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Reloading Aluminum Case


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I recently received some empty aluminum 9mm cases in a batch of misc. brass. I don't see why these can't be reloaded, but I've personally never heard of anyone actually doing it. Anyone have experience or potential issues I should be aware of? Thanks in advance.


I did a brief search on this but came up empty. My apologies if it's already been discussed.

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Depends on which version of aluminum the cases are made from. Some alloys might be reloadsble, but others likely wouldn't.  Since the whole point of aluminum cases is reduced cost, I feel sure the manufacturer isn't going to spend the extra money on higher grade material that would be more amiable to reloading. 

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Don't believe the aluminum has the ability to expand and contract, like brass does with the violent explosion during firing, as cheap as 9mm brass is I would not spend time reloading it. Just my personal opinion. Aluminum is not very elastic.

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2 minutes ago, peejman said:

Depends on which version of aluminum the cases are made from. Some alloys might be reloadsble, but others likely wouldn't.  Since the whole point of aluminum cases is reduced cost, I feel sure the manufacturer isn't going to spend the extra money on higher grade material that would be more amiable to reloading. 

So the problem would likely be that the aluminum is too hard or too brittle to be resized?

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2 minutes ago, GoneBallistic said:

So the problem would likely be that the aluminum is too hard or too brittle to be resized?

Probably. You could try running a few through a resizing die and see what happens. Look very carefully for cracks. 

Aluminum work hardens a lot and isn't easy to anneal like brass. Depends on how hot it gets and how much it expands when fired. 

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Do you really want to have to chisel a stuck aluminum case out of the barrel of your gun?

You can probably make it work but with most people not even bothering to pick up their brass at the range why push your luck....

 

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Just now, MP5_Rizzo said:

Are they boxer or berdan primed?  Originally the CCI Blazer was berdan primed to prevent reloading but I have not purchased any in  awhile so I don't know about current manufacture.  A quick search turned up something on Brian Enos's forum about the subject from a few years ago.

Click Here for Link

I'll check this evening and update. I'm not sure.

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I've seen articles where people have reloaded aluminum cases, but I don't recommend it. The questions already brought up about the metal itself is a primary reason. IIRC some makers use an odd sized primer or Berdan primer just to prevent reloading. If they're trying to prevent reloading it, I'd take the hint. 

There's literally a ton of good, once fired 9mm brass laying all over just about every shooting range and its free for the taking. There's no need to mess with aluminum cases. 

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4 hours ago, MP5_Rizzo said:

Are they boxer or berdan primed?  Originally the CCI Blazer was berdan primed to prevent reloading but I have not purchased any in  awhile so I don't know about current manufacture.  A quick search turned up something on Brian Enos's forum about the subject from a few years ago.

Click Here for Link

That link (Thanks @MP5_Rizzo!) has all the info on this I'd ever need. A gentleman by the name of Guy Neill (once worked for CCI per the thread...around 10 posts into it) offered a detailed explanation as to the "why" you shouldn't do it...obviously you "can" do it. But I wouldn't risk it. One blown handgun in my life was plenty enough.

I handload pretty much all of the handgun ammo I shoot and I'll continue to use brass.

And like @Raoul  and @Grayfox54said, free brass is pretty much just laying on the ground these days.

Several years ago Dolomite had a thread or two on improving accuracy and consistency of steel cased 7.62x39 iirc. I believe he mentioned the damage the steel cases could do to your dies. (Great thread btw) I have no idea what damage, if any, the aluminum cases may do...but the reloaded aluminum cases seem to fairly quickly corrode the barrels of some of the folks that were doing it according to the BE thread.

I frequently go to the BE forum for suggestions and info when I'm developing a load. There's some helpful and knowledgeable folks there. 

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I have reloaded a few aluminum cases. I have found it is not worth the effort, to many problems because the case does not have the ability to expand and contract under high pressure that brass does. Lots of the aluminum I reloaded split/separated the head on firing.

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1 hour ago, GoneBallistic said:

Seems like it's not the way to go then. Thanks for all the input guys. I'll throw it in the bucket with the steel cases.

Wonder if recycling centers buy it as aluminum recycle? 

I did see a guy once smelt them to make aluminum wet sand castings. 

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11 minutes ago, Ronald_55 said:

Wonder if recycling centers buy it as aluminum recycle? 

I did see a guy once smelt them to make aluminum wet sand castings. 

Possibly, if cleaned and de-primed. I suspect they'd get excited about powder residue. 

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36 minutes ago, peejman said:

Possibly, if cleaned and de-primed. I suspect they'd get excited about powder residue. 

Unless you mix it in with other aluminum scrap. Probably not cans, but pipe, plate and such. Of course unless you have a bunch it might not be worth it

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6 hours ago, Capbyrd said:

Use them to make those anthill casts. 

I've always wanted to do that but now have my sights set higher....chipmunk holes.  Gonna need a lot of aluminum for that around my place.

Edited by Garufa
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3 minutes ago, Garufa said:

I've always wanted to do that now but have my sights set higher....chipmunk holes.  Gonna need a lot of aluminum for that around my place.

I can't walk in my front yard without sinking because of the chipmunks.   

 

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35 minutes ago, Garufa said:

I've always wanted to do that now but have my sights set higher....chipmunk holes.  Gonna need a lot of aluminum for that around my place.

Get you a trash bag and start collecting cans. Lol

If you are lucky you will end up with an aluminum plated chipmunk. 

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  • Haha 1
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