Real Avid 9mm contest H/S photo added

On Facebook a sight called Real Avid has been running occasional contest involving ammo Identification, here is a pic of their latest. Contest is over, just thought I would post the pic.


Steve and what are they now?

Well, disappointingly enough all the person had to do was guess 9mm. But you should have seen some of the answers!


Three of them are easy, but the cartridge on the far left doesn’t ring a bell! Maybe my bells have become old and corroded but I can place the bullet shape.

Any help out there?



I have never seen that bullet on the left before in a 9mm, with that color. It looks like some of the older frangible bullets from ICC or RWS, but more like what they used in 38spl, and also the coloring is odd in any case. Maybe one of the resin SFX bullets from ?

The hs would be nice to see.

Ok Avid posted a h/s photo of the 9mm on the left side of the picture above. Here it is.


No help at all! Somebody just used a S&B case! First and third from the right are Extreme Shock load, and the second from the right is a Hornady Critical Defense or Critical Duty (heavier bullet of different construction to pass the FBI Barrier test).

I can’t even guess what the one on far left is? What are some of the things that other people thought it might be?


I just emailed George at (sfx ammo) to ask him if it was his. His resin/rubber projectile loads never have primers either, so maybe one of his?

George replied to me and said that it is not one of his SFX bullets…


Unfortunately all the winner had to do was correctly guess that they were all 9mm rounds. To give you an example of some of the “wild” guesses one was, 9mm, .40, .45ACP and .357 Magnum! YIKES!


Response I got from Avid on the h/s picture.

Real Avid Hey Steve - we’re realizing that it might be a frankenstein. We work with multiple mfg’s around the country, and it’s possible that it’s a prototype. We’re going to keep digging!
6 hours ago


I don’t agree that the S&B headstamp tells us nothing. I think this is most likely one of the Ares coated lead bullets. They made up some show dummies, as I recall, but aside from that, a lot of their pre-ARES headstamped rounds are reloads and use S&B cases, and probably others. With round in hand or a better description of the bullet it will remain a guess, but Ares has a myriad of colors and shapes of 9 mm bullets and the S&B provides a Czech/Slovak connection.

John, It is really great to see you back on the Forum! I have missed you greatly, as have others.

An ARES bullet was one of my first guesses, but when I went through my ARES loads and bullets two things struck me.

  1. The epoxy??? coating on the ARES bullets is a very high gloss finish which doesn’t look like this load. This looks more like a blackened bullet than the extreme high gloss of ARES.
  2. Ares bullets are all lead and their edges tend to be more rounded-perhaps also from the thick epoxy coating. I don’t have any ARES with the sharp cornor that occurs at the flat tip of this bullet.
    Another point, that is less significant, I have never seen an ARES bullet in 9x19 that is even close to this shape, and I have a bunch of ARES loads.

This bullet looks familiar, and last evening I remembered where. Back in 2008 you got me a box of the, then-new, Winchester SZX9 training rounds with a blackened bullet that, back then, were being handled exclusively by Bass Pro Shops (photo below).

These are flat tip bullets and the blackened finish looks like that on our unknown load. It is not the same bullet, but looks like a 380 bullet to me.

My current best guess is somebody “clever” decided to stick a WIN SZX 380 bullet in a S&B case. Just a guess.


Lew, I just received some of the SXZ ammo in .380 from Bass Pro Shops (still the only seller of SXZ that I know of) and the bullet resembles more of a typical truncated .40S&W type of FMJ ogive. Bass Pro Shops just started carrying the SXZ in .380acp, and I don’t think it could be the one in the Real-Avid photo stuffed into a 9mm. My photo below makes the SXZ bullets look glossy, but it is mostly a result of the flash. The finish is fairly flat (L to R - .45acp, 9x19, .380):

Lew - on my screen, the bullet in question looks quite glossy considering the dark color. In photos, the brighter colors show the gloss finish much better. That said, I have to admit that a thorough search of the 9 mm bullets in the Ares catalogs does not show any of this shape.

I have not seen the .380 Winchester from Bass Pro Shops - will have to find one as the closest BASS shop to me is 125 miles from here, a long way to go to buy one box of ammo. However, judging from Matt’s picture, it is most certainly not that, either.

I have an ares load, in Sellier and Bellot case, with a bullet of about that length, and in black color. However, the ogive is about that of a .380 bullet. Not even a trick of lighting in the photo could make the round I have the same as the one pictured.

Back to the drawing board. In my view, we have no answer yet. I should note that my oldest ARES catalog is from 2009, so it is still not impossible that they had a bullet of that shape and discontinued it, but probably it is simply not from them. They don’t even have a bullet I would judge to be a .380 bullet of that shape. Their flat-nose bullets in almost any caliber except .45 Colt, where they have a round ogive bullet with flat meplat, tend to be either truncated in form, or of the general Keith-style SWC type.

DK, Not the first time one of my theories is shot down by facts! I guess the bullet could be plastic. I’m back where I started, with no idea what it is.


Most of you probably already knew this. I received a reply from S&B which stated That is NOT one of their projectiles [Round # 1]. Kinda figured but never hurts to check!


Well Real Avid contacted me and they believe that the projectile was made by Allegiance Ammunition. Any Ideas?


I think I have found the answer, received this E-mail today.

Hello there,

The round in question is one of the first frangible rounds produced. Stay in touch and let us know how we can help.

Deborah H Martin

Allegiance Ammunition


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