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Father Kit Cool Gun Garth

Aluminum vs Brass Casings for Reloading?

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Pards:

Although I am not yet into reloading, shucks, haven't shot a match yet; however, when I do, I will be purchasing my ammo in the marketplace (local retail or most likely online) and saving all my casings for that time when I get into reloading.

My question is this, what are the pros and cons of using aluminum casings versus brass casings for reloading?

I don't want to be purchasing thousands of rounds of ammo in aluminum only to find out when I get to reloading that I shouldn't have relied on them to be a viable source for reloading. I'm not sure of all the particulars of reloading, and therefore need those of you who do reload, to give me your honest opinion. Does it even make a difference which one I use? Is it a matter of one being able to sustain multiple reloads over the other?

Then there is the question of shooting in a match with bullets that have aluminum casings. Will I see any variations in the bullet trajectory, recoil, gun barrel residue, etc. with all other facets being equal?

Lastly, (and this question may be answered by one of the above), will there be any significant differences in shooting aluminum casings in Revolvers versus Lever Action Rifle?

I understand, this is a lot to absorb; however, I want to start off on the right track.

 

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I'm not positive, but I believe aluminum case are NOT reloadable.

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Aluminum is not reloadable. Even if you do they would most likely split. I have done one just to see if was possible but I would not trust them for regular reloading. If you buy aluminum cased ammo consider cases throw away. Nickel also cracks quickly but can be used just inspect even closer than brass. Yellow brass is best and some partners have specific headstamp (brand) they prefer.


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Aluminum cases can be reloaded but it is not worth the mucho trouble. The main problem is that they are berdan primed not boxer primed like brass ammo and yes that is a huge problem. So much so no one does it, just not worth the hassle. I shoot a lot of the Cabelas Herters brand name Blazer made aluminum case rounds with the plastic coated 45 ACP projectile in big Wild Bunch matches as it feeds great and easily makes power factor and the brass shaggers do not have to easter egg hunt for it slowing the match. Just chunk it in the trash bucket or kick it down range next shooter.

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Aluminum cases are throw-aways by design , like the other pards have said. One thing I would like to pass along as FYI , the first piece of reloading equipment that you should buy is a good manual from one of the reloading components companies. I personally like the Lyman manuals for the way they cover all the basic steps , plus delve into bullet casting. Helps to get some familiarity with the whole process before diving in blind , so to speak.

Good luck , and welcome to the affliction. :lol:

Rex :D

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ALUMINUM NOT RELOADABLE.

 

As for shooting; in revolvers, probably no different than brass. In a rifle they should be okay but if you have a really dirty chamber the aluminum may stick and cause extraction issues.

 

I don't see anything in the rules that does not allow aluminum cases. The rules call for "metallic cases" but doesn't go any further than that in this regard.

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I have reloaded quit a few (several 100). Al I do is use a Lee sizer-decaping die (I did modify it some, I cut the pin shorter and put a set in the top to keep the pin from backing out). It will punch a hole and then I use regular boxer primers.

Have reloaded some of them several times with NO problem. Just did this to see if it would work. And it is doable.

Proceed on your own.

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Thanks guys.

Although it's not what I wanted to hear, it's what I needed to hear.

I know in a previous thread I started (Oh Ammo, Where Art Thou - 01.04.2017), I stated:

 

"I like the $ .25 cost per round figure and would be interested if anyone has found anything close to that figure for 500 rounds. It may be wishful thinking on my part, a kind of cow-pie in the sky thought, but look forward to your input to see who can find the best ammo at the lowest price."

 

I was specifically looking for the least expensive 38 special lead round nose 158 gr ammo that others have purchased, and the ammo that was suggested was by Prvi Partizan, (a Serbian manufacturer of ammunition and hand loading components, based in Užice, Serbia founded in 1928) with a price of $129.50 for a 500 round case. I wasn't too thrilled about the brand itself (please correct me if I am wrong in my own opinion), and found that CCI Blazer could be purchased for $128.90 for 500 rounds; however, they come in an aluminum casing.

​ If anyone has had any experience with the brand Prvi Partizan please let me know your thoughts, and if you don't reload and purchase, which is the brand and location where you purchase your ammo, if you don't mind revealing your source.

Edited by Father Kit Cool Gun Garth

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If you are willing to spend $130 for 500 rounds check out Georgia Arms. There ammo is quality, reloadable and they market "cowboy ammo". Before I reloaded it is what I used. Good stuff.

 

http://www.georgia-arms.com/canned-heat-38-special-125gr-lead-round-nosed-flat-point/

 

Just in case you are wondering , you can't reload steel cases or the aluminum.

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I'm thinking, if I'm buying loaded ammo with the intention to save the brass for reloading, buy ammo made with quality brass even if it's not the least expensive.

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Shot lots of Privi in my other life as a 3 gun shooter. Excellent ammo. Have not loaded any of it. I would suggest attending some matches and see if you can find a pard to guide you in reloading. Not just reload for you. I'm always very disconcerted by folks who jump up and offer their reloading services to just anyone. Licensed is one thing.

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PPU ammo is very nice quality. And no longer made under communist management. And makes reasonable empty brass to reload.

 

It is, however, not made in USA. :lol:

 

Good luck, GJ

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Father Kit, I have fired the Privvy ammo but only in 9mm and .380. I don't have a chronograph so I don't know how fast the loads were but the loads weren't light at all. Accuracy was okay for cheap ammo and they were consistent with no noticable deviations in power levels and there were no misfires out of 300 rounds of 9mm and 100 rounds of .380 total.

 

Now, as for factory ammo, I did buy some HSM Cowboy ammo last November at Cabela's for a match as I didn't have ammo loaded up. The .45 Colt ammo I bought was excellent. The .357 magnum ammo was at the max dimension on over all length and hung up in my rifle so I never got to fire that in my rifle and it's sitting in my ammo safe now.

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If you are willing to spend $130 for 500 rounds check out Georgia Arms. There ammo is quality, reloadable and they market "cowboy ammo". Before I reloaded it is what I used. Good stuff.

 

http://www.georgia-arms.com/canned-heat-38-special-125gr-lead-round-nosed-flat-point/

 

Just in case you are wondering , you can't reload steel cases or the aluminum.

I don't have my reloading equipment down here in Florida. I have been using Georgia Arms 38 cowboy loads. I was a little concerned about overall length (seemed a tad too short for my rifle), but I haven't had a problem. I don't know what kind of primers they use but the have all gone bang. They seem to use range brass as there are any number of head stamps in the mix, but so far i haven't had any splits. I would recommend them for a new shooter or somebody like me who is separated from his reloading gear.

Edited by Bart Solo

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Aluminum cases are throw-aways by design , like the other pards have said. One thing I would like to pass along as FYI , the first piece of reloading equipment that you should buy is a good manual from one of the reloading components companies. I personally like the Lyman manuals for the way they cover all the basic steps , plus delve into bullet casting. Helps to get some familiarity with the whole process before diving in blind , so to speak.

Good luck , and welcome to the affliction. :lol:

Rex :D

+1,000,000

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Hi Cool gun,

 

Blazer aluminum works fine in a revolver. Always check the box or the company's website to make sure of the velocity FPS (feet per second) as allowed by SASS. Use it once and pitch the cases.

 

Check your lever gun manual to see what it says about aluminum cases. My Marlin manual said strictly No Aluminum cases and you really don't want an aluminum case coming apart in your rifle. Blazer cases with the Blazer bullets may be too pointy for a lever gun magazine! You want nice, flat nose bullets in your lever gun magazine. I may be wrong, but the aluminum cases don't seem nearly as strong as a brass case.

 

No matter which ammo you buy, always check with the people that own the range and the targets. Ask them if the ammo is ok to use.

 

If you're shooting a Ruger you might see a difference in Point of Impact (POI) with a 158 grain Blazer round. I used to use 158 gr Blazers because they would hit about 6 inches higher than a 125 gr bullet.

 

I hope this has helped,

 

Mo

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I'm thinking, if I'm buying loaded ammo with the intention to save the brass for reloading, buy ammo made with quality brass even if it's not the least expensive.

 

This solution, I believe, is the shorter money in the long run.

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A big plus one on not using Blazers in a Marlin they will lock one down hard right now. Haven't seen any lately but 45 Trailblazers that worked fine in everything else did just that in a new Marlin once. 8 misses on stage 1. To make it worse it was my first ever Regional match. I was using them because it was a lost brass match. The Cabelas/Herters 45 ACP rounds made by Blazer have worked just fine in every 1911 I have tried them in

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False economics to reload aluminum or other non-brass cases. My advice is, just don't do it.

 

Watch out if you by used cases. I've bought them in the past with good results, but anymore, they have a lot of culls mixed in. They often consist of a lot of mediocre quality brass (watch the headstamps). Brazillian, Philippines, Korean and some others, generally is scrap metal,

 

You can ID the manufacturer by referring to this website to check the headstamp code:

 

http://www.cartridgecollectors.org/headstampcodes

 

Do yourself a favor and buy 500 new Starline cases. You will likely be able to reload them 30 to 40 times, given the low-power Cowboy loads that we shoot. You won't look back. Just recycle or toss ALL your aluminum cartridge cases.

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If you're not ready to reload, buy ammo with quality case, collect up your brass, keep it clean and in original box and other cowboy shooters will buy it. Once people know it's only once fired and not mixed lot of headstamp, you wouldn't have any trouble moving it.

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PPU ammo is very nice quality. And no longer made under communist management. And makes reasonable empty brass to reload.

 

It is, however, not made in USA. :lol:

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

My experience with PPU is excellent. Especially in .30 Tokarev. Great brass, about the same price as that "Red Army Standard" stuff, but is reloadable. They also have good .30 Mauser stuff. Very inexpensive compared to some of the others in both of these calibers. A great way to get brass for both of these harder to find calibers.

 

They even make affordable ammo in that weird Nagant cartridge.

 

Not sure what else they have available.

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

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Frankly, buy 200 rounds, (or whatever it'll take to complete your local monthly match), of good quality American made ammo in brass cases and go to a match! I know one feller that diddled and dawdled around for many months, saying he needed this or that... And a week before his first match... he died of a coronary. I think of this guy every time I read of someone saying I need to get this or that before I come out to a match. A waste of (insert your favored Naval expletive here) TIME!

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If you are willing to spend $130 for 500 rounds check out Georgia Arms. There ammo is quality, reloadable and they market "cowboy ammo". Before I reloaded it is what I used. Good stuff.

 

http://www.georgia-arms.com/canned-heat-38-special-125gr-lead-round-nosed-flat-point/

 

 

 

Mr. Blue:

I had previously gone to this website; however, they are out of stock. It appears that getting inexpensive Cowboy loads has a demand bigger than the supply.

 

 

I'm thinking, if I'm buying loaded ammo with the intention to save the brass for reloading, buy ammo made with quality brass even if it's not the least expensive.

 

Mr. Callaway:

Coming to the conclusion that this is going to be the best route, especially if I am going to keep my brass until I get into reloading.

 

Shot lots of Privi in my other life as a 3 gun shooter. Excellent ammo. Have not loaded any of it. I would suggest attending some matches and see if you can find a pard to guide you in reloading. Not just reload for you. I'm always very disconcerted by folks who jump up and offer their reloading services to just anyone. Licensed is one thing.

 

Mr. Deal:

My plan is indeed to find someone who reloads at our club and make arrangements to get with them and learn the process. Would it be advisable to find someone who uses the same brand (not necessarily the same model) of loading equipment (ie. Lyman, Dillon, etc.) or is it more about the process itself I should be concerned with?

 

False economics to reload aluminum or other non-brass cases. My advice is, just don't do it.

 

Watch out if you by used cases. I've bought them in the past with good results, but anymore, they have a lot of culls mixed in. They often consist of a lot of mediocre quality brass (watch the headstamps). Brazillian, Philippines, Korean and some others, generally is scrap metal,

 

You can ID the manufacturer by referring to this website to check the headstamp code:

 

http://www.cartridgecollectors.org/headstampcodes

 

Do yourself a favor and buy 500 new Starline cases. You will likely be able to reload them 30 to 40 times, given the low-power Cowboy loads that we shoot. You won't look back. Just recycle or toss ALL your aluminum cartridge cases.

 

Mr. Brules:

Thank you for the guidance above, and certainly something I will look into and consider.

 

If you're not ready to reload, buy ammo with quality case, collect up your brass, keep it clean and in original box and other cowboy shooters will buy it. Once people know it's only once fired and not mixed lot of headstamp, you wouldn't have any trouble moving it.

 

Mr. Callaway:

Always an alternative. Another way to recoup my costs should I not decide to reload.

 

Frankly, buy 200 rounds, (or whatever it'll take to complete your local monthly match), of good quality American made ammo in brass cases and go to a match! I know one feller that diddled and dawdled around for many months, saying he needed this or that... And a week before his first match... he died of a coronary. I think of this guy every time I read of someone saying I need to get this or that before I come out to a match. A waste of (insert your favored Naval expletive here) TIME!

 

Mr. Griff:

Can't tell you how many times I have read that advise to new shooters, and I must agree with you that time wasted is time lost. I'm definitely motivated to get to my first match. Thank you for the friendly push, always appreciated.

 

There are no words I can convey for the impressive response I have received to all my questions as they come from those experienced in the field and comes as advise that could not be found on the Internet. The responses are quick and the WIRE forum is the best tool a new shooter can have.

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.....Of course, no aluminum. Also, a caveat (beware) of what you pick up if you reload .40 S&W. The brass may have a tendency to

rupture depending on the number of times it has been reloaded, the type of firearm it has been used in, etc.. In this case I'd

select

and inspect my lot of brass very carefully!!!!!!!!

Naturally, I don't know who else has had this problem. FWIW, Doc

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I will toss in a couple of comments. Call Georgia Arms and ask about cowboy ammo even if the website says it is out of stock. Perhaps you can be first in line for the next run. They attend many of the Gun shows in this area and I've seen cowboy ammo at the shows when their website said they were out. Their ammo has worked well for new shooters here.

 

It is great to find a reloading mentor to show you the ropes. Finding someone who loads the type of ammo you plan to make (such as a fellow cowboy shooter) is great. I would not worry much whether that person has the same type of press.

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I will toss in a couple of comments. Call Georgia Arms and ask about cowboy ammo even if the website says it is out of stock. Perhaps you can be first in line for the next run. They attend many of the Gun shows in this area and I've seen cowboy ammo at the shows when their website said they were out. Their ammo has worked well for new shooters here.

 

It is great to find a reloading mentor to show you the ropes. Finding someone who loads the type of ammo you plan to make (such as a fellow cowboy shooter) is great. I would not worry much whether that person has the same type of press.

 

Abe:

I will call Georgia Arms today to get on their list. I know they have a spot on their website to get emailed when stock is available; however, I rarely trust that I will get notified.

As for a reloading partner, I will take your advise and find a fellow shooter that shoots and reloads 38 special ammo and have them tutor me in the reloading process.

Thank you for the suggestions.

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