Brass Cased Ammo Options at

What is Brass-Cased Ammunition?

Brass cased 9x19 ammo on a table

Brass-cased ammunition essentially refers to any cartridge that is loaded in brass case or shell. We’re essentially talking about the area of the cartridge that contains the powder and primer, as well as the back end of the bullet. Although it can sometimes be confused with brass bullets, these are two distinct characteristics, and this section is only discussing brass cases

Brass casings are the most popular and common type of ammunition available on the market today. They were first designed by a French gunsmith named Benjamin Houllier, who patented the first cartridge that was capable of being fired by the strike of a hammer. In the first design, an internal pin was driven into the cartridge by the gun’s hammer. Improvements were made over time, but brass remained an essential material for these cartridges

Although other materials are available (most notable coated steel), brass remains the most common and popular material for ammunition casing.

Advantages of Using Brass Cased Rounds

Fewer Malfunctions, Fewer Failures

  • The main reason that brass is used by so many gun owners and users is the unbeatable consistency and reliability, especially in semi-automatic rifles and pistols. These weapons rely on a relatively-complex gas-pressure system to cycle the empty case and load the next round. When the cartridge travels up the magazine, into the chamber, and out the ejection port, there are many opportunities for a jam. Brass, however, consistently operates with less jamming compared to other cartridges, making it ideal for high-volume shooting, as well as self-defense, when a jam could be life-threatening.
  • Reliability of the brass case is actually enhanced by its relative softness. With harder cases, such as steel-cased ammunition, internal pressures can cause the case to simply break inside the firearm, which can lead to significant damage. A softer brass case is less likely to experience this problem, and allows for the shooter to take corrective action if needed.

Brass Cases Are Typically Reloadable

  • Another reason that brass remains so popular is that it is, in most cases, reloadable. Most brass cases can be picked up and reloaded, which helps make the sport of shooting more affordable, especially for high-volume shooters. Even if you don’t reload, there are usually reloading enthusiast who will take them, and they may be willing to pay you for the cases. (Don't expect much, however.)
  • There are, of course, specialty cases that can't be reloaded, but with most cases you will be able to reload your cases, slightly offsetting the costs of shooting sports like target shooting and hunting.

Brass Is Sometimes Cleaner to Shoot

Compared to many of the steel casings, there are theories that brass may be cleaner. This is because steel casings, in order to improve cycling, often have a coating of some kind, such as lacquer. It's theorized (although not quite proven) that this coating can leave a residue in your firearm's chamber, especially when the chamber gets hot. While polymer coatings have reduced this issue, many firearm users still prefer brass-cased ammunition.

Disadvantages of Brass-Cased Ammunition

Brass is Typically More Expensive than Steel-Cased Ammo

Pricing depends on many factors, but you will generally find that brass-cased ammunition is more expensive than other ammunition choices. If you want to spend a day at the range casually shooting targets, and you want to spend as little money as possible, there are other options. The per-round price is generally minimal, so if you enjoy low-volume long-distance target shooting, brass is a good choice, but for high-volume plinking, there are less-costly options available. Just remember that if you reload, the cost can be offset by reloading your cases.

Potential Wear

ammo with brass casings lined up The other issue with brass cases is the chance for wear caused by misshapen cartridges. Because the cases are softer, there is a higher chance that cases can become misshapen, either from the manufacturer (which is rare) or after being picked up off the ground and reloaded. For this reason, it’s wise to shake out your cases to ensure that they are all properly shaped. This should be done before tumbling and polishing.

If you are looking for a versatile, well-balanced, high-value round, you really can't beat brass-cased ammunition. Many other factors will affect your cartridge's performance, but brass casing generally gives you a good foundation for reliability, consistency, and reusability.

You can browse all of our brass-cased rifle and pistol ammo by using the links above. If you want the very best, this will give you a lot of cheap ammo options to pick from. Of course, you can also head over to our steel cased ammo page to see what we have going on there and read-up on the benefits of shooting steel.