Plastic Ammunition Article

Hey Guys - I am writing an article on plastic ammunition. Past History, current state, and future application. It’s only around 1000 words, so pretty limited.

My father remembers testing some triangular revolver ammo in the late 50’s or early 60’s (but knowing Dad it could have been 1970’s). Does anyone remember the name of the company? Also, what was the earliest plastic ammunition (blank, live or other)?


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Jay, the triangular revolver ammo sounds like the Dardick Tround. Several calibers and even multiple projectile versions were developed.

I believe the earliest plastic rounds were around WW2 vintage Bakelite dummy or drill rounds (German 7.9x57), but others with more knowledge may chime in.

Jay, maybe you should talk to Mel Carpenter who is currently writing a book on Dardick “Trounds”.

Jay, are you thinking of Dardick, who made an odd pistol and lots of triangular plastic cartridges for both firearms application and oil-drilling applications, if I recall correctly? Some of the Dardick cartridges are self contained, while others are merely adapters with normal cartridges inserted into them.

I couldn’t be much help on earliest of plasticcartridges, but to get an accurate answer, I think you would need to define your parameters for “plastic ammunition.” Any cartridge with plastic used in its construction; plastic cases with heads of other materials; completely plastic cases; metallic cases with plastic projectiles; live ammunition (as opposed to, say, plastic dummy rounds such as the Germans used, with steel heads, or plastic blanks), etc.

Just a thought. I went through this once when I was going to do a cartridge show display of “plastic” cartridges. I gave up on it because I couldn’t decide what constituted “plastic ammunition.”

John Moss

Here a small overview of the threads on the forum here:

Jay, Good luck with the article. Only 1000 words? The Dardick Corporation was founded by David Dardick in 1954 and filed for bankruptcy in 1962. During the period Dardick experimented with thermoplastics when the original aluminum-cased Tround cartridges didn’t work out. They couldn’t expand enough to seal the front of the cartridge case against the barrel’s breech, but the Celanese Corporation’s high-density linear polyethylene (Celanese Fortiflex) worked fine. It was cheap, easy to mold, resistant to chemicals, could be colored, etc. Fired cases were as good as new. .38 Dardick Special Trounds are pretty common so I thought I’d show some .22 Long Rifle adapter Trounds in different colors. Feel free to use the picture or I’ll send you the original 600 dpi JPEG. And if you send me your shipping address, I’ll send you a group of Tround variations.


There were a lot of different all-plastic shot shells made by quite a number of makers in South America, also Winchester-Western / Olin did a lot of work plus a number of smaller US companies. Val Forgett has his Greener police gun ammunition made by a company in S.A.
Kynoch / ICI even made a 4 Bore all-plastic & Portugal also produced all-plastics.
BUT being shot gun shells some folk don’t classify that as ammunition…

There was a post here not too long ago about Wanda & Herter’s all-plastics

There is a lot more plastic and not only from the US.
And the subject is spread over several decades, countries, manufacturers, systems and patents.
It might be advisable to accompany those 1000 words with some good images showing all the variety since these images will say more than the 1000 words - here literally then.