Stainless steel cased 7.62x51mm, etc

I just read about a Canadian company that made stainless steel cased 7.62x51mm ammunition around 2005, but no information on how well it worked or any of the down-sides to using this material. They claim a 20% reduction in weight and that stainless steel is less expensive than brass, which sounds hard to beleive.

Any more info on this?

Any other small arms ammunition ever use stainless steel?

If I remember correctly, Winchester’s “Silvertip” hollow point projectile in 9x19mm used a stainless steel jacket. Is this correct or am I making this up in my own head?!


AKMS - I have never heard of Winchester Silver Tip being with a stainless steel jacket. I believe they are just gilding metal jackets nickel plated. When I have time I will find a dupe and cut into it with a file.

However, I have an inside-primed .45 auto cartridge with case made of stainless steel. I actually have a loaded ball round, a primed empty case and a fired case. They are what I call “true” stainless steel as far as I know - that is, they are not an alloy. they do not take a magnet. Interesting cartridge. My impression is that they were made in the United States, but I have no real information about them. In fact, if anyone is familiar with the background of this round, I would love to get some information about it.

Ray, I’m sorry, but I do read every article of every issue of the IAA Journal, even the many articles I have written myself, along with those from ECRA, NZCCC, ACCA, CCCA and RSACCA, and bwtween 300 to 500 pages of other material a month from my own files, not to mention the 8 or 10 gun magazines I get every month and the occasional new gun or ammunition book. Unfortunately, I cannot remember everything I read. I can’t even remember every bit of everything I have written for the various Journals.

I reread your article in Journal 445 just now, and it is quite interesting, as it was the first time. However, it is totally irrelevant to my answer, just as my answer may have been totally irrelevant to AKMS’ mention of Silvertip, since I was thinking only of the Silvertip line of auto pistol cartridges, and that is what I was talking about. Some of those were aluminum, and still are, but many are not. I have never seen any I would describe as Stainless Steel, nor have I ever seen any silvertip rifle bullet-tips I thought were stainless, and you don’t mention any in your article. I always had a very low opinion of the silvertip bullet in rifles, and in some of the renditions found in pistol calibers, so again, the rifle caliber ones didn’t cross my mind when I was answering. Probably, considering the context of the original question (about a rifle cartridge), they should have.

At any rate, the real question was whether or not they ever had stainless steel jackets, and to my knowledge, the pistol rounds did not, unless it was some factory in-house experiment of which I am not familiar and that went no where as to commercial production, and from your article, it would appear that the silvertip rifle bullets never had a stainless jacket or tip either. For every round we know about of course, there are probably two or three, at least, that we don’t, as they were pure experimental and all used up or destroyed.

Now, if someone has some solid information on the stainless-steel-cased, inside-primed .45 auto rounds, I would be interested to hear about it.


Well, I did what I should have done in the first place. I checked a few fired examples of the Winchester 9x19mm “Silvertip” projectile in my collection. It DOES appear to be a nickel plated gilding metal jacket. From looking at these examples though, one would not think so. The plating must be pretty thick or durable. No traces of gilding metal show through where the rifling engraved the projectile, nor where the jacket folded back at expansion. I had to scratch through the plating with a sharp knife to reveal the base metal.

This brings up another question though. In my “odds-and-ends” box with the 9x19mm “Silvertip” projectiles were some fired .45 ACP and .380 ACP “Silvetips”. These appear to have an aluminum jacket. Any other projectiles with aluminum jackets out there? Just for fun once, I put a .45 ACP aluminum jacketed “Silvertip” in an Aluminum CCI “Blazer” case to see what it would look like!


AKMS - the Winchester Silvertip .32 Auto appears to have an aluminum jacket as well, right from the start, and the current .380 Silvertip does.

I suspect that the bullet on the Aguila (Industrias Technos, of M

The only reference I’ve heard about recently made Canadian steel cased ammunition would be by Gaetan Lepine in .338 LM for the McMillan rifle (used by Canadian Forces snipers). This is the round on the right. I understand that this caliber was also made in brass and aluminum cases by Lepine.

If the Canadian reference is correct, then it would not surprise me if Lepine also made 7.62 Nato.


But are those steel cases you mention made of “stainless steel?”

I believe that this is comes for project called “Lightweight Small Caliber Ammunition”. The objective is/was “To develop a functional alternative lightweight 7.62mm cartridge case for the M80 Ball and M62 tracer cartridges that meets current ballistic performance and reliability of the current brass alloyed cartridge case”. The concept uses a thinwall stainless stell cartridge case with an aluminum plug to provide structural support to the base. It’s not clear wha the actual weight saving is - the silde set I have states in one place that the cartridge has a weight saving of 20% over the regular brass M80 ball round, but elsewhere states that the assembled cartridge weights 20% of total weight of the 7.62 M80 ball round. The information (dated May 2007) I have states the the ballistic performance matches current military specs. The prime contractor is GDOTS Canada.

Dave S

Yes, that is the one, but no actual performance information is given besides that it’s “balistic performance matches current military specs”. If it is such a great innovation, why isn’t everyone doing it?