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Okay, apparently I missed the memo on this...

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by DJ Niner, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    When did the domestic manufacturers of shotgun ammo/shells start using brass-plated steel for the rim/base of shotgun ammo? I'm not really into shotguns and shotshell ammo like I am for rifles and handguns; I only own a few shotguns, and shoot them rarely, as I don't hunt much anymore and most clay pigeons never had much to fear when I was around. I've never reloaded shotshells, nor have any of my friends.

    Have the manufacturers been doing this for a really long time, and I just assumed the shells were brass due to their appearance, or is it a fairly recent change? I have some premium buckshot ammo that I know is over ten years old, and the rim/base of these will stick to a magnet, so I'm assuming it was farther back than that.

    Thanks for any/all help on this subject. Just wondering how far out-of-date I am on this.... hoping it is "years" instead of "decades". :supergrin:
  2. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I've seen rusty shotgun shells on the ground for as long as I can remember.

  3. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    Long as I can remeber. I plink/function test with cheapo shells but for hunting I use RIO or similar high quality, high brass, hardened shot loads.

    It makes a world of difference in the pattern.

    Also steel rim shells are very soft, and the steel rim will tear rather than extract and leave a shell stuck in the chamber.
  4. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011

    Actually, that's not the root cause. Steel does not expand & contract as fast as brass, hence the steel does not contract very well before the extractor rips it out of the chamber and this causes problems as naturally the extractor must be harder than the rim in theory. We found out about this in WWII when we made steel cases.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  5. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    Now that it was mentioned, I've also seen rusty shells on the ground, ever since I was a young pup. Apparently, I made an assumption based on the brass color "way back when" and I never challenged that assumption until a magnet stuck to a shell on my bench recently.

    Makes a person wonder what ELSE they've had wrong for the last 40+ years... :shakehead:

    Thanks for the assist, folks.