What is this?

A buddy of mine brought these to me the other day and was wondering what they were. They are brass cased, rimmed, center fire projectiles. The projectile is threaded at the base and approximately twice as long as the case. The only conclusion I can come up with is that they are launching projectiles designed to be inserted (screwed into) a larger projectile, possibly a mortar or rifle grenade. There is no headstamp on any of the cases but they are all painted with a different color. I assume the paint is to identify different powder charges for ranging.

From left to right: unknown, 5.56nato, 300 blackout

They are for driveing the threaded section into concrete.

You certainly mean the rifled section since the threaded one is to be used later on.

They are Studs for driving into Steel girders ( the pointed section penetrates, the knurled section grips the steel., and whatever has to be attached is bolted onto the threaded section, after the cylindrical sleeve is removed.
Similar Non-threaded studs are also used for attaching Re-bar to Girders which are to be encased in concrete.

As to the Concrete studding application, I am not sure the short Knurled section would have enough grip on concrete.

Any other application Ideas?

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

These are also used on steel.
I do not know the exact model right now but the German navy is using these to bolt steel plates to ship hulls which got penetrated below the water line.

There are a variety of uses for powder-actuated devices, often called stud guns. These cartridges are obviously intended for penetration of something hard, probably, but not necessarily, steel, leaving the threaded shank out for attachment of something to it using a nut. There are numerous manufacturers of such devices worldwide (e.g., Hilti, Ramset, Red Head, etc.), and I would have no idea whose products these were. Note the different colors which indicate different strengths, as no single powder charge would work in all applications, i.e., fastening to a thick vs. thin metal object. On the Ramset system, white, green, and yellow would designate power levels 1, 3, and 4 on a scale of 1 to 7, but yours may not be intended for Ramset tools.

An acquaintance at Winchester once told me that they loved manufacturing powder-actuated device cartridges, which they made for various other companies, as the profit margin on them was much higher than for conventional ammunition.

Beyond cool! Definitely an awesome special purpose round that I have never seen. I cannot imagine what the recoil would be shooting one of these jammed tight against steel plate or concrete. That is not a tiny cartridge :-) The tool probably weighs a lot?


This is an under water tool cartridge provided with a piston which was designed in 1958 for a Velocity-Power Driver made by Mine Safety Appliances Co. It was meant to be used in concrete or attaching soft steel plates to concrete. The stud has a plug with a circumferential groove in which a O-ring is mounted, forming a tight seal with the cartridge case and preventing water from entering.

Thank you, Fede!

Your knowledge seems endless on so many ammunition related subjects.


The lower priced PADs don’t have a trigger - you hold them against whatever you want to penetrate and strike the end with a hammer to fire. I owned one of those for a long time and used it a lot. Similar cartridge devices (captive bolt guns) are used for stunning livestock in slaughterhouses.

+1 for industrial.