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Old November 13th, 2017, 10:48 PM #1
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Are all defensive handgun ammo aluminum casing?

I got some 40 sw and 9 mm defensive ammo. They all have silvery metal color casings instead of brass. Are they aluminum? Are they allowed in shooting range?
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Old November 13th, 2017, 10:51 PM #2
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If it's shiny it is not aluminum. Probably nickel and nice ammo. I think all the hornady critical defense is in that.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 11:06 PM #3
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Higher quality ammunition, often self defense rounds, are often nickel plated. Aluminum cases are a dull grey, while nickel plated cases are bright silver.

I was told that back in the day when spare cartridges might be carried in belt loops, that there was a definite advantage to nickel plated over brass cartridges. Brass tarnishes and corroded, faster still with warmth and moisture, while nickel is more chemically resilient. Brass cases in belt loops might corrode and bond to the belt loops, making them harder to pull out at a critical time. Nowadays better ammo is probably put in nickel plated cases given the earlier impression that nickel means better quality.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 11:09 PM #4
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If the ammo is Hornady Critical Defense, the casings are nickel plated. They are very shiny by design. Federal Guard Dog and Sig Sauer Elite Performance also come in nickel plated cases. There shouldn't be any problem shooting them on ranges (other than the cost to you) as ranges typically restrict ammo based upon steel in the bullet and none of the aforementioned rounds contain steel.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 01:17 AM #5
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"Nickle" plated cases are actually cadmium plated . Yes , the original intent was to reduce tarnishing, and other degradation the brass . Nickle cases left too long in leather loops Will get funky , but take longer to do so .

Nickle cases have lower coefficient of friction than plain brass ( slipperyier ) , which in theory might make them feed smoother in semiautos.

The plating process does make them slightly more brittle than otherwise identical plain brass ( but lots of other factors for that ) . Not an issue for factory loaded ammo , but reloaders will sometimes find neck splits occurring after fewer loadings than plain brass , but lots of other factors again ) .

Yes , there are such things as aluminum cases, you will imeadately tell them from the weight. For consumer market , they were pioneered by CCI's Blazer line of low cost ammo . Very early ammo had occasional sticking in pistol cal leverguns , but in a cpl years CCI worked it out .

Works fine in factory ammo , for all practical purposes can't be reused.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 06:06 AM #6
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Are all defensive handgun ammo aluminum casing?

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Originally Posted by Biggfoot44 View Post
"Nickle" plated cases are actually cadmium plated .
Works fine in factory ammo , for all practical purposes can't be reused.
I have reloaded thousands of 9mm, 38 Sp & 45 ACP nickle plated cases & have never had a problem loading or shooting them, BUT...

I have found that the nickle plated cases split sooner (after 7 - 10 reloads)...

Load them if you have them...

Let me qualify that by saying all my dies were made by Dillon and are Carbide Steel (Tougher & Harder than regular steel dies)
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Old November 14th, 2017, 06:45 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander08 View Post
I got some 40 sw and 9 mm defensive ammo. They all have silvery metal color casings instead of brass. Are they aluminum? Are they allowed in shooting range?
I've never heard of a shooting range prohibiting ammo based on the case metal. They usually prohibit ammo because of the bullet metal to reduce the potential for ricochets, air borne lead or remove incendiary and explosive ammo. That said, I'm sure someone at some time has run across an over zealous range employee who denied them use of their ammo because it was attracted to a magnet regardless of whether it was the case or projectile.

As others have already said your ammo sounds like it is nickel plated vs. Al.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 09:17 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggfoot44 View Post
The plating process does make them slightly more brittle than otherwise identical plain brass ( but lots of other factors for that ) . Not an issue for factory loaded ammo , but reloaders will sometimes find neck splits occurring after fewer loadings than plain brass , but lots of other factors again ).
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Originally Posted by sgt23preston View Post
I have found that the nickle plated cases split sooner (after 7 - 10 reloads)...
This has been my experience as well, mostly observed with my 38spl reloads. Brass cases last a lot longer than the "nickel" plated ones when it comes to rim splits. I did my best to mitigate this by flaring the case mouth as little as possible.

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I've never heard of a shooting range prohibiting ammo based on the case metal. They usually prohibit ammo because of the bullet metal to reduce the potential for ricochets, air borne lead or remove incendiary and explosive ammo. That said, I'm sure someone at some time has run across an over zealous range employee who denied them use of their ammo because it was attracted to a magnet regardless of whether it was the case or projectile.

As others have already said your ammo sounds like it is nickel plated vs. Al.
Part of the conundrum for range employees is that ammunition that utilizes steel cases (i.e. Tula or Wolf from Russia) often has steel in the bullet as well. I think some ammunition ("Bear" from Russia?) may have steel cases that has a copper wash on it, making it appear to be a brass case, and perhaps thereby giving the impression that a magnet reaction must be from the bullet. The range employee cannot allow steel bullet ammunition on the range, as it damages the range and has a higher danger of ricochets, but only has a magnet for testing. The range employee does not have the time or the tools to pull a bullet and cut it open to look for steel in the core. The efficient solution then is to just forbid ammunition that attracts a magnet.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 12:50 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker View Post
This has been my experience as well, mostly observed with my 38spl reloads. Brass cases last a lot longer than the "nickel" plated ones when it comes to rim splits. I did my best to mitigate this by flaring the case mouth as little as possible.



Part of the conundrum for range employees is that ammunition that utilizes steel cases (i.e. Tula or Wolf from Russia) often has steel in the bullet as well. I think some ammunition ("Bear" from Russia?) may have steel cases that has a copper wash on it, making it appear to be a brass case, and perhaps thereby giving the impression that a magnet reaction must be from the bullet. The range employee cannot allow steel bullet ammunition on the range, as it damages the range and has a higher danger of ricochets, but only has a magnet for testing. The range employee does not have the time or the tools to pull a bullet and cut it open to look for steel in the core. The efficient solution then is to just forbid ammunition that attracts a magnet.
Sadly, too many range folks aren't adept enough when using a magnet to determine whether the case is steel, the bullet contains steel (like M855), the bullet has a steel jacket (like most Tul and Wolf ammo), or has both a steel case AND a bullet with steel (again, like most Tul and Wolf ammo). It only takes a couple of moments moving the magnet around and determining to which parts of the round the magnet is attracted.
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Old November 14th, 2017, 12:54 PM #10
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Back to the OP...come to think of it, I am not aware of ANY commercially loaded ammo marked SD or defensive coming in an aluminum case. I know the CCI Blazer line has many aluminum cased JHP products, but I don't believe they are labeled SD or defensive ammo like Winchester does with its PDX 1 family.


   
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