aluminum cartridge cases


January 22, 2012, 08:47 AM
I just saw some ammo advertised with aluminum cases. Does anyone out there have experience with them? How do they shoot? Can you reload them?

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January 22, 2012, 09:06 AM
They shoot "just fine" :)

But firing cause a metallurgical change in the aluminum grain structure that makes it go brittle thereafter, and unsuitable for normal reloading. Take a look at the discussion string entry that kind of summarized things:


January 22, 2012, 09:15 AM
They work just fine. CCI made the idea popular with their "Blazer" line back 10-15 years ago. You cannot reload them, or at least shouldn't. They're primed a little differently than a normal case as well to keep you from trying.

January 22, 2012, 11:01 AM
You cannot reload them, or at least shouldn't.


They're primed a little differently than a normal case as well to keep you from trying.

Well Yes and No. There are now aluminum cases that are primed with std. boxer primers as is also the case with steel cases. A number of years ago I did an experiment regarding reloading both of these cases. Using moderate powder charges I had no problems all the way to 5 reloads. So my conclusion was yes it can be done using moderate to low powder charges.

But with that said, the cartridges usually found with alu. cases are the most common calibers ie: 9 mm, 45 acp ect., ect. and being as these are also so commonly available in brass, why bother. Use brass as its whats ment to be reloaded. Remember, I was just doing an experiment and nothing more.

January 22, 2012, 11:02 AM
Ahhh, thanks. I've never seen any that were boxer primed, though I'll admit I stopped peering at flash holes in aluminum cases found on the range a few years ago! :)

January 22, 2012, 11:13 AM
In my experience for 3 calibers aluminmum or steel cased ammo shoots just fine - great for ranges where scrounging your own brass is a chore.

I make no attempt to reload the stuff - it is my go-to for throw away shooting.

chris in va
January 22, 2012, 04:44 PM
I reloaded a 45 once, the case split after the first firing. It wasn't any different from brass though, just used a SPP.

January 22, 2012, 09:55 PM
No, don't reload them.

January 23, 2012, 04:45 AM
Several years back my 9mm CZ wouldn't extract 1 out of 10. No problems with brass.

I put in an XTra power extractor spring and shot one box of Blazer aluminum with no problems. I never bought any more.

January 23, 2012, 06:15 AM
I have loaded a few. Fresh cases will load a few times but if they have been on the ground any time the cases get weak & split. It didn't take long for me to get tired of burning powder in my face.

January 23, 2012, 07:30 AM
Yup the AL casings are reloadable if they are boxer primed but 1-2 reloadings before splitting were all I could get with them in 45 ACP. All of these were newer CCI casings in 45ACP and 380. I also load them only once and use them at places I can't or don't want to save them.

January 24, 2012, 03:09 AM
The only practical reload I've found for them is to drill out the flash hole to 1/8", push them into a 1/2" cake of parafin, stuff a magnum primer in them and shoot them in the garage. I wasn't willing to sacrifice shootable brass for quick draw practice. If you try it, make sure you have a sturdy backstop. Wax bullets will play hell on sheetrock. And I shot a mouse in the garage with them once.

January 24, 2012, 06:26 AM
Back a good while ago, a shooting buddy of mine got bored and loaded up some Blazer aluminum cases. He knocked the primer out by punching through the bottom of the case with his normal size die. He loaded 44 Mag cases primarily just to see if he could. He would fire the cases one time which would split the case mouth. He trimmed the now spilt case down to 44 Spl. and loaded them again. After that firing he discarded the remaining case. Like I said he was bored. :scrutiny:

January 24, 2012, 06:38 AM
I can get blazer aluminum for $8.99/50. It's my go-to range ammo. I've NEVER found a bad round after thousands of opportunities. I find the quality great and I've never had an issue.

January 24, 2012, 01:17 PM
They work, but I have had issues with neck tension and chamber sealing on a few firearms that have pretty much stopped me from using aluminum cases.

I know one guy that reloaded them, and yes you can do it, but every case split after the 2nd firing. It took almost a year for that to cause erosion in his Kart barrel. A new barrel burned up more money than he saved on the cases so he now only uses brass.

February 3, 2013, 06:11 PM
With the 9MM Frangible Bullets, and low powder charge I was wondering if aluminum cases reloaded once would be fine to do. Yes I have brass, but with the shortages of brass, mainly due to hording and price gouging right now, just for a day at the range and not having to fight over picking up brass would it be worth it?

I have read post after post about don't do it, yes you can do it but use brass and yes you can do it.

I know this topic is discussed over and over and over. I have been reloading for 8 years and all my reloads have been brass and will continue to be brass, but I was just thinking about a day at the range with tons of people around and everyone of them grabbing any brass that hits the ground.

Right now you can't find any ammo for handguns around here, and if the stores did have Blazer aluminum ammo, heck they want as much for it as ammo with brass casings. I refuse to pay that much for something I can't recycle.

The only reason I have the aluminum was from purchasing a 5 gallon bucket of indoor range brass that had a lot of aluminum cases and steel cases. Steel cases go to the scrap yard and I was going to do the same with the aluminum, but right now I am holding onto it.

Ky Larry
February 3, 2013, 07:57 PM
I loaded 2 boxes of alum. cased .45ACP I'd picked up at the range. I'd heard you could and that you couldn't so I decided to try it. Don't remember specifics but I do recall I used a 200gr SWC bullet and a light charge of Trailboss. They shot okay but I have plenty of .45 ACP brass so I haven't bothered with alum. cases since.

February 4, 2013, 12:54 AM
Even though you should not reload Aluminum cases of course I had to try it! What I did was, I reloaded the Aluminum cases that came from CCI .38 Special snakeshot with CCI shot caplets to make more snakeshot. I fired 6 of them and they worked just fine. Actually, I don't think I will load Aluminum cases again because they did not look the same after the second firing. I got away with it once so I'm not going to press my luck. I have a feeling the pressures in the snakeshot are lower than with bullets.

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