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safe to reload aluminum cases???

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by poor man, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. poor man

    poor man Well-Known Member

    ive got a few 40 cal and 9mm aluminum cases i was thinking about reloading them if they are safe to do so..they are once fired and perfectly clean, just going to use them for target plinking
  2. Steel Talon

    Steel Talon Well-Known Member

    I wouldnt myself.,nor would I reload steel cases. Theres plenty of brass cases to be found to reload..
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    I believe they are Berdan primed to discourage reloading.
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Aluminum is barely suitable for one loading.
  5. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    I did an experiment a few years ago doing this with steel and aluminum cases. The cases I used were boxer primed of course and I reloaded them with midrange charges. I reloaded and shot them each 5 times this was with 5 cases. The handgun caliber I used was 45 ACP which is also a low pressure round. I experienced no problems during this experiment and quit at 5 reloadings.


    Yes it is possible, do I recommend it, NO! Just my personal view.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Most CCI Blazer aluminum used to be Berdan primed so you could not reload them.
    That may not be the case now.
    You need to look and see which you have.

    1. Aluminum doesn't take at all well to stretching under the intense pressure of firing, and then getting squished back where it came from without getting brittle and breaking.

    2. Galled aluminum parts in your sizing die will prove to be much more difficult to remove with Copper Solvent then galled brass case parts.

    Bottom line, Yes they can probably be reloaded.
    3. But don't waste your time and risk your health doing so.

    BTW: Before this thread runs it's course?
    Folks will be along to tell you yes, you can reload them, and also make Berdan primers out of punch stamped empty beer cans and ground up match heads.
    And make the powder out of Zig-Zag rolling papers soaked in nitric acid.

    IMO: Maybe you can, but you shouldn't!

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    What rcmodel says. Don't waste your time. In a pinch it can be done, but it's far from optimal and why risk a case failure in YOUR gun?

    Aluminum is for beer cans, Land Rovers and Spitfires!
  8. poor man

    poor man Well-Known Member

    OK so i got some more aluminum for the recycle bin :) thanks
  9. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    You have a FEW. Throw them in the scrap bin. I went to the range and there was a lunch bag full of 9mm and 40 CCI aluminum cases and about a half gallon of 45lc aluminium cases. Brought them home and sorted. Only to find out, 98% of all the aluminum CCI cases were berdan primed.

    The got scooped into a pile and thrown in the aluminum scrap bucket.

    Don't waste your time, if your hard up for brass go to the "pay if forward" thread in this forum and ask for some 9mm and 40 to reload. The guys will help you.
  10. returningfire

    returningfire Well-Known Member


    Don't do it, don't load the aluminum. A new gun or a major repair costs will far outweigh any savings you ever hope to gain reloading aluminum.
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Well-Known Member

    As usual rcmodel is right on.

    Now about making powder with cig paper and nitric acid, how much graphite should I add so the powder doesn't break down during transportation?
  12. poor man

    poor man Well-Known Member

    thanks, thats why o posted above about scraping them :)
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Just don't tumble your loaded Zig-Zag paper homemade powder and all will be really laid back.
    Right on bother!

    However, your home might be mistaken for a meth lab by the neighbors & local cops while buying the roach papers, processing it, and cutting it into little squares, so be aware of those minor issues.

  14. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    I tried it once with a Blazer 45 case. It resized and loaded fine, but there was a small crack after the first firing.
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I did some experiments myself and the results are that I will reload AL/steel casings once to use where they will not be able to be recovered. Let those that want to try and keep my valuable brass work harder for anything they might get.:D Al casings will often split on the second reloading using my dies anyway so I do not risk it further than a single reload. BTW the recyclers would call me out for the primers in Berdan AL casings as being steel so I now have a dedicated iron pot and melt them like lead and skim the primers off the top, pour in bread pans and sell as pure AL. Much better price point for the small effort taken while casting anyway.
  16. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    Most aluminum cases I have fired were boxer primed. Never saw Berdan primed until I picked up a few boxes of 7.62 from Herters. The aluminum is a cheaper alternative to brass and as such are often very thin. So I would not recommend using it for reloading.
  17. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Well-Known Member

    What rcmodel said.

    From a Fracture Mechanics standpoint, aluminum is nowhere near as "resilient" as brass. This is not to say that you cannot get usable reloads out of them...it simply means that the aluminum will not handle the stresses of repeated reloading and firing that brass would. Aluminum can be pretty finicky under various stresses, compared to other metals.

    Not to mention they aren't primed the way brass cartridges are, so you can't de-prime them very easily.

    In my opinion, you'd do better scrapping them than putting in the efforts at reloading.
  18. wgaynor

    wgaynor Well-Known Member

    As the wise ones on here have suggested, I wouldn't. I know, because I tried. Some of the aluminum cases i found for 9mm were boxer primed. I was dumb when I first started reloading, saw the shiny pieces of aluminum shell casings on the ground, and said "To heck with it".

    About 50% of the aluminum shell casings split when resizing and after the first firing. I learned from this. I stopped.
  19. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Most Blaser is berdan primed, the 45 acp I have seen is not. I only know one guy that has reloaded it extensively. He did it because he thought CCI by putting NR for not reload on the box was saying it couldn't be done not that it shouldn't be done, and this somehow made him a genus. Almost every case split upon the second firing and after a few months the chamber in his kart barrel was eroded enough that it needed to be replaced.
  20. kerreckt

    kerreckt Well-Known Member

    I reload the AL range pickups. I shoot them when I want to shoot something I am not going to retrieve. I have never had a problem with them but I rarely load anything past mid-range. Good luck

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