Aluminium cartridges

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by IndependentBoffin, Feb 25, 2012.

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  1. Hello folks,

    Just a quick question about why aluminum cases aren't used to replace brass ones. Aluminium is lighter and cheaper than brass. That they can't be reloaded shouldn't be an issue because the military doesn't reload cartridges anyway.

    Thanks & have a good weekend!
  2. Brass takes heat out of the weapon, and expands to make a gas tight seal when fired.

    Not sure about what ali would do.
  3. Been done: Blazer - Home
  4. Yep the Yanks have had them for some time.
  5. I remember having some 12g shotgun cartridges made from ali , Browning if I remember right.
  6. Ive fired an MP5, which had ally cartridges when asked why the response it's cheaper for training than brass!
  7. Alright thanks. So given the lower cost and weight of such cartridges, and that they are a proven technology, why doesn't the military adopt them on a wide scale?
  8. As already mentioned above the beauty of the brass is the way it expands and contracts. It initially expands supplying the rearward obturation, but it then contracts quickly to a size slightly smaller than before. This greatly reduces the chances of a stuckfast.

    Generally, the aluminium cases (blazer etc) are used in training environments, where the result of a stoppage, or stuckfast is not an issue.

    For the Brit Mil to move non brass for training would require two streams of ammo supplied, one which could only be used for training.

    Our ammo has an operational shelf life after which it’s turned over to training.

    Forgot to add:

    Although the MOD doesn’t reload, it does sell the brass back to the SAA companies.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Steel cases are another option which has seen widespread use in the past and would probably be a good deal cheaper than brass. It does have it's own problems though.
  10. So what happens to all the spent brass at FOBs? Do they get shipped back to SAA manufacturers (seems uneconomical) or dumped in a landfill?

    I've been reading a report about how solid waste (esp. non-combustible, non-biodegradeable) at FOBs are a major environmental, political and economic liability.
  11. Current UK policy is that all contaminated waste, is to taken back to the UK from all overseas deployments.

    We used to have a system where we would pay a local contractor to dispose of all contaminated waste in Theatre. But due to duty of care and the fact that they would take the money, and the scrap and just dump it, the UK would still be accountable of cleaning it up afterwards.

    I know it’s crap. I has this problem to deal with in Iraq when we pulled out. Luckily we came up with a plan that kept the guys in the UK happy an didn’t involve shipping 10s of ISO containers back full of rubbish.

    Spent brass is only required to be accounted for if issued at training.
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    This has been done before and ally brass (?) can be reloaded but its the two streams issue and brass works!
  13. IIRC that the soviet block used steel cases back in the day!
  14. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Still around as is a shitty ally case they tried in WP countries!