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Federal Aluminum ammo issue

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jorge Ortiz, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Jorge Ortiz

    Jorge Ortiz Member

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    Hello everyone i was wondering if this happened to one of you before. On my shield m&p 9mm i had federal aluminum casing ammo. At my job i cant have my weapon with me so I leave it in the glove compartment. Today when i took it off from there and removed the magazine I noticed the led from the aluminum casings fell off and all the powder came out. I was thinking because of the heat of being in the sun and in the glove compartment the aluminum might have expanded a little thus the led coming off. It happened to another round in the same magazine when I removed them all to see if they where ok. Has this happened to someone before? Or you guys think it was because of the heat?
    Thank you
     
  2. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    An interesting problem.
    Not having had this happen to me, I have a question or two. Have you ever taken one of these cartridges apart carefully to see how much powder is actually in the aluminum case? If there was enough powder to make a "compressed load", as the cartridges heated up, it is possible that the gunpowder heated up enough to either expand in volume slightly (just enough to dislodge the bullet) OR the powder might have "off-gassed" some of the volatile chemicals inside the cartridge, pushing the lead out that way.
    It is also possible that the aluminum expanded slightly when heated, loosening its grip on the base of the bullet. I just question if the heat in an enclosed car would have been sufficient for that to happen.
     
  3. Drail

    Drail Member

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    What is "led from the aluminum casings"?
     
  4. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    I won't use aluminum cased ammunition for self-defense after I noticed that the bullets in some aluminum cased ammunition set back very easily. The grip on the bullet seems much less secure than with brass or steel cases.
     
  5. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Huh? Are you saying, the "lead" from the aluminum casings fell off? WTH does that mean?
     
  6. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    I assume you mean the case head as there isn't enough space in a magazine for a bullet to dislodge from the case. If it is case head separation you need to stop using that ammo immediately and contact Federal. This could be very dangerous and I'm sure they will want to know about it.
     
  7. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I was in a LGS one day and a person dropped a box of Blazer Aluminum 45ACP ammo on the floor and when we inspected to see if any damage was done nearly all of the 50 rounds in the box had the bullets set back into the cases. I wouldn't buy anything with aluminum cases. But I'm a reloader so not to much of a concern for me.
     
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  8. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Yikes!
     
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  9. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    Are you saying that the bullet came loose from the chambered round , or the one at the top of the magazine , or what?

    Aside from the rather dramatic failure you have experienced , had you simply posted a question such as "Is aluminum cased ammunition a good choice for self defense?" , I am sure that the responses would have consisted of a bunch of resounding "NO"'s.

    Aluminum cased ammo = CHEAP.

    "Cheap" and "self defense" are a bad combination. Shoot up that stuff on a range someplace and never buy it again.
     
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  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have shot a lot (many cases of 1000) of aluminum cases ammunition in the past because it was cheap and only had a few problems.

    That said I almost never shoot it anymore. Repeated chambering or even inserting/ejecting a full mag will cause the bullet to move in the case as will recoil with some very light revolvers.

    In a camp 9 the set back can be catastrophic, as in blow the trigger group apart/split the stock. If you are going to shoot the stuff, play with it a bit in the firearm you intend to use it in and make sure it’s not moving around.

    More than likely this won’t work but it’s the only place I have the video uploaded, so you might give it a shot.

    http://vid664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/gn/VID_20160302_194550_750_zpsaikdffig.mp4
     
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  11. JONWILL

    JONWILL Member

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    I think what he means is there is oxidation on the outside of the case. The aluminum cases have a clear coat on them to prevent the aluminum from "rusting". If the clear coat is damaged
    the area will develop a white powder in that spot. That is why the manufacturers don't want people to reload it. That "rust" weakens the case and can lead to case failure.

    That being said I have reloaded them. Picked them up from the range that were shot that day. Reloaded them that night and shot them the next day. Only a one time deal. I don't do it anymore. Not worth the risk.
     
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I assumed he was saying that the projectile fell out causing the powder to spill. Using “led” for lead or bullet. I imagine that was more likely a “mechanical” cause than temperature.

    They don’t want you to reload them becuse most will split upon a 2nd firing becuse they are barely good enough for one.

    I know a guy that bragged about reloading them for around 3 months, he realized non reloadable didn’t mean you couldn’t reload them, rather one shouldn’t reload them. Only cost him a Kart barrel to figure it out.
     
  13. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Aluminum is much less elastic than brass.
    I've heard of setback problems because pressing the bullet into place expands the case mouth to do so, and it doesn't try to squeeze back down as much as brass does.
    Enough to let it just fall out? Doubtful, but that combined with the heat would exacerbate any other problems the cheapest possible ammunition would otherwise have.
     
  14. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I agree with the idea of not using aluminum-cased ammo for defense...same for steel cased stuff. I know most aluminum is FMJ or RNL stuff, but there are a few JHP Blazer revolver loads that I recall.

    Far too much rides on a pull of the trigger in a defense situation to chance it. Bullet setback, split necks... all sorts of possible issues are reported with aluminum cased factory ammo. Saving a few bucks on a box of bullets with aluminum cases that you depend on to save your bacon isn't money well spent, IMHO. Use it at the range, and buy defense-specific ammo to fill the magazine.

    Suggestions for better 9mm to feed your Shield while it's riding in your glove box; Federal HST, Hornady Critical duty/defense, Winchester T-Series, Remington Golden Saber, Buffalo Bore, etc.

    Stay safe!
     
  15. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I found a bunch of Federal aluminum cases at the range one day. I always thought they were like the old Blaser, and berdan primed. Noticed these were boxer, and wondered just out of curiosity if they could be reloaded. So, as "test", I loaded up 50 and started shooting them to failure, just like I do my brass cases.

    I treated them no different than my brass cases, and I had no troubles reloading them. I used the same load I use with my brass cases. Bullet tension seemed fine all along. They all shot fine. First reload (second actual loading), I lost a couple to split cases. A lot better than I was expecting. That seemed to be about the loss rate all along too, although the last couple of times, I was losing more, 3-5 an outing. I quit after 6 or 7 reloads, and still had over half of what I started with.

    I had no damage to or problems with the Glock I was shooting them out of. The failures were all split necks, and they all occurred on firing, not while loading. The first couple of times out, I also checked to see if the bullets were setting back on chambering, and of the couple I checked, saw none.

    Im not advocating doing this as a replacement for brass. I simply wanted to see if it was feasible. I think they more than passed that test. In a pinch, if they are all you had, they should work fine.
     
  16. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Is anybody going to San Antone?
    9mm is not all that expensive, shoot the aluminum junk at the range and carry a reputable brand that has nickle plated brass or just regular brass at the least.
     
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Not all Blazer aluminum cases were Berdan primed. That’s why the fellow I was talking about was reloading them. It took months (competitive shooting) so thousands of rounds but the cases that split eroded the chamber of the barrel. The loads were nothing “hot” just making the 165pf for a 45.
     
  18. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    I shoot almost exclusively Federal aluminum FMJ for range work.

    I had no idea they made a HP in that stuff...
     
  19. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    In case folks get the wrong idea from my earlier post, I have nothing bad to say about aluminum ammo for range use. I've shot thousands of rounds of it and, with the exception of my CZ-75 which doesn't like it, I've never had any issues with it.
     
  20. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    We used thousands of rounds of Speer's Blazer aluminum ammo as our practice and re-qual ammo in .38Spl.+P, I don't recall any issues with them.
    Speer and Federal are both owned by the same holding company, ATK.
     
  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    That is a wax coating. George Frost describes it in his book "Making Ammunition". Wax will melt during combustion, turn into a lubricant, and keep the case from sticking in the chamber. It is cheaper than teflon.
     
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