SHOT Show: True Velocity and Sierra Announce Composite Cartridge Ammuntion

true velocity

By David Schlake

Every year at SHOT Show, there are a handful of booths that make passerby tilt their heads with curiosity.

In an industry saturated with innovation and technological advances, it’s hard to get stumped by something truly unique. When it happens, though, it’s usually a sign of a revolutionary product.

This year at SHOT Show 2020, Sierra Bullets and True Velocity introduced the first-ever competition-grade line of composite-cased ammunition.

True Velocity composite cartridge

Courtesy True Velocity

The True Velocity booth showcased rows of cartridges with white casings, and hosted a consistent line of people wanting a closer look. I assumed we were all looking for an answer to the same question: Are these any different than composite-cased ammunition of the past?

An up-close look and an in-depth overview proved fruitful, as no cartridge with a composite case has ever boasted statistics quite like these.

In fact, these cartridges are putting up numbers unsurpassed by brass-cased match-grade cartridges, as they’re capable of sub-MOA accuracy at extended ranges and single-digit standard deviation in muzzle velocity.

The concept benefits every kind of a shooter, as military personnel get the luxury of carrying less weight and hunters get to enjoy improved long-range accuracy.

Featuring a precision formed primer pocket and a burr-free flash hole in a steel alloy head, the True Velocity case boasts more strength and safety than your typical brass head case design.

The composite neck and body of the case also allow for excellent wall thickness uniformity, as well as precisely aligned features with minimal runout.

Thanks to the composite material, engineers can better control the internal geometry of the case, meaning they can tweak the powder chamber to get optimal internal ballistics.

With better burn efficiency, the ammo requires 10 percent less propellant, which results in less barrel wear over time and less recoil with each shot. True Velocity claims the cases are 100% recyclable and should be less expensive, eventually, than brass.

On the downside, the cases obviously won’t be reloadable. That’s not a drawback for most shooters who buy commercial and don’t reload anyway. And policing ranges, the True Velocity cartridges’ steel bases mean they can be picked up much the same way shotgun shells are.

True Velocity-cased ammo will hit the shelves sometime in 2020, and will initially come in .308 Winchester with Sierra’s 168- and 175-grain MatchKing and Tipped MatchKing bullets, as well as 6.5 Creedmoor with a 142-grain MatchKing bullet.

comments

  1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Will be one of the old kermudgeons reloading brass cased ammo and complaining about these whippersnappers and their polymer ammo.

    Seriously though, that’s cool stuff. I’ll be curious to see if it withstands the test of time.

    1. avatar Broke_It says:

      There’s always swaging your own projectiles. Until the next whiz bang thing to shove down a barrel comes out.

  2. avatar Connie says:

    I wonder what the price per 20 round box is looking to be at launch time?

    1. avatar Buff cousin Elroy says:

      Probably around $70 lol.

    2. avatar Don from CT says:

      They are probably touting their accuracy because high priced match ammo will better allow them to pay for all the capital investment requred to get something like this to market.

      Move down market to follow.

    3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      cheaper than .475 bishop @$179 per twenty…

  3. avatar Thixotropic says:

    Wonder what polymer or composite of polymer that they use. Can’t be carbon black nucleated. Looks pretty amorphous.

    Steel Rim hard on extractors?

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      I’m no metallurgist, but as I understand it, as long as it’s softer than the extractor hook, it should be fine. And in steel alloys, a bit softer can be helpful in ductility, and that may be a trait they want for the propellant during ignition…

  4. avatar Leslie says:

    I wonder if this is a means of doing away of Reloading your own cartridges. By producing Polymer Cartridges instead of Brass or Steel. And how much does Ammunition Manufacturers lose as a result of people reloading their own each year…

    1. avatar possum and the Coons of Doom says:

      This is the future.The start of the end. Iit would not surprise me to latter find out that after 5 years the plastic breaks down and is no longer safe to shoot.

      1. avatar arc says:

        Or it could be just as good as polymer propane tanks and store indefinitely.

        I’m not going to be the test rat.

    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “And how much does Ammunition Manufacturers lose as a result of people reloading their own each year…”

      I’d like to see that data as well, and how it correlates to the calibers. I suspect (with zero proof to back it up) that reloading is a small percentage, and straight re-melt and recycle is a larger percentage…

      1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        I am waiting for this non reloadable ammo to be the only legal ammo. This would be popular with the socialists that have been obsessing over someone ” manufacturing ” their own ammo.

  5. avatar Jackson says:

    I remember when bottled water and straws were great. Now it’s all about reusable containers and the environment. Not sure how more non-reusable plastic will translate into a better image for the shooting community. Just my 2 cents.

  6. avatar That Jason says:

    You can’t reduce recoil by reducing powder unless you are also slowing the bullet. Tying improved efficiency to reduced powder use implies the same bullet at the same muzzle velocity. And at that point, I don’t care if you’re using electromagnets, gunpowder, or talcum powder to propel your bullet.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Using the concept of conservation of momentum, the mass of both the powder and bullet will affect recoil. Both are expelled from the muzzle at X velocity, and the fact that (most of the) the mass of the powder is converted to gas makes no difference. It’s still mass being accelerated.

      Reducing the mass of the powder will, in fact, reduce recoil, all other factors being equal. Whether or not that reduction is noticeable is a separate question.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        Chamber pressure is a result of case volume. So less case volume needs less powder to keep the same pressure. It’s why you use less powder in military brass than commercial brass.

        1. avatar Renault says:

          But doesn’t the commercial loading of certain rounds have a higher velocity then it’s military counter part? For example, .308 and 30-06 are a bit hotter and faster then 7.62×51 and .30 ball.

        2. avatar Southern Cross says:

          I didn’t say anything about military loadings. The case volume of military cases is less than commercial cases because of the thicker walls. Reloading manuals have advised the powder charges can be less with military brass.

        3. avatar Someone says:

          Exactly. I strongly suspect that the plastic cases have to have thicker walls than their brass equivalents and therefore have smaller internal volume. That would explain why they require less powder.

          As far as recoil caused by the gasses, they have much lower mass, but also much higher velocity than the bullet. Mass gets divided by 2 when calculating recoil energy, while velocity gets squared, meaning that V is much more important. Guns with mufflers shoot softer, not only because of added weight,
          but also by slowing down the gasses while leaving the bullet’s speed untouched, if not slightly increased. Space rockets spit out only gasses and the recoil lifts them out of the gravity well.

      2. avatar Robert Joseph LoRusso says:

        Something I don’t understand. If its only the combined weight of the ejecta times velocity, how come shorter barrels shooting the same ammo ,recoil more than longer barrels. Shorter barrels even eject the bullet slower. ??

        1. avatar Someone says:

          Weight of the gun also plays a role. Shorter barrel tends to make the gun lighter.

    2. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      You have X inches to accelerate a bullet to Y velocity. If your powder burn is ineffecient, the round may achieve that velocity in X-3 inches instead of X inches, which will mean increased recoil, because more acceleration is taking place over a smaller time period. Or, if there is unburned powder — more likely, it blasts out the end of the barrel as muzzle flash. Efficient burn means making the powder burn so as to accelerate the bullet evenly along the entire barrel length, spreading the recoil out over the longest possible time interval, while using no more powder than necessary.

      Think of it in terms of spaceships. A spaceship can accelerate very slowly to a high velocity over many weeks, producing a “felt” force of 1G that the astronauts experience as a pleasant amount of force that allows them artificial gravity, or it can accelerate to the same velocity very rapidly, with a 10G acceleration that leaves the astronaut passed out from the force during the acceleration stage, and then in zero-G for the rest of the trip.

      1. avatar That Jason says:

        The difference in getting a 168gr. .308 up to 2600fps in a 24 inch barrel, between a faster powder and a slower powder, is something you won’t notice and don’t have the tools to measure, pedant. So only a fool, a marketer, or an internet moron would claim it.

    3. avatar Anymouse says:

      Wrong. The powder converts to a gas traveling faster than the bullet (7000 fps for example), but it still has mass that needs to be included in the calculation. Your total recoil would be 170gr x 3000fps + 40gr X 7000 fps. It’s not a majority of the recoil momentum, but reducing to 30 gr of powder would reduce the recoil.

    4. avatar dan says:

      you “can” reduce recoil by reducing powder. the few grains of gunpowder leave the bbl at 4000 ft/s and contribute to recoil but not much. you would have to reduce powder by maybe half to make a felt difference. you can compensate for less bulk by using a different powder with different burn properties, but going to half as much powder means it was the wrong powder in the first place and the replacement is wrong too. but that would demonstrate the effect.

  7. avatar D.J.U. says:

    When I was a young whipper snapper I lived in Germany on a U.S.Air Force base ( I was a military brat) in the 60s, and they used a nylon bodied, brass based blank round in some simulated firing practices. I had a couple spent cases on my collection shelf. I have allways wondered and waited to see some real ammunition come to the market for all firearms in this composite configuration. Shotshells have proven their worth using plastics and brass, so why not the rest of the shooting world.
    It’s about time, and hopefully they be able to market loadable cases for the reloader to load once for there own special loads, even if not reloadable, and make them afordable enough for the poor person factor to purchase and use.
    Reloading your own for volume shooters was allways supposed to save money. But the margins have been shrinking drastically unless you can purchase in major bulk. Trying to save money on shotshell reloading has really been hit hard due to lead shot and alternative shots priceing.

    1. avatar Gecko45 says:

      I just comment to up vote you.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      I agree on shotshell reloading. When lead went from 10.50 a bag to 40.00 I gave up trap shooting and reloading . A consequence of the war and global markets for lead in manufacturing.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        ‘bama shut the smelter?

        1. avatar GS650G says:

          i considered using a littleton shot maker and accumulated a few hundred pounds of wheel weights but the fumes are dangerous and the tire weights were very impure. The shot was really inconsistent

        2. avatar Geoff "I got your Super Bowl right *here*" PR says:

          Obama using the EPA did close some smelters, if memory serves. The ones left are primarily for ‘recycling’ car batteries and whatnot.

          And the last I heard, Russia is one of the few countries left mining and smelting in volume…

    3. avatar Josh says:

      The German government had that “uebungsmunition” (“training ammunition”? “practice ammunition”?) manufactured in 7.62 NATO and 9mm NATO. I have a case or two of the 7.62. It uses a blue plastic case with a blue plastic round nosed bullet (11 grains?) molded right in. The case is filled with powder and then a primed steel case head pressed into place, with heat to seal the plastic I think. The rim is slightly smaller so it would fit into the breechface of a specialized, dedicated bolt for the H&K G3 rifles issued at the time. The regular bolt operated using roller-delayed blowback. The special bolt had no rollers and was thoroughly lightened so that the rifle could fire this ultra-light ammunition and cycle normally in straight blowback. The breechface diameter was reduced to match the “uebungsmunition” so that normal full-power 7.62 NATO would not chamber and fire, which could cause catastrophic damage with the lightweight, roller-free bolt.

      I find it shoots accurately out to 100 yards in my FAL with the gas turned off or in a bolt action. I have read that velocity is around 4200 feet per second. Report is moderately loud but recoil is completely nonexistent. Ejection can be pretty weak no matter how “briskly” I operate the bolt, probably because the small rim slips off the extractor as soon as it hits the ejector, before it spins around to the side and picks up a good rotational velocity. It’s a lot of fun though, and a good alternative to a .22LR for teaching new, recoil sensitive shooters. I very much want a PTR-91 or something with that special bolt dropped in.

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    Just because something is technically recyclable doesn’t mean it’s getting recycled. Something like 90% of all recyclable plastics never make to that next life and just sit in a landfill.

    Id like to see a less toxic yet just as inexpensive as lead projectile. Something plinking grade where being sub-MOA or having awesome expansion and mass doesn’t particularly matter.

    If we’re talking enviro-friendly innovations that is.

    1. avatar Geoff "I got your Super Bowl right *here*" PR says:

      Nothing reasonably priced has the necessary density to be an easy replacement.

      Lead is pretty much it, and what the environmental nut-jobs refuse to recognize is that elemental lead is pretty benign if just left where it fell. It quickly forms an oxide ‘shell’ around itself that seals it up nicely.

      Lead is most dangerous when lead water pipes are exposed to an acid like polluted lake water used in a municipal water system like Flint, Mi. Even then, they would have been OK if they only bothered to neutralize it by passing it over pulverized limestone. But, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!…

  9. avatar Prndll says:

    I’ll try it. If it shoots good at a decent price, I might run a regular amount. It has my interest.

    This might get me to buy a 3D printer….if it goes that way.

  10. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Wonder how my local indoor ranges that refuse to allow magnetic ammunition (due to possible steel core) are going to respond to this stuff?

    1. avatar kahlil says:

      The same way that steel cased ammo is allowed at ranges. The ones I visit run a magnet over the projectile not the case.

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        No steel cased allowed either.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Like aluminum and steel cases ranges will probably ban plastic cases because they can’t make money on the empties. They tolerate the shotshell as it is.

  11. avatar Southern Cross says:

    I would like to see the projected retail cost of this ammunition. I could see “box a year” hunters using this ammunition, but the Fudds will complain “brass is more purdy”.

    Personally, because I’m a reloader, I’ll still stick to brass.

  12. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    I’m pretty conservative when it comes to shooting innovations. Most innovations aren’t. Sound and fury. I sit back and wait, but this may be interesting. I won’t buy 10,000 rounds of it, but, if advertised, I might lay in 100 rounds for each of my hunting rifles. Wait! That is 10,000 rounds!

  13. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Queue up all the whippersnappers making fun of brass-hunters who reload.

    Now, let me tell you how this is going to evolve, because you whippersnappers don’t stop runnin’ your soup-coolers long enough to think how this technology has a second edge:

    Let’s say that this (or something like this) makes a big market penetration. Let’s say that it’s because all you whippersnappers who won’t/don’t reload are laughing all the way to the range at us old duffers who reload, and how much time we spend reloading vs. shooting. Ammo for 5.56 and 7.62 NATO converges on this disposable “recyclable” case ammo (they had to put in the recycling thing, so it adheres to the environmental religion and their nutjobs…)

    Then comes a day when some bunch of liberals get their silk panties in a twist about something – and they mandate that ammo has purchasing limits – similar to California, only worse. Now you’re restricted as to how much ammo you can buy/own at once. Thanks to market pressures, brass cases are now very difficult to find.

    Now your pew-pew time is cut by 80%+ because you cannot buy the ammo that’s left in the market place in quantity, and you find out that us duffers have long memories and aren’t going to give you any of our brass hoard, which we’ve squirreled away over years and years, anticipating the moment we have either a Jewish or female POTUS who files an EO upon the BATFE to restrict the 07 FFL’s of those companies still making brass-cased ammo to limit sales of cases/components in their quest to tighten gun control laws.

    Now how much would you pay for this ammo?

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      Dude!

      Quit sniffing the titegroup!

      You seriously think, in that convoluted scenario you outline, that people would be worried about where to get plinking ammo? If all of that happened you wouldn’t need ammo because they would have outlawed guns already.

      1. avatar dan says:

        that had to be sarcasm. look at what they are doing in CA with regulating ammo and reloading components.

    2. avatar Renault says:

      I was with you till the Jewish thing, man. I know all about anti semitism. Something you have in common with the liberals you despise. Perhaps you are not so different from them, deep down inside.

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        Inclined to agree overall. I would say that “leftist” or “authoritarian” would be good enough.

        That said, ammo mfg is a class 06 not an 07.

      2. avatar Ezekiel says:

        RENAULT “I was with you till the Jewish thing, man. I know all about anti semitism. Something you have in common with the liberals you despise. Perhaps you are not so different from them, deep down inside.”

        What a B.S. comment, any mention of Jew and you play the anti-semite card? Even to go so far as to attempt to Impugn his character by calling him a liberal and more?

        There are 34 Jews in congress, with 32 being Democratics (Including the most disliked big eyed member Adam “Shifty” Schiff) and 8 in the Senate, with a nice round 100% being Democratics.

        And with group think being mandatory for the far leftist Democratics…

        Yeah, it’s a pretty safe bet that if a Jew makes the White House, they are not going to be pro-2A.

        You owe Dyspeptic Gunsmith an apology.

        One more thing, I drove a Renault for a week once, it was a pretty “Shifty” car.

        1. avatar Renault says:

          I don’t owe anybody anything. You are a clown. Renault was also a line of tanks.

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i lament the passing of the kenosha cadillacs. renault french queefed it’s way out of the u.s. with their little pollywog tail between there fishnet stockings.
          an r5 turbo is of interest. but there are more ramblers ramblin’ ’round than g17’s gordining.

          unless gottlieb (you gonna make a run, dan?) gets voted in it’s a fair bet that the star of david will not be pro2a.

      3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        We’ve got how many Jews running for POTUS this cycle who want to eliminate the Second Amendment as their top priority? We’ve even got a Jewish candidate who buys the absurdly expensive ad-time of the Superbowl to tell us that he’s running on gun control, first, last and only priority.

        Or haven’t you been noticing Mike Bloomberg’s attempt to buy the DNC wholesale?

        After last night’s Iowa Caucus results, he’s going to be able to do it, too. He’ll pretend that he’s here to “rescue” the DNC from their own epic incompetence by just buying the election.

        After his fixation with gun control, he’s really only in the race because the “pretend I’m a racial minority” fraud Elizabeth Warren is promising to take 2% of his $50B+ wealth every year, which would come to a cool $billion-per-year in “wealth tax” that she’s proposing.

        1. avatar Renault says:

          So? That somehow proves being Jewish predisposes someone to support gun control? You are ignorant. I don’t care how many friends you have here, I will continue to say it. Your real problem is, you think you are way smarter then you really are.

      4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Renault,

        I have never seen Dyseptic Gunsmith to be an anti-Semite. And I can assure you that I am not an anti-Semite.

        If you care to learn the TRUTH (this site is The Truth about Guns), you will find that Jews in the United States are arguably the most uniform and staunchly anti-firearms demographic in our nation. Most (if not all) big names in state and federal politics who are Jewish work tirelessly to disarm the masses. Most (if not all) big names in the entertainment and banking industries who are Jewish publicly demand that government disarm the masses. And most Jewish voters (especially on the West and East Coasts) vote reliably for anti-firearm local, state, and federal politicians.

        That is a FACT whether you like it or not. And, while Dyspeptic Gunsmith may be a closet anti-Semite, stating the above FACT is not evidence of such.

        I encourage you to research this matter. Start at the website that a Jewish person launched when he recognized how uniformly anti-gun Jews are in the United States in hopes of persuading them to support, rather than work against, our right to keep and bear arms. His site is http://www.jpfo.org where the “jpfo” is an acronym for, “Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Onwership.”

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          You write this on a rabidly pro2A website started and run by Jews.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Mr. Taylor,

          Exactly. I am well aware of that fact and I have a hunch that commenter Dyseptic Gunsmith is as well.

          I am thankful for this website as well as http://www.jpfo.org — we need all the support that we can get from all people, regardless of their ancestry, heritage, melanin levels, or any other arbitrary characteristic.

        3. avatar Renault says:

          Then you are a fool, uncommon sense. Follow that ideology down that rabbit hole at you peril. You cannot justify it. The vast majority of blacks are democrats, (though that’s the chanting under Trump) but would you then argue being black is a predisposition to despise firearms rights?

      5. avatar Someone says:

        You are the one talking about predispositions, Renault. D. G. and U.S. pointed out facts. Not nearly all Jews are anti gun rights. In fact, some members of the tribe are vigorously pro-gun rights. But there sure is a disproportionate number of Jews amongst gun grabbers. Reality is not racist, or anti-semitic.

    3. avatar guy says:

      This is precisely why I pick up brass for reloading that I dont own the firearms for. Plus you would be surprised how many club members go the range pick up a couple peices and say “well looks good” then I find like 50 more after they leave.
      I just wonder how much the ejected brass helps reduce the heat building up in your firearm. Wasn’t this the issue with the G-11?

      1. avatar guy says:

        Except the whole women/jew thing i dont subscribe to that view.

  14. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    I wonder why it can’t be reloaded.

    People used to tell me you couldn’t reload steel case or Berdan primed. Then I met some guys doing it.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      I know people who reload Berdan primed brass. It is not impossible but does need special tools and methods. If there is a supply of Boxer primed cases, use these instead.

      Reloading steel cases usually involves berdan primed cases too. It can be done but I’ve heard it does put wear on the dies. Again, only an option if brass cases are not available.

      Boxer primed brass is easy to reload compared to Berdan primers and steel cases.

  15. avatar Renault says:

    I still don’t understand the physics of how a polymer case allows a bullet to be loaded with less powder for greater velocity. That just sounds like a lie and a sales pitch. I really don’t think that’s real. Somebody prove me wrong.

    1. avatar Geoff "Science, bitch!" PR says:

      “I still don’t understand the physics of how a polymer case allows a bullet to be loaded with less powder for greater velocity.”

      It’s like this : The powder burns, creating hot gas. In a brass cartridge case, that hot gas is touching a brass case that is an *excellent* conductor of heat. As the gas transfers its heat to the brass case and into the steel chamber wall of the gun, the temperature of the gas falls, meaning there is now less PSI to push the bullet down the barrel.

      You have noticed how hot brass is freshly ejected, haven’t you?

      Now in the polymer cased ammo, the powder burns creating hot gas that pushes the bullet down the bore, but the gas isn’t cooling as quickly due to the plastic being a worse conductor of heat. All that heat better stays in the hot gas, propelling the bullet just as fast, even though you are using less powder.

      It’s the same basic idea of better insulation lowering your A/C bill in summer…

      1. avatar Matt says:

        The combustion physics is pretty similar in an internal combustion engine. At the chamber walls, ceiling and piston face the flame front is cooler from transferred heat. This can quench the flame front in a worst case and in a best case it reduces combustion efficiency as more of the air and fuel will not end up combusting because of the reduced heat. To add, ever notice after shooting a round how dirty your barrel and muzzle device might get? Some of that is straight up carbon, but some amounts of it are partially combusted powder. Look at a muzzle loader for comparison in combustion efficiency compared to smokeless powder. In that case, you are looking partially at the chemical composition of the powder itself. However, straight up black powder to black powder, cased ammunition is slightly more efficient than a muzzle stuffer because the case contains the combustion event for fractions of a second until pressure builds enough to force the bullet from the case mouth and the combustion chamber volume starts increasing as the bullet travels down the barrel.

        A warmed up engine is more efficient than a cold engine largely because the combustion chamber walls, ceiling and piston face are hotter, reducing the quenching effect on the combustion event. Technically a really hot rifle chamber and letting the cartridge heat up would make the whole thing more efficient also. Downside is more shot to shot spread compared to cold chamber. Same thing with propellant temperature. You can get a good 100+fps spread and several inch shot dispersion at longer distances when comparing shooting a rifle at 0F compared to, say, 100F. Some powders are better at this than others, but there is no such thing as a completely temperature insensitive powder.

        So we have that taken care of.

        Next, the geometry of the inside of the case also has something to do with efficiencies. You can shape it differently to do things like direct the primer flame in to a better jet rather than having the flame holes empty directly in to the case and spread out. So you can have it “blast” more deeply in to the powder charge. Same reason you can typically gain a few dozen fps out of a magnum primer versus a regular primer. Very little of that is from the extra energy of the primer itself, a lot of it is because of more sudden combustion of the gun powder.

        You can also make the case walls shaped better to do things like have less turbulence in mixing during combustion, making things burn more completely.

        For the lower recoil for the same energy; less gas produced for the same imparted energy. Shoot muzzle loaders and compare a 100gr load of black powder to a 100gr volumetric charge of black horn 209. The later is going to be about 64gr by weight and end up probably producing about 15-20% higher muzzle velocities, so about 30-40% more actual muzzle energy. Even with all of that extra energy of the bullet, you have lower recoil. You have less gas and unburned powder getting blasted out of the end of the barrel.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          This.

          The shape of the case has some bearing on the performance, but also the volume.

          With modern powder burn rates, you can achieve the same pressures with a lower volume of powder. One of the reasons why modern nitro-cellulose powders are so efficient (compared to black powders) is that as the pressure goes up, their burn rates go up (generally, depending on flake shape/coatings). As the burn rates go up, the pressures go up.

          Using these characteristics, you can achieve similar or higher pressures by moving towards higher load densities in the case. Take for example the instance where you’re using less powder in a rifle case, but you see the bullet deeper into the neck, removing the excess open volume in the case – the pressure goes up as a result of the higher load density. Now let’s say that you shrink the case and compress the powder load – you can achieve higher pressures still.

          You can see this with an example of .308 Winchester brass vs. 7.62 NATO brass. The NATO brass typically has thicker webs and walls, and therefore has a smaller volume. If you load a .308 Winchester 100% load density into a NATO case, you will see elevated pressures – sometimes more than you want.

          So yes, they can (in theory) promise equal or better performance vs. a brass case.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Matt,

          Same thing with propellant temperature. You can get a good 100+fps spread and several inch shot dispersion at longer distances when comparing shooting a rifle at 0F compared to, say, 100F.

          I inadvertently measured this property!

          I hunt white-tailed deer with a break-action rifle chambered in .44 Magnum and I wanted to know what bullet trajectory to expect all the way out to 150 yards. So I set up my chronograph to measure muzzle velocity (which ballistic calculators need to predict bullet trajectory). On a nice day when the air temperature was about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, I measured a particular load with a muzzle velocity of 1,900 fps. Then I happened to measure muzzle velocity again when my rifle and and the same box of cartridges were about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. (They “soaked” in the cold for at least 16 hours.) I was really surprised when muzzle velocity had dropped to just over 1,700 fps. That is something like a 150 to 200 fps decrease in muzzle velocity simply because the temperature of the cartridge, rifle, and air were 45 degrees colder.

          Since I discovered that, I sometimes shoot for recreation in the summer and may adjust my zero slightly. Come Autumn, though, I pick a cold morning or day and recheck my zero with a cold rifle and ammunition.

      2. avatar Renault says:

        Thank you for all your input. This level of knowledge is hard to find on most gun forums.

  16. avatar Duke says:

    Two concerns:

    1. Rust

    2. Future environmental bans on brass (similar to lead bans) eliminating re-loading and making it easier to disarm patriots.

    Just thinking out loud.

  17. avatar steel is bad says:

    Even though the materials and production will be cheaper for manufactures you can bet your bottom dollar that this ammunition will be twice as expensive as brass cased ammo. This industry loves inventing new things that costs them less to produce and charging the consumer more to purchase it.

    I also thoroughly enjoy how they now boast about the ability to pick it up magnetically while for years the it has been ingrained in a good deal of shooters’ heads that “steel is BAAAAAAAHHHHD for the gun and breaks parts”. “Steel alloy head” is the same thing as steel even though we added fancy descriptive words. Don’t worry though the dolts will be all over this!

  18. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’m going to try it – I find advances in ammunition interesting. My favorite factory ammo is Eagle Eye in .308 and Hornady ELD in 6.5 CM. I doubt this will make all the hype, but testing new things is fun and informative.

  19. Berdan primed brass is easy to reload. I just drill out the flash hole. As for the new ammo, it will be expensive to make up the cost of development plus profit. Curious if the military is interested. I reload because cost and to tailor my loads. I’ll try a box out of curiosity, but will take a wait and see attitude since I am sitting on quite a bit of brass in quite a few calibers.

  20. avatar Ptm says:

    I am looking forward to giving this ammo a shot.

    🙂

  21. avatar Ed Weber says:

    I take issue with “military personnel get the luxury of carrying less weight.” The US military will simply require the soldier or Marine to carry more ammo to make up the weight reduction. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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