Purchasing bullets out of Czech Rep.? / .357 penetrators


This post is not a request to buy (as in buy/sell folder material). It is more of a “how do I buy” question…

I am trying to figure out a way of purchasing these bullets from the shown retail seller in the Czech Republic: http://www.alliancze.cz/strela-38-357-158-gr-fmsprvi-partizan/d-70729/ and getting them into the States. The website seems to have a function for shipping to the EU in general, but not out of the EU. The bullets in question are the “metal piercing” type which Winchester used to load in .38spl and .357mag, but they are a more modern variant as made by Frontier of South Africa, which did business in the EU via Italy as Northwest Bullets (I think).

Prvi Partizan is the primary buyer for these bullets as far as use in loaded cartridges and they refer to their .357mag with this bullet as the “FMS” (Full Metal Spitz): http://www.prvipartizan.com/handgun_b.php I would be game for purchasing the loaded Prvi version of this of course, but I would take just the bullets since it looks like civilians can purchase them more readily than the more limited and restricted loaded cartridges. Prvi has done this type of cartridge for many years, and it has gone through a few changes. Back in the 70’s they made a load which had a bullet identical to the Winchester version (Hansen imported a limited amount of these into the U.S.), and then in the 80’s Prvi seemed to have a bullet type which more closely resembled the Geco steel jacket piercing bullet. For the past 10 years though, it looks like Prvi is using this Frontier version which is a more modern type as compared to the older Winchester type.

Am I even generally correct that this bullet type is or has been marketed to law enforcement as an enhanced penetrator? And does anyone know if the bullets recovered from the assassination of Olof Palme were from the Prvi metal piercing load as opposed to the Winchester load? It makes sense that the the Prvi version would have been more readily available for that crime back then.


I could be wrong, but I believe the “piercing” bit will be in insurmountable obstacle for legal importation or receipt.


Even with a lead core, the weight or thickness of the jacket relative to it’s percentage of the total projectile weight may classify the bullet as armour piecing (handgun) and may make it ineligible for import. You will have to have the manufacture supply you with specifications. JH


The fact that they are “piercing” is no problem, but I don’t think these projectiles exceed the 25% jacket rule anyway which was originally intended to combat commercial importation of the M/39B by anyone other than those with an FFL 10/11. But I have always held that this is besides the point on even the most obvious pistol penetrators since my needs would always be non-commercial and the law states that only “commercial importation” or “commercial manufacture” of AP pistol projectiles is prohibited. Convincing any potential seller of that is another story, and I’ve been told of BATF import permits being needed anyway, etc… but I still like to think that non-commercial importation is possible. Assuming that these are outside the purview of the pistol AP law, I was hoping that buying components like this might be possible as they are unloaded components only. The problem with sellers like this is usually always that their country’s laws prevent them from shipping, or else they assume it is illegal to ship here. I just thought that since this is the gun-friendly Czech Republic we are talking about, that I might get somewhere. If not, then I can always contact some European collectors to attempt the usual exchange.


DKConfiguration–I can supply details concerning the following:

[color=#0000FF]And does anyone know if the bullets recovered from the assassination of Olof Palme were from the Prvi metal piercing load as opposed to the Winchester load? It makes sense that the the Prvi version would have been more readily available for that crime back then.[/color]

The bullets were Super-X Metal Penetrating. George Kass and myself as Forensic Ammunition Service supplied the Swedish government with the cartridges to test the guns used. We were contacted by the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. and asked if we could assist them in obtaining any of the cartridges (Remember, these had not been manufactured for over 25 years at that point). Within 24 hours we had located 10 boxes in a gun shop in Alabama. We informed the Swedish Embassy of this but we also told them that it would take up to 6 months to get the permits for us to ship them to Sweden. They said they could solve the export problem. We had the Gun Shop in Alabama ship all 10 boxes by overnight Fedex directly to the Embassy as a drop shipment. The Embassy then put them in a Diplomatic Pouch and flew them directly to the crime lab in Sweden.

No Customs problems!! No Export Permits needed!! The crime lab had their 25 year old ammunition in less than a week total time from the day we were contacted. Easiest export we ever did. Diplomatic Pouches sure make things simple. Too bad you don’t know any Czech or U.S. official with Diplomatic Pouch privileges to import the bullets you want.


Thanks Ron! I had seen a photo in an article of the bullet recovered in the crime, and it looked just like the Winchester type with the exposed lead lower half. As far as I know the type that PPU had loaded always had a more complete FMJ to the base of the bullet, like the Frontier type in the above photo.


I have actually thought that before. Collecting would be so easy if you had those privileges.


Ron, that’s one of the coolest ammo stories I’ve ever heard. If we had those silly ‘bow-down’ smilies, one would appear here >>.

DK, Fiocchi offers a 142gr FMJTC .357M load; in my tests it performs identically to the Winchester MP .357M load. I have not sectioned or pulled a bullet however. I’ll try to contact Fiocchi for stuff on the projectile, but I’m betting someone here can beat me to it–or already has the info.


Thanks Mike, I do have some of those from Fiocchi, and some of their truncated 9mm stuff as well, but I had never tested it for penetration as compared to the original Winchester metal piercing bullets. I had assumed their (Fiocchi’s) ability was halfway between typical FMJ and the Winchester metal piercing bullets since I have cut open those bullets and the jacket is a standard thickness, and not quite as thick as Winchester’s. Thanks for the info!


DK, I am in South Africa, and am going to SLICS later this year, so I tried to buy a few for you direct from Frontier but I have just had an email back from them that it is not their product, they say the vendor made a mistake as to whose bullets they are.


Thanks for the info Will. I am not sure what to think since the Italian firm of “Northwest Bullets” does show on page 8 of their catalog an item #50012 which is the .357 FMS bullet in question:http://www.northwestbullets.com/download/Northwest~Catalogo~Catalogo_2007_%5BWeb_quality%5D.pdf
You may notice on the first page of that pdf catalog that they show a pile of “sentry” bullets with red caps, and the Frontier logo appears at the bottom of page one. Maybe they used to work in conjunction with each other and this is the cause of the confusion?


I have also just found that aside from PPU, that Cheddite is loading these and selling them in boxes of 50: http://www.chedditeitaly.com/cartucce_metalliche_det.php?id_cartuccia_sel=24&id_linea=2 as well as .38spl: http://www.chedditeitaly.com/cartucce_metalliche_det.php?id_cartuccia_sel=20&id_linea=2 Cheddite has some interesting stuff available as loaded ammunition in many pistol calibers, and some interesting looking “platinum line” cartridges: chedditeitaly.com/Gestione/u … atinum.pdf

Now If I can just acquire examples of the PPU & Cheddite “FMS” boxes of this stuff… I need to get to an ECRA meeting sometime.