Sunday, August 31, 2014

Aluminum Cased Ammo







 Once every couple of weeks when I pass through a city or suburb, I stop at a Wal-Mart, usually a super center.  I pick up some fresh fruit, some dog and cat food, paper for the printer, and then I check out the ammo. Wal-Mart is very interesting in this regard.  Some Wal-Marts have no ammunition section at all.  Others have a small glass enclosures with ammo in the sporting goods section. Once in awhile, there is one which has quite a selection, including 556, 7.62x54, 380,  7mm. etc.  They do stock some of the cheaper rounds, but they also stock some unusual things you would think they might not have.  Yesterday, they had three different calibers of Federal brand aluminum jacketed ammo. Fifty rounds of aluminum jacketed was just under fifteen dollars.  I bought some and hope to target shoot with them this weekend.



This is a Sig Sauer P226, in 9mm


 

       As you might guess from the price, aluminum ammo is much cheaper to produce than brass jacketed varieties.  Aluminum is also one third of the weight of brass.  This can be important if you need to carry a fair amount of ammo. Of interest to me primarily is the lower cost which makes my practicing on the farm much more possible.  Some of the people I know really like aluminum ammo.  Others don't like it as much. However, the military actually considered commissioning and replacing their brass ammo with aluminum in order to save money. No one knows why this wasn't done, but it's likely a combination of their not really needing to save money, after all, they have ours, and in part, due to a strong brass lobbying body who doesn't want to see brass prices diminish when demand decreases. Copper is stronger than aluminum initially, but in a Univ. of Ohio study, aluminum was 32 times stronger, and copper softened sooner than aluminum.

     Others have also said that aluminum is not as heat stable as these other metals. For most of us with standard pistols this should not be a problem.   The one clear negative is that unlike brass, the aluminum casings cannot be reloaded.    Still, buying cheaper ammo that we collect and don't reload is of interest to me.  Aluminum should not be a problem for your weapon either, and is not considered to be dirty ammunition.

         To make sure you don't have any problems, you should always inspect all ammo for deformities before loading them in your magazine.   Clean your weapon after each use to avoid the build up of any coatings that could "gum up" the internal workings of your weapon.  If you shoot at a gun range, make sure they allow aluminum cased rounds. Most ranges collect the brass casings for reload and don't wish to separate them from aluminum. They want to make a bit more money  after you leave.



  Read more about this at:  


http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=316995


http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/defensive-ammunition-ballistics/151446-range-prohibits-cci-blazer-all-other-aluminum-cased-steel-cased-ammunition.html

http://www.g2mil.com/aluminum-ammo.htm




10 comments:

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I have not seen any AL ammo but will try it if I should since it sounds like it is fine for what I do.

JaneofVirginia said...

We shot some of it today and it worked fine, although as a lighter round it did not seem to shoot quite as far as the FMJs I usually use for target shooting.

K said...

I won't buy the Aluminum ammo. I'm getting into reloading, so it doesn't make sense to me.

JaneofVirginia said...

I haven't yet gotten into reloading. I did enjoy firing 50 rounds for under $15. today. Then, I collected all the aluminum. I may not be able to reload them, but perhaps I can find a way to recycle them. They cool faster than the brass ammo which has burned my fingers when I have picked up the shell casings in the grass after finishing target practice.

PioneerPreppy said...

As an avid reloader I would say steel and aluminum cased ammo does have it's place. You can actually reload it in an emergency but that's not it's niche. What I like it for is when I am shooting my autos in a place where finding my spent brass is problematic. This is when I grab the cheaper so called non-reloadable rounds and go to town not worried about missing some when I am finished.

I am not a big fan of the brass catcher on my AR's either so I sometimes will let em chew through some steel cased rounds so I don't have to worry about it.

Ian H said...

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that if industry converts to aluminum, then brass hulls will become rare, and the government wins again! You all know how hard some ammo and reloading components were to get. If they convert, they have effectively killed the reloading industry.

JaneofVirginia said...

Interesting perspective, Ian. I bought a few, but primarily I will continue to use brass and to save the casings. No one here reloads yet, but the day is coming. Thanks for your post.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for your perspective PP, I enjoyed firing these. I can't say they will change what I normally buy, but I thought aluminum rounds were very interesting.

BBC said...

I have way more ammo than I will shoot up in my remaining years.

BBC said...

I also have way more black powder than I will shoot up in my remaining years.