CCI Blazer Date


#1

Today I picked up a full box of CCI Blazer in .25 ACP. Even though undamaged, the box clearly has some age on it, but is post-early 1960s as it has child warning and ZIP code. It’s the white box with BLAZER on a diagonal black-red stripe (lower left to upper right), maker shown as Omark Industries. HS is CCI N R 25 AUTO, and aluminum cases. I know virtually nothing about CCI ammunition, such as when they first loaded Blazer. About when would this box have been made?

Just as an addendum, not a sales pitch. At least in my .25 ACP pistol, Blazer has always been 100% reliable in functioning. Not so for any other brand I’ve tried, which is most everything on the market. Also average MV of Blazer .25 (50 gr FMJ) chronos about 50 fps more than S&B, Aguila, Remington, Federal, or Winchester. That may have something to do with reliability.


#2

The CCI Blazer line of aluminum-cased ammunition was first introduced to the public in a special brochure copyrighted in 1981. It first appeared in their annual catalog in 1982, with an offering of three calibers in .38 Special only. The loads were a +P 125 grain JHP, a 148 grain lead match HBWC and a 158 grain lead RN cartridge.

The 1983 catalog added the .25 ACP 50 grain FMJ RN, the 9 mm Luger 115 grain FMJ RN, several more 38 Special loads, and two loads in 357 Magnum. Regarding the latter, a dealer advisory from Omark Industries, dated May 4, 1983, warned not to shoot the 357 Magnum Blazer in rifles. It warned to use this ammunition in Revolvers in good condition only.

C.1984 the 25 auto 45 grain JHP was added to the line. We do not have the catalog for that year, but the load is shown in the 1985 catalog with no indication that it was a “new” load. In that 1985 catalog a 115 grain JHP load in 9 mm Luger and the .45 Auto in a 230 grain FMJ RN loading are also shown, but show the word “NEW” above the pictures of those two types.

The 1986 catalog adds the .380 auto in both 88 grain JHP and 95 grain FMJ RN, and also a .45 Auto HP with 200 grain JHP bullet.

The 1988 Catalog introduced the Blazer 100 round “Ammo Can,” a plastic replica of the standard US GI ammo can, smaller of course. It was offered in 9 mm and .45. The 9 mm 115 grain became a TMJ bullet rather than FMJ, and a 124 grain RN TMJ was added to the offerings in that caliber. Two new .45 ACP loads were also offered, both match SWC TMJ bullets, one of 185 grain and one of 200 grain. This catalog now had eight loadings of the .38 Special and three loadings in .357, and two .44 Magnum Loadings are added to the line, 200 grain JHP (as described by CCI - however, the picture shows a Jacket Soft point-Hollow Point bullet), and a 240 grain lead SWC load. Oddly, only the 9 mm TMJ 124 grain shows “NEW” above it, even though many of the other loads mentioned were NOT in the 1987 catalog either. Some shot loadings in aluminum cases were also introduced, for the first time, in 1988.

The 1989-90 catalog shows several new loadings in the Blazer line. Among them, .32 auto, a 9 mm Luger 124 grain Pointed Soft Point (PSP) load, a .41 Magnum 200 grain Lead SWC, and the .45 Colt cartridge, with 255 grain Lead RN bullet.

In 1991, the Blazer “Lead Free” line was introduced. This included loads in 9 mm Luger and .38 Special. The .40 S&W, as well as two loadings in 10 mm Auto, were added to the line as well.

The year 1992 finds the first use of the term “Clean-Fire” applied to aluminum-case loads, including one each of calibers 9 mm Luger, .38 Special and .45 Auto.

The catalog of 1994 shows a new loading in .40 S&W, as well as the introduction of the 9 x 18 mm Makarov in a 90 grain HP loading. While some with 95 grain FMJ bullets had been made, supplied in white boxes with black print and including SAAMI calibration ammunition, they were not cataloged in the 1994 catalog. The 9 mm Largo (9 x 23 mm) was also introduced in 1984, along with the .40 S&W 155 grain load. The Blazer Clean-Fire line was also expanded in that year.

The 1995 catalog shows a paring down of the Blazer line. The .38 Special was offered in only four loadings, for example, and the .45 auto was pared down to two loadings. There were no rounds marked as “New” in that year’s catalog.

1996 brought the discontinuance of the .25 auto HP round and it appears nothing new was offered in 1997. It also heralded the discontinuation of the 9 mm Largo round, undoubtedly dropped for lack of sales.

In 1998 little new happened with the Blazer line. There were a couple of new loadings, but no new calibers. A shot load was added to the .40 S & W line.

In 1999, the .357 SIG round was added to the Blazer aluminum-cased line. The .40 Shot cartridge, shown the year before with a blue plastic sabot, now is shown as a full-length aluminum case with a plastic over-shot wad.

We will stop this mini-study at the year 2000, with nothing new in that catalog. Since then, the line has made some changes, but nothing of much consequence except perhaps the rebirth of the 9 x 18 mm Makarov TMJ loading.

Hope this is of some help and interest.

Edited for spelling and grammar only


#3

Do you have a lot number?


#4

Great CCI information, I’ll save it.

dArtignan, I am not at home presently, when I get back next week I will send information on lot number.


#5

Dennis,

The Aluminum cases Blazer was typically Berdan Primed and the “N R” was to indicate Non-Reloadable.

Butch Daubner


#6

Blazer 9 mm Para has been Boxer-primed, unknown to the general public, for some time now. I have specimens in my collection and discovered it pulling bullets looking for a specific shape for a Police inquiry. I think there intention is a conversion from the Berdan to Boxer in all calibers, but I am not sure what other, if any, are already Boxer-primed.

Butch is, however, correct that they were originally Berdan primed to discourage reloading, and that is, as Butch said, exactly the meaning of the NR on the headstamp.

There are those among knowledgeable, ammunition experts that believe the use of Boxer primers in these cases is just short of insane, and lawsuits waiting to happen if people reload them several times and experience catastrophic case failure. I am not expert enough on the manufacture of ammunition, especially aluminum cased stuff, to have any judgment of my own, but there had to be a reason why these rounds were designed specifically and originally for Berdan primers and why the cases are marked as NR (Non-Reloadable) even on the current Boxer primer types. By the way, I successfully reloaded one of these, but then disassembled it again without firing it. I believe what respected friends tell me. I just want to see if there was any automatic difficulty in doing it. There was not.


#7

I have found some Boxer-primed 9mm Blazer cases at the range, but also have not attempted reloading them for the same reason.


#8

From - A History of CCI -

“Original Blazer cases used an odd primer diameter (0.195 inch) to further discourage reloading. This was eventually changed when we started loading higher pressure cartridges like the 9mm Luger and 357 Magnum. They needed the extra material in the case head that a 0.175 inch primer pocket affords. From that point on, we used a standard .175 inch Berdan pocket in all cartridges that took a small pistol primer.

Note that the date of the change is not provided. I interpret this to mean that ALL Blazer calibers that would normally use a SP primer do use a SP-sized Berdan primer. It says nothing about the use of Boxer primers.


#9

I have reloaded and fired both CCI unfired and once-fired boxer small pistol primer 9mm and 45 Auto aluminum cases. Ultimately it was a waste of time and components. But if somebody asks if it’s possible. Yeah, it is but isn’t worth the effort. Change of subject: did the lot number ever come to light?


#10

hello
i have a question:i would know if cci made 50 ae in his serie blazer with aluminium case ?


#11

Wow, John, this is a great study, that you’ve done!
Sorry for off-topic, but I wish to ask is there loading in .45 Colt other than the one you mentioned in 1989-1990 catalog (255 gr, LRN)? I have an aluminum case .45 Colt, but it is not round-nosed, it seems to me it is a semi-wadcutter with huge meplat on top.


#12

Dennis - Perhaps that history of CCI was written before they changed to Boxer primers. Also, it is not something they care to advertise, as far as I can tell. Aside with my own correspondence from a primary source, which is privileged, one simply has to disassemble a current 9 mm cartridge to find that it is Boxer primer, with a single, central flash hole.

The primer change talked about happened almost straight away. The first CCI .38s and 9 mm had a very large, brass-cupped Berdan primer. That change is easy to see.

Ivo - I guess I stopped a year too soon in my brief study of CCI Blazer for the purpose of your question. I stopped at the year 2000. In 2001, showing “New” across the picture of the cartridge, a .45 Colt with 230 Grain Flat-Nose-Lead bullet was introduced. This was probably done to appeal to Cowboy Action Shooters, although that shape would only be important in tube-magazine, lever-action and pump action rifles. Truthfully, in over 100 Cowboy matches shot in, and half as many practices attended, I don’t recall anyone using Blazer ammo within my view, anyway.

I was accurate about my guess that it was for CAS. I should have gone on to the 2001 catalog before I wrote that. In 2001, the name of three loads, .38, .44 Special, and .45 Colt, all with flat-nose-lead bullets, was changed to “Trail Blazer Ammunition” and offered in old-fashion boxes. They had catchy names for the bullet to:

“Trail Blazer combines proven Blazer case technology with Speer “Idaho Territory” lead bullets to build a great competition load for Cowboy Action Shooting events.”

Unfortunately, in 2004 CCI broke up their catalogs into four separate “volumes” and I am missing the one on Blazer Ammunition. However, they still offered the lead-FN 230 grain bullet in the Speer components catalog.

The lead bullet load in .45 Colt disappears completely from the the 2005 catalog, and the .45 Colt is offered only in a 200 grain JHP loading.

My last catalog is 2009, and the 200 grain JHP load remained the only Blazer .45 Colt offering.

My comments about never seeing any of the Trail Blazer ammunition at a Cowboy Shoot is probably indicative of its short production life. It obviously was not popular, or they would have continued it.


#13

John, thank you very much for your answer, it is great pleasure for me to read your posts!

Cheers!

Ivo