Steel Ridge Ammo 9mm-Sumbro headstamp

Recently I picked up a box of 9mmP by Steel Tiger Ammunition, Allison IA. This was advertised as “New Ammo” made in the USA and loaded with a Sierra JHP bullet. When I received the box, I was surprised to see that the cases were made by Sumbro in Macedonia. Clearly the bullets are US made. In the photos below I show both the Sumbro loads made in Macedonia and the Steel Ridge loads. The most obvious difference is the bullets (note the Sumbro bullets are brass jacket while the Sierra are GM), and the primers with Sumbro having brass primers and Steel Ridge being nickel. It seems pretty clear that the Steel ridge ammo was loaded in the US with cases apparently bought from Sumbro.

No end to this kind of stuff in our new global market!


For the conversation; below is the link to my post from a couple months ago where I puzzled over this same loading, and had supposed that the brass was reprocessed / once-fired. I was assuming this since I found it odd that a small outfit like Steel Ridge would be loading enough to warrant importing (or buying from an importing distributor at mark-up) large quantities of foreign brass when Starline, Top Brass, and various other domestic producers are now essentially caught up on production. I based this on thinking that Steel Ridge was small enough to be loading ammo on any & all brass types whether reprocessed or new unfired and had even assumed that some of their boxes may come with mixed brass.

The more I talk to Lew and others about it, it seems that Steel Ridge is large enough to warrant making such a purchase, and that it is new unfired brass. I still find their choice of Sumbro as odd, unless the price was inexplicably low for some reason.

DK - it would be even odder to me if these rounds were reloads. With the small distribution the original importation of Sumbro-headstamped ammunition seems to have received, where would a reloading company get enough brass of that headstamp to fill out what would seem to be a full run of ammunition with it? A few mixed in boxes containing mostly the “usual suspects” in fired brass, such as Winchester and the like, would be what I would expect in such ammo.

Further, the HP cartridge with nickel-cup primer shown in Lew’s excellent photo of the two rounds, there are zero signs of the cartridge case ever having be through the process of being fired with a previous load. No amount of sizing or case prep, in my view as a long-time reloader, could make the case look so pristine as the one show by Lew seems to be. Admitedly, we cannot see the underside of the rim or the head of the cartridge, but the case has no marks, nor residual signs of any kind of mouth crimp, not does it have any sign of every having base expansion. It simply looks like new ammo, with all new components.

Just my thoughts on it.