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DoctorB 07-22-2013 12:29 PM

What's The Difference?
I've only been shooting since January and a lot of the technical stuff about guns and ammo is still a mystery to me. For example...I understand that ammo comes in different qualities. This is not a surprise. But what makes the difference? I recently read that some casings are made of brass and some are made of aluminum. Does that make any difference? Finally, the only 9mm luger ammo I can get in abundance is Blazer Brass. How does this brand fall within the top 5? appears there are three questions in there :o

mountainman13 07-22-2013 01:09 PM

Different companies use different components as you stated. Some components tend to cause reliability issues for some guns. Other than how different materials may or may not function well in your gun the only major difference is price and how said materials affect reloading.
Blazer is OK. Most people do not trust it for a carry ammo but it is great for punching holes in paper.

therewolf 07-22-2013 01:18 PM

Hey DoctorB,

Welcome to the Firearms Talk Forums.

Blazer's OK. As someone else stated, a lot

of it has to do with whether it will cycle through

your firearm dependably.

IF you reload, you want to buy boxer-primed brass.

You want to avoid poor matches, like, for instance,

steel cased combloc style ammo in ARs.

Combloc weapons have looser tolerances, and

eat this stuff up, though.

KG7IL 07-22-2013 01:49 PM

Buy brass if the difference is not much. Pick up and save all your brass.

You may find that you want to reload in the future, you will have brass.
You might have a friend that reloads, you will have brass.
You might not give a hoot and can trade brass.

As noted above, many of the Aluminum (and Steel ) cases have the berdan primer that over-complicates reloading.
Most American brass is boxer primers, sought after by reloaders.

Nothing wrong with Aluminum or Steel Cases in general. here is a few on the downside.
* Not reloadable,
* becomes junk laying around outdoor ranges
* poor bullet type choices.
* Steel may not release in some chambers

Pro's . ... often the cheapest on the shelf.

9mm Blazer is good stuff for it's purpose. I admire CCI and it's affiliate companies.

mseric 07-22-2013 01:50 PM

Brass is usually reloadable, Aluminium and Steel are not. Brass cost more than AL and Steel. AL and steel cased ammo will work fine, just plan on picking up the cases and properly disposing of them as opposed to saving them.
Blazer ammo is cheap for a reason, it works and goes bang, but it cannot be placed anywhere in the top 5 as far as accuracy and performance goes. Maybe not even in the top 25.

JW357 07-22-2013 02:01 PM

I'd say your brass/aluminum/steel question has been answered.

More about differences in ammo. Companies use different brands of powder, different weights of projectiles (bullets). These things can cause "hotter" or lighter loads, which translates to felt recoil.

Always nice to see new shooters!

DoctorB 07-23-2013 12:41 PM

Wow...this is great stuff. I feel like I'm getting a crash course in ammo. I don't plan on doing any reloading, but I see the point in policing my brass. Many thanks, guys.

Mouser 07-23-2013 04:54 PM

Personally, I prefer the low cost ammo whether it is brass or steel/aluminum. Range time and practice will do more for your accuracy than any loading or hand loading will do at first....later on, refinement may be in order.

From a self defense standpoint, again practice is paramount. Know your gun, its function and become proficient. Cheap ammo allows more practice. I even bought a 22 pistol early on just to increase my practice time too.

Even after thousands of rounds..I don't shoot competition...I find the primary restrainer to accuracy to be me, not my ammo.

Enjoy your new hobby...may it become an addiction for you like it has for me! :D

DoctorB 07-24-2013 03:01 PM

Too late...I've got the bug! :-)

bigjim 07-24-2013 03:01 PM


But what makes the difference?
Consistency, period end of story. For most of my shooting life, I felt like most that I didn't have the time or tools or inclination to make my own ammo. So happily in ignorance I just keep shooting store bought ammo while thinking all along that I needed more and more practice to get better.

Well the WHOLE truth of the matter is that commercial ammo (while getting better) is crap. Unless you buy the very high priced ammo, the quality control on commercial ammo is just not there. Making millions of rounds to meet demand just does not lend itself to quality ammo.

We all use the same brass cases, primers and bullets, but it is the type of powder and quantity of powder in each case that makes BIG differences in how it shoots. The single most important step is to insure that the amount of powder and type is ABSOLUTELY the same for each round fired.

That is the ONLY way to get consistency that the bullets will go where you aim them.

Long story short, in 2004 I started reloading and haven't purchased a commercial round since then and now reload for 13 different calibers.


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