Plastic Cases

This is way out of my field, but does anyone out there know the Companies by name and dates,who have or attempted to produce “Plastic Cased” ammunition. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Charles.J. Wells (Jack)
SGM. USA. Ret.

French company, SPALEK’ARM, made a run of pinfire cartridges in 7mm, 9mm 12mm, and certain shotshell sizes in 1984.

Jack, didn’t say whether you wanted shotgun shells or not but there have been a number of them that are considered “all-plastic”. ACTIV (1985-1996) Herter’s (59-) Whitney Cartridge Co (71-) Eclipse and Wanda come to mind without much thought but there are others too. I don’t have all the dates either. Winchester and Remington experimented with them too.

I’m doing this for a friend,his main intrest is primarly all Plastic Rifle Cartridges but is also interested in all Plastic Cartridges to, include who made them ,and when. I appreciate any and all help.

Super Cartridge Co Australia made all plastic shotshells in the seventies or eighties. Not sure of the date but they were taken to court for patent infringement by Olin which ended in Olins favour.

They are still being developed by PCP ammo:

Many european companies produced them, and probably some stil do so.
Some older ones are the Robijn shells from the Dutch NIKA factory (50’s)
DPI from Denmark mad at least three different ones
Wienkoop muhlheim Ruhr also made some
We also knoe them with the IRLEC headstamp, probaly french but I cannot say forsure.
Carplast is a french one also.
Falcon from New zealand made some, and another small company from new zealand called VISCO made them during a short period.
And probably many, many more.
Hope this is of any help.

Regards rené

There was a company called the U. S. Ammunition Company, I believe (and there have been some postings about it here) that operated back in the 1980s. They made handgun cartridges (I think for revolvers only) having all-plastic cases. The benefit was supposed to be the ability to reload cases with very simple, or no, equipment. At least some of them used a rather odd bullet design that snapped into place. They are long-gone, but they did make a splash in the market for a little while. The Wanda plastic shotshells were made of polycarbonate and contained no metal, other than the primer and shot. ACTIV shells had a metal reinforcing ring in the rim, so they were not truly all-plastic. I’ve seen several hybrid cartridge cases having plastic bodies and metal bases, but those are not truly all-plastic. There were also the plastic indoor practice cases and bullets sold by Winchester and Speer that were also discussed here recently, and they were completely plastic, including the projectile.

All-plastic cases work OK for low-pressure applications, such as for shotguns and some revolver calibers. but would likely be unable to contain the pressures of the much higher-pressure rifle and handgun calibers.

If this logic is used, are there really anyall plastic shells? I have yet to encounter an all-plastic primer! In 1905 Remington was using a steel liner in their shells but do we call them something other than paper shells? I’ve never seen one described as paper, brass, steel. Dick Iverson and many others consider the ACTIV to be an all-plastic… so will I.

I tend to agree with the Chief. Plastic cases with metal in them somewhere are generally called “Plastic” by most collectors.

If the OP is asking about totally plastic cartridges, that is one thing. But if he wants to include any plastic shells with metal in them, that leaves the barn door wide open and there are literally hundreds of them.



Sorry for the delay,my friend said all plastic Rifle cases ,no metal other than the primer.Thanks to all of those who have posted in response to the question.
As the saying goes, "See you in St Louie"

I would be surprised if there are many all-plastic conventional rifle cases; the much higher pressures compared with most revolver rounds are more difficult to cope with, and extractors tend to rip through the rims (especially with autoloading actions) which is why modern polymer rifle cases have metal inserts in the base.

The only exceptions I am aware of are the very few specially-shaped designs which are unique to particular rifles (almost invariably military). For example, the Steyr ACR flechette round, the current LSAT cased-telescoped, the older Hughes Lockless and folded rounds. There was also the Dardick Tround series. As far as I’m aware, none has got beyond the experimental stage (apart from some rock-breaking Trounds used in mining), although LSAT is still ongoing.

I had forgotten about the Dardick Trounds (which were indeed all-plastic, except for the primer and bullet), but not many of them ever made it into the commercial market.

I think Dardick had a good idea, but it was a strange-looking pistol. I seriously proposed the Tround pistol concept to TSA for service in in-flight security, for several reasons, but no one else agreed with me, and most had no idea as to what I was talking about.

This comes very late - obviously.
Herters, in Waseca, MN, produced an all plastic polycarbonate 12 gauge shotshell (2 3/4"). I purchased 2 boxes from their catalog in 1967. I reloaded them 4 times with #4s, (roll crimp, if I remember correctly) and the very early plastic, one-piece shotshell wads and used them for duck hunting outside of Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota.
They showed absolutely no signs of deterioration after the fifth firing, no thinning of the walls, and no expansion of the primer pocket.
I passed them down to a friend when my tour was up - no bird hunting where I was headed