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Questions about steel and aluminum cased ammo

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by lionking, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. lionking

    lionking Member

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    I feel I got duped sort of, just picked up 450 rounds of 9mm Winchester and after leaving the store realized it is steel cased. I didn't realize a American ammo maker made steel cased, and on the box it had the word "brass" I didn't see above the word "steel" so I assumed it would be brass cased ammo.

    see photo.

    I also have a box of 100 pack Federal aluminum case .45 ACP ammo been holding on to.

    My questions are, just how hard on a gun is using steel cased handgun ammo , and for aluminum case ammo is there anything to beware of?

    IMG_8473.JPG
     
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  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I have run 500-600 rounds of steel cased through a 45acp 1911 plus an additional 27K of brass cased reloads. It still runs and shoots just fine. Just sharing an experience and not to be confused as recommending steel cased ammo.
     
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  3. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    I wouldn't have a problem shooting stuff like that, but it's not reloadable which makes that a deal breaker for me. I put a few hundred rounds of Russian made .45 ACP steel case through my old S&W SW99 and never had any problems. Same for both Chicom and Russian 7.62x39 in my SKS's. I also have a 650 round tin of US made .45 ACP ball circa 1943 that is nickel plated steel cases. It was made in an era when wartime need for brass was so high they substituted mild steel wherever possible.

    In all my years I don't believe I've ever touched off a cartridge loaded in an aluminum case, so I know nothing about their performance. Aluminum case Blazer used to be the de facto standard for law enforcement range training due to the cost saving over brass case ammo.
     
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  4. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    If you'd bought 10x that quantity of steel case, I'd suggest buying a duplicate gun and brass-cased ammo, and doing a side-by-side study over 5k rounds.

    In 450 rounds, the only thing you might notice is the need to clean lacquer from the chamber. You can read Lucky Gunner Labs' report for more.
     
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  5. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Same goes for me. Shoot it up, not all is lost.
     
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  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    The most common steel cased 9mm I come across is from Hornady. They also produce steel cased .223

    To be completely accurate, the word "brass" is just in front of the words "jacketed lead core", while the word "steel" is just in front of the word "shellcase"...it isn't as if they are hiding the description of the product as the size of the fonts are the same
     
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  7. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Steel cased stuff is great for shooting in the winter when you don't want to dig in the snow for your brass.
     
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  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had more reliable function with aluminum than steel in my guns under those conditions
     
  9. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    I've shot steel case in several with no issues. I do advise being leary of the coated, like with a type of varnish/clear coat type stuff. Have heard of some getting empties stuck in the chamber. Most were hot and round left in chamber and the coating spot melted or somehow adhered once it cooled. Others had no worthy explanation other than it got stuck. Not terrible because they are easy to dislodge but it's best to clean and polish the chamber when it happens. Just a momentary PITA. I have shot them but then I don't shoot till barrel it real hot so it has not happened to me but not wishing for issues I now stay away from it. IMO.
     
  10. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

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    With about 50 pistols, I have one that isn't reliable with steel cases (Sig228), and another that isn't reliable with aluminum cases (CZ75). Other than those two goobers, I don't think or care about the issue...no difference. Shoot it all happily.
     
  11. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Only thing I don't like about aluminum case is in autoloader. I left one chambered in a 9mm for home use. Couple of week later I needed it. Thankfully no emergency. It would not fire. Tried it 4 or 5 times. Racked another and it fired. After inspection the OAL was less on that one round. The pressure of the bolt against it over time had caused the OAL to decrease. Thinking the bolt was not going in to full battery I checked the pistol out, super cleaned it and polished the chamber. Chambered another and let it sit. Same thing. As long as I loaded and shot it they were ok but they just don't have enough holding retention to the bullet. Possible it's just this one pistol, I don't know. So for serious possible emergency use I only use brass in auto pistols..
     
  12. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    Curious??

    How could bolt pressure, which is touching the base of the CASE with the bullet just kind of hanging out there, just waiting to be sent on a trip, possibly cause the oal to shorten???

    Another thought, why would oal cause a missfire??? I could see if the case were too short and not enough extracter tension to hold the case in place....but the oal???

    My guess would be that the bullet set back slightly over the course of the multiple attempts to fire.

    To the OP

    Shoot it and enjoy not having to search for it afterwards.
     
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  13. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    Pretty sure I covered my confusion of the issue. All I know for sure is I was able to duplicate it and subsequent use of brass case does not duplicate it.
     
  14. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Sorry but I won’t shoot steel cases ammo in any of my guns. I mistakenly bought some of that same Winchester ammo. Only 250 rounds though. I sold it. I did learn my lesson and I now pay closer attention to ammo on sale.

    I have only bought a couple of boxes of aluminum cased ammo and had no problems with it. I still have an old box of Blazer.
     
  15. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I've shot plenty of it with no issues.

    Guns are tougher than we think. It'll be fine. Just remember, no matter the case material, it's still containing a mini explosion for function before another steel piece rips out the casing to load another mini explosion that spits out a fireball and hunk of metal faster than the speed of sound.

    And I wouldn't say duped, but you got tricked by creative marketing and planned word placement. It pays to pay attention.
     
  16. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

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    I have been shooting the heck out of Wolf and Tula through my favorite range gun the Beretta Nano and Carry. Fine shooting training ammo. No problems at all. I buy a 1,000 rds from Target Sports for $124.00 shipped to my door. $6.43 per box which I could buy separately if I choose shipped to the door. My Kahr CM 9 also like's this ammo. I do not buy anything from Winchester in any caliber.
    The only thing I noticed is when shooting is that occasionally around the 200 rd mark, I might get a case stuck from a dirty feed ramp, but I simply take a cotton swab, quickly clean off the feeding ramp and keep on trucking.I typically shoot around a 1,000-1200 rds a month through these pistols.
    Recently took 12 magazines for the Beretta, dumped American Eagle and Wolf and Tula into a pile, mixed them up, and loaded them. Shot them up and kept reloading the mags. I could not tell you which was which and they all ran great. At $6.45 a box delivered to door, I am going to be going through a lot of this ammo.

    *Bonus-no more looking for Brass

    ztCYeM1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
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  17. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I still have some 30 Year old cci blazer 380 aluminum case ammo (bought new). Works fine. The $7.95 price tag makes me laugh every time I see it.

    Only steel case I have ever shot is 7.62x39. Never had a problem in my AK.

    I reload so I buy a lot of once fired brass cases which is mostly what I shoot. I assume most steel cased ammo has a rust preventative (like a copper wash)? My biggest fear would be a steel case left in the chamber rusting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  18. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Even though I don’t think steel cased ammunition is likely to hurt anything. I still don’t shoot it out of any of my older guns or any guns with 1911 type extractors. Paranoid, I guess.

    Out of a Glock. Tula, by the case. It’s cheap and shoots good enough. I haven’t seen any evidence of any excessive wear. Nor have I had any other problems with it.
     
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  19. Jeff olson

    Jeff olson Member

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    I bought 2 boxes of that exact ammo. Tried it in one of my hi powers, a star bm, and a p38. None of them liked it. Only the p38 would fire 2 consecutive rounds
     
  20. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    You will be fine shooting steel. The only issues you may have is since the casings do not expand is that you may get more powder residue in the chamber and if you try to shoot brass afterwards the brass will expand around the chamber and the old powder residue will grab the shell casing and make it more difficult to extract so you will get jams. But if you stick to the steel you will be fine.
     
  21. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    What me worry? A. E. Newman

    I have no concerns about shooting a few hundred steel case rounds in any of my guns. As others have commented I like having some for use where I am unlikely to recover the cases.
     
  22. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I've shot a bit of both over the years. The only problem I ever had was with an RIA 1911 compact in 9mm that wouldn't feed the aluminum cased ammo. I polished the feed ramp and the problem went away. Other than that it has always went bang and functioned as it's supposed to. I have some steel and brass cased 9mm and some steel 380 on the shelf now. I got it as cheaply as I can reload either and I don't have to bend over to pick up cases. I consider it plinking ammo only.
     
  23. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    That's exactly what we used, both in .38Spl and 9mm. Having seen thousands of rounds fired at a time on my re-qualification range days, I can report nothing unusual occurring because of the aluminum cases.

    As far as steel cases, I've used Russian steel in a Glock, K-T S2K, SKS, and an AR-15 with no problems.
     
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  24. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

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    "I won’t shoot steel cases ammo in any of my guns"

    Absolutely no reason not to. The cases are soft mild steel, not hardened/ordnance steel like what your gun is made of.
     
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  25. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    Hot steel cases caused a fire at my local indoor range. A spent steel case was hot enough to combust unburned powder that had accumulated in cracks in the floor.
     
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