Stainles steel cased ammo?

Hello, gentlemen

does anybody have any photos and/or other info on the current stainless steel cased rifle caliber ammo, which is undergoing tests in USA?

thanks in advance for any information

Hi Max,

I can tell you that it is made from sheet stainless steel, with a light-alloy base plug to provide the primer pocket and extractor rim. Some 220,000 cases were made a year ago (I’m not sure who by, but ARDEC was involved), and delivered for loading and testing. The weight saving is 40% compared with a brass case, with the reduction in overall 7.62mm ammunition weight of 20%.

I recall having seen presentation slides on this - I think they were at one of the NDIA Joint Armaments or Small Arms meetings, last year or the year before.

thanks for that, but I’m looking mostly for images.
also my question is how the case walls are made - rolled from steel strips and welded/glued to form the tube, drawn like brass cases with “base” cut away, or from seamless tubing?

This is the presentation I was referring to: … eghali.pdf

Thanks again, Tony, this helps a lot

the only thing I didn’t get is if cases are drawn or wrapped from steel strips. I suppose former process, but want to be sure.

I believe they are wrapped, not drawn. They are described as being made from thin sheets, and otherwise they wouldn’t need the separate base plug.

This raises interesting question of closing the seam, which, obviously, would be a weak/stress spot under pressure.
Welding? Gluing? Any other bets?

Maybe tube which is made from welded sheet? We may have to wait so see a real specimen.

At least this will bring us cases that will never rott again! Imagine battlefield archeology in 500 years+!

See … i_Leng.pdf. On page 11 of this presentation is pictured what appears to be a stainless steel draw set for 7.62mm ammunition.


Brian, thanks a lot!

Thanks for the link, but I’m not sure I’d call that a draw set: the steel remains the same thickness (or rather thinness) throughout the process rather than being formed into a shape of variable thickness from a thick disc as happens in the drawing process. As they describe it on the previous page, it’s a “sheet metal folding process”.

Is that maybe compareable to the technology that was used back in the days of Berdan cartridges which just had a brass cup in the base for reinfocement (what here is now plastic)?
Just the brass of the case got exchanged to stainless steel to vercome the stress of the modern cartridges (propellants) since stainless steel is extremely tough and elastic.
Maybe this is “back to the roots” just with modern materials?

So call it a fold set. In any case, the photo makes it clear that the case is not made with a welded seam.

bdgreen sent the link to this thread in reply to my question on stainless steel cases. Very interesting material and much appreciated. This is 2007 technology and my 9mmP is 1960, but still may be relevant.

After looking at page 11 of the report, it looks like a SS cup was punched and formed from thin SS sheet, then it was shaped by drawing to include drawing the base before inserting the Aluminum base plug. The drawing precludes the need to weld or glue the sheet. I’d sure classify this a drawset and wish It was mine!

I suspect the base plug is to prevent the casehead from deforming by bending of the thin SS sidewalls. Drawing a solid SS head would have been tough going. I guess that drawing a lower pressure and thinner SS head on a 9mm would be easier!


This is the presentation I recalled: … eghali.pdf

There was also this one at the same event: … Miller.pdf

Tony et all, did any of the stainless steel cased ammunition show up anywhere or is it being tested in larger scale?

Just a side note .50 BMG steel cases are also made now in Russia by the Ulyanovsk Cartridge Plant (which is actually TPZ today). By now they are declared for hunting and sporting purposes but I think that will change soon. Looking forward to see actual production.

I’ve certainly not seen any of it.


The only thing I know is that the 7.62x51mm stainless steel cased ammunition is listed in the [b]PEO Ammunition Systems Portfolio Book 2012 - 2013 /b on page 185, and was noted as being in “engineering and manufacturing development”.


A somewhat different study, but still very interesting: … 41Mach.pdf

Interesting stuff about stainless steel-cased ammunition. I still have never confirmed who made the inside-primed, stainless steel .45 cases, and who loaded them. I have, as I recall, a NPE case, and a fired case. Perhaps a loaded round as well - I haven’t checked on them in some time. All I know is that theyare American-made. The fired case does not look the worse for wear.