Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Question Copper cased ammo?

    Was at the range this weekend and found a handful of copper cases. They are Federal, 45ACP, with brass colored (probably factory) large primers. Sound like brass when rattled in my hand.

    My Google-fu is not strong today, and I can't find anything about them.

    Are they really old? Special run? Anything?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    Picture would help...
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    They might be "copper washed" not solid copper.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    Run a file or some steel wool across one to see underneath the copper looking layer. Probably find they're brass.
    If so it could be from a chemical cleaning reaction somewhere along the way.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    At one time some few years ago Federal used copper plated cases for frangible-bulleted training ammo; for quick visual ID and differentiation from duty ammo.

    Noah
    Last edited by Noah_Zark; November 25th, 2019 at 08:43 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    Many of the big primer/ammo makers have stopped nickel-plating their primers. Cost-cutting , especially when it comes to hazardous waste disposal fees for getting rid of the wash.The WLP & WLR primers I've bought over the last 15yrs or so were not nickeled.
    Last edited by abner13; November 25th, 2019 at 08:57 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by bogey1 View Post
    They might be "copper washed" not solid copper.
    Quote Originally Posted by cephas View Post
    Run a file or some steel wool across one to see underneath the copper looking layer. Probably find they're brass.
    If so it could be from a chemical cleaning reaction somewhere along the way.
    I'm fairly certain they're copper plated, like my carry ammo is nickel plated.

    I've just never seen them before...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    Those cases might be reloads. I found that if I used certain media and polish in my tumbler the color of the brass would change from lot to lot but it still looked like brass. Does it have small or large primers? I'm not certain when Federal started with the small pistol primers but it's probably not been that long. Do they have a cannelure? One thing about Federal ammo and I try to warn people about is the factory loaded Federal ammo uses a cannelure when they load the ammo. It's there for bullet seating depth. The cannelure is a weak spot in the case and I have had them rupture after just two reloads, they rupture right along the cannelure. If you buy Federal brass in bulk there is no cannelure as far as I can tell. After those ruptures I steer clear of Federal brass.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt.K View Post
    Was at the range this weekend and found a handful of copper cases. They are Federal, 45ACP, with brass colored (probably factory) large primers. Sound like brass when rattled in my hand.

    My Google-fu is not strong today, and I can't find anything about them.

    Are they really old? Special run? Anything?


    I doubt that anyone is making cases out of copper. The stuff is a bit too soft to contain pressure.

    Could be copper washed steel cases. Those were common. The manufacturers would prep steel cases then use a solution to chemically plate a thin layer of copper over the steel to protect it from corrosion.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Copper cased ammo?

    Gonna make a guess. Reloads, and someone soaked the cases in vinegar or acetic acid. Too long in too strong an acid will leach the copper out of the brass, weakening the brass and discoloring it. Do I have that right?
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