Press release:

NRA’s Shooting Sports USA, the leading publication for the competitive shooting community, devoted their entire front cover to an image of Shell Shock’s NAS3 cases, and questioned whether brass’s 150-year reign was over. In the article, Shooting Sports USA set out evaluate Shell Shock Technologies’ claims about its NAS3 casings. The result confirmed the industry-leading performance of Shell Shock’s cases.

“Half the weight lightens our range bags, and we can sweep up fired cases with a magnet. Plus there’s the simple ‘cool factor’ of unique-looking ammo.”

Shell Shock’s NAS3 9mm cases are 50 percent lighter than brass cases, offer greater lubricity and will not abrade, clog, foul, wear-out or damage breach and ejector mechanisms. The cases offer greater corrosion resistance, tensile strength (2x stronger) and elasticity than brass.

NAS3 cases will not split, chip, crack or grow (stretch) and are fully-reloadable (using S3 Reload dies) and can be reloaded many more times than brass cases. NAS3 cases have been tested successfully by customers to pressures over 70k psi. NAS3 cases eject cool to-the-touch and can be picked up with a magnet. The head can be colored for branding purposes and easy load identification.

NAS3 is “Best in Class” for maintaining consistent velocity between rounds. In an independent test performed by H.P. White Laboratory (a major munitions testing facility), rounds fired using NAS3 cases achieved a velocity standard deviation of 0.093 FPS (124 grain FMJ bullet, 4.2 grains Titegroup powder, 10 rounds, extreme variation 3fps).

To learn more about Shell Shock’s revolutionary technology, visit www.shellshocktech.com.

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111 Responses to Shell Shock Shocker: The End of Brass Casings for Ammo?

    • The cases do no grow or stretch. Or do they. I guess it depends on the marketing.

      Seriously, every ammo factory will retool so that they can pay royalties this this company. Not.

      • Agreed. Unless they can offer it at the same price point as traditional brass, this in unimpressive and unecessary.

        • Man you’re a dumbass. (A) Youre saying an improvement in almost every metric for an ammo casing is pointless? (B) These cases actually sell for LESS than brass cases.. and presumably the price will drop even further if scale of production increases.

        • I don’t see reloaders liking these at ALL.
          Here are 4 reasons why:

          Case resizing requires lubrication, even with their special carbide dies.

          Internal capacity is different than current brass cases in each caliber. Kiss all your current load data goodbye.

          Proprietary reloading dies are required. Own 5 sets of dies right now? Get ready to buy 5 more, at around $100 a pop.

          Cases can’t be used in their current form with press-mounted OR hammer-type bullet pullers.

          All this was found in the NRA-magazine article linked on the manufacturer’s website under the “resources” tab.

        • “Internal capacity is different than current brass cases in each caliber. Kiss all your current load data goodbye.”

          That makes no sense! Load data is based on bullet weight and powder charge in weight, not case volume!

        • Lee Hunt, it does make sense. Internal volume of the case have huge impact on pressure. Smaller volume will create higher pressure, all other things being the same.

      • At half the weight, they just might be willing to pay royalties if it is overcome by their shipping cost, which it probably will be since 1,000,000 rounds of ammo weighs a lot.

        It’s why no one uses glass containers anymore. You just can’t be competitive with plastic when it reduces your shipping cost by 90%.

    • Obviously if you trust their PR they don’t seal the chamber. If it doesn’t expand there is no way for it to seal the chamber.

      • The press release said it didn’t *stretch*. It’s possible (although I don’t know how likely) that it could expand under firing pressure and return to original form.

        • That’s correct. It’s entirely possible for a case to elastically deform to seal, and then return to it’s original shape-typical linear elastic deformation in accordance with hooke’s law.
          The company claims that it’s product has 2x the tensile strength, so one would assume the elastic limit is higher as well and hence it would “spring back”.

          I’m looking forward to this new entry on the market.

      • You don’t fully understand elastic physics.

        Expanding does not mean the same thing as permanent deformation. Casings expand under pressure and contract back to their original size when the pressure abates.

  1. Cheaper than brass from Starline.

    They may have something good.

    Might have to order a 1000 and some dies and check it.

    • I don’t reload but I know the basics how it works. You said Starlin has these casings? I get my 458 Socom brass from them. I have a fella that professionally reloads and he does a very good job so I don’t mess with it it’s cheap just to have him do it. I would like to know though how it seals the chamber if it doesn’t expand and if it expands doesn’t that mean it will stretch? And if it is stronger and doesn’t eat up your chamber like steel does I would give it a whirl but I would like to know someone else did it first got some expensive barrels.

      • I mean they are cheaper than 9mm brass from starline.

        ID have to play with them and compare to brass.

        We’d soon find out if velocities with the same loads are comparable.

        Could be interesting.

        An aside – people shoot steel case that does not expand like brass. It creates problems in some guns. Some testing by lots of people will soon any problems with this stuff.

        Also if it’s cheaper to have someone reload your ammo for you ( I would advise licensed and bonded) you’re paying too much for ammo in general.

        • The NRA magazine article said the case capacity is different from current brass cases, so I assume that means working-up new loads for every firearm.

    • If it performs as well or better than brass but is less expensive, what’s not to like?

      As usual, the long term jury is still out – I wanna see a few firearms run a few thousand rounds of this stuff and compare math on failure rates and wear and tear. Overall though, looks promising!

      • How about this list of what’s not to like:

        Case resizing requires lubrication, even with their special carbide dies.

        Internal capacity is different than current brass cases in each caliber. Kiss all your current load data goodbye.

        Proprietary reloading dies are required. Own 5 sets of dies right now? Get ready to buy 5 more, at around $100 a pop.

        Cases can’t be used in their current form with press-mounted OR hammer-type bullet pullers.

        All this was found in the NRA-magazine article linked on the manufacturer’s website under the “resources” tab.

    • Damn Straight. Also anyone who takes pay or government benefits in exchange for violating constitutional rights is a traitor by definition…betraying an oath to uphold the constitution in exchange for money…

      oh shit, did I go too far?

  2. “… will not abrade, clog, foul, wear-out or damage breach and ejector mechanisms…”

    Bullshit. Everything wears out and swapping your casing material might give you longer life of the ejector but it will eventually wear out.

    Because of this obvious nonsense you can mark me as skeptical of the rest of the claims. Seriously, what is this? An alloy of unicorn bones and Unobtainium? It might be a marked improvement over brass but there’s no way all these claims can be true in a physical universe.

  3. I bought some of these cases months back, they really are pretty badass. Lighter, cheaper and more durable. The ability to anodize the end of them is kinda gimmicky, but I am really looking forward to how they handle rifle cartridges, because I keep reloading the 9mm cases and they aren’t showing any signs of wear after 15 cycles.

    • If they really eject cool, as the blurb says, the added heat goes somewhere. In full auto aircraft mounted guns, which looked to be prime candidates for caseless (aircraft, lotsa rounds, tight payload budgets…….) back in the day, the lack of a case to sink heat into and then eject, turned out to be a real bummer.

    • Thank you for providing first hand information instead of speculating like some daytime-cable-TV-news talking head.

      Firearm enthusiasts are the. worst.
      Everyone is so desperate to not “have one pulled over on them” that they spit in the eye of anyone who tries to do anything nice for them. All they know how to do is roast other people’s accomplishments to try and make up for the their own lack of accomplishments.

      Its a miracle anyone bothers producing anything new in this industry…

  4. Things were going just fine with paper cartridges. Then you kids started wanting to load your guns from the rear. Sounds gay to me. Next we had copper. Then brass. Now commie steel and this new fangled crap.

    Where’s it all going to end? Won’t someone please think of the children?

  5. I remember 20 or 25 years ago that we were supposed to be shooting nothing but caseless am mo by now.

    • I remember us having flying cars by now. Lunar colonies and suspended animation, life like AI and a whole bunch of other awesome stuff.

      • The difference is that we still talk about those things, especially AI these days. Whatever happened to the concept of caseless am munition?

        • Terrafugia is *trying* to get theirs to production, and the FAA has bent over backwards for them and granted them a waiver so they can sell it as a legal LSA. Who knows if they ever will get to sell it, last I heard the price was pushing 400 thousand, and that’s for a machine powered by a glorified snowmobile engine:

          “The FAA says the Terrafugia Transition can now be called a light sport aircraft despite the fact that its maximum weight is 370 pounds greater than the standard LSA 1,430-pound limit. Terrafugia petitioned the agency for the exemption to use the LSA label for a street-legal version of the aircraft back in 2014. Although the Transition can be flown like a traditional two-place aircraft, the pilot can also fold its wings after landing to allow it to operate over the same roads as any automobile.”

          http://www.flyingmag.com/faa-approves-terrafugia-petition-for-lsa-certification

          EDIT – Holy crap! The edit timer is back! 🙂

        • The general public is too stupid to be allowed to control a vehicle in three dimensions (Hell, we still have TRAIN WRECKS and they are only controlled in TWO dimensions!). Next time you’re on the freeway and some jackass goes whipping across three lanes just to get ahead of some other jackass, think that they could be doing that in the air over your house if we had flying cars.

          Now, jetpacks… there’s yer future!

    • Not to mention all that California/Nevada desert that was supposed to become the new beach front property.

      Al Gore really let me down on that one. I was looking forward to scuba diving around the submerged ruins of San Fransisco and Los Angeles.

      Maybe we need to spring Lex Luther to make it happen.

        • My favorite response to climatards is that it needs to hurry the F up. My beach front property is still high and dry. Another tact is to look at them totally serious and say”I’m pro climate change, it will rid us of the mental defectives that infest our coastal regions and free up that prime real estate for the thinkers, instead of the feelers”. The meltdown from either response is priceless. Never stop mocking the climatards, it’s TOO easy and SO much fun! Not much is more sad than a grown person that didn’t learn that the climate changes by the 3rd grade. Please help me mock, point and laugh at all the mouth breathing, drooling, knuckle dragging, booger eating morons that believe in carbon based man made”climate change” is something that even exists. Sorry to go off on a rant. I’m a scientist and I don’t know any of the 97% that believe this bs (even the ones that make their living from it!)

        • There’s really no downside to restoring the carbon in the atmosphere. Yes, were are restoring not adding carbon. Where do they think all that oil and coal came from? It was part of the carbon cycle before it was sequestered underground. Before man came along Earth’s atmosphere had the lowest level of CO2 since complex multi-cellular life appeared. In a few million years life on Earth would have been snuffed out forever had we not come along and started burning the stuff.

          Add to that, that plants grow faster, produce more food and require less water with more CO2. AND – my favorite reason for learning to stop worrying and love ‘climate change – we’re living in an ice age!

      • Ah, now that I read the link…
        A separate head crimped to the body that can shake loose if you use an inertial bullet puller.
        So better make sure you don’t need to do that…

  6. Sunday was at a friend’s house shooting pistols. He had a Sig 226 in 9mm conversion kit. Using Federal aluminum case rounds. They were coming straight up and landing on the brim of his hat or at best bouncing off his right arm. I know he just got the conversion kit going from .40SW to 9mm and asked if he swapped the spring out too, said yes. OK, here is some brass case ammo. Better ejection. He said that the aluminum case was cheaper and lighter. So we put 2 on a portable plastic table, the aluminum case went sliding across still standing in a gust of wind while the brass just sat there. The aluminum cases were being blown back toward him by the wind. Lighter might be better but brings some interesting other things into play.
    I do like the picking up cases with a magnet.

    • Yeah, but if you’re at a public range that magnet is also going to pick up all the steel cased garbage as well.

      I don’t know where you shoot at, but if it’s anything like my local range, the ground is covered in that crap.

  7. Dam it….my evening glass of wine through my nose. Hope our paths never cross…unable to hold the gut and oh the tears.

  8. There was .38 Spl plastic cased ammo in the 1980’s that was easily reloaded, worked well, never caught on. Polycase makes a copper/polymer matrix bullet that works supremely well. Polymer frame firearms are common. Are we entering the era of firearms transitioning mainly to polymer compounds? Time will tell. (These cases are a nickel alloy, but there is plastic case technology out there too).

  9. They’re available in only 9mm Luger to date. I might pick up some of these cases to test.

    That said, I don’t see brass disappearing any time soon. For all the price and technology advantages they’re touting – they’re a single source, and at some point, that will lead to delivery time expansion.

    • Well if it works here’s hoping they start making it calibers that’s economically viable to reload for. Like 10mm and .357 Sig. Something you can’t buy cheap no matter what.

  10. Looks interesting, but some of the hype makes me suspicious.

    I’d certainly try this stuff. The 9mm +P 124 grain XTP at a mildish 1175 FPS looks interesting: https://www.creedmoorsports.com/product/2514/419

    The weight savings could certainly be an advantage for military applications. Is it better than my favorite Federal HST 124 grain +P 124 grain at 1200 (about 1215 through my stainless Glock 4″ and 1240 through my Sig 226 4.4″)?

    It certainly doesn’t look that way. I’d certainly be interested in an in-depth review.

  11. NAS3 cases eject cool to-the-touch

    Because they have a much higher heat capacity, or because they don’t absorb heat as easily? It’s important, because one of the functions of the case is to remove heat from the chamber.

    • The head is ‘aircraft’ aluminum & case is a stainless alloy; my GUESS is that the SS contains/controls the heat of ignition better & when ejected looses heat quickly. Anybody know?

      • Aluminum is a much better thermal conductor than any form of SS. The aluminum will heat up faster and also cool faster than the SS, which will resist the flow of heat much better than the Aluminum.

        Based on the design I suspect that the concept is that the area exposed to the hot gas for the longest period is more resistant to the heat where as the area least affected further away where it gets less exposure to heat.

        They both have a higher resistance to heat transfer than brass. So, in theory they shouldn’t pick up as much heat from the short time they’re exposed to the exploding powder/hot gasses.

        That’s my guess.

        • That could be a problem, at least for use in automatic weapons, possibly for sustained rapid semi-automatic fire. Heat that isn’t absorbed by the case and ejected with it remains in the chamber, causing more rapid heating. An ideal material for this purpose would have high thermal conductivity and high heat capacity.

        • Davel: “Heat that isn’t absorbed by the case and ejected with it remains in the chamber, causing more rapid heating.”

          I may have this wrong (school was so long ago), but if the heat comes from inside the case, not from the chamber material, if the heat isn’t absorbed by the case, wouldn’t it leave with the hot gasses, therefore leaving the chamber cooler? This would, I suppose, make the barrel hotter ahead of the chamber.
          But would that marginally hotter barrel bother the chamber? (Ooh! A “hot and bothered” chamber!! 🙂 )

    • That is a complete and total non-concern for anything except actual machine guns. It doesn’t even matter in an assault rifle or SMG, much less a semi-automatic sporting arm.

  12. Sounds quite interesting. Cost will obviously be a big bugaboo. Bring it on…anything but a “smart” gun.

    • “Testing to failure is a challenge.”

      Er, do you *really* want to test them to failure?

      It seems that could be kinda rough on body parts near the source of the Ka-Boom…

  13. The big manufacturers are already using either steel or aluminum to save money over brass cases. This might be cheaper than brass due to commodities cost, but it’s impossible to be cheaper than plain steel.

    Steel pistol cases reload just fine BTW, and have been used at least as far back as WWII.

    And re-loaders certainly don’t buy 9mm brass, it lasts practically forever, and one can generally scrounge up a lifetime supply.

  14. Looks interesting. I agree that range pick up 9mm brass varies in price from pretty cheap (500/$20 ish) to free and it lasts just about forever if you shoot reasonable loads. If you insist on new casings the NAS3 prices beat everything that’s on the market. The only thing that puts me off is the cost of the proprietary dies at $100. You’d have to load quite a bit of ammunition – and I’ll leave the math to somebody who is less numerically challenged – to pay off the high price of the dies. I’m sitting on half a 5 gallon bucket of 9mm range pick up brass right now so I’ve got enough to keep me busy for a year or three. I might pick up the dies and a 500 piece box just to see how it works. I do like the magnet clean up idea – too many years of crawling around on my hands and knees picking up brass.

  15. The only thing attractive to me is the magnet pick-up ability. There are places where cops can hand out a massive fine for not cleaning up one’s cases, so that would be a great plus.

  16. What? Steel cased ammo? Noooooooo, it will gum up the actions with magnetic particles and cause firearm malfunctions by the score!

  17. Question: They mentioned that users were loading these cases to 70K psi, safely and repeatably is the implication I’m getting, and given that SAAMI spec for 9MM Parabellum (operating on the assumption that this is the load referenced) is half of that, does that kind of pressure place unusual stresses on the chamber of a modern 9MM handgun barrel, possibly leading to a kaboom even when fired in battery?

    How much of the safe pressure rating is determined by the tensile strength of the case material and how much by the type of steel and heat treat in the barrel/chamber?

    If 70K psi is safe for a standard barrel, assuming you have cases that can handle it, that’s a… yuuuge increase in performance. More pressure means = more velocity, all else remaining the same. More felt recoil too, but there are lots of engineering tricks to mitigate that.

  18. Also, given how much demand there is in other industries for brass, copper and other metals used to make ammunition, and how the Shellshock line out of the gate is cheaper than brass, and apparently a LOT more durable, it’s kind of a no brainer if their claims are even half true. High volume manufacturers would realize even bigger savings over brass, and either improve their bottom line or pass some/all of the cost savings on to the consumer and grab more market share. Ghawd knows POTG are chintzy bastages when it comes to ammo prices.

  19. Well I’m totally gonna give em a try. $150 for 1400 cases isn’t that bad.

    Being able to pick up my cases for reloads with a magnet makes it worthwhile in its own right. I’ll stick with proven brass for any self defense rounds, but there’s little to lose for range work.

    • I did the same. I also found their reloading die on Amazon for $15 less. I did read a few other reviews of the reloading die and you can use it for brass as well, so at least you’re not completely out if the NAS3 cases don’t work out…

  20. If this new stuff is significantly cheaper than brass, we can expect to see it appear in factory ammunition. At first, it will be premium ammunition at premium prices. In time, it will filter down to bargain priced ammunition simply because there will be more room for the manufacturers to undercut each other without taking a loss. The end result should be cheaper ammunition since the case is the most expensive component.

    My experience has been that brass lasts a long time unless you habitually shoot maximum loads. When I lose brass it’s because I can’t find it, not because I discover a critical defect during reloading.

  21. I’d be more impressed if they knew how to spell the word “breech”.
    I’m supposed to trust my life to people that cn’t spell?

  22. I would like to see if this stuff works in shotguns. An easily reloadable case that doesn’t deform and can tolerate higher specs?
    Yeh, this might finally bring .410 down into the reasonable range.

  23. Wish this was a thing already. I am about to move and let me say, you don’t realize how heavy 1000 rounds of 9mm is until you put it into a box and try to lift it up. I am gonna have to put all my ammo across several boxes cause I don’t think the cardboard can handle it all at once.

  24. The presser says, ” NAS3 cases have been tested successfully by customers to pressures over 70k psi.”
    It doesn’t say who the customers are (I would imagine the customers mentioned are ammo manufacturers), and the test barrels probably aren’t what we can buy OTC, but test barrels made specifically for this kind of torture testing.
    The high pressure testing would be to test the case, not the gun.

    • Almost sure they’re SAAMI test barrels, which are 2 inches thick at the chamber. You’re not blowing those suckers up without high-order explosives and also wrecking everything within 20 feet.

  25. Only downside I can see down the road is forming non standard cartridges from a standard one, like I have done to create 300 Blackout from standard 5.56 cases. All my Blackout brass use to be 5.56.

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