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  1. #11
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    I believe the recommendation against aluminum and steel is based on elasticity / ductility The stepped chamber can cause sealing issues , and extraction issues.

    Elasticity is the property of regaining the original shape after applying force onto the material. ... The difference thus is that elasticity physically describes deformation and ductility is a description of a mechanical process, a type of deformation.

    Or so I've been told.

  2. #12
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    I avoid using steel cased ammo, but do use both brass and aluminum-cased ammo in my HKs.

    The primary reason for using aluminum cased ammo is/can be cost----and if you don't reload &/or don't otherwise have a reason to save your brass cases, aluminum cased ammo is, IMHO, a wonderful substitute. Otherwise, in my experience, aluminum---upon firing---does not seem to flex as much as brass does, resulting in the case not sealing the chamber quite as well, with a slightly dirtier gun resulting. As to aluminum somehow damaging a feed ramp-----well, aluminum---and especially the aluminum used in (for example) 9mm and 45 acp cartridges, is quite "soft," and in my view, such should not be of concern.

    The only problems I've experienced with aluminum cased ammunition has been in revolvers-----in particular, small "snubbies"----where the bullet crimp is either inadequate or (in some instances) non-existent, resulting (at times) in bullet "jump," such interfering with turning of the cylinder. Of course, YMMV.
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  3. #13
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    i wouldn't even consider steel; too many problems with it. i used to mix in some aluminum, but like everyone has said, the cost differential is so small that it's now pointless from an economic standpoint. you also need to factor in the fact that a lot of ranges won't let you use anything except brass. some don't care, but some do.

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  5. #14
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    I use aluminum case all the time. Easily 10s of thousands of rounds. It's usually $10-$20 cheaper per case and it adds up. It's also lighter, so when you fill an ammo can with 2k rounds it's very noticeable as aluminum is ~ 35% the weight of brass. :-P

    I don't run steal. I just don't like it. Aluminum is gtg. Hell, look at my avatar and you can see the aluminum case flying out of my P30L
    Last edited by Spart; 11-02-2019 at 02:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by triggerhammer View Post
    Brass-cased only. Aluminum is too soft and could more easily damage the feed ramp. Especially since ammo is very inexpensive these days (largely due to depressed metal prices), and aluminum-cased is typically only about $.02/cartridge cheaper than brass, why put a high quality gun like H&K at risk?

    BTW, I wouldn't rely upon the advice of a chemical engineer either. Gunsmiths and metallurgists would be more authoritative on this subject.
    Depends on the grade of aluminum, I guess. Brass is a very soft metal.

    And what do you mean aluminum is "too soft and could damage the feed ramps." That doesn't make sense. The feed ramps are hardened steel.

    I can tell you the industry I work it the aluminum we use is much stronger than brass, but it depends on the grade and temper and I have no idea what the cases are made of. We use brass as a bearing material because of how soft it is. Regardless, neither one is even close to a match for hardened steel. So moot point.
    Last edited by Spart; 11-02-2019 at 02:42 PM.
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  7. #16
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    [QUOTE=Herb;3601630]his family owned a mill /QUOTE]

    I own a mill.
    It's an 11"x54" Dah-Lih with a two-axis Newall digital readout.
    I also own a 6" Great Western roller mill.

    Regarding the aluminum case ammo, I've shot a lot of it, as well as plenty of other non-standard ammo. You can rest at ease knowing that the aluminum case ammunition will have no deleterious effects on your HK. Shoot it until your hands bleed, and your HK will be fine. Frankly, if I owned a modern gun that could be damaged by aluminum cases, it would be a POS that I'd throw in the trash.

    Keep in mind that aluminum cases are just for playing. For serious business, you should buy premium ammunition. Case in point: Just yesterday I was out burning through a LOT of ammo, including some CCI Blazer 9mm. I was popping some off in my Sig, and there was a jam. It was the first time I've ever had any kind of failure in that gun. The fired round had failed to extract, and the next round crashed into it, driving it harder into the chamber. Whether the original failure was because the extractor ripped through the aluminum rim, or if the case was tight in the chamber, I don't know. It takes a minute to clear such a jam, and sometimes seconds count. Failures like this in training are fine, as they keep us on our toes. But when it's getting serious, I'd much rather be shooting brass-cased ammunition that I can count on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by THAT guy View Post
    A chemical engineer is not a substitute for a gunsmith, just saying. As for me, no aluminum/steel/other-non-brass ammo will ever touch my 45 for as long as I own it.
    I must have been unclear. My friends family owned a metal fabrication plant which he worked in as a young man. He worked with all kinds of metals and metallurgist. Later he got a master degree in Chemical engineering. I would say he knows metals better than most gunsmiths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GasGuzz View Post
    From a mechanical standpoint, yes you can use alum/steel – if you have to. HK’s are combat weapons deployed in war zones (with ammo you may have to pick off the ground), why we buy them because they always go bang.

    HK barrels are cannon grade steel, I can easily assume the chamber block is of equal or better material. As for alum, the harder material jacketed bullet slams the feed ramp every time and causes no damage.
    The HK RTFM doesn’t recommend alum/steel/lead-bullets, that’s from the Legal Dept CYA.
    Thank you. You really know your pistols. I have friend who knows some Navy Seals. They told they run into the HK USP FS in a lot of third world countries and these pistols have been around for years with little to no maintenance and they work just fine. One of the Seals ran a crate of hot machine gun 9mm through the pistol without harming it and was very impressed by its toughness. Those pistols are built like tanks and it is one of the few pistols that I would consider even running steel case in. But no second thoughts about aluminum.
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  10. #19
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    Thanks to all I appreciate the information on aluminum cased ammo. It appears that it can be used in HKs without doing harm to the pistol. The reason I like to shoot it is that when I shoot an IDPA match we leave our cases on the range. I don't like to leave a lot of brass cases on the range. The other reason is that when I shoot at the indoor range sometimes I am too lazy to pick up all the brass; and even when I do I do not get all of it back.
    Just a FYI on steel case ammo. CZ says it is ok to use steel case in their pistols ( all but one and I don't remember which one). They were once a com bloc nation and all com bloc nations made firearms that could eat steel. Ruger says in the manual it is ok to use steel in their 1911s. However, I have found it jams a lot. I have seen innumerable Glocks eat steel case ammo and have friends who regularly feed their Glocks steel case ammo without a problem. I like to know what a pistol can eat just for my information. .

  11. #20
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    Your friend the engineer does not know what he is talking about.
    And the members on this thread telling you it's fine to use aluminum ammo are wrong.

    Here are just two threads where aluminum cased ammo damaged HK's.

    https://www.hkpro.com/forum/hk-handg...9-chamber.html

    https://www.hkpro.com/forum/hk-handg...y-chamber.html

    On a side note:
    Quote Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
    Frankly, if I owned a modern gun that could be damaged by aluminum cases, it would be a POS that I'd throw in the trash.
    Shall I have my dealer send you his FFL?
    Last edited by PC7; 11-03-2019 at 02:26 AM.

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