Evansville steel 45s

I have an EC round from 1942 that has the usual steel case but the bullet does not react to a magnet, so I assume its copper clad lead.

I have a partial box from 1943 that is also steel cases but the bullets are definitely steel too, copper clad I assume.

What was the purpose of going to a copper clad steel core? Did this last until the war’s end? Did others load steel core 45s? (Enlighten me John!)

Those bullets weren’t “steel core” per-se, they just had copper-clad steel jackets to save on copper use. The core was still lead, but having a steel jacket with only a light coat of copper saved allot of copper for other more important wartime needs. The copper cladding was the minimal amount needed to protect barrel rifling, and this was done for the same reasons that Lincoln pennies from the same time period were made of steel instead of copper.


I warned everyone that the big kids will be heading to St Louis this weekend and all of next week. So, your questions will be referred to the second string.

DK explained it to you very well. The steel jacketed bullets were plated with either copper or GM depending on which was most readily available. Frankford Arsenal also loaded 45 ACP with the steel jacketed bullets.

Steel jacketed bullets are still very common in most US Military cartridges, including the 45 ACP.


Thanks, I had not thought the jacket would save much, volume I guess. I had thought about that point but usually I am wrong. My next step was to slice up a bullet but you probably saved my fingers!

I figured the Big Dogs would wait until later in the week to leave but I’m excited and not even going!


The copper savings in steel jacketed bullets was nothing compared with the cases. Frankford Arsenal spent the entire war years trying to develop the perfect steel case, a goal they never did realize 100%. Late in the war it was realized that the copper shortage was not as much of a crisis as first thought but steel case development continued anyway.

I always found it interesting that steel cased artillery cartridges didn’t really show up in great numbers until the Korean War. Imagine the savings in copper with just one 5"/38 or 155mm case.