New Two Piece 9mm case technology. Not much info on their website.

Thanks Leon, I was not aware of the company or their products.


From the webpage provided by Leon, the cartridges in the opening picture have a headstamp of " SST 9MM LUGER ".


The main reported advantages which the company markets appear to be “50% reduced casing weight”, as well as a notion of a stronger case not prone to certain corrosion. With most 9mm empty brass cases coming in at around 56gr to 60gr, I guess this would mean that SST’s cases are around 28gr to 30gr? This translates into a case-weight difference of 1/6th of a pound for the average law enforcement officer (carrying 45rds of 9mm) or 1.25 lbs for the average solider (carrying 300rds ?). Doesn’t seem too appreciable given the presumed price increase.

On their Facebook page, SST also shows an image of their 2-part cases with a variety of different colored anodized aluminum bases, which is an interesting option for those looking to color coordinate other than colored tips:

I wannnt some.

very cool!

What it comes down to: what is the relative cost in Metal resources (Nickel/Iron/Aluminium vs Copper/Zinc ) and the relative cost of Manufacture. The Military ( and a Country) are not going to go for cartridge cases which uses up valuable Strategic Metals (such as Nickel) to waste on throw-away cartridge cases; WW II taught us that…The Move to Steel cases by both Germany and the USSR, to preserve, as much as Possible, Copper and Zinc for other, more important purposes ( Electrical equipment, Protecting steel, etc.)
Even the US dallied with Steel cases in WW II, but its lack of research made only the .45 case (straight sided) a viable cartridge…the US never got into Steel Cases Big time, with either “Bonderising” (Franco -German Patents), Galvanised ( German-Brass electro-plated) or “Bi-metal” (Copper clad)–Originally German (WW I) and further refined in USSR.

For the Most economical cartridge supply, Steel cases with whatever coating you like , with steel Primers, and GM-coated steel jackets and mild steel cored projectiles is the way to go. The steel is low grade carbon alloy ( recycled scrap) and the Gilding Metal coating for the Jackets ( 90/10 or 95/5) can be made cooking up scrap copper from other sources.

Another thing, “Two Piece” cases have been with us since the 1870s…so nothing New in the concept…only the metals used. Unless Metallurgy has taken great leaps forward since then, I don’t see a case with an aluminium head going much further than “Pistol” cartridges.

As to “reloadability”, I will Pass on that until there are Marketable quantities for shooting and testing by the Aficionados…Proof is in the Pudding AND the Eating there-of.

Now back about Ten Years, BHP (Australian Steel Maker) Developed an Iron-Aluminium “Steel” with better ductile qualities than Carbon (Mild) steel, an alloy which would have been (ADAIK) Ideal for Press forming and Deep drawing ( ie, Guns like the StG44, and Steel cartridge cases) But after it was Patented, it disappeared from view…but BHP got out of the Steel Business (closed down its Steelworks (Newcastle) and concentrated on Coal and Iron ore and Copper & Gold etc Mining.

Doc AV

Reinventing the wheel DocAV, seems like it needs to be done at least once a week in the USA’s ammunition business. Still interesting points you make.

Still a “pretty” product, but the flash holes do look awfully big.

With an aluminum head I wonder if they will find the same problems with web thickness in manufacturing, that CCI did with their Blaser brand Berdan primed product ? Perhaps a Berdan pocket manufacture problem only?

With reference to U.S. production of steel cased military small arms ammunition it it well to remember that the .30 Carbine cartridge was made in quantity during the second war and again in the 1950s with steel cases. Jack

Yes, I forgot about the .30 Carbine Steel production, probably because the Larger(Much larger) quantity of .45 Produced in Steel by Evansville Chrysler and EC-Sunbeam.
But it is significant that NO Bottlenecked cases were produced ( except Trials) (.30 cal or .50 cal) or that case draws were limited to the shorter, straight “pistol” type cases (ie, 33mm for Carbine, 22mm for.45), or that case coatings were not fully developed to the extent of either German or Soviet methods

Why this is so can only be ascribed to some problems in deep drawing by US makers, which had obviously been overcome well and truly by both the Germans and Russians much earlier on. ( and by transmission of Information, to France , Bulgaria, Hungary, and Italy etc., during WW II --8x50R Lebel steel case, Vincennes 1942; Khazanlak 8x56R Steel 1941-44, & Hungary ML 1944; SMI 8x59Breda Steel 1941-44).

Information about a lot of German Metallurgical Technology was freely available in Scientific Journals via Switzerland during WW II; it was not “Top Secret”…and also Patent Documentation was also freely available for most matters…US non-corrosive Primer Manufacture was greatly helped by information gleaned from Swiss-German Publications early in the war of German Chemical developments.

Whilst the “Pacific” Imperative ( tropical Corrosion resistance) may have impacted on the decision not to produce Steel Rifle/MG cases, it is a misleading assumption…the Japanese used Steel 7,7 case ( and 7,9 cases as well) all over the Pacific, with little problem AFAIK.

Can anybody dig into Archives to find why the US did not make greater use of Steel Rifle cases during WW II?

Doc AV

Doc: It’s usually very difficult to find archival evidence for things not done. In reading vol. 2 of Hackley, Woodin, and Scranton years ago I concluded the lack of real urgency in the United States meant research to produce steel cartridge cases wasn’t pushed strongly during the Second World War. What work was done seemed, frankly, desultory. Jack

Not exactly true Jack. Evensville Chrysler produced millions of rounds of great steel case 45ACP. It was so good that the British in 1943 tried to get them to add a 3rd shift and produce steel case 9mm Para for them.


Regarding US steel case production of bottle-necked rifle cases, a reading of pages 222 to 224 of Chris Punnet’s fine book on the .30-06 cartridge might be helpful.

 "The first known experiments in steel .30-06 cases date from 1908 with some copper-washed cases headstamped F  A  9  08.  

 "Work continued over the next couple of years and by 1918 the process for drawing steel cases was fairly reliable.  Steel case headstamped F A 18... have been examined."

 "Further cases headstamped F A 19 have also been seen."

 "Frankford Arsenal continued to manufacture steel-cased rounds through to the end of the Second World War and headstamps of F A 45 represent the last steel cases made in this period."

These are simply short excerpts from a long discussion of case materials and finishes.

I am not familiar with the .50 machinegun cartridge (other than very limited experience in the military with the infantry forms of the gun and ammunition), but it is my impression that I have seen that caliber, from WWII, with steel cases as well. I could be wrong. I hope a .50 Cal. expert will chime in here with either a correction to my statement, or with added details if, indeed, they were made.

t any rate, it appears to me, as no expert on steel-case rifle rounds, that USA developments, if not mass production, occured at least in approximately the same period that European countries were looking into the matter.

Thanks, JM…I am aware of the many Steel FA xx Drill rounds in existence (Blind Primer Pockets, flutes, etc.) since we used quite a lot of .30 cal during, and after WW II for Armoured Vehicles. They only retired the Aussie Brownings (M1919A4) a few years ago.

But it seems that FA was doing the experimentation “just in case”, but with not much money available for Quantity production; And of course, in the 1920s, the developing SA Rifle situation required initially a Brass case for Reliable Function…why complicate matters with a Steel cartridge Case…Germany and Russia instead took a different approach, make the guns to take steel cases primarily, and Brass as a good “second choice”. Brass was also preferred by the Luftwaffe, for High altitude use (Reliability); the Soviets just made Air-Use cases (ShVAK) stronger.

It would be nice to be able to research the annual FA appropriations papers, to see how much $$$ went to each Production/Research area. Surely in some dark warehouse on the “Outer circle” of DC there are archives relating to this. In this case, Americans are like the Germans/Prussians and the Russians/Soviets.,…Record everything, then keep it “top secret” for Generations.

Doc AV

I have a US-made WW2-vintage 40mm Bofors with a steel case. I believe that the US also made 20mm Oerlikon cases from steel.

They did! And I think 20x110 HS too.
Also they made 37mm AA and AT gun cases + 37x145R and other calibers larger than 40mm.

Also they made 37mm AA and AT gun cases + 37x145R and other calibers larger than 40mm.[/quote]

Ah yes, I have a steel-cased drill round in 37x145R.

A Frankford Arsenal Report from 1945 shows that a lot of research had been done on the drawing process of steel cases.

It can be downloaded from and has number: ADA954424

With some in 43 and mostly in 1944 TW had a good bit of Cal. .30 production in steel. No actual numbers known by me but the rounds are not all that uncommon here in the US.

Can anyone supply a “click on” direct link to the Report that Peelen reported on? With my old software and my poor knowledge of computers, especially poor searching skills it seems, while I got to the site, I could not find the report. When searching the number ADA954424 given, it came back, basically, as no report of that number available.

I really would like to print out the report if I can find it. Help!

Also, can anyone confirm or deny the production of .50 caliber steel-case ammo in the US during WWII. Great info on other calibers but my own main question was on .50 cal. Thanks for any help on that question.

Doc - production of steel case ammunition in WWII, in the USA, went far past just .45, Carbine, and .30-06 dummy (drill) rounds. As pointed out, WWII ball round specimens are not especially scarce in the US. It is true that since our own production was not interrupted by bombing, much sabotage, etc., it was very high. For example, the EC production of .45 was shut down in 1944, with the war predicted to go on for years, because EC had produced much more ammunition than was being consumed in the conflict. While brass is always a strategic material during wartime and not to be “wasted,” I don’t think there was any real critical shortage of it in the US at the time, and that is probably one reason not more steel-case ammo was made, especially in small arms ammo. Am not sure money was any problem, especially, and certainly production time and facilities were not, as we were not only supplying our own military needs, but also supplementing those of many other allied countries, even down to resistance groups. Need drives production, and I don’t think we had the need to produce as much steel-case ammunition as existed in Europe during the war. There was likely no real need for mass production of steel-case cartridges for small arms, in the US, during WWI, whereas Germany was producing it in volume, at least in 7.9 x 57, due, I would assume, to critical shortages of brass towards the closing years of the war.

I agree entirely that it would be great if there was more access to documentation on the subject. We pretty much know what EC and ECS did, perhaps not in the deep technical details that many of us like, thru Chrysler’s series of books on their war-time accomplishments. Probably many other factories put out such general information, but the books don’t seem to be as easily found as are the series from Chrysler.

I wish I was more knowledgeable on the subject. Substitute cartridge case materials are of great interest to me, generally speaking.


Try this: