The Action Safety Bullet Revisited

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posted on July 3, 2012
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A couple of years ago, I mentioned the Action Safety Bullet, and several readers responded with their observations. Since then, I have been made aware that limited quantities of this ammo have been imported in the last five to eight years. If you came in late, a brief explanation of the bullet is in order.

Marketed in Europe as the Geco Action Safety (GAS) bullet, this product came in 9 mm Parabellum. It was developed in Germany at the behest of the officers of CSG9, Germany’s elite border police. At the time of its introduction, these men were at war with dangerous terrorists, who frequently fled from the law on the high-speed autobahn. In pursuit, the CSG9 officers wanted a bullet that would instantly deflate a tire. The Action Safety bullet filled the bill.

The bullet was solid copper and weighed about 84 grains. It had a conventional FMJ shape, except for a deep hollow-point nose cavity that lead back to a short tunnel running clear through to the base of the bullet, which was filled with a plastic plug that was shaped like a tiny umbrella with a handle that filled the bullet cavity all the way to the base. It functioned perfectly in the gun’s firing cycle—feeding, chambering, extracting and ejecting. When fired, gas pressure drove the bullet out of the barrel, but pressure also drove the “umbrella” plug away from the bullet, which dropped away. On contact with a tire, the GAS bullet did not deform, but rather cut a perfect 9 mm plug of rubber and the tire went flat. While it was never intended to do anything more, the GAS also proved to be a formidable anti-personnel slug, particularly when it hit bone.

An enthusiastic entrepreneur named Phil Engeldrum sold considerable quantities of the stuff in the mid-80s, fighting his way through the veritable bureaucrats who disapproved of his activities. He chose to market the Geco product as the Blitz Action Trauma (Get it? BAT). There was some police interest in the stuff, but I believe that most of it went to civilian shooters. I have just discovered that it came in a couple of variations. Also, it was made in another caliber—.357 Mag. I know because I have found a box of it. Ominously, it has a plain white box with rudimentary labeling. If any reader can fill me in on the background and intended use of this one, I would like to hear from you.

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