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Although I almost always fire brass, I would like to hear some thoughts as to the relative advantages and disadvantages of aluminum and steel cased ammo. There is certainly a lot of discussion out there regarding steel cased stuff, but not so much on the aluminum stuff. Anyone with much experience using both? Your thoughts?
 

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I'm not sure if I ever shot steel but I did send well over 1400 Federal Aluminum rounds though the barrels of my TP9SA, M&P 9c, G43 and never ever had a single misfire, failure to eject or any other issue with those. I clean my guns after every range visit but didn't find them extremely dirty or anything like that.
On top of that they are dirt cheap at local Wallys.
Awesome practice ammo and I tend to buy them every time I'm grocery shopping :yup::hand10:
 

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Advantages of both are cost. Disadvantage is the cases are not reloadable on either, and steel at least in theory is harder on firearm components as it's a harder material than brass or aluminum. If you don't reload I don't know that there are any disadvantages to aluminum. I've never had an issue with aluminum but I did get a steel case stuck in my AR. I don't run steel in the Ar, or 1911, but will run 9mm steel in my glock sr9 etc. I also exclusively run steel in 762x39 as those guns are made for that stuff.
 
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As with the above, I've only shot brass until recently. I avoid steel for the reasons given, true or not. But I did get some aluminum-cased 9mm HP on a bulk buy recently and not had any problems -- until the other day.

My Tanfoglio Witness Pavona would FTF on pretty much each fresh magazine. I would insert the mag, rack the pistol, and... nothing. I would then disengage the mag, press the first round back into the mag and re-insert. Then, it would fire uneventfully until empty.

This has never happened with brass. I'll try again with brass to make sure something hasn't gone awry with the gun, but since I was also shooting my P225-A1 at the same time, with the same ammo, and no FTF, I'm guessing the Pavona is pickier about the ammo it's fed.
 

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They both shoot fine and most of the rumors you hear about them being bad for your gun are just hype. The cost savings alone will add up enough to pay for a new extractor and barrel if you shoot enough of it to wear out parts.
 

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Being a old shooter and I reload, I will stay with brass ammo. And keep my old extractor. Even after over 100,000 rounds.
 

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Advantages of both are cost. Disadvantage is the cases are not reloadable on either, and steel at least in theory is harder on firearm components as it's a harder material than brass or aluminum. If you don't reload I don't know that there are any disadvantages to aluminum. I've never had an issue with aluminum but I did get a steel case stuck in my AR. I don't run steel in the Ar, or 1911, but will run 9mm steel in my glock sr9 etc. I also exclusively run steel in 762x39 as those guns are made for that stuff.
You can reload steel - I've done it. Never tried reloading aluminum.
 

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Steel will wear out extractors faster than brass or aluminum. How much depends on the tolerances of the pistol. I've had steel cases seize in the chamber so badly I had to ram them out with a dowel. That was a tightly fit gun. After a few of these failures, the extractor finally broke from being ripped over the rim of the case.

A new extractor was a few dollars, including shipping. It was a couple minutes R&R. But I wouldn't want an extractor to fail during a defensive situation because of the stress steel case ammo put on it. A loose chamber (Glock) and beefy extractor will probably be fine for the life of the gun.
 

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I shoot aluminum in my 45's and my 9mm's. Zero problems with it. Great practice ammo and it's cheap. I don't reload, so no big deal. The only steel ammo I shoot is through my AK.
 
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I prefer shooting aluminum over brass for two reasons. It's 2/3 the price and it's equally reliable as it's brass counter parts in my experience. I Shoot Federal aluminum mostly, but also shoot a little Blaser aluminum too. I have no experience with steel, and don't shoot it for the simple fact that federal is a quality round and steel ammo literally the same price as aluminum at the store.

Cons are it's non reloadable, and some ranges don't let you shoot it because they want to collect your brass and not sort out what they can't reuse.

This is only in regards to my pistols and I have yet to shoot steel though any of my rifles.

Aluminum federal 45 auto really takes the sting out of the cost. It's $16 a box vs $21 for brass and cycles flawlessly in my pistol. I have yet to experience a malfunction in the hundreds if not thousand or so rounds I've fired.
 

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I reload so it's a non-issue for me.
I have shot aluminum from all of my handguns with no issues. I've tried steel in my Norinco 1911 with no problems & all my SKS gets is steel cased.
Even though it may not hurt it, I won't shoot steel rounds thru my AR.

And for the member that has reloaded steel cased, "It's gooda for you, nogooda for me". I care more about my dies than inflicting the damage steel cases may cause.
 

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I reload.... but that is not dispositive of what type casing I like to shoot. If Im at a place, and situation where I can pick up my "brass", I like to shoot brass cased ammo.

However, if Im training, or at a place where they wont let you keep your empties, Id rather shoot steel cased ammo than leave behind a bunch of good brass. I have shot a bunch of steel cased ammo, and other than in one AR15 have had no problems with it.

As re Aluminum cased ammo. I have shot it the least. No problems with it.
 
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