How does Cobra Tactical Solution produce its neutralized ammunition

What is inert, deactivated or neutralized ammo

First of all, when do we speak of inert ammunition? Well this depends from country to country as there is no uniform European legislation. For most countries this is when the cartridge of casing has a hole in it of minimal 2,5mm diameter, the powder charge is removed and the primer is deactivated. Or in other words, when the primer has been fired.

At Cobra we sell different products and so the holes are drilled at different heights. For the cartridges that will be used in ammo belts, we drill it so the hole is hidden under the links. For the ammo that is sold as single units, we drill this as low as possible for aesthetic reasons.


When we fire a cartridge, for instance a 5,56x45mm NATO, to deactivate it and make the primer useless, the powder is burned but the bullet is shot. And indirect also shattered, deformed and no longer can be used as decoration on top of the fired shell.

So we need new to find a solution to replace the lost bullets. We look for this to the world of reloading and try to find bullets that are the most similar by look and feel, to bullets used by the military. So no soft point, … We however never use bullets with solid cores, only lead cores.

For the 5,56x45mm Nato we use the Hornady #2267 .224, Hornady FMJ-BT #2267 .224 or the Sierra .224 boattail 1355 bullet. To emulate the tracer we use the Hornady V-max 55gr .224” #22716.

For the 7,62x51mm NAVO and the 7,62x39mm we use PPU PRVI Partizan 30 (.308) FMJ BT 9.4g (145grains)

5,56x45mm M193, M196, …

Standard 5,56x45mm is the M193 NATO munition. This is made with a bullet with a copper alloy jacket and a lead antimony alloy core. The cartridge is identified by a plain bullet tip. The cartridge is intended for use against personnel and unarmored targets. 

The M196 is a Tracer cartridge. The tracer is intended to permit visible observation of the bullet's in-flight path or trajectory to the point of impact. Its main uses are for observation of fire, incendiary effect, and signaling. Tracer bullets aren’t freely available in the reloading world, so we mimic this with a Hornady v-max point.

The M855 is a 62 grains, gilded metal-jacketed, lead alloy core bullet with a steel penetrator. The primer and case are waterproof. The cartridge is intended for use against personnel and unarmored targets. This is a training standard item used in both training and combat. Solid cores are available in reloaded and are replaced by a Sierra Gamechanger tipped gameking.

How do we make it


Everything start by selecting shells that have once been fired. For this we have a large stock of rifle (5,56x45mm, 7,62x39mm, 30-06,…) and handguns (9mm, 45acp, .44Magnum) shells laying around.

Reloaded ammo has the unwanted side effect that the primer is more lose and tends to drop after drilling of handling the ammo during a skirm. Therefore any shell that already has been reloaded is thrown apart.

We remove all these with unrepairable damages like dents, cracks, … However do note that shells which have dents that naturally come from ejecting during firing are kept.


The first step starts by cleaning the shells so they shine again. A case tumbler is a handy tool for this. We use a corn cob and walnut shell mix as dry tumbler media. After 12hours in the shaker, the shells are ready.

Drilling the holes:

We use a drill with diameter 3mm. The legislation is very unclear about this subject and almost no information can be found on the subject. Somewhere we found this has to be minimal 2,5mm.

Resizing & seating:

The process of resizing involves using the reloading press to jam a cartridge case into the interior of a resizing die. By jamming a used case, into the resizing die, the brass is forced back into its original size and shape. You need to lubricate bottleneck cases like these 223R and the .308s before resizing. You can use a spray or roll them around on a grease pad like this. If you don’t do that, you may bet your *** off that they will get stuck into the die.

We now have a resized shell with a hole in it :-). Now we need to get a bullet in int. This is called seating. Seating the bullet simply means pressing it into the cartridge case to the proper depth. Normally for a keychain or a ammunition belt this would suffice, but we also apply some crimping. Crimping is just the act of restoring the flared case mouth, required for bullet seating, back to proper dimension. This makes sure the bullet is secured extra tight and want get lose during handling of shipping.

After some small extra cleaning we do have a finished product. The work is done. Well, not 100%, just keep on reading.

Ammunition belts:

If the cartridge is to be placed in an ammunition belt we need to clean the links first. For 5,56mm ammunition the links are m27 links. The 7,62mm munition uses m13 type links. For use on an airsoft FN Minimi, FN mk3, FN M249… we need 12 cartridges connected to each other with 13 links. 

We gently press the neutralized cartridges in the links, taking special care that the hole is hidden or convert by the links.


The process of deactivation involves disassembly and sometimes drilling to remove explosive. Deactivation should only ever be carried out by qualified disposal, explosives or ammunitions experts with years of handling experience.

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