Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

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surprise_i'm_armed
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Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#1

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:40 pm

Ammo is available in brass, steel, and aluminum.

I have always assumed that brass is best since it is the most prevalent, and reloadable.

IIRC, steel case ammo puts excessive wear on hammers and strikers. Is this true?

How about aluminum?

What's the pros and cons of each of the 3 styles?
1. Wear and tear on your firearms.
2. Reloading considerations.

Thanks for the input.

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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#2

Post by Liberty » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:53 pm

I don't think it hurts the hammers and strikers much, but it can be real rough on the extractors.
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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#3

Post by lonestar144 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:55 pm

Yes, brass is the better choice for ammo. It is more accurate, cause the brass will expand in chamber, therefor giving a better burn and compression, plus it's reloadable. For steel case, don't believe the stories of how it will ruin you firearm or puts excessive wear on it. For normal shooting, this is not going to happen. Aluminum is just plain trash, although some firearms run it just fine, most (in my personal accounts) just have to many issues to warrant the cheaper price, would be better to go with steel for cheaper shooting.


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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#4

Post by strogg » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:47 pm

Brass: the best kind, but is the most expensive of the bunch. It's very resistant to mother nature, it's soft so it's low stress on your guns, and it is very resistant to deformation and expansion. Not to mention is the only type that is reloadable.
Aluminum. Nice and cheap, but not all ranges allow aluminum because it can't be reloaded. I haven't had any issues with the 200 rounds of 45 I accidentally bought one time. I would never buy it again, though. I can't imagine it holding up better than brass.
Steel: um... some people hate it, some people don't mind it. I'm in the latter part. Normally found on rifle ammunition (whereas I typically see aluminum on handgun ammo), there are reports on the interwebs of people's rifles getting indigestion with that ammo. I personally use it exclusively for my AK. I've had zero problems, zero malfunctions, and plenty of fun. Just like aluminum, it's not reloadable, so some ranges don't allow it.

I can't imagine the striker or firing pin to have any issues with any of the ammo. The primers are all pretty much the same material on the strike face. The extractor/ejector may wear prematurely with steel, but those are wear items anyway. The only issue would be corrosion from the berdan primers. I'm a little leery of the corrosion-free claims, but I've never had a single problem with thousands of rounds through my AK. So I guess the corrosion-free claims really do hold up.

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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#5

Post by flowrie » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:54 pm

Brass only for me.
I sell ball bearings for a living, so I am familiar with metals, since steel is harder it will wear components quicker. That’s all I need to know. No steel for me.
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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#6

Post by bblhd672 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:12 am

People reload brass every day. The other metals I don’t recall anyone talking about reloading.


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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#7

Post by striker55 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:24 am

Some shooting ranges only allow brass.

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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#8

Post by oohrah » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:32 am

Steel is coated with a rust preventative which can get gummy when the barrel gets hot and then will get stuck in the chamber. I know this from personal experience.

I bought a pack of aluminum 45ACP at a really good price. One in five failed to feed in my PX4. I was finally glad to get it all shot out at the range. I never tried to carry it after seeing how it failed.

So, I think I will stay exclusively with brass.
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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#9

Post by WTR » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:55 am

I ordered brass from Midway and they sent me steel (last time I ordered ammo from Midway). Became gummy when hot. My Mini did not seem to mind. I just did a good cleaning every time I shot steel. Something I don’t always do with brass.


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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#10

Post by The Marshal » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:08 am

Steel is fine if you are shooting a Rooskie designed weapon. ;-)

As for Aluminum, I have had zero issues using it in my different pistols. I have no problem grabbing a box of the Blazer when it is on sale.
I would ONLY use it for target practice.


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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#11

Post by Abraham » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:12 am

Brass only for me.

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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#12

Post by KLB » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:37 am

At a gun show, I once bought a box of 500 steel rounds in .45 ACP. Shame on me for not noticing that the box had gotten damp at some point. As I worked my way lower in the box, I found more and more rounds with rust. I have never since bought steel rounds.

By the way, that left me with the problem of disposing of the rounds I could not shoot. I saved the rounds until the city had a hazardous-waste day. You took the waste to a collection site. I took the ammo there, and they would not accept it. So I threw it out with the ordinary trash. Does anyone know a better disposal method?


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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#13

Post by Soccerdad1995 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:10 am

KLB wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:37 am
At a gun show, I once bought a box of 500 steel rounds in .45 ACP. Shame on me for not noticing that the box had gotten damp at some point. As I worked my way lower in the box, I found more and more rounds with rust. I have never since bought steel rounds.

By the way, that left me with the problem of disposing of the rounds I could not shoot. I saved the rounds until the city had a hazardous-waste day. You took the waste to a collection site. I took the ammo there, and they would not accept it. So I threw it out with the ordinary trash. Does anyone know a better disposal method?
Wait for July 4th and ignite them. Call it fireworks. Do some home experiments on the exact temperature at which a bullet will ignite, and whether a covered steel pot will contain the explosion.....

Or did you mean "better" as in "safer"?
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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#14

Post by WTR » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:22 am

If you reload, pull the bullets. burn the powder and toss the casings. You could pop the primers in a vise using a hammer and nail if you are so inclined.


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Re: Brass/steel/aluminum ammo. Pros and cons of each?

#15

Post by flechero » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:55 am

As has been said, brass is great. And as a reloader- now I look at brass like gold! :lol:

Aluminum is ok to shoot. If you find it cheap- I don't think it's a worry for gun wear. I still have some blazer from way back... (it shoots fine but I just hate to mix aluminum and brass!) I use it when I shoot where I can't p/u brass.

Steel- I avoid, but I don't own any weapons made where steel ammo is prevalent, otherwise it wouldn't bother me to use it on a gun designed to run on it.



WTR wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:22 am
If you reload, pull the bullets. burn the powder and toss the casings. You could pop the primers in a vise using a hammer and nail if you are so inclined.
That's a lot of work... it may be much more "profitable" to just sell the ammo lot at a discount and buy new brass or components. If your time is considered, you'll come out further ahead that way.

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