Need some advise

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Appliancedude, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

    I got a big bag of 38 special shells from a guy I work with. Theres a bunch of misc manufacturers. There are also about a hundred or so silver colored cases. I know you can't/shouldn't reload aluminum cases. So how can I determine if these are aluminum or plated brass, without taking them to a grinder or otherwise scratching up the sides. The shells are w-w, federal, rp, and s/w. Thanks
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    the aluminum cases will be dull silver and the nickel plated reloadable cases will be bright, almost mirror finished. Once they're fired, you can easily tell, if it's alum, you can crush it easily under toe. My guess is that with the headstamps you've listed, they're probably nickel plated. Also, you won't find too many manufacturers that load any alum cased .38's. make sure you check to see if any are 38+P, if they are, ensure your firearm is rated to fire them.

  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    +1 on the IDing tips that woolley posted. I'd also agree from the headstamps you've posted (and without any visual IDiing) that they're probably nickel-plated brass.

    Another couple things to look for with those non-reloadable aluminum cases (CCI Blazers are the only ones that I can think of)...
    1. CCI Blazers also have "N R" stamped on the head. Stands for non-reloadable.
    2. Look inside the case and see if there is one or two flash holes for the primer. Blazers are berdan primed (as is some of the imported "bargain" or surplus ammo)...the primer's anvil is built into the case and they have two flash holes. If the cases have one flash hole, then they're using standard primers and should be reloadable.
  4. Lunicy

    Lunicy New Member

    Mar 1, 2009
    Nickel cases will weigh just as much as a brass case. Alum will be significantly less.
  5. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. The gun will handle the +P no problem. Its a S&W 357 mag highway patrol model. I figured they were ok, but figured I better ask before reloading them.
    thanks again
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