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Ammunition is expensive, and a good part of that cost is the brass required to make the case. It’s the reason why the cheap bulk ammo providers (like Wolf and Brown Bear) use steel instead, and the reason that Hornady decided to use steel for their cheap match grade ammo line. But some people don’t like the thought of steel in their chamber, and the metal is difficult to work with. PCP Ammunition (not to be confused with the drug of the same name) is finally beta testing their line of polymer cased ammunition with a small group of volunteers to validate that their stuff works before putting it on sale. Needless to say, we’ve been promised a box or two of the stuff as soon as it’s ready. For the info on how to volunteer to test some ammo, make the jump for the company’s presser.

PCP Ammunition Company set to release limited production of .308 polymer cased ammunition.

Register at the link below for special invitation only purchasing opportunity.

After several years of engineering research, development, testing, and production planning, PCP Ammunition is pleased to offer its .308 polymer cased ammunition to the commercial market.  This is the first time in history that a ammunition manufacturer has offered high performance polymer cased rifle ammunition to the commercial market.  Prior to this initial civilian release PCP Ammunition was recently awarded contracts with the US Government Department of Defense to deliver advanced lightweight polymer sub-sonic ammunition and an improved .50 caliber precision round.

We are offering this limited release of production to a select number of consumers. We are limiting the production initially to allow for user feedback that validates our test results.  PCP Ammunition and certified third party testing facilities have performed thousands of tests on this product and we are confident in it’s safety and performance. The ammunition is loaded to SAAMI specifications. We are extremely interested in the feedback of our first group of civilian consumers. Although we have tested the ammunition in numerous weapon platforms, we have by no means tested them all.  Please use only in firearms that are in good condition and free of defects.  If you have any questions about the compatibility of your firearm with our ammunition, please contact us prior to using it.

If you are interested in purchasing our initial production of polymer cased ammunition please register at the link below.  If you are selected to participate in this initial release, you will be contacted with instructions to purchase.

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    • They are charging for this ammunition because they only want to send it to people who are motivated to actually evaluate the rounds, not just anybody willing to fill out the request to get some free ammo. At $2 per shot you are more likely to be paying attention and taking notes, not just shooting pumpkins.

      As for the price, anybody remember when a flat screen TV (non HD) could be had for a measly $18,000.00? Or a laptop PC went for $4,000.00? Initial runs of any product, especially prototypes, include all the start-up costs and R&D. First-in buyers always help to offset that expense, just in case the product doesn’t catch on. Now that production is measured in the millions of units you can get a very nice HD flat screen for around $1,000 and laptops between $500 and $1,000.00. This is what’s known as the economics of scale.

      If they go into full production of this ammo they will undoubtedly buy components in larger bulk quantities, which will giver them a better price on raw materials. They will establish manufacturing routines and probably improve the machinery involved. All of these things should combine to drastically reduce the price when they are cranking millions of rounds per month. And it may still be match quality and end up cheaper than your reloads.

      Also, the casing is plastic. It is apparent from the picture that a metal ejector/primer component is still required and I seriously doubt they are going to be putting a plastic bullet on the end.

    • It’s the Micro$oft testing model. Buy a bug-ridden release. Then pay again for tech support. Meanwhile, if your data (or weapon in this case) goes up in smoke, oh well.

      Follow the money.

    • According to their FAQ, you shouldn’t reload them, because the case volume is smaller than a brass case (I’m guessing they have thicker walls to handle the pressure).
      But as long as they don’t crack, it might be possible. You’d probably have to use a universal depriming die, rather than a resizing die, due to the smaller interior. And you’d likely not want to resize, bell, or crimp the case, because polymers aren’t malleable.

      • The case volume probably isn’t the only reason, I would think that there is quite a lot of stress put on the case by the chamber pressures and the polymer case would be weaker the second or third time around. If this ammo was cheap enough I wouldn’t even bother to reload it, just like steel cased ammo, or cheap shotgun hulls.

        • I’m with you. Once this gets figured out and the price comes down, won’t even bother reloading.

          It’ll suck for folks like me, though. My plan is to turn half my spent .223 into .300 Blackout, which you won’t be able to do with this stuff. On the flip side, if they start offering .300 Blackout in a polymer case, that’ll really help with the availability of that stuff.

    • On the reloading forum, these were discussed. One member had a previous run of polymer cased ammo (apparently PCP Isn’t the first, or they were .mil only, I forget the circumstances) and reloaded the cases. For the most part they were successful, with a few splitting, but still firing.

      • These aren’t the first to try. There were some others many years ago that looked like mini shotgun shells with a .223 bullet in them.

        They worked fine if I recall correctly.

  1. “We are limiting the production initially to allow for user feedback that validates our test results.” == Only dead-tree gun magazines with no-bad-reviews policies will see any of this ammunition.

    As a reloader, I expect to have the same allergic reaction to polymer cases that I get from steel cases.

      • After it’s out of R&D and they scale up production, it might be. right now though, it’s still highly speculative and isn’t being mass produced.

        • One would think they would offer the test cartridges at a more reasonable cost and write that off as R&D as well…

  2. Interesting idea, but will it handle the heat or will it melt like the lacquer coating on Wolf supposedly does I wonder.

  3. But wait, I thought our big harping point about 3D printed / plastic guns was that ammunition was detectable, so the Undetectable Firearms Act was pointless. All we need now is a plastic bullet…

    Not that I think plastic bullets even matter, if someone wants to use a plastic gun and plastic bullets to commit felony assault or murder, they aren’t going to give much mind to the legality of their weapon.

  4. Whats the point of this when it is $40 a flippin box? They have a long way to go if they plan on matching the Russians.

    • They’re some crazy ass match bullets that won’t do a damn thing for me and my FAL. I ain’t that good and the gun isn’t a match gun.

      • I do, however, wonder if this will work out in fluted chambers, like those found on PTRs/HK91s.

        My PTR-MSG can very well produce excellent groupings at 600+ yards easy enough, however the polymers might mess with the chamber flutes. Hrm.

        • That’s what I’ve been wondering too. The PTR series is notoriously rough on casings, I think that it would be a real trial by fire for this stuff.

  5. If they’re intending this to be high-quality match ammo, they’ve already failed because it’s not reloadable. If they’re trying to make an affordable alternative to steel cases, they’ve got to shave about $30 off the price per box.

    If it’s going to cost as much as the best super-premium hunting ammo, it had better perform like it. And it had better be reloadable.

  6. Some years ago, I tested some .223 ammo with a composite metal/plastic case. Main problem was, they wouldn’t chamber in some guns. Go figure.

  7. Wait a sec:

    They not only want me (or anyone else) to volunteer to put their face behind a rifle loaded with rather unconventional ammunition (ie, they’re using a plastic/polymer case) which could turn ugly in the event of a case failure, they want me to pay for this privilege?

    Yeeeeeaaaa…. riiight.

    Not until I see some test results done by HP White Labs.

    • I appreciate our concern sir. We have conducted thousands of tests ourselves and with thirds parties such as HP White Labs.

      Here are some testing results from HP White Labs.

      Please note that this testing was on our M80 7.62 load for use in machine guns.

      Also the product tested in this report was tested at three temps -25F, Ambient, and +125. Even though these passed at -25F, our commercial recommendation is to not shoot below 0F due to the variances in chamber dimensions and a margin of safety factor.

  8. I’m waiting for fully automatic assault weapons of war that can be printed at home from recycled plastic water bottles, and laser-guided armor-piercing exploding hollowpoint ammo that never misses at distances of 1000 yards and more.

    I want the guns and ammo in .9 mm and 40 mm caliber, because according to the MSM, those are the guns used most by criminals.

    And would it be too much to ask for all the guns and ammo to be invisible?

  9. For answers to your questions Ralph, ask Bloomberg and Schumer; they seem to be the experts about that kind of fantastic stuff.

  10. I’m not big on the idea of pumping out hundreds of thousands or millions of little plastic cases that wont be picked up or biodegrade. Must be the hippy in me.

    • So let’s use those precious resources for something truly important (and generally non-polluting) like ammunition.

      Nuclear, hydro, and (in the not too distant future) solar power can provide electricity. And I have no problem with the idea of driving to the range every weekend in an electric vehicle.

  11. I shoot polymer DAG German Army surplus 7.62 NATO out of my PTR-91. The Germans have been using it for decades. It uses a lighter bolt and mine dates from 1973. About 17 cents a round, just as accurate as regular ammo out to 100 yards plus. The bullet itself is plastic and lethal(4000 fps), so it’s not be played around with. Great way to shoot 7.62 cheap.

  12. Back in the late 70s or early 80s in WV we got some shotgun shells that were all plastic. The only metal was the primer and the payload. Somebody said they were made in Poland. They came in 20 round boxes and were very cheap. My only complaint with them was if you used a single shot the extractor could occasionally rip the rim instead of pulling the empty out. They were only sold locally for a short time and I draw a complete blank as to what name or company was on the box.

    • There were ACTIVs in the 80s/90s (which if memory serves had some steel in the base under the plastic for the primer) and Wandas or somesuch which were early 70s and I think were all plastic.

      There may have been others, but I remember those two.

  13. I don’t see the point. If they cost about 25-40c per round, they have potential. But I can buy .308 Winchester once-fire-brass from fullbore target shooters at 200 for $10. Each time I use them costs half a cent.

    I picked up over 500 5.56 cases when the army used our range for an exercise. Plus once-fired Winchester commercial brass at 10 cents each (1 cent per use). I’m set for brass for very long time.

  14. What are the weight savings? Potential cost savings down the road may make polymer-cased ammo attractive, but at current prices the application I’m curious about is reducing the encumbrance of a full combat loadout, especially for a rifle caliber like .308. If the weight savings are substantial than the ammo is practical and may be the next thing before we get to caseless ammo. Brass will still be more appropriate for many applications, but when I’m hauling a few hundred rounds over hill and dale for miles in the backcountry and my ass is on the line reloading will be way down on my list of concerns.

  15. Seems like a huge waste of plastic. At least lead and brass can be recycled. I see this as being better suited to aircraft/ or U/MAV applications. F22s would love to have lighter ammo.

  16. Always the skeptic, I would not believe everything one reads on the internet. A quick search of PCP Tactical for Government awards came back with the following website data. It seems that the government contracts to “deliver advanced lightweight polymer sub-sonic ammunition and an improved .50 caliber precision round” look more like development contracts than production contracts. I do not know if I would risk my guns doing someone else’s Beta testing. If the ammo blows up your gun, can you recover the costs of a replacement gun based upon defective product, or do you have to sign a release not to hold these guys responsible for damage to your gun? Beta testing software or a new version of Call of Duty is one thing, the worse thing that will happen is you have to reload your software. When your gun or your face can get damaged, that is a different question; although, some of you guys are probably so ugly that a new face would do you good. If you sign up and pay your bucks, make sure you do not have to also sign a waiver of liability; or I would think twice.

  17. I have 2 buddies that bought cases of polymer cased .223 years ago that was total trash was cheap though really cheap. Might of got 1 of 4 to chamber and fire had tons of them split the case dump the powder all over make a mess of their ARs. I know one of them reloads and I am pretty sure he just pulled the bullets and used the powder and bullets to load some brass with them.

  18. So, i just got 2 boxes of these delivered for testing. The beta testing part could have been done differently but i think the high price helped keep the test group limited to the people that really want to create a true and honest review. I will be at the range tomorrow and do some testing. Will let you guys know how it goes.

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