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Old January 18, 2019, 09:14 AM   #1
rebs
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CCI Blazer ammo

It says on the box, do not reload.. It is 38 cal 158 gr rn. Is this safe to shoot ?
The csase is gray not brass.
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Old January 18, 2019, 09:34 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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The case is aluminum.
It is safe to shoot.
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Old January 18, 2019, 09:34 AM   #3
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two things.

It is safe to shoot.

It is not reloadable.

The case is aluminum. It has berdan primers. It is impossible to load by normal means, despite what you will be told by other members who join in the conversation.

If a company tells you "don't" regarding something as critical as whether or not you can do something like that, it may mean that it is dangerous, or impossible. Without specific information to the contrary and the skills to perform the special tasks it is dangerous to disregard these warnings.

You did the right thing to ask. When I collect my brass, I collect the blazer as well and stuff them into cans, then send them out with the recycling. Otherwise the stuff sits on the ground forever.
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Old January 18, 2019, 01:24 PM   #4
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I've used the aluminum Blazer rounds for many years.
There are some semi-autos that don't do well with 9mm, but the revolver stuff has always functioned.

There are no safety concerns.

The caution against trying to reload the cases relates to the nature of the material and the type of primers, as mentioned above.

The aluminum cases are safe to use once, which is all they're intended for.
Trying to re-form & process for a second crimped use may not work as well as with thicker & more malleable brass.
The two materials are quite different in how they handle both combustion and "home" processing.

Berdan primers used in the Blazer centerfire ammunition require TWO primer flash holes in the case's primer pocket, whereas the "American" style primer normally used in a domestic case uses a single flash hole in the pocket.

Normal presses will punch out a standard domestic primer by forcing a centered punch pin through the single pocket hole to push the fired primer out.

With the Berdan's dual holes, if you try to use a regular press de-priming punch, it'll hit solid case material between the two holes, and if you push hard enough you'll either bust the punch pin or deform the pocket, possibly both.

A Berdan-primed case (aside from the Blazer aluminum) CAN be reloaded, but using a different de-priming method and appropriate primers, if you can find 'em.

Dixie Gun Works & RCBS both sell Berdan de-priming tools.
Once you get the old Berdan primer out, the rest of the reloading process is largely the same, in BRASS cases.
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Old January 18, 2019, 02:08 PM   #5
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Primers for reloading Berdan cases have been virtual "unobtainium" in the US for decades, and I'm given to understand that hen's teeth, unicorn horns and pieces of the true Cross are easier to get.

Common belief is that CCI uses Berdan primers in their aluminum cased Blazer ammo because it makes them about impossible to reload. They don't use Berdan primers in any of their other ammo. (Nor, as far as I know, do they sell their Berdan primers for reloading).

Blazer ammo is intended for one time firing, only.
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Old January 18, 2019, 03:28 PM   #6
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Blazer Al ammo is perfectly safe. CCI would be sued out of business if it wasn't. It's not particularly good ammo though.
Al cases are not reloadable for the same reason steel is not reloadable. It's not suitably elastic like brass is.
Berdan primed cases are far too much work to be worth the effort. And that's if you can find the correct(no such thing as a Large/Small pistol or rifle Berdan primers) primer.
The RCBS Berdan decapper(actually a pries 'em out) is a $75 tool at Midway too.
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Old January 18, 2019, 04:17 PM   #7
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It really needs to be mentioned again. Quality is sketchy. That brass is soft and easily damaged. Powder used seems to be factory second from south korean production. Dimensions will be perfect but feeding and operation in semiautos seems to be problematic with many individual handguns. Revolvers have no moveable parts that feed the rounds into the chamber and then extract the fired casings, it sits there like a paperweight until fired. Stupid simple, you don't even need a casing for a revolver, think about cap and ball.

The bullets seem to be the very same production as is used in the rest of the production, mainly because if you make a bullet, there really isn't a way to make a discount grade piece of plated lead.

Plink them at a range and throw them away. They aren't meant to be anything but minimal quality.

They are still far better than steel former communist bloc or asian stuff, IMO.
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Old January 18, 2019, 04:50 PM   #8
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I haven't seen any CCI Blazer in some time. Federal Aluminum is the same stuff, though.

I have sorted out the aluminum cases and noticed some Boxer primers.
I suspect that even though Berdan primers are cheaper to make and discourage reloading of unsuitable cases, they just concluded it was easier to load everything with the US standard Boxer primers instead of maintaining separate manufacture of Boxer and Berdan.
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Old January 18, 2019, 05:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briandg View Post
Revolvers have no moveable parts, it sits there like a paperweight until fired.
Apparently you've never seen a revolver work, used one, or understand how they got the name 'revolver'.

They have moving parts. They're called revolvers because the cylinder revolves. If something revolves, it's considered a moving part. And other parts have to move to make the cylinder revolve. Kinda disproves your statement, eh?

You can search the web for videos of how revolvers work, and see for yourself that they have moving parts.
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Old January 18, 2019, 06:02 PM   #10
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okay, can you PLEASE try to reinterpret that into the context that it was meant instead of simply treating me as if I'm some sort of idiot?

They do not use moveable parts to feed a round into a chamber and then eject it. I'm really sorry that I offended your sensibilities with my error and made you waste your time correcting me.

Don't worry, I just edited the post that annoyed you.
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Old January 18, 2019, 06:17 PM   #11
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No safety problems shooting Blazer aluminum cased ammo. I acquired a couple cases of CCI Blazer 38 Spcl.+P (FBI Load) that was surplus from a government agency. It was used for training their officers until they went to semi-auto 9MM pistols. The only problem I encountered was with a new shooter limp wristing a Ruger LCR. Seems that the limp wristing caused tbe bullets to jump the crimp, locking the cylinder. The moving part that doesn't lay there like a paperweight!. When I shoot it in a variety of 38 Spcl. and 357 Magnum revolvers I do not experience any problems
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Old January 20, 2019, 10:03 AM   #12
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Have shot a lot of it, mostly .380 but some 9mm...never had any issue with it, good range ammo. Inexpensive...about $.20 per including shipping, .380.
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Old January 20, 2019, 11:25 AM   #13
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Works in my 9s and 45s just fine.
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Old January 20, 2019, 12:59 PM   #14
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CCI is owned by Speer, which is owned by Vista Outdoors which owns Federal.

So CCI is owned by Speer/Federal...the largest bullet manufacture in the world.


CCI Blazer/Blazer Brass is good stuff.
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Old January 20, 2019, 09:45 PM   #15
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Not many do, but if you own a .357 Desert Eagle or Coonan semi auto I would advise against the use of Blazer ammo in them. I do not know from personal experience about the LAR Grizzly .357 but I would expect Blazer performance to be unsatisfactory in that gun, as well.

Aluminum is enough different in both strength and coefficient of friction that it is not a good choice in the Coonan and the load level is marginal for the Desert Eagle. One use with bent, mangled rims, or rims torn through by the extractor was enough for me to decide that ammo simply wasn't right for those specific guns.

Same stuff works fine in revolvers, and while I haven't run it through my lever gun, I expect it would do ok, but its definitely not up to the firing cycle of the semi autos I have.

Shorter cases, like 9mm and .45ACP work ok in my semis, but Blazer .357 doesn't.

I will admit to very limited use of Blazer ammo, being a dedicated handloader, I won't buy it, the few boxes I have used were gifts or were included in trade deals. I found it to be ok for plinking in most guns, but the magnum calibers I've shot (.357 & 44) were not "full house" loads compared to regular factory ammo, and no where near my heavy handloads.

Without getting reloadable cases from them, I see no point to my buying any, but that's just me.
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Old January 21, 2019, 07:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild cat mccane View Post
CCI is owned by Speer, which is owned by Vista Outdoors which owns Federal.

So CCI is owned by Speer/Federal...the largest bullet manufacture in the world.


CCI Blazer/Blazer Brass is good stuff.
Is the federal 'aluminum' you get at Wally world the same as Blazer do ya suppose?
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Old January 21, 2019, 10:20 AM   #17
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Same conglomerate, same design.
Hard to imagine them setting up two production lines.
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Old January 21, 2019, 01:11 PM   #18
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I did reload a box of aluminum .38 Spl. once just for the hell of it. Can't remember the brand with 3.5 grains of bullseye, 158 grain cast wad cutter, my regular .38 load.. No issues as I remember . hdbiker
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Old January 21, 2019, 05:31 PM   #19
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Have shoot quite a bit of blazer aluminum in 9mm, .45ACP, and.380 in my semi auto pistols and never had any problems with it.
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Old January 21, 2019, 07:09 PM   #20
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Same conglomerate, same design.
Hard to imagine them setting up two production lines.
Count the dollars. If it doesn't make a profit they won't do it. If there is a cheaper way to do it, they will change. If you can consolidate and work by mass rather than by multiple plants, you will do it.

It is all going to be the same thing. Same bullets from the same plants. Same 'brass' from the same plant. Same powder and primers.

If a company owns all of the component production, it forms a sort of monopoly that allows the maximum of profitability; all profits and expenses come from and go into a single asset group. If you can own a huge plot of land and run an entire campus full of manufacturing plants right in one area, there's no need to pay taxes and rent, or other extra expenses running buildings in several states or even towns.

If speer makes the bullets and primers, as well as the brass (i dunno, do they?) And they do it right on site, they don't have to depend on what Otis Industries is going to do. Go on strike, demand a price raise, contract with a transportation company that can't get the freight on time, doing it yourself is the best, most dependable way to do the work. Unless your combined efforts include a few morons, that is.

Take a couple of other examples. Walmart doesn't make anything that they sell, the brutal power that they have allows them to beat vendors into extreme cooperation. The holy grail for walmart would be to own the company that manufactures all of, or most of their generic medications with a renewable contract.

Who knows whether either speer or federal actually make the aluminum ammo in a plant that they own? It might even be manufactured under contract, so speer doesn't have to own or operate a line that does nothing but turn out millions of rounds of cheap ammo day after day and decade by decade. That product is the least important product line they own.

So, maybe, they have a contract with Otis Inc, and otis has an assembly line bought at auction from one of the defunct plants, and he has it set up to run blazer ammo 24/7/365. If his net profit is a penny a round, WOO HOO!

The polar opposite exists in some poorly developed countries. Many products are made by family members at home, and sold to dealers. Mostly hand made products, textiles, rugs, scarves, carved knick knacks, for example.


Cigars are a good example. Otis will own a cigar company that sells millions of cigars a year, cheap and junky.

Otis will buy tobacco from brokers at best commodity price. He will deliver this commodity to professional rollers who aren't working in a factory, and pay them a pittance for each one produced. Then, he packages and sells them in mass by the ton.

it's good. It keeps people working. It allows the little companies to prosper. It allows the peasants to have a cigar, one that wasn't made in an expensive factory, hence cheap. If moonshining was legal, you would see this system working all over the US as well.
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Old February 12, 2019, 06:42 AM   #21
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OP any aluminum case ammo is non-reloadable, however steel case ammo is reloadable.
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Old February 12, 2019, 07:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
however steel case ammo is reloadable.
You CAN, but you shouldn't bother.
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Old February 13, 2019, 10:20 AM   #23
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Quote:
silvermane_1 OP any aluminum case ammo is non-reloadable, however steel case ammo is reloadable.
What the case is made of doesn't make it "nonreloadable". Steel, brass, aluminum, Nytrillium…..it don't matter.

As noted above, it's whether the case is designed for Boxer or Berdan primers.
If Berdan style, reloading would require a different depriming tool and access to Berdan primers.

Some CCI Blazer aluminum cased pistol ammo is BOXER primed.

Interesting post from a former CCI employee:https://forums.brianenos.com/topic/2...luminum-cases/
Quote:
Guy Neill
Posted August 7, 2015
When I worked for CCi-Speer I had to explain this fairly frequently. It's never been a matter that the aluminum case could not be reloaded, it is that they should not be reloaded.

When CCI first developed the aluminum cases they reloaded them 15 - 20 times to prove their durability, so, technically, they can be reloaded.

I'm fairly certain I have covered the issues in my column in the past - maybe it's time to revisit the issue since both CCI and Herter's now offer aluminum cased ammunition.

The move to Boxer primers for the Blazer cases is, I feel certain, an economic move by ATK (it was before spinning off the sporting equipment groups to Vista), very likely due to wanting to eliminate the need to make the Berdan primers. I do wonder if they have seen an increase in complaints as a result.

I don't know the exact date changes were made, but the first I know of them was at least ten years ago when a friend asked my about it - not long after I left CCI-Speer. I don't know that it was a clean break at a specific time. I suspect it was phased in for each cartridge as tooling was replaced and stocks of Berdan primers were used up.

Even though I now have no affiliation with CCI-Speer, I would still advise against reloading the aluminum cases.


Posted August 7, 2015
The primary reason not to reuse the aluminum cases has to do with corrosion. From the factory they have several coatings applied to the aluminum. Some are for lubricity, while others are to guard against corrosion.

When you resize the cases, the sizing action scrapes away the coatings, exposing the base aluminum. Aluminum does not corrode the way brass doe. While verdigris is a surface condition for brass, aluminum corrosion forms pits into the case wall. Depending on how bad, depends on how deep. You the human eye the corrosion pit merely seems to be a black dot. A small black dot.

Should the case rupture because of the corrosion, you have a jet of high pressure, hot gases that will erode the chamber, or breech of the gun. Since we don't know how bad (deep) the corrosion is by looking at it, we don't know when the case will rupture.

Part of my job at CCI-Speer included dealing with any customer problems. I had quite a collection of damaged guns ion my office - for a variety of causes. One of the first things I looked at if we could get (Blazer) ammunition back that had been involved in a problem was if the cases were corroded or not. Split aluminum cases that have a jagged, lightning bolt sort of pattern indicates the crack was due to corrosion - the crack is connecting the dots - the corrosion pits. A straight crack was normally due to a scratch or other mechanical damage to the casing.

Also, since reloading dies are designed for brass cases, the resizing action may not be "correct" for the aluminum (or steel, for that matter). There is a degree of springback after sizing that the reloading dies are designed for - for brass. The springback for aluminum of steel may be different (I haven't researched that). Some have mentioned problems with neck tension, and that's a definite possibility. Too tight may be be a real problem, but too loose can allow bullet setback. And we know that is bad since it increased pressure upon firing..

There's also the matter of internal volume. The factory develops the loadbased on the cartridge and the powder/bullet. The reloading date we have is all developed using brass cases. The internal volume of aluminum cases may be significantly different, so our loading results may vary greatly from what we expect.

Those are the main reasons. I personally feel ATK's economy move was a mistake, but they didn't ask me. I'm also not going to reload aluminum or steel cases.


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Old February 13, 2019, 10:55 AM   #24
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An excellent post Tom. You CCI quote pretty much states the case! Besides, I can’t think of any reason to put that ugly grey thing on my reloading press anyway!
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Old February 13, 2019, 03:51 PM   #25
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Years ago I bought some CCI aluminum cased ammo because it was cheap and I was going to be shooting at an indoor range where they did not let you pick up your fired cases.

To my surprise/chagrin they didn't allow aluminum cased ammo either.

Live and learn.

P.S. When I did get to shoot the ammo it worked fine but because I like to reload I don't buy the aluminum stuff at all any more. And thanks to Dogtown for a very interesting post.
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