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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't been on the forum for a while but I bought a box of Federal 9mm 115g aluminum rounds at walmart yesterday. I have used mostly brass rounds from various manufacturers and have also used steel cased rounds in my PPQ. I have never had a misfire, fte, ftf, hangfire or any other anomaly when shooting my PPQ. The aluminum rounds were less expensive and for range shooting, I am not so concerned with minute accuracy as I am cost, so I figure, why not. Anyway, has anyone had any issues with one type of casing when firing it through your PPQ? I don't expect any performance or mechanical issues when I fire the aluminum rounds, but I am interested to know what others have experienced with the various ammo. What would you fire if cost was a consideration and why.

ALUMINUM VS BRASS VS STEEL CASINGS.
 

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Brass casings are what these pistols were designed around. All else being equal, I prefer to use brass cased ammunition.

Aluminum casings are lighter than brass. On some pistols, this can lead to reliability issues in regards to ejection, with the most notorious cases of reliability issues being with CZ-75 pistols years ago when they were known for coming out of the factory with weaker extractor springs. I've put thousands and thousands of rounds of Blazer Aluminum through a 1st gen P99 with no reliability issues, but I did notice that bullet setback can be severe with this ammunition. You could notice the bullet setback just from chambering the cartridge once, so if you are the type that repeatedly chambers and clears the same cartridge, you shouldn't be doing so anyway, but I'd be especially careful with aluminum cased ammunition. This may also be the reason why aluminum cased ammunition seemingly tends to be loaded soft. Aluminum ammunition would be my second choice in regards to ammunition to use in my defensive pistols.

Steel casings are cheaper to produce it seems. We've discussed these rounds on this forum a few times now, and while we cannot pinpoint a reason why this is so, steel cased ammunition widely available today tends to stick in the chambers of firearms. Expect reliability issues in regards to extraction, as well as increased wear on the extractor. Steel cased ammunition would be the last on my list to be used in my defensive pistols. I actively avoid it, regardless of the price, and would only use steel cased ammunition if there was absolutely nothing else available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I am anxious to get out and try these aluminum cased rounds out. I was thinking maybe I would load a magazine with alternating brass/aluminum rounds to see if I can tell a difference when shooting.
 

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I shoot only brass (except nickel self defense rounds) and pretty much always have, save for some steel cased .223 in my AR. A friend of mine shoots almost exclusively aluminum cased at the range and in steel challenge competition in his PPQ. I've never seen him have any type of failure. Maybe his PPQ just likes it. That said, at the prices you can get quality brass ammo these days, I don't see the point of aluminum. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Aluminum is always cheaper than brass by about 10%. If brass goes on sale, it is usually still no cheaper than aluminum and if it is, someone buys all 50 boxes of what the store has. At least that is how it seems to work around me. YMMV
 

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I prefer brass. If given the choice I will pay the slight price difference for brass.

I picked up some Federal aluminum 9mm at Walmart for a range trip. I was trying to save my stock of Perfecta 9mm and Federal brass ammo.

Shooting a SR9 and a DB9FS we had fail to feeds and jams on pistols that have been 100% reliable beforehand.

Next range trip, EC9S, LC9S Pro, CCP, SR9, we shot two 200 round boxes of Federal brass 9mm from Wally's with one problem. A fail to feed in the CCP. That kind of soured me on the Federal aluminum.
anyway, Other brands may be different but..why take the chance for a buck or so....

I've never bothered with steel cased ammo either.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the responses. I already have a box of 200 aluminum. I will see how my PPQ handles it and make a decision at that time whether I want to continue using it. If it shoots fine, I will probably keep using it as long as the price difference is there between it and brass. I just wish the weather would change so I can get back on the range.
 

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I've only fired a few magazines full of aluminum cased ammo through my PPQ and only because I had a couple boxes laying around from years past. It worked well and I'll bet your own Q and aluminum ammo will as well.


I've shot little aluminum over the years, but that little has worked well in my polymer strikers without any feed, fire or ejection issues.


Good luck.
 

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I've shot a lot of Blazer alum in a variety of guns (Kahr', Colts, Sigs, etc) and never had a problem. In fact, it never occurred to me that there might be a problem. Let us know how the Walther handles them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've shot a lot of Blazer alum in a variety of guns (Kahr', Colts, Sigs, etc) and never had a problem. In fact, it never occurred to me that there might be a problem. Let us know how the Walther handles them.
Yah, I will do that, but the way things are looking, I won't be able to get out to a range until at least April.
 

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The true way to saving money on ammo is not buying aluminum or steel-case, but rather loading your own. 9mm brass is effectively free in most places, and where it's not free, it's 2-3 cents/case. 124/125 gr coated bullets can be had in the neighborhood of 6 cents/bullet. Small pistol primers are 3-3.5 cents per, and powder will run 0.75-1.5 cents per loaded round, depending on which powder you choose. The high end of that estimate is $0.14/loaded round, or $7 per box of 50. My reality is that at any given USPSA match, I usually pick up about double as much brass as I shot (after helping tear down stages at the end of the match - I'm not an annoying brass rat), and I usually get primers for closer to 3 cents per, so I'm sitting at $5/box or just a hair over, and neither of my pistols has ever had an aluminum or steel case in its chamber.

If you shoot any real volume, it doesn't take long to pay off the investment in a press and other associated equipment. (I send 3-4K rounds of 9mm down range in competition yearly, and I'm at best a medium volume shooter.) If you only shoot a few hundred rounds/year or less, then the math is less favorable, but I still wouldn't resort to aluminum or steel.
 

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I purchased one box of aluminum case when I got my Creed, and there were numerous jam ups so I switched to brass, no problems. I stepped up to Q5 match and used brass, no problems. Then I started using Wolf steel because you can purchase it for less than 14 cents per round (less than 16 cents for brass) from Target Sports if you are an ammo club member (95 bucks a year which gets you free shipping and no minimum purchase) and no problem with Russian steel case. Shot thousands of rounds by now with no problems. A little dirtier to the touch, and clean your pistol when you are done, no problems. I would stay away from the aluminum case, my two cents. This is range shooting only. I have tried more expensive match grade stuff, heavier grain stuff, low recoil stuff, and quite honestly, I don't do any better with it than the cheap stuff.
 

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Put many flawless rounds through a pre-war .32 PPK (shooter grade) and lost the extractor (spring and all) with the first box of alum I fired. Not much of a data point and alum might not have caused it, put I switched back to brass and had no more issues.
 

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My P99s have never had an issue with the Federal Aluminum. Actually neither have my Beretta 92, Sig P229, CZ 75...etc... That said with prices as low as they are now for quality brass by the case lot, that's what I get now. I would never, under any circumstance shoot steel cased ammo out of anything but former East Bloc weapons designed for it.
 

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I haven't been on the forum for a while but I bought a box of Federal 9mm 115g aluminum rounds at walmart yesterday. I have used mostly brass rounds from various manufacturers and have also used steel cased rounds in my PPQ. I have never had a misfire, fte, ftf, hangfire or any other anomaly when shooting my PPQ. The aluminum rounds were less expensive and for range shooting, I am not so concerned with minute accuracy as I am cost, so I figure, why not. Anyway, has anyone had any issues with one type of casing when firing it through your PPQ? I don't expect any performance or mechanical issues when I fire the aluminum rounds, but I am interested to know what others have experienced with the various ammo. What would you fire if cost was a consideration and why.



ALUMINUM VS BRASS VS STEEL CASINGS.
I shot that exact same aluminum case ammo and never had an issue with my PPQ M2 nor my PPS M2. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was how much lighter the PPQ felt when shooting.....then going back to brass. Just felt different.

I bought it previously due to lower cost but.... now I am finding it CHEAPER to buy brass......yep.....cheaper

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

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The cost of 9mm has been crazy cheap since before Christmas. I got 2 cases of Blazer Brass at 14 cents a round delivered. Then I got another 2 cases of Federal Alum at 12 cents, and half a cent shipping. Just got another 2 cases of Speer Lawman 124 grain at 16 cents delivered.
I haven't had any failures (PPS M2 and VP9) in the case of the Fed Alum or the case of Blazer Brass that I've gone through. Though the Blazer throws out a lot more muzzle flash. I'll shoot brass if I can, but at some of these prices I just couldn't resist. Steel I pass on. Just seems it would cause a lot more wear on the extractor.
 

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The cost of 9mm has been crazy cheap since before Christmas. I got 2 cases of Blazer Brass at 14 cents a round delivered. Then I got another 2 cases of Federal Alum at 12 cents, and half a cent shipping. Just got another 2 cases of Speer Lawman 124 grain at 16 cents delivered.
I haven't had any failures (PPS M2 and VP9) in the case of the Fed Alum or the case of Blazer Brass that I've gone through. Though the Blazer throws out a lot more muzzle flash. I'll shoot brass if I can, but at some of these prices I just couldn't resist. Steel I pass on. Just seems it would cause a lot more wear on the extractor.

I'm finding the same. 9mm new brass cased is so cheap lately, it's not worth trying the aluminum and steel is well, steel.
 

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i've shot AL through my PPQ with no problem, but the price difference between it and brass isn't enough to warrant it now. one thing only one person alluded to is that some ranges won't allow AL. i used two ranges in my old home town, and never could keep straight which allowed it and which didn't. just wasn't worth the hassle to bother with it, so i only shoot brass now. and i haven't found an indoor range that will allow steel
 
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