What casings for revolvers? Brass? Aluminum? Steel?


May 14, 2012, 05:08 PM
I'm getting a revolver today. What ammo can I safely use? The Anaconda thread makes me not want to use Aluminum cased ammo. I know Brass is fine. What about Steel?

BTW, I don't reload.

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May 14, 2012, 05:45 PM
I have used all three with no problems.

May 14, 2012, 06:04 PM
I have shot some of the Blazer Aluminum out of my Ruger GP100, so far no problems other than the range I frequent the most does not allow it.
It is too hard for them to separate out of the brass so they only allow Brass and Steel.
As soon as I'm done with the aluminum I will not buy any more because I am learning to reload and the aluminum is a pain in the butt beside not being able to reload it.
I cannot comment on steel I don't shoot it.

Coal Dragger
May 14, 2012, 06:42 PM
I prefer brass for any type of firearms I can think of. I reload so that influences my opinion. I have seen fewer problems associated with quality brass cased ammo than steel or aluminum. My second choice would be steel cases, since they are without doubt more durable and resilient.

May 14, 2012, 06:44 PM
Orion, I dont re load either. I shoot the cheapest stuff I can Find. Ive shot ALOT of alum. ammo. it doesnt hurt anything !

May 14, 2012, 07:02 PM
I will not use steel . I have shot blazer with no problems . I reload some calibers and have shoot some till the case were harded to the point of slitting. Unload the others then. Look at your ammo closely before useing any. That blazer ammo could have had some corroson issues too.

May 14, 2012, 07:12 PM
Any of them should be fine.

May 14, 2012, 07:53 PM
I don't think you will find any steel case .44 Magnum or .45 Colt loads made anywhere.
(Whichever your Anaconda is?)

And as you say, I would avoid aluminum after seeing that thread.

All that leaves is brass, or nickle plated brass, so your choice is narrowed considerably!


May 14, 2012, 08:38 PM
Id stick with brass for the most part. I've only run across a few different brands of 45 ACP that were AL or steel. It was easy enough to keep shopping and find similar prices with brass cases. WalMart has been stocking Remington UMC for about $18 for 50 these days.

May 14, 2012, 08:41 PM
I just purchased a Talo Ruger Birdshead in .45acp, so I'm pretty open on what I shoot through it. The Steel would be the cheapest in price. Right now, I have PMC Bronze.

May 14, 2012, 09:20 PM
I like brass or steel.
I'm not so much a fan of aluminum.

May 15, 2012, 06:55 PM
It seems as though the Anaconda thread isn't really suggesting to NOT buy aluminum cased ammo. Seems many have had many many problem free rounds through their guns. I'll just shoot what comes cheapest.

Ron James
May 16, 2012, 12:04 AM
I have shot CCI aluminum shells in most of my handguns with no problems.

May 16, 2012, 05:17 AM
I stopped using or recommending aluminum cases the day a 10mm Blazer case ruptured full-length in my S&W 610. No damage to the weapon luckily, but the rest of that ammo was disposed of immediately! I have also seen a number of aluminum auto cases on the floor with cracks in them.

Taurus 617 CCW
May 16, 2012, 08:50 AM
Aluminum is definitely not the preferred choice for most shooters. If money is not an issue most would choose brass. Even if you don't reload...yet...I would recommend saving every brass case you remove from your gun. I did this for years before I reloaded and am glad I did. I now have over 1000 pieces of brass to load for a caliber I never thought I would.

May 16, 2012, 06:02 PM
i definitly go for brass casings , i had some nickelplated brass but i swapped
them for brass ones.
i do reload , and i found the nickelplated ones didn t last as long as the brass.

May 16, 2012, 06:19 PM
Brass is the best cartridge case material period.

That is what I use, and use, and use again.

Your cost/benefit ratio, that is a personal decision.

May 16, 2012, 06:42 PM
I also prefer brass and you should save your cases in the event you start reloading in the future.

May 16, 2012, 07:13 PM
Brass is the best cartridge case material period.Agreed. As long as there is brass, that is what I am going to use in revolvers.

May 17, 2012, 11:21 AM
So, if wanting to go cheap, is it better to go with steel casing? I have access to a supply of Tula, so would save money there.

However, I'd rather spend a bit more IF steel casings would cause damage to my New Vaquero cylinder.

May 17, 2012, 11:38 AM
If it came down to steel vs aluminum, then yes I would personally choose steel.

May 17, 2012, 11:56 AM
Good to hear. But will the steel casing potentially damage a revolver? To me, if inserted with care and ejected with care, I can't imagine steel would be much different than brass. . . . but I could be wrong. Not sure how much "case expansion" plays a part in revolvers.

May 17, 2012, 11:58 AM
Steel won't hurt your gun. If it did Wolf, Tula and Herter's (to name a few) would be out of business.

May 17, 2012, 01:25 PM
Given prices of brass-cased 9x19 fmj ammo the steel and alloy cased stuff does not exist. I have bought only one box of alloy-cased 9x18 stuff because that was the only load available in store. Happily I will never have to use such stuff again.

May 17, 2012, 03:13 PM
I have used all three, they should all be fine. The Alum. stuff is my least favorite though.

Vern Humphrey
May 17, 2012, 03:28 PM
Start handloading and accumulate brass cases.

May 17, 2012, 04:03 PM
No place to reload, currently.

Vern Humphrey
May 17, 2012, 04:21 PM
Do you have a closet?

When I lived in an apartment in Utica Michigan, I had a complete reloading outfit in a tool box -- it was build around a Lee Hand Press.

May 17, 2012, 05:04 PM
Not a very big one.

Plus the start up cost [for everything necessary] is pretty high.

Vern Humphrey
May 17, 2012, 05:51 PM
Midway has the Lee handpress kit -- everything you need to start up -- for $42.99.


May 17, 2012, 06:34 PM
Well, . . . . . it would appear that I may be out of excuses. :o

May 17, 2012, 06:43 PM
Another thought, buy brass, then sell your empties...Once fired .44 mag or .45 colt rarely lasts a day when priced right.

May 17, 2012, 07:02 PM
Take up reloading. I've got a Lee hand press myself. I bought everything I needed, press, dies, powder measure, powder scales, Lee case trimmer, primer pocket cleaner, chamfer tool, powder, primers, bullets, etc., I was into it all for less than $200.00 bucks. I had hundreds of rounds of brass I'd saved over the years. It all fits into a cardboard box and be set up on the kitchen table using a piece of plywood as a base for the powder measure.

To tell you the truth, I don't use most of it now. I've found it's easier for me to just use the little dipper that Lee packs in each set of dies. I just check the table and find out what kind of powder they recomend for what bullet weight and buy that. It's sort of slow, but I'm not in a particular hurry.

Later on you can get an inexpensive case tumbler for bright shiney cases.

(To answer the original question, I've fired all three with no problems.)

May 18, 2012, 01:00 AM
I have not found any noticeable difference between brass. I reload .44 mag and have had a lot of my brass for forever. If it looks less than trustworthy, I toss it, or make it into .44 sp.

Congratulations on getting into reloading. You'll find it meditative.

May 18, 2012, 01:20 AM
I don't mean to continue to derail this thread, but the comments about the Lee Hand Press are spot on. I bought one and loaded from my coffee table and couch for a few months to get the hang of reloading before upgrading later.

Owen Sparks
May 18, 2012, 02:27 AM
Steel cases have a bad reputation for wearing out extractors on semi-autos but this has no effect in revolvers.

Coal Dragger
May 18, 2012, 02:31 AM
My dad started on a Lee Loader for his .357, and moved up to a Lee press not long after.

Having gained skills under his tutelage I went strait to a press when I got my own equipment, and now have a Dillon Square Deal B for .45ACP and a Redding T7 for everything else. At this point I can't imagine not reloading, but I have a lot of money invested in equipment that I have acquired over the years.

May 18, 2012, 07:01 AM
I would think that revolvers, of all firearms, are ideally suited for steel cases. First of all, the steel is really mild stuff, nothing hard about it (though harder, relatively, than brass). And second, there is no neck to deal with and so the cases (I would imagine) would have very little deformation.

I could be wrong, but the Soviets knew well how to make and use steel cases (and the Russians know, too, as a result) and so had there really been an issue, they would have discarded the idea decades ago.

May 18, 2012, 08:48 AM
Good point, Ash.

I'm going to go to Academy to see how much their Monarch .45acp rounds are.

At SOME point in the future, I will probably get into loading. Not having any tables in my apartment, it isn't really feasible at the moment, but I plan on keeping all the brass casings I DO fire for that day.

May 18, 2012, 09:31 AM
Far as I can recall, I've not shot any steel cased ammo in a revolver, but being a cheapskate, I've shot more aluminum than I can even begin to try to count since it can out, and I've never had a single problem in a revolver. (mentioned in another thread, I have had one aluminum casehead crack in a .45acp)

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