What's The Difference?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by DoctorB, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. DoctorB

    DoctorB New Member

    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? Hmmm...it appears there are three questions in there :eek:
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

    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.

  3. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    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.
  4. KG7IL

    KG7IL Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. mseric

    mseric New Member

    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.
  6. JW357

    JW357 New Member

    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!
  7. DoctorB

    DoctorB New Member

    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.
  8. Mouser

    Mouser Active Member

    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
  9. DoctorB

    DoctorB New Member

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

    bigjim New Member

    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.

  11. spottedpony

    spottedpony New Member

    Factory ammo generally is loaded to lower velocities and milder pressures. Liability issues as the manufacturer has no idea of what kind/age/condition firearm the ammo will be shot in.

    Hand loading give you the versitility to taylor ammo to the job at hand, and find the most accurate combination of components for a given weapon.
  12. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

    Steel case ammo for me is only for comblock weapons like the SKS and AK I think you can feed an AK rocks and it will still fire when you pull the trigger. Aluminum is always berdan primed so it is not reloadable.
  13. DoctorB

    DoctorB New Member

    Good grief. How much time do you spend doing this?
  14. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    The functional difference between steel and aluminum vs brass is steel aluminum cases dont have the elasticity of brass.

    This means they dont expand well and seal the chamber well gasses then bypass the case and work into the bolt/bolt face area. Once extraction starts steel aluminum doesnt contract as much as brass once the pressure drops after the bullet leaves the gun.

    This can lead to hard extraction, stuck cases, or even case seperation. Firearms that dont have chromed chambers or slightly larger chambers can have issues. In general blazer works fine but dirties the gun more.

    I wouldnt use it for anything beyound plinking/training if i had a choice
  15. DoctorB

    DoctorB New Member

    You're a wealth of knowledge, Jon. Many thanks.