well, it wouldn’t expand.
The Ultrashock bullets were first sold at B & B sales in North Hollywood. The reason they were sold there was that I worked their as a salesmen and gun buyer. They offered to sell our product if it sold well, and it did because my job 5 days a week was to work there a push the sales of our bullet as well as sell their other products and firearms. Barry and Bob, owners of B & B, let me use one of their Safariland bulletproof level-III vests to test our 357 on, and every round would penetrate completely through the vest and still expand to around 70 caliber. While penetrating a vest was not the intent of the round, it sure helped to sell the product. The purpose of the screw was to expand the round, not penetrate vests with the steel core, but that happened to be the result. If Alex didn’t follow through with the patent on it, it was because he didn’t follow through reliably with much of anything, which is why we split up a few years later. I understand he made life difficult for his subsequent partner as well, but that was Alex. A nice guy with some business problems.
Since it doesn’t appear that there will be any further conversation on this thread at this time, I wish to put out some information in response to Omnishocks postings. Particularly addressing where they disparage everyone else as copying their original design and being “bad guys” or “ripping them off”. In truth, it made me a little bit angry and seems more like the plot from “From Noon Till Three” with Charles Bronson rather than sharing accurate information.
The claim by them is that their more advance design with custom dies and elaborate equipment, lead extrusion machines and custom metal inserts needed to create their superior and original bullet came first, before these cheap knockoffs that used reverse hollow based wadcutters and metal screws. That they used a design that looked exactly like a screw imbedded in a reverse wadcutter just for simplifying the patent design. Now I ask, what is more logical - elaborate equipment and design and lots of money to create what looks to be a screw inserted in a reverse wadcutter or that in fact a wadcutter with a screw inserted was indeed the first design of this bullet? That was the simply beauty of this design. One of the best defense rounds to be created could be done with nothing more than these simple components put together properly. More elaborate treatment would be a natural evolution of that first simple design and not the other way around.
And the design was not just putting a screw in a wadcutter. To perform at its best, the 357 load needed the hole drilled to exact dimensions, the screw had to be a steel stainless steel screw of the proper diameter and length and weight and the powder charge had to be exact so that the bullet would both expand properly as well as hold together after impact.
If the screw was held to securely, the bullet would not open up properly and if it was too loose, it could come out of the lead while in the barrel and tear up the barrel. I used a Smith and Wesson 586 4 inch for the test gun as I was tuning this load and after all the testing of various configurations, it was noticed that the barrel had chunks missing from a screw making contact with the barrel. Done incorrectly, this design will destroy a firearm. Done correctly, it works perfectly every time. Ultrashock 357 bullets would penetrate a steel tire rim with a perfect round hole - or expand violently with severe trauma after hitting a soft target and all this done with a very soft lead wadcutter due to the metal core design.
All the coatings and add ons to the top of the bullet by both Ultrashock and Omnishock were just theatrics. They didn’t do anything. Alex put the peened lead shot into the phillips screw head to disguise the simplicity of the bullet. He also tried coating the top of the bullet with bronze dust as well for the same purpose. The red covering of the Omnishock is the same idea - it does nothing of importance. I know this from first hand experience as Alex and I played with the design constantly, always looking to improve it or get it to work as well with a 2 inch 38 revolver. His wooden box idea was more theatrics but people liked it.
I personally believe that Omnishock’s Robert Ellis was likely Alex Goodrich’s new partner after I left the business. He was a young kid that was both personable and bright and I liked him, but I don’t remember his name. But Robert Ellis said he was in his 20’s and that is the correct age of Alex Goodrich’s new partner. I believe he even said they changed the name to Omnishock, but this was 30 years ago so I am fuzzy on any details. Alex Goodrich was not a good business partner for either of us and legal issues may have forced him to go this route to continue with Omnishock, but claiming that Alex Goodrich was not the originator and Omnishock doesn’t even make any sense. But if Robert Ellis is indeed that guy, I wish him the best because I liked Alex’s new partner the several times that I met him and know he didn’t get a fair shake from Alex. And Alex died shortly after in 1993 so I have no idea what a legal mess that would have left.
If anyone wishes more detailed information on the birth of Ultrashock and Alex Goodrich stories and history, contact me as it isn’t something I would put on a public forum. Alex and I worked together for many years, both before and during the creation of Ultrashock and he even married my ex-girlfriend.
Thanks for the info Bob. We rarely get to hear from the original persons involved in such ammo brands, and the history is usually lost. The Omnishock / Ultrashock was an interesting specialty bullet for its time, competing with exploders, Glaser Safety Slugs, and various other early oddball duplex loads and specialty offerings before the age of premium jacketed hollow points, solid copper hollow points, and frangible loads which would end up trumping all of the early gadget bullets. Today’s market is very different in that there exists a cult of ballistics gel testers on Youtube who trip over themselves to get review videos out, showing many different tests for terminal ballistics, and they tend towards unforgiving. I often wish they had all of those 80s era loads in bulk to do all of the tests with, which would likely offer a few surprises.
Hi Bob, thank you very much for sharing these lines, very interesting. I guess that these days most people would prefer to have original documentation, drawings, patents, etc., but in my opinion every single piece of anecdotal information shared by people directly involved in ammunition development is priceless.
It was good to hear from you people. I have a couple of pictures if anyone wants them and I can figure out how to post them on this site. One is of the poster we put in B & B Sales that has the results of ultrashock penetrating blocks of clay - the first just the block of clay, the second with a cow thighbone in the middle of the clay. Alex wanted to show that it still expanded after going through large bone. Supposedly, Alex trademarked the name Ultrashock, thus the R on the poster for registered trademark. I have another picture or two of the expanded bullet blown up in size on a black background. This the bullet with the lead shot and the bronze dust added.
Yeh, I’m a big fan of anecdotal information as well. Lots of stories from those days, but not all of them good. Alex tried to sell the bullet to police departments, but was met with concerns of over-penetration. Culver City police department turned him down because someone had shot at one of their officers with Ultrashock and it penetrated the side of the patrol car, went completely through his PR-24 baton sitting in the car and exited out the other side of the car. Yep - too much of a good thing there.
Had a shooting range in my house in La Canada - just turned the stereo up really loud so the neighbors wouldn’t complain or get worried when testing new designs of the bullet without having to drive out into the Angeles mountains. Went through tons of wet phone books. Cheap ballistic gel would have been such a benefit in those days. Found out that large shock waves from 357 mag blows out stereo speakers. Who knew.
A couple of ways to post pictures are described here: Ammunition Art