The 9x19mm NP (Netherlands Police)

This year the Dutch Police have been trailing new pistols which will replace their current service pistol, the Walther P5.

A new cartridge, called the 9x19mm NP (Netherlands Police), has been developed for their future service weapon. The 9mm NP features a 94 grain (6.1 gram) solid copper hollow point bullet with a plastic cap inserted into the hollow.

Ballistically it is the same as 9mm Luger / Parabellum. It is given a separate designation because some firearms, such as the MP5, will need to be modified to function correctly with the lighter bullet.

Many thanks to my source for this information.

UPDATE: The photos have been removed as they did not belong to “Marco” as previously reported, but to members of Nederlandse Vereniging ter Bestudering van Munitie en Ballistiek. They retain full and exclusive rights to the photos.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Dom

    I’d love to know why. Is it to be “greener” when shooting at BGs? A kinder and gentler bullet? Or is this a more radical HP actually shown to be more effective in a lab?

    I know when it comes to thinking 9mm is marginal, that is mostly an American thing and the rest of the world (BGs, cops, and otherwise) didn’t get the same memo – people do seem to stop when hit with 9×19 JHP. But it strikes me initially that abandoning lead could lower recoil or improve flight ballistics, but I’d expect it to hamper terminal ballistics at pistol velocities.

  • jody

    i’m pretty confident the bullet is solid copper because they are copying what a couple american manufacturers have been doing with copper bullets, mostly cor-bon, but a few others too. there’s even an american company, belt mountain, that makes solid brass bullets.

    the idea is that a solid copper bullet behaves “better” than a copper jacketed lead bullet. when a copper jacketed lead hollowpoint bullet hits animals, the copper and lead can detach from each other. this turns what used to be a hollowpoint bullet into a flat copper pancake and a lead slug, which do not produce the intended wound. it also reduces the mass of the projectile, which is generally agreed to reduce penetration in animals.

    the problem with solid copper hollowpoints though, is that for the same size bullet, they are lighter than copper jacketed lead hollowpoints. so right off the bat they penetrate less. in testing, this seems to defeat the purpose of them. you can google penetration tests of cor-bon’s solid copper hollowpoints. they do expand as designed, and stay together without breaking up, also as designed. so they work from that perspective.

    the belt mountain solid brass bullets are not for war – not for killing people. they are hardcast revolver bullets for killing big animals. they penetrate dramatically further than any other bullets, almost doubling the penetration of lead bullets.

  • jody

    also i wanted to add, with regard to Dom’s comment about americans not liking 9×19 because they think it sucks: it’s true that there is widespread american bias against 9×19, but it’s hard to understand why, because for decades, americans used .38 special in the role in which they now (grudgingly) use 9×19. as a police caliber, as a self defense caliber.

    yet .38 special sucks compared to 9mm.

    • jody, different countries gun cultures have very different views about firearms.

      Diversity is good.

    • abprosper

      There is a lot less bias against 9mmP these days. Modern high pressure hollow points are about as effective as a .357, a cartridge like the .45 ACP with an outsize reputation for power.

  • Carl

    So what’s the purpose of the plastic cap?
    Overall it seems like a lot of work to have to modify weapons to make these bullets work. What’s the big deal?

  • The Geco Action Safety round has been available since the 1970s. HK’s 1976 changeover from straight MP5 magazines to curved magazines has been credited to the need to accommodate the Geco Action Safety.

    The irony is that the Dutch Police wanted to adopt the Geco Action Safety back when they first adopted the Walther P5. Once learning of the decision, various leftist organizations protested the issue of expanding ammunition as “inhumane”. So they were left with the choice of either issuing standard military FMJ, or a reduced velocity/lightweight FMJ.

    In 1990, they were finally allowed to adopt the “Action 3” variant, and within the last few years, the “Action Effect” variant. These were considered politically acceptable as the nose doesn’t expand beyond the original bullet diameter.

    The original version of the round was imported to the US for awhile by Phil Engeldrum (the publisher of “Pistolero” and “Handgun Tests” magazine), and relabeled as the BAT (Blitz Action Trauma). For a time, there was even a .357 Magnum version.

    RUAG Ammotec is the current owner of Geco. You can see their data sheets on the 9mm Action line and other offerings here:

    • Daniel, that is very interesting. You research skills and personal knowledge continues to amaze me!

      My source mentioned that the NP is based on the Action 4. I could find nothing online about the Action 4 so I did not mention it.

      Do you know if that company exports ammo to civilians these days? They are selling .300 Whisper … I had no idea that any major firms were manufacturing it.

  • Matt Groom

    What’s the velocity? What pistol are they using?

    I always wanted a P5! I need to get a surplussed one fo’ sho’.

  • Lance

    Which pistol did Dutch Police goto? Beretta Glock or SIG? France went to M-92FS Berettas replaceing the domestic guns French Police used in years before the switch over.

  • KP

    I was interested in what the reasoning was for this round, thanks.

    • The round offers good penetration on soft targets, without over penetration, and it will penetrate hard objects such as glass.

  • Carl

    Daniel, very interesting info. In fact the same debate has been up here in Sweden: The cops want JHP but political correctness has stopped or delayed the transition.

    Anyway these look like fast bullets, over 400 m/s, with supposedly both some expansion and decent penetration vs car doors etc.

  • Matt Groom

    1378 FPS out of a 3.9″ barrel equals 396 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. Not bad.

  • I don’t know if anyone in the US is importing their Swiss-P line for civilians. It was a bit of a surprise to me as well when I noticed .300 Whisper amongst their products.

  • uzim16

    who’s the maker? is it a dutch product?

  • The Action Safety round was developed by Geco (Gustav Genschow & Co.), an old German brand. It was part of the Dynamit Nobel family of ammunition manufacturers. The latter was ultimately acquired by the Swiss company RUAG.

    The Action Safety round was developed with the goal of providing an expanding bullet that would feed as reliably as FMJ in semi-auto and full-auto firearms. Up to the 1970s, few firearm manufacturers had ever considered the requirement to feed JSP or JHP ammunition in their designs. On the opposite side, most ammunition manufacturers still had not come up with a way to make reliably feeding and expanding JSP and JHP for self-loading firearms. Rounds that fed reliably often didn’t expand, and rounds that expanded often didn’t feed reliably. Another German ammunition manufacturer, Metallwerk Elisenhutte GmbH (MEN), came up with its own answer: the Quick Defense.

    For those who love historical trivia, look up Dynamit Nobel AG and Alfred Nobel.

  • Joe Schowalter

    I assume the plastic cap will aid expansion, similar to Cor Bon’s Pow’R Ball. There could be internal perforations in the bullet to help it mushroom. The solid copper bullet should stay together better in the target. That makes sense to me. What I don’t understand is why the bullet is only 94 grains? That put’s it in the .380 acp range.

  • jody

    are you guys sure about the reason for the plastic? not to say i know anything about what the netherlands are trying to do with this handgun, but getting JHP to feed reliably in modern handguns is not a major problem.

    how do we not know the plastic is not there because the dutch are doing the same thing with their handgun bullets as american ammunition companies are doing with their bullets?

    one of the big questions in handgun bullets is: do hollowpoints still expand after they have punched through a few layers of clothing? or does the material get stuck in the hollowpoint, preventing it from expanding, and turning the expensive, advanced hollowpoint bullet into a high priced slug?

    these dutch bullets look exactly like cor-bon powerballs:

  • Finding a modern handgun that is reliable with JHP isn’t an issue now, but it was a rarity when the Action Safety and Quick Defense rounds were developed in the 1970s. Beyond all of the legacy handgun designs then in service, you have to remember that the ammunition was also intended to be used in SMG.

    With the Action Safety, the plastic plug actually blows out the front of the bullet when it is fired. If you look at the product sheets, you can see that there is a small hole drilled all the way through the bullet. The Quick Defense originally had a thin metal cap over the hollowpoint. The cap collapsed into the cavity when the bullet hit its target, but the cap was not substantial enough to effect expansion. The cap was later replaced by a ball, kind of like the current Pow’RBall. The QD2 variant is designed for limited expansion, kind of like the Action 3 and Action Effect.

    As for the light bullet weight, terminal ballistics theory of the 1960s and ’70s worshiped high velocity and kinetic energy. Back in the US in those days, the hot ticket in 9x19mm was Super Vel 90gr JHP. For awhile, the Illinois State Police issued a 95gr JSP load from Federal Cartridge for their S&W Model 39. In a 1972 document, the ISP claimed that one of the reasons they adopted a 9x19mm pistol was that if they found the need for higher velocity, they could always rebarrel their pistols for .30 Luger! The ISP explained that the advantages of a lightweight, high velocity bullet were that it gave good penetration in barrier materials, yet limited penetration in flesh. The lightweight bullet would also slow down faster, giving a shorter maximum range. This would reduce the danger to bystanders further downrange.

    • Daniel, very interesting. thanks for the comment.

  • This is a patent for the original Geco Action Safety design:

    This patent includes the original MEN Quick Defense design:

    The nose plug of the later Action Safety designs (Action 4, Action 5, and Action Effect) is indeed meant to assist expansion, as there is no longer a hole completely through the projectile. This appears to be the related patent:

  • uzim16

    Netherland is so famous for its chemical industry. isn’t there ammo industry?

    • There used to be, but not anymore. Just trade. The manufactering of the ammo is outsourced. It’s just us hobbyists who reload cartridges.

  • Dave

    I suppose that “… Action Safety” is what the Netherlands Police want it to be known as, but I also remember the BAT. That marketing campaign made the Black Talon fiasco look like a Pulitzer Prize winner.

  • Geco had nothing to do with the BAT marketing campaign. That was solely the work of the importer Phil Engeldrum. The BAT label was pasted over the the standard box, and served as a box seal. The label was thin enough that you could see the standard Geco markings under it.

    For those who never saw any of his magazines, Engeldrum was a very colorful character.

  • Here is a German article on police ammunition including the RUAG/Geco and MEN offerings:

    • Daniel, thanks for the link.

  • JohnD

    The Geco Action 1 (BAT) round was favored by the CIA and other specialized agencies in the early 80’s. It worked well with their ASP pistols. It has been reported that the agents liked the “cookie cutter” effect the bullet had on tires.

    Here’s a link to a photo of an ad that was in a Soldier of Fortune magazine in 1983

    A few years back Dynamit Nobel w/ Ruag brought a small supply of an updated Action 1 cartridge to the U.S.
    I discussed the round with reps at the SHOT show in Las Vegas. Because most L.E. departments and agencies in the U.S. now prefer .40 S&W or .45 ACP to 9mm, there
    was no potental for marketing the Action 1 in the U.S. I believe that RUAG discontinued the updated Action 1 shortly after the show when European anti-terrorist agencies opted for an Action cartridge variation that used a brass hollow point bullet instead of a copper alloy bullet.
    Here is a link to a photo of the most recent Action 1:

    The current DPX loads and Taurus HEX loads seem to be offshoots of the original Action 1 cartridges.

    Action 1 BAT has always been recognized of one of the best and most reliable specialty ammo loads. It was far ahead of its time in the performace ammo category.

    • JohnD, thanks for the info. very interesting.

  • KEV

    The South African Police Service has been authorizing the’
    BAT concept bullet called the NGA SENTRY round for a few years now.

    88 grains at over 1,300 fps.

    The stuff is LOUD and has low recoil.

    I use it in my CZ 2075 RAMI and also like the cookie cutter effect on practice targets.

    It does have a superb track record for stopping power in the
    various accounts I’ve read. Much better than the standard
    PMP ball ammo as issued and carried by most cops there.

    I don’t know if it is still imported by Dan’s Ammo or not.

  • Eric Bell

    Many different police departments as well as special military units in Europe use the most updated Action bullets, the Action 4 and the Action 5. The Action 4 is distinguished by a yellow tip and the Action 5 is distinguished by a black tip. Both bullets are made of a special ductile brass. The tips now compress back into the bullets instead of blowing out. Both are 95 gr. and go out about 430 mps. The Action 4 is designed to deliver about 70% of its energy to the target and the Action 5 is designed for maximum stopping power delivering 100% of its energy and expanding to 15mm.

  • aw

    The Action NP is a JHP bullet and because of the risk that the bullet may get stuck or hit anything in the barrel of a police weapon, the orange cap is on it. It may hit something, because the current weapon is the Walther P5, a gun that isn’t being made for over 10 years, but finally they bought a new gun; Sig Sauer PPNL, a customized P250DCc. According to the current information, all the P5’s will be replaced by the end of 2013.