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  #1  
Old 05-16-2018, 12:19 PM
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Default Aluminum cased ammo for SD & long term magazine loading

Been doing some Google research on the drawbacks of aluminum cased ammo. So far, I'm seeing lots of "it's great & cost-effective for range shooting" statements. But I'm also getting a faint gist from some that it is slightly less reliable than brass, and hence best left for range use only. I even ran across one claim that leaving aluminum cased bullets in your mags long term (as one might do for home self defense, for instance) may cause them to deform and malfunction.

At any rate, nothing definitive, but I wanted to consult with the more knowledgeable folks here. In short,

1. Would you trust aluminum cased ammo for self defense?

2. Is it OK to leave it loaded in your mags long term (say, six months or more)?
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eswrite View Post
Been doing some Google research on the drawbacks of aluminum cased ammo. So far, I'm seeing lots of "it's great & cost-effective for range shooting" statements. But I'm also getting a faint gist from some that it is slightly less reliable than brass, and hence best left for range use only. I even ran across one claim that leaving aluminum cased bullets in your mags long term (as one might do for home self defense, for instance) may cause them to deform and malfunction.

At any rate, nothing definitive, but I wanted to consult with the more knowledgeable folks here. In short,

1. Would you trust aluminum cased ammo for self defense?

2. Is it OK to leave it loaded in your mags long term (say, six months or more)?
Seems like you'd have to go out of your way to find aluminum cased SD ammo. What specific brand with what bullet has you interested?

It would be common with CCI Blazer for practice FMJ stuff, but I never see the BLAZER cases loaded with Gold Dots these days. I used to see it sometimes because they used to do that.

As far as your question which seems moot to me... I've had some loaded for years on end and shot some mags of it no issues with case deformation and no issues with function when I've used 9mm or 9x18 Mak...

The SD ammo that I have is Blazer aluminum casings with Gold Dots in 9x18 Mak... never had an issue. I think I've had mags loaded for ten years.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:27 PM
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No aluminum case for SD.
They can stick in the chamber is my experience, since they are not as slippery or contract as much after firing as brass cases do.

The aluminum cases are coated to resist this, but corrosion of aluminum alone or between dissimilar metals can occur.
Clean, cool and dry should be no issue for magazine or other long term storage.
High humidity and temperature changes can cause corrosion to start, and like rust, corrosion never sleeps.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by crufflers View Post
Seems like you'd have to go out of your way to find aluminum cased SD ammo. What specific brand with what bullet has you interested?
...

As far as your question which seems moot to me... I've had some loaded for years on end and shot some mags of it no issues with case deformation and no issues with function when I've used 9mm or 9x18 Mak...

The SD ammo that I have is Blazer aluminum casings with Gold Dots in 9x18 Mak... never had an issue. I think I've had mags loaded for ten years.
Well... first... I've found it rather easy to grab 9mm Federal aluminum ammo at Walmart. So easy, I bought a 200 aluminum brick thinking it was brass, which, of course, I can't use at my local range. So I thought, well, until I can go to a different (outdoor range), I'll load some of it my stay at home mags. Then came the doubts.

Good to hear your experience. Sounds like I may devote my doubts to more important things... like climate change.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ojisan View Post
No aluminum case for SD.
They can stick in the chamber is my experience, since they are not as slippery or contract as much after firing as brass cases do.
Oops. Spoke too soon about letting go of the doubts...
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:35 PM
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I unloaded one for you... yep still looks fine to me. Is ten to fifteen years enough for you?

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Old 05-16-2018, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by eswrite View Post
Well... first... I've found it rather easy to grab 9mm Federal aluminum ammo at Walmart. So easy, I bought a 200 aluminum brick thinking it was brass, which, of course, I can't use at my local range. So I thought, well, until I can go to a different (outdoor range), I'll load some of it my stay at home mags. Then came the doubts.

Good to hear your experience. Sounds like I may devote my doubts to more important things... like climate change.
You are silly.

FEDERAL HST is for self-defense and is the standard. Is also not aluminum cased. I've never had an issue with Blazers but don't use them much these days. Brass cased FMJ are cheap too.

You are worrying about nothing IMHO. This is a post about nothing. IMHO.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:42 PM
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That's a first for me. I'd never seen Al cased defensive rounds before. I though the OP might be confusing nickel plated brass cases (which are common for defensive rounds like the HSTs) for Al. But, your pic shows that Al defensive rounds do or did exist.

Last edited by AFTII; 05-16-2018 at 5:58 PM..
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:42 PM
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Out of curiosity (read: "being cheap") I'm running a 1000 rounds of federal aluminum cased ammo through my Kimber. So far I've had no issues, other than two magazine-related failures to feed. Aluminum and loads like this would not be my choice for SD, and at least for 1911s, it's fun because forty bucks gets you five magazines worth of HXT.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by AFTII View Post
But, your pic shows that Al defensive rounds do or did exist.
Only Gold Dots I ever saw loaded into Blazer aluminum cases were sold at an indoor range in Chico, CA at least 20 years ago. CCI used to do it but I wonder if it was just for a weird caliber like 9x18 for one batch... dunno. Doesn't really matter much for making the point that AL is not as smooth as brass... unless you go out of your way to argue about something you can't even get (AL CASED SELF-DEFENSE ammo in 2018).

You can Google lots of things. Doesn't mean you should

In related news, I'm selling an ultra rare East German Makarov with ultra rare 1990's Limited Edition Speer GD HP AL SD rounds - $9,000. Check the market place ad.
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Old 05-16-2018, 1:10 PM
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I'd worry more about steel cased or the lacquer coating on steel cased ammo causing issues and historically I think it has definitely caused more issues than Blazers. Also, you could always find "SD" or at least Russian HP's in calibers like 9x18 MAK... those big gaping HP's where the crappy jackets tore away from the lead. Still never had issues with the Russian crap either, but I'd wager AL cases glide better than steel.

Anyone serious is using brass or nickle because real SD ammo comes with those cases. Probably not using a MAK either
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Old 05-16-2018, 1:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eswrite View Post
Well... first... I've found it rather easy to grab 9mm Federal aluminum ammo at Walmart. So easy, I bought a 200 aluminum brick thinking it was brass, which, of course, I can't use at my local range. So I thought, well, until I can go to a different (outdoor range), I'll load some of it my stay at home mags. Then came the doubts.

Good to hear your experience. Sounds like I may devote my doubts to more important things... like climate change.
So your going to use an untested round in your particular gun for hd?

I've had hit and miss luck with aluminum cases. Some guns it functions just fine, other's not so much. I stopped buying it back when I had my Steyr GB, that gun hated aluminum cased, or subsonic ammo.
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Old 05-16-2018, 1:22 PM
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i use AL cased 9mm b/c they are cheap and when you blow through about 300 rounds worth at a level 1 USPSA match in production class, it hurts the wallet a little bit less than brass.

i actually have equal amounts of AL cased and brass cased ammo. been running AL cased ammo for the last 4 years with zero issues.

(Guns used are XD9 Tactical, PPQ M2, Shield, Springfield 1911 9mm, beretta 92fs, vp9, mp5 clone ; Not all these were mine, some are friends guns that have also shot AL cases along with me.)
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Old 05-16-2018, 2:00 PM
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well I can’t speak for magazines, but I know for a fact that aluminum cased .357 can sit for years in the cylinders of a revolver, and still fire just fine - still have half of the box they came from and it’s from the early 80’s.
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Old 05-16-2018, 2:11 PM
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Aluminum cased Blazer .44 Special is indeed loaded with 200 grain Gold Dots, and from my limited research seems to be a bit faster than the brass-cased variety. This is one of the best SD loads for the Charter Arms Bulldog.
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Old 05-16-2018, 2:43 PM
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So your going to use an untested round in your particular gun for hd?
Ow. That is a sobering point. Could say the same thing about hollow points, which local ranges also prohibit.
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Old 05-16-2018, 2:45 PM
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Ow. That is a sobering point. Could say the same thing about hollow points, which local ranges also prohibit.
you need to find some better ranges to shoot at then.

i'm assuming you are only shooting at indoor ranges due to all the restrictions. find an outdoor range to shoot at.
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Old 05-16-2018, 2:49 PM
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you need to find some better ranges to shoot at then.

i'm assuming you are only shooting at indoor ranges due to all the restrictions. find an outdoor range to shoot at.
Yeah. Getting to Burro Canyon (45 min away) just became a higher priority.
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Old 05-16-2018, 3:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Delta Rose View Post
Aluminum cased Blazer .44 Special is indeed loaded with 200 grain Gold Dots, and from my limited research seems to be a bit faster than the brass-cased variety. This is one of the best SD loads for the Charter Arms Bulldog.
Yep, this ^
I grabbed a few boxes on sale on the off chance* I snag a bulldog someday
Also .45 Colt I believe.

(Okay, maybe more than ‘off-chance’, more like, ‘as soon as they add the .45 Colt model to the roster’).
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Old 05-16-2018, 3:16 PM
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No HP at a range? Never heard of that.
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Old 05-16-2018, 3:47 PM
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Federal AL vs. BR FMJ side-by-side. Both purchased at Walmart.
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Old 05-16-2018, 5:22 PM
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Blazer has done runs of JHP ammo in Blazer aluminum cases here and there over the years. I even have some old ones in 41 magnum. I've also seen it in 9x19. I think I remember it in 38Special and definitely in 44spl and 45LC as mentioned. Also 45 Auto I had some in the old 200gr flying ashtray bullet. I even remember a Blazer 45gr 25 auto JHP!

Generally not my first choice but I haven't had a problem yet in normal guns. Guns like an HK with a fluted chamber may not like aluminum cases. Those steel case Russian JHP 9x18 Mak Ammo as well as the Blazer always worked in my Makarovs.
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Old 05-16-2018, 5:24 PM
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No one said aluminum cased FMJ is hard to find as it is everywhere and has been even more since others besides CCI started doing it. SD ammo in popular calibers ain’t around anymore that I’ve seen. Aluminum cases don’t crush or deform in my experience even left for decades in a box mag. I’ve never seen corrosion on a aluminum cartridge. I’ve seen it on old brass cases though

SD ammo in a popular caliber should be pretty simple... buy HST and test at least a few boxes at the range for function in your guns.

If aluminum cases didn’t work they wouldn’t be selling them forever and ever... cartridge manufacturers know better than some guy in the forum or your Google search. IMHO
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Old 05-16-2018, 5:31 PM
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I have reloaded thousands of rounds of ammo with no failures.
Reloading your own is far cheaper than Blazer ammo.
But for self defense, I buy a box or two of premium factory ammo.
There's no point in taking any chances when every round may count.
Save the budget or odd ball rounds for plinking or practice.

Blazer ammo I like: .38 Special target wadcutter.
Wow this ammo shoots so accurately and is peppier than expected.
Awesome in my Security Six.
Extraction is snug but OK.

Blazer ammo I don't like:
Snakeshot .38 Special...sticks in my derringer chambers, have to push the fired cases out from the muzzle with a pencil.
Brass case ammo goes in and out of the derringer with no problems.

YMMV.
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Old 05-16-2018, 6:47 PM
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If the Bad Guy gets center punched with two Blazer aluminum caseed 9mm FMJs to the heart and lungs, how is he supposed to know to die?
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Old 05-16-2018, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
If the Bad Guy gets center punched with two Blazer aluminum caseed 9mm FMJs to the heart and lungs, how is he supposed to know to die?
Itís not a matter of if the Bad Guy dies, itís how long it will take for him to stop doing whatever it is that initiated the application of said rounds of fmjís... it could take him a few seconds or a few hours... thatís the issue. HPís tend to shorten that window.
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Old 05-16-2018, 8:43 PM
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Well, if the BG isn't familiar with the shortened window theory how is he supposed to know, pull his leg maybe?
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Old 05-16-2018, 9:20 PM
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Well, if the BG isn't familiar with the shortened window theory how is he supposed to know, pull his leg maybe?
Iím pretty sure it is about blood leaving his body due to a projectile expanding to more than double the size diameter and shredding a huge permanent cavity... if heís made of gel, and to increase probability of hitting something vital, but by all means go for the FMJ heart shot for a challenge At least use something official sounding like 9mm NATO... but yeah, tell the BG it is Milspec NATO first. Use a gun. thatís +P spec and wear some Multicam and do a kill shot !!

If itís a .3 vs a .8 hole most people will go with the .8 YMMV.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:10 PM
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What if bg is wearing fancy dolce gabbana jacket and your fancy hp pancakes before even getting close to the heart youll wish you packed milspec fmj.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:50 PM
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Shot a couple thousand blazer aluminum and federal aluminum.

Zero issues. I'd trust my life to it.

If your gun can't shoot it, get a new gun imho. You're good op no need to worry.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:21 PM
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If Al ammo bothers you well just wait a while. Was reading an article in a very recent magazine about a company called something? Velocity making plastic cased rifle ammo. Their claim is that it is superior to brass in just about every way. The article did not address reloading just cost, weight and ballistics.
Can Al or steel be reloaded?

I also read about a company testing alloys of Al, brass, nickle etc, etc. The claim was that they can make a bullet case that is superior and cheaper than brass.

Shotgun shells have been made from plastics and paper; why not handgun/rifle rounds?

Any Al rimfire?
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:05 AM
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Aluminum is much more corrosion resistant than steel. I wouldn't be surprised if it is more resistant to corrosion than brass too.

There are self-defense loads in aluminum cases. In fact I picked some because of the loading used, and they just happened to have aluminum cases too. The Blazer .357 and .44 magnum with heavy semi-jacketed-hollowpoint bullets.

I haven't clocked these loads yet, but from what some other people say, those loads are what might best be described as low-recoil loadings: pushing bullets at about 1100 fps MV from a four inch revolver barrel. Weak for a magnum, but beyond any factory +P .38 or .44 Special load.

The aluminum casing and the light loading are probably causation instead of correlation.
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Old 05-17-2018, 6:21 AM
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Aluminum cased ammo seems to have more problems with bullet set back or loose bullets

thats why I prefer brass, the brass conforms to the shape of the bullet and the crimp holds it more securely than aluminum.
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Old 05-17-2018, 8:05 AM
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I checked my standby pistols to see if I had any aluminum cased ammo and remembered my last ditch standby. Before I get flogged by the righteous, I only intend to use my standby pistols to get me to my 12 gauge.

Yes, itís a 25 ACP and very reliable.




Itís a good thing you started this thread. Upon inspection it seems the aluminum case of the round that was in the chamber is starting to corrode and the pistol is bone dry. No bullet setback on the round in the chamber, but I hardly cycle this pistol. The rounds are at least 15+ years old if not older than my oldest boy thatís about to graduate high school. Iíll clean up the gun, oil it shoot the rounds on my next range outing.
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Old 05-17-2018, 8:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igs View Post
What if bg is wearing fancy dolce gabbana jacket and your fancy hp pancakes before even getting close to the heart youll wish you packed milspec fmj.
When your milspec fmj over penetrates and strikes an unintended target you'll probably wish you had a round that expanded.
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Old 05-17-2018, 8:39 AM
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I checked my standby pistols to see if I had any aluminum cased ammo and remembered my last ditch standby.
...
Itís a good thing you started this thread. Upon inspection it seems the aluminum case of the round that was in the chamber is starting to corrode and the pistol is bone dry. No bullet setback on the round in the chamber, but I hardly cycle this pistol. The rounds are at least 15+ years old if not older than my oldest boy thatís about to graduate high school. Iíll clean up the gun, oil it shoot the rounds on my next range outing.
Thanks for the real world data point!
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Old 05-17-2018, 8:53 AM
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Itís a good thing you started this thread. Upon inspection it seems the aluminum case of the round that was in the chamber is starting to corrode and the pistol is bone dry.
So not to downplay "corrosion" on an AL case in a chamber... but after 15 years you see some grey or black stuff or was it rust? If you pulled the trigger at the range do you think it wouldn't extract and load the next round? Just curious your thoughts. I think anyone who has used the AL cases are offering "real world datapoints" heheheh. Let's keep digging on this important topic. Maybe we will unearth a game changer.
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Old 05-17-2018, 9:01 AM
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What if bg is wearing fancy dolce gabbana jacket and your fancy hp pancakes before even getting close to the heart youll wish you packed milspec fmj.
There are plenty of tests that show a BG made of gel and several layers of denim would consistently be damaged by HST rounds... I dunno about Dolce and Gabbana or what they are made of. How about LRG, Echo, or FUBU?

Polarizing thread! Keep up the good work guys!
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Old 05-17-2018, 9:12 AM
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Thanks for the real world data point!
You’re welcome.

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Originally Posted by crufflers View Post
So not to downplay "corrosion" on an AL case in a chamber... but after 15 years you see some grey or black stuff or was it rust? If you pulled the trigger at the range do you think it wouldn't extract and load the next round? Just curious your thoughts. I think anyone who has used the AL cases are offering "real world datapoints" heheheh. Let's keep digging on this important topic. Maybe we will unearth a game changer.
This pocket pistol and the CCI rounds shown spent many hours in my pocket while I’m in the garage working on my car or something. During the hot summer months I can imagine a bit of moisture from sweat and body heat making my pocket a little humid. I’m thinking the lint that collected inside the pistol helped in keeping it dry .

I’ll try to take a video when I shoot these 13 rounds.

This pistol went to last ditch standby duty as it was replaced by my S&W 640 and BG380 as pocket handguns when I’m doing something around the house.
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Old 05-17-2018, 9:26 AM
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crufflers crufflers is offline
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Originally Posted by JTROKS View Post
This pistol went to last ditch standby duty as it was replaced by my S&W 640 and BG380 as pocket handguns when Iím doing something around the house.
Cool. How do you like that BG380? I have a P380 I'm fond of.

Yep, my Makarov is just one of those guns in the dial combo safe that's loaded... not really ever grabbed first or last. There are Glocks and pump shotguns around. My cases had grey marks and scratches but nothing that didn't wipe away with my finger. Knowing the Makarov, it would just blow through whatever it got fed and I'm not worried about a Blazer case rusting through and exploding. Definitely I'd check a chambered steel cased round in something like an SKS that was shot in the rain and put away loaded and dirty... but that doesn't happen. Last time I recall seeing rust on a gun was a wet shotgun sling touching the barrel for a few weeks. I know it happens when you don't take care of guns... I've seen S&W's pulled out of closets that had plenty of red stuff. Typically mine just have CLP on them and stuff that sits like Mausers will get a shot of CLP from a aerosol can with the little tube foamed at the muzzle to let it slide down the barrel to the bolt once a year or so if I feel like it. Seems to work. Real world datapoint
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