In the past couple of days I’ve discussed projectiles that look like screwdriver bits and one that looks like a slotted screw. Today, we’re going to discuss some projectiles that literally incorporated screws!

The first to appear was the “Ultra Shock”, designed by Alex Goodrich. It was meant to give hard cover penetration, while also offering expansion in soft tissue. These were marketed starting around 1982 or 1983 at Southern California gun shows and with some local gun shops. The cartridges were available in .357 Magnum and .38 Special, with the latter offered in both standard pressure and +P loadings.

The projectile consisted of either a Speer or Hornady 148gr hollow-base wadcutter, which was inverted and had a hole of about 1/16″ drilled into the base of the hollow opening. Two crosscuts were made using a jig to skive the skirt of the wadcutter. Then a #8 metal screw of either steel or stainless steel was screwed into the hollow opening with the end of the threads engaging the drilled hole. The projectile would subsequently be loaded into the cartridge casing. A piece of #6 lead shot was then hammered into the slot of the exposed screw head. The final step was to add a dab of bronze metallic paint on the head of the bullet.

J&G inc. and B&B Sales served as the national distributors for the .357 Magnum and .38 Special loads, respectively. B&B Sales also offered direct mail order sales through Shotgun News. J&G reportedly limited the .357 Magnum to law enforcement only.

The .38 Special Ultra Shock was initially offered in wooden boxes which held six rounds each for $6, and later, came in MTM plastic cases in quantities of 18 or 50. The police-only .357 Magnum was available in MTM cases of 18 for $21.

A selection of Omni Shock (red tip) and Ultra Shock

The second to appear was the Omni Shock. One big difference was that this variant was patented by its designer, Robert K. Ellis II. Ellis filed his application in December 1985, and received US Patent #4,665,827 in May 1987. Omni Shock was offered in far more calibers, including common semi-auto pistol cartridges.

J&S Screw Company produced the slotless screws and powder coated them red. The initial screws were steel, but this fell afoul of Federal armor-piercing projectile legislation. After the BATF ruled the Omni Shock as armor-piercing, Omni Shock switched to a 7071 T6 aluminum slotless screw. Unlike Ultra Shock, Omni Shock machine formed most of its own projectiles. The sole exception was the .22 Long Rifle load, which was formed from factory CCI Stingers.

4 Comments

  1. It's just Boris says:

    That is some pricey ammo!

    Like

  2. Tom Stone says:

    It took quite a few years to develop reliably expanding bullets in pistol calibers and I’m enjoying this trip down memory lane a great deal.
    Thank you Mr Watters!

    Like

  3. John M. says:

    The 18 round boxes make me laugh. “Practice? Why would we do that?”

    Like

    1. Rocketguy says:

      That brings back memories of when I was a kid. We exclusively cast and shot wheelweight lead but Dad had one 50 rnd box of Remington 158 grn JHP for his Security Six. Don’t know that he ever fired a round. As kids, we figured they must be super expensive and magic to hang onto them like that.

      Like

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